Having been tricked into defending a woman by an unscrupulous colleague (and achieving a not guilty verdict), Paul gets the defendant to admit that she'd been coached by the other lawyer before visiting a psychiatrist.
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Chronology of Events
City of Los Angeles
Tuesday, January 11
Went over to Kate's and made breakfast for her, pleased that she ate everything. Announcing that she'd be going into the gallery this afternoon, Kate said I shouldn't really come back to San Francisco from Chicago just out of concern for her.
With two first class seats across the aisle reserved for the painting, I took off for Chicago with my mind at rest over Katie, but deeply troubled by Bill Dagen and the poor innocent soul who was his victim. Nevertheless tried to concentrate on the retyped contracts Marcella had gotten out to London last night.
Douglas Hawkins limo met the plane, and I felt relieved, turning the painting over to him. He was thrilled to have it, and said he'd have paid twice the price, then entrusted me with a gift-wrapped box for Kate.
Still felt like flying right back, and rang to see how she was, as well as advise that the picture had been delivered. Kate insisted she was fine, and that I should go straight on to Riverside.
Assured that she did sound a lot better, decided to fulfil a long-held dream, and take the train to Los Angeles - using the time to study all the papers in my briefcase.
Took the opportunity to have lunch with Ned Connor and dinner with Rick Benson, giving each a copy of the Mastin contract, just to get another fresh opinion. Both said that they'd get back to me if they saw anything to note.
Thought I might work a little before going to bed, but am already being lulled to sleep by the train's motion. A good move.
City of Los Angeles - Riverside
Wednesday - Thursday, January 12 - 13
Met a very charming nun over breakfast, Sister Veronica. But after a pleasant chat, she got up abruptly, leaving behind a genuine pearl rosary.
Tried to locate her, but she appeared to have vanished, so I went back to my compartment, and took out a newspaper, fascinated to see that Charlie Sant was going to give testimony about Mafia activities. Reveal all, as it were.
Apparently, this amazing development had been precipitated by the death of his daughter, a Chicago nun named SISTER VERONICA!
After some meditation - which went well with the train's calming motion - I found myself lulled to sleep, but my dream was anything but gentle.
In it, the woman on the train was not a nun, but her sister, the second daughter of Charlie Sant, and instead of meeting up with Rhona and Clive at the Beverly Wiltshire, I followed the girl to the Valley where she was kidnapped, a maid was bludgeoned to death, and I got a pretty severe blow on the head myself.
It was a compromising situation, to say the least, but police said I could go to Riverside for the race. As dreams are, I also failed to meet Pete at the airport, and instead, went into a bar where the actress Diana Muldaur was sitting next to me, but didn't speak.
When I went outside, some thugs started beating me up - maybe a carryover from the events of Saturday night with Bill Dagen, and the police called me in to see the body of Charlie Sant's cousin in the morgue, saying he had my name on a piece of paper.
The next moment I was crashing out of qualifying at Riverside. No sign of Pete. I'd forgotten to pick him up! When I approached the Darrells, they just walked away from me.
But I got a call from the girl I'd met on the train as a nun, and she begged me to come to her at a motel in Van Nuys. Not long after my arrival, two gunmen broke in, and I shot both of them dead.
Then, looking up after checking my small flesh wound, the two bodies had turned into dead elephants, blocking me from getting up.
Despite falling asleep so pleasantly, I woke up with a splitting headache, and when I went to the club car for coffee and an aspirin, who was there but “Sister Veronica.” I handed her the rosary and she got up abruptly again, but that was the last I saw of her.
My head back in shape, spent the rest of the trip reading through the Mastin and HSD contracts as well as the Brode case file.
Checked with Kate on arrival in LA, then took a cab out to the airport and got a rental car before picking up the winner of the Nile Grand Prix, and we drove out to Riverside where our mechanics were putting the finishing touches on the Mastins.
So smooth. So fast. It was even better than Malaga. Maybe because I know that I'll be driving it in anger tomorrow.
Did a last check round with friends on the contracts, and took even more comfort in the fact that both Pete's principal and driver friends all said we'd made a good deal.
Paul flies to Chicago on an errand, and decides to take the train back to California.
At breakfast, he meets a nun in the dining car (identifying herself as Sister Veronica) who leaves a valuable rosary at the table. When Paul returns to his compartment, he reads about imminent Congressional testimony by a major mafia figure whose daughter was a nun named Sister Veronica - now deceased.
Following turbulent days, after meditating, he falls asleep, and dreams about meeting the nun on the train - only she is the nun's sister, wearing the habit as a disguise.
He sees her leaving the train station dressed now in a green suit, and tries to give her the pearl rosary she left, but she pretends not to know him, and takes a taxi to the San Fernando Valley.
He follows the girl's taxi to a motel where he speaks to her, but is then knocked on the head. The girl is kidnapped, and the chambermaid is killed and dressed in the green suit, Paul finding her dead when he regains consciousness.
After notifying the police, Paul goes out to a bar, and is assaulted by thugs when he leaves.
After crashing out of the Riverside Grand Prix, he gets a desperate call from the girl to meet her at a motel in Van Nuys. She escaped her kidnappers, but they follow Paul and break into her room shooting. Paul shoots back, and kills both.
Friday - Sunday, January 14 - 16
Marcella brought a 30-strong delegation from HSD (including Ben du Pres), as well as the news that Coleman got his adjournment extended until Tuesday.
Quite a few other friends came down from San Francisco too, Dwight Sinclair among them. As she promised, Julie Foster was on hand with her father looking decidedly better, with Hardy and Lizzie Rankin having just flown in from Kenya.
In the pit, was surprised by a hug of support from Jessica Braeden who had a very rich looking guy in tow. (Pete said he owned a lot of Riviera real estate.) She looked terrific, the “poor me” appearance completely gone.
Obliged the fan club by qualifying in the top ten, Pete just missing out on poll position, then we threw a big party in the Darrells' honor, and it was a grand night. The Sparklies included Mr. & Mrs. Charlie Harrod (Pete and I gave Anna a big hug of congratulations) and Clarice Newell with her Hollywood mogul boss in addition to Diana and Julian Hays who took over the spotlight for a good while until they made a grand exit fighting. (Molly came down as well, on the arm of Alex Ryder, and there seemed plenty of tension between them too.)
The big empty space created by Kate's absence was filled a tiny bit by Bumble, but Katie and I had a long phone call at the end of the day, and that helped a little too.
They all came on race day as well. And to my absolute delight, up from Mexico was Father Bart. Unfortunately, Pete crashed out while in front (better said, was crashed into by a back marker), thanks to which I managed to gain one place on my qualification ranking, coming in seventh.
Pete would have left right after falling out, so I was glad we'd scheduled the Mastin contract signing for after the finish to keep him here for my surprise birthday party for Eileen.
With so many friends on hand, that one and the round of other post-race bashes made for a tremendous night, and it was great to observe that Bumble felt comfortable in a crowd again. She'd come a long way since our Berlin meeting in May, and I hope that can be said of me too.
Bart and I stayed up talking into the wee small hours, and I admitted to him how I felt at Christmas - desperate not to die, and he gave me a sense of hope I haven't felt since I started carrying the diagnosis on my soul.
He also suggested that, if the train journey from Chicago had been so theraputic, I should go back to San Francisco the same way. He was right, it certainly has been a great relaxer after the high life of the weekend.
The train journey was interrupted when the passenger next to me collapsed, and I saw her to a hospital. It turned out that the 18-year-old is pregnant, and was suffering some kind of cyst problem, so I rented a car to finish the drive to San Francisco.
The poor thing apparently married in Tijuana last summer, but her husband has gone back to school, the last time she saw him being at homecoming weekend.
It doesn't sound like any proper marriage, and I dropped her off at his fraternity house, hoping that things will work out for them.
Told Katie about the incident when advising that I wouldn't be arriving on the train, and she sounded very disturbed about the girl, wondering if I should check back and see if she's all right.
Looked up the number of the frat house, and someone there said that Carol had gone over to the hotel where her husband was working, so that seemed a good sign.
Paul races at the Riverside Grand Prix.
He decides to take the train back to San Francisco, but when the passenger he is talking to collapses, Paul gets off with her at the next stop, and accompanies her to a hospital where she receives pain killers for a twisted ovarian cyst.
Paul learns that the girl is pregnant, and rents a car to complete his journey to San Francisco, leaving her off at Santa Cruz where she is going to meet her husband who is a student there.
Monday, January 17
Can it be only a day ago when I was celebrating the new Mastin team with friends cheering my top-ten finish? High and happy? The last 24 hours have certainly been a miserable contrast.
To my shock, when I took off from Santa Cruz in the morning, Carol was hitch hiking, and told me that her “husband” had disowned their marriage (paid a clerk not to register it), and last night, gave her some money for an abortion.
I did everything to try and ease her mind, saying that was the worst option open to her, and hoped, when explaining that it could be fatal, she'd get some counselling and think carefully before taking any steps.
Told her that Kate and I would support her in any way we could, and wrote down both the gallery and apartment numbers.
After leaving her off near the Marina District, drove to Katie's, and then to Dr. Mason's for the usual round of torture and endless waiting, during which I studied possible rebuttals to Coleman's expert witnesses as well as my summation.
Talked with Gene about Bill Dagen, and that put me into an even more depressed mood. When I went over to the gallery to take Katie to a late lunch, she said that I should really try and follow up on Carol, particularly because I'd left her off near a hospital.
The pleading look in Kate's eyes made me start back there without ordering dessert, and sure enough, a staff doctor there said Carol had seen him, trying to get a termination. Concerned as he was, having done everything to dissuade her, he believed that she was determined, and kindly allowed me a glance at the address she gave on her registration card.
It turned out to be her mother's place. The woman was a lost soul, and estranged from her daughter, but did tell me where Carol was now living. When I got to the apartment, my first reaction was relief - seeing her suitcase, and feeling sure it wasn't too late.
But it was. Her roommate took me to the shabby building where she'd left her friend to have the abortion, and I found Carol alone and in distress, as it turned out, near death. Back at the hospital where I left her in the morning, Carol died an hour later.
I staggered over to the Fairmont like a zombie, and though I'd been planning to spend tonight cramming for tomorrow's Court case, my eyes just glazed over as I tried to read.
When Kate walked in the door, having felt numb up to then, I broke down in her arms, Kate's own tears streaming for this girl she never met.
The next morning, when Paul resumes his journey, he sees the girl hitch hiking, and picks her up, learning that her marriage was never registered. The boy has given her some money for an abortion, and Paul does his best to talk her out of it.
She asks him to leave her off near her mother's home in San Francisco, but plagued by her situation during the day, Paul goes back to the spot, and inquires at the hospital near the location where he dropped her.
He learns that she was seeking an abortion, and the doctor she spoke to gives Paul the address of her mother. Estranged from her daughter, she is able to tell Paul where the girl is now living, and he confronts her house-mate who takes him to the place where the abortion was performed. Paul finds Carol near death, and she dies on the operating table of the hospital she visited that morning.
Tuesday, January 18
Couldn't have been in worse shape to begin a long, long day of cutting-edge legal work, starting with an early-morning meeting with my old boss at the DA's office, Larry Coleman, showing me the stack of expert affidavits and witnesses he was bringing into Court, refuting the validity of statements made under narco-synthesis.
Followed this by a session with Louise Brode, who unequivocally refused to let me put her on the stand. I suppose, it was at this point that all the suspicions held about Shawe and possibly felonious activities in which he was involving me took solid form.
The cross examination of Coleman's expert witnesses was rough, as their credentials were impeccable and their testimony contradicting Dr. Brickow's conclusions rock solid.
Though it had been put into evidence that pre-coaching could overcome the effects of sodium pentathol, I did the best possible for my client, and tried to hold the thought that she was being honest.
After a couple hours, Coleman felt he'd made his point with the jury, and called no more witnesses, just submitting the rest of his arsenal in written form.
Judge Kleiner offered him the opportunity to sum up. and I was amazed, Coleman took it instead of waiting until tomorrow. He was incredibly swift, and finished before 1:30 pm. Riding high, he went for the jugular.
Rather than let Louise distract my emotions, I spent the lunch break cutting down my own summation. It went a lot better than I expected - especially considering my growing skepticism in the whole defense case. My appetite for criminal law was fast diminishing.
Judge Kleiner was equally quick with his instructions to the jury, and they went out at 4 pm. After ringing Kate, I went straight over to the hospital and confronted Shawe, but he'd admit to nothing, and while I was there, the jury had returned with a verdict.
Before going back to Court, I made a point of telling Shawe that if I found he coached Louise before she went under the sodium pentathol, I'd see that he never practiced law again.
In Court you could have knocked me over with a feather. The verdict was not guilty. I took Louise out for a few drinks, and instead of being relieved - which I suppose she was in a non-believing sort of way - she was incredibly tense, like ready to snap.
Even the alcohol didn't help, and she insisted that I leave her at a hotel instead of her home. She only agreed to return there when I said that I'd stay the night, but once we got there, and the reporters remained camped outside her door, she again demanded that I take her to a hotel.
Her tension had gotten to the breaking point, and I used the situation to infer that I knew that Shawe had coached her for Dr. Brickow sessions. The trick worked, but my return to the law …. to the Courtroom …. had found me immersed in fraud.
Taking over the case of Louise Brode from Martin Shawe on the last day of the trial for murdering her husband, Paul asks her to take the stand. She refuses, and he does his best to cross examine the expert witnesses the DA has brought to contradict the defence witness who has questioned her under sodium pentathol.
The jury are deliberating when Paul, long suspicious of Shawe, goes to the hospital where he is recovering to say that if Shawe has been guilty of any chicanery, Paul will see to it that his only future participation in a court case will be as defendant.
After a surprising verdict of not guilty, Paul takes Louise home, and tricks her into revealing that Shawe coached her for the sodium pentathol questioning.
Wednesday, January 19
Left the Brode house in the morning without seeing Louise, and went straight to the hospital where Shawe was about to be discharged.
Told him that I'd be starting proceedings against him for involving me in the felonious activities, and by evening it was all over the news that the Bar Council will be holding a preliminary hearing on Friday - thanks to influence by Ben du Pres to get the process started - and over - as rapidly as possible.
Shawe hid Louise, but a good detective found her for me at a poor-quality downtown hotel where I told her simply that she couldn't live with the not-guilty verdict.
Shawe, in his usual win-at-all-costs style, had deceived her into thinking that she'd get the gas chamber if she didn't go along with his scheme. Really don't know whether I convinced her at all, but have to pursue this case with all my might.
After leaving the Hancock, picked up Katie, and drove here to Carmel to get away from this mess for at least a day.
Thursday, January 20
Not at all blissful, we attempted to spend the day in contemplation, meditation and positive conversation.
While my lack of concentration made all that impossible, and we ended up talking about the Brode case for hours, there was at least the sound of the surf, my beloved's understanding company, and a sense of being away from things.
Though we drove back in the late afternoon, I think it was still worth the effort. Left Kate off at her place, and glad we had this time together, since she can't come with me to the race this weekend.
en route to Barbados
Friday, January 21
The Bar Council hearing this morning was totally surreal, and I probably played my own part in that.
After making my accusations regarding Shawe's conduct, Louise gave testimony that I was drunk on the night of the verdict, did all but assault her twice, and repeated that she was not coached by Shawe for the session with the psychiatrist nor guilty of her husband's murder.
My refusal to deny her accusations clearly left the panel with eyebrows raised, but just as they were closing the hearing, Louise recanted everything. At least Shawe will not be around to get loose some more dangerous murderer than Louise.
After taking her home, I drove to the airport, and now have but a few hours to get my racing head back on.
NOTE; There are certain time anomalies in “Where Mystery Begins” which have been accommodated in the journal.
For one, after the jury has gone out, Paul visits Shawe in the hospital, and declares that he asked Louise to testify that morning. However, Louise is wearing different dresses in that scene and the verdict scene a few hours later.
In actual fact, that could well be, as the two scenes should have taken place on different days. Far more things needed to take place in court on this day than possibly could have, such as:
1. Testimony of many expert witnesses 2. Cross examination of these witnesses 3. Summation by the prosecution 4. Summation by the defence
Instructions by the judge 5. Election of a jury foreman 6. Going over complex evidence
Instead, all the above take place on one day, and the jury is out less than two hours
("Tears from a Glass Eye" / "The Meat Eaters")
His own good name having been compromised, the next morning Paul files charges with the Bar Association against Shawe who meantime hides Louise in a low-class hotel.
Paul nevertheless manages to find her, and he tells Louise that she can't live with the false verdict, and should tell the truth at the upcoming hearing of his charge against Shawe.
However, she does not, and even goes on to accuse Paul of inappropriate behavior - but just as the panel are about to get up, she tells them that she lied, that Paul was not guilty of what she said about him. Then she goes on to admit murdering her husband, and declares that Shawe coached her before the psychiatrist interviewed her under the drug.