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ognized the eyes. She was the yuppie in the Ferrari that night
Coyote and I were chased from Dale Journey s church.
The woman looked at my Yamaha. She gave a dismissive
shake of her head, as if to say, what a P.O.S.
I was hungry, and this woman had shown up. What timing. I
took off my sunglasses and contacts. Guess what, lady? It s snack
I asked about her bike, we made eye contact, and wham, she
was mine.
I led her by the hand around back, where we hid between the
crib for recycling cardboard and the Dumpster.
I removed her helmet and unzipped the jacket. Her per-
spiration and perfume wafted in a mouthwatering aroma. Her
neck was more delicious than I remembered. I took my time,
no sense being a pig.
My kundalini noir satisfied, I put the helmet back on her
head, zipped the jacket, and left her slumped against the wall
behind the Dumpster.
I rode to Griffith Park. I passed the golf course, then the
Greek Theatre, and stopped near the bird sanctuary. Steep,
wooded hills hemmed the narrow grassy patches along the road.
I could easily move about hidden from view. Rosario would
meet me here.
I left Griffith Park and stopped at a pay phone. So what if
Cragnow or Paxton listened in? I had a plan.
Rosario answered on the second ring.
 Time to talk. He d better recognize my voice.  Jot this
down. I gave him directions into the park from the south side,
entering through Vermont Canyon Road.  Be there at three-
The phone rustled, as if Rosario was shifting it on his shoul-
der. I imagined his fat neck sagging against his collar.  Yeah. I
got it.
 And Rosario, you want me to help you, right?
He kept quiet. His reply was heavy.  I m not playing games
with you, Felix.
 Good. I don t think Roxy Bronze or Katz Meow need the
-     --     --  
I drove back to Griffith Park and left my motorcycle close
by, where I could get at it in a hurry. I knelt behind a shrub
along the west side of the field and observed the road winding
toward the bird sanctuary.
I gave myself a half hour to reconnoiter the area. Taking off
my sunglasses, I read the auras of the park visitors. No orange
vampire auras. All red, nothing suspicious.
At twenty after, a black Porsche Cayenne drove up Ver-
mont Canyon Road, paused in front of the bird sanctuary, and
U-turned to park in the lot south of the open field. Rosario got
out. He was alone. His white dress shirt reflected the sunlight
with a metallic sheen. He carried a folded newspaper under one
arm. Looking about, he dabbed his hairline with a kerchief.
Dark circles the size of volleyballs marked the sweat stains
under his armpits. He undid his necktie and tossed it into his
Porsche before shutting the door. The alarm beeped.
What was with the newspaper? Is that where he carried his
.45 automatic?
Rosario made his way around the other cars parked in the
lot. A woman pushed a stroller. An elderly couple checked a
tourist book.
Rosario halted in the middle of the small clearing, turned his
gaze to the left and right, rolled up his sleeves, and stood on the
grass with his back to the woods.
His aura bubbled with anxiety. Tendrils of fright snaked and
withdrew. His fear was unfocused. He fished the kerchief from
his breast pocket and mopped sweat from his face and neck.
I studied the area again. I looked for auras shimmering with
aggression. Nothing. Nobody was interested in Rosario but me.
I replaced my sunglasses, palmed my little .380 pistol, and
approached Rosario from his left.
He turned his big head and looked at me. Sweat trickled
into his eyes, and he squinted at my pistol.
I motioned to the newspaper.  If that s your piece, I hope
you put it together right this time.
 It ll shoot straighter than that popgun you got. Rosario
wiped his neck again.  It s goddamn hot. Can t we do this in
the shade?
 No. I like the view.
 Where do we start? he asked.
 At the beginning. What brings you here?
 To save my ass from prison. White-collar crime is one
thing, murder something else. Katz. Rebecca. That scumbag
Fred Daniels.
And Roxy Bronze.  When did Cragnow tell you about these
murders? How? Over the phone? At your office? His place?
How forthcoming was Rosario going to be? Would he admit to
visiting Cragnow s home?
 Last night. At his house up in Coldwater Canyon.
Okay, Rosario was being straight.
He said,  I was at a cocktail party at Cragnow s place.
 A party with whom?
 Mordecai Niphe and I were there to discuss business with
Cragnow. We were passing the time with his girls when . . .
Rosario wadded the kerchief and dabbed his cheek.  We got [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]