Part 9

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"What time is it?" was the first thing I asked Morrell when he stuck his head around the open door.

He checked his watch. "A quarter past ten."

"Did you get anything out of Black?"

He didn't answer. He pulled up a seat and sat down beside my bed.

"Did Black give you anything?"

"No. He's sticking with the story that you attacked him. The pain from your injured knee deranged you and for some reason you thought he was trying to stab you. It's easy to believe him when you see the mess you made of his face."

"Didn't they find the shank?"

"The prints were smudged. They're no use to anyone."

I leaned back against the pillows and groaned. The way my luck was running I'd probably end up being charged with assault.

"It's time you were out of here," Morrell said.

"I should never have been here in the first place. What's this evidence you claim can spring me?"

"I can't be absolutely certain that it will. There's still the matter of the gun the police found in your apartment."

"It's not mine. I took it off a wise-guy punk."

'Why hold unto it?"

"In case he came back with another. Now cut the waffle and tell me how you're going to persuade a judge to change his mind."

Morrell's face turned hard. "First, I need an assurance that you won't institute a law suit against the Treasury Department."

"If I'm not out of here by midday tomorrow, I'll sue you."

"Nobody would believe you."

"I'll tell my story to Nicole Cantrell. The hole in the side of my chest will look a lot bigger by the time she's through filming it."

Morrell's face blanched. "Okay. You already know that we were searching your car on a regular basis; that's how we got hold of the Boca Raton photographs."

"Yeah. What about it?"

"We also checked the trunk. The electrical flex and the bubble-pack of batteries − with two missing − were in the trunk the first time we opened it. I have photographs and depositions to prove it. Wherever the batteries came from to trigger the fire¬-bomb, they didn't come from that pack."

"Will that be enough?" I said, remembering the columns my lawyer had drawn up.

"It might be, provided I can speak to the DA's office first. But I need to have something to tell them."

"It's all mixed up. I'm not sure if any of it makes sense."

"Try me."

"I want immunity for Floyd and myself against federal counterfeiting charges."

Morrell pulled a face. "I can't charge you without evidence.'

"I want your guarantee."

"You've got it," he said firmly.

"How long do you have?"

Morrell sat back in his chair. "As long as it takes."

It took two hours. I told Morrell of our attempt to counterfeit one hundred dollar bills and of how Andy's body had lain undiscovered for three years. He listened to my account of the Kove family and how Shapiro had investigated Norman Kove's accident. And what prompted me to follow him to the Hialeah racetrack. From the lack of questions he asked, it appeared that Morrell knew a lot of it already, though if he had anything on top he wasn't volunteering it.

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