Chronology of Events
Tuesday, October 11
Seeing Armand health continue to fail since his wife's funeral, I've constantly worried about Kate's fragile mental state. During our time in Zermatt it was clear that my presence was not a support to her, but only a source of more anxiety.
When my going away caused a breakdown, I was prepared for anything, and couldn't know whether Kate would hold up after this ultimate tragedy in her life.
To my surprise, she opened the apartment door herself, was even a little cool. We seemed unable to say more than one another's names, then, holding my hand, she walked to her study.
The door shut behind us, we stood just looking at each other. I was trying to say how sorry I was, but couldn't speak.
Kate moved toward me, and as I embraced her, she went weak, and I guided her to the sofa, tears flowing from both our eyes for a long, long time, words still impossible.
I kept thinking how she'd need comfort in a few weeks when it was I who was gone. But Kate suddenly regained control, and offered me tea.
“We'll save the words for later,” she said, getting up, and added that her mother was upstairs in the guest room. I spoke with Alice who said that Kate was holding up better than she could have hoped.
It had been virtually a state funeral in Paris, and with sedatives, she'd gotten through everything, but her mother thought it best for Kate to get away from all the tumult in France for a while.
Alice then dropped the bombshell that Armand had left all his billions - the companies - the properties - everything - to Kate, and she needed some detachment to come to terms with the totally unexpected responsibilities.
Everyone had assumed most of the estate would go into Armand's charitable foundations, and I wondered what it would all mean.
I went back down to Kate who'd brought a tea tray into the living room, and appeared composed. We said little though, our conversation being mostly caring glances.
Finally, I told her I'd just come from the airport, and would be back after I got a place to stay. “Here, of course,” she said in a surprisingly strong voice, then added, “you wouldn't leave me right now, would you?”
She'd given me no alternative. I'd dropped my bags at the firm, but had to leave them in an absent Marcella's office since mine was being redecorated. When I picked them up, Marcie “apologized” that she was leaving for a wedding in Honolulu tomorrow.
She handed me everything that had come in while I was in Brazil, and said she'd be back on Monday. I hugged her - rather out of character for us - and suddenly felt close to breaking down again, so quickly left to see Ralph Phillips.
He offered some additional news about an imminent execution I'd read about on the plane, someone I prosecuted when at the DA's office.
The condemned man's co-defendant had a breakdown when he learned Patterson had lost his last writ for a stay, and Pons is now at Napa.
When I called in to see Ben du Pres, and mentioned the case, he said a meeting with Patterson could probably be arranged, then apologized about the painters being in my office, saying Ralph would be away, and I could probably use his if I wanted to follow up with anything.
Kate was lying down when I got back to her apartment, and I had a look through the stack of mail. I'll have to let Lisa Sorrow Kate and I won't be coming to the Holy Land now.
Having learned that his fiancee's former lover has died, Paul arrives in San Francisco to be with her, and finds out that she's inheirited billions and is in a very fragile state emotionally.
At his law firm he learns that a man whom he successfully prosecuted for murder when an assistant district attorney, is about to go to the gas chamber.
When the man's "accomplice" hears that the execution is about to take place, he suffers a breakdown, and is moved from prison to a State mental facility.
The head of Paul's law firm says he can arrange for him to see the condemned man.
Wednesday, October 12
Ben rang just after Kate left for an early therapy session. Having cut through a mile of red tape, he'd arranged an audience at St. Quentin. As I walked into Patterson's cell, I couldn't help thinking that another soul was being added to Death Row.
He was ambivalent about the new development, and regarded Pons' breakdown with scorn, saying that he was tired of hating the man who had lied about his being an accomplice in the armed robbery, and just wanted to die in peace.
I closed my eyes a moment, and wondered what I'd been doing. Trying to go out in a blaze of glory? Did he really want that? I felt my guts were ripped out when he replied that “want” was almost as bad a word as “hope.”
Before leaving I put the question to him directly, asking whether he killed the watchman, and Patterson's response was even harder to bear. “Six years ago you told everyone I did. Now you're asking?”
My statement that I wanted to represent him was met with further indifference. So much, I wanted to tell him then and there that I was dying too, but knew nothing mattered to him anymore, and his apathy would make me feel even worse.
Talked over the case with Ralph, and before leaving for New York, he was very supportive and encouraging. His secretary was eager to please, and it may be handy to have her assistance until Marcella comes back.
Told her I hadn't had a secretary for a long time, and when she answered the phone for me, figured it was kind of true.
Was able to get an appointment with Pons' psychiatrist who was totally uncooperative. Judge Andrews gave me no hope either, but I finally broke him down enough to at least call the Governor's office to ask for another stay.
Went back to Kate's at 4. She seemed normal - in an unnatural sort of way - and over sandwiches, I explained about trying to do something for a man I'd helped to put on death row, adding that under the circumstances, things could get tense, and I might be getting phone calls at crazy hours.
My own nerves are too overwrought to be around Kate, and we agreed that I'd stay at a hotel for a couple days. She went to lie down after the busy day, and I went back to the office, finding the trial transcripts waiting for me. Might have a look at them later, but at the moment I just can't concentrate.
Paul visits the condemned man who still claims to be innocent, but who no longer cares what happens to him.
Asking to represent him, Paul goes to see the "accomplice's" psychiatrist - who will not help him - and a judge who might get another stay of execution over the new development.
Thursday, October 13
Judge Andrews managed another stay - but only 48 hours more.
Continued to read through the transcripts, seeing the name Rick come up as someone Patterson thought could have done the robbery he was accused of.
Lou was unable to provide any recollection about the Rick he'd mentioned at the trial - had driven himself mad trying to recall something else about him the past six years.
Back at HSD, I was ploughing through the transcripts, when Dr. Graham came in, and said that he'd had a session with Pons today under drugs - and a name had come up. Fletcher. Once. With nothing else to identify it.
Spent some time with phone books from six years ago to the current directory, and have come up with 14 possibilities.
A 48-hour stay of execution has been granted. Looking through transcripts of the trial, Paul finds references to a man named Rick, but the condemned man cannot identify him.
The psychiatrist comes to see Paul, and says his client has mentioned the name Fletcher. Paul puts the two names together, and finds addresses for 14 possibilities.
Friday, October 14
By the middle of the afternoon, was in a garage where I came face to face with the man who must be Rick. Not surprisingly, he denied any knowledge of Pons or Patterson, but I had the feeling this was Pons' accomplice, and arranged a team of detectives to investigate him.
The key was when Lou picked Richard Fletcher's photo out of a bunch I showed him. He was elated. Too elated considering the time we have left, and Fletcher's total denials.
Patterson then railed at the length of the new stay. He said that, to someone alive like I am, death is only a word, but he felt surrounded by it, like death was crawling all over him.
Then he spoke those chilling words, “nobody knows what it's like, knowing when you're going to die,” adding that “you'd lose your mind if you didn't learn to live with it.”
Bad as things are for me, I haven't come to the point where Lou is - yet, and I started pondering over his words about dying in peace. Surely, my actions are only giving him that diabolical “hope” when there really isn't any. What have I done?
No sooner than these thoughts started to pierce my mind, he voiced them himself, saying that before I showed up, he was prepared - even felt that he had already died. Now, he was alive again - and had hope.
I know how many times the joys I've experienced in these past 18 months made me feel that death wasn't haunting me - only to have a tragedy bring it that much closer. I must do everything I can to fulfil this reawakening of hope for Lou Patterson.
Flew to Sacramento, and had every last hope dashed when the Governor's legal counsel says the new information - he refused to call it evidence - is just too scant to deserve another stay of execution, and that the Governor is unlikely to grant another when the writ is put before him.
Have come back to the hotel dejected - and wondering if I should have gone to Kate's, but I want to be where Fletcher can find me.
Paul locates a Richard Fletcher whom he thinks is the real accomplice, and puts a team of detectives investigating him.
The condemned man picks him out from a random group of photos, and now expresses hope - but there is too little time, and even a trip to the Governor's Office is no help.
Saturday - Sunday. October 15 - 16
Fletcher virtually burst into my hotel room in hysterics over the detectives he said were harassing him. He looked ready to crack - but how long will it take?
Told him I'd keep the detectives on him even after Patterson was executed, and when he pleaded about his wife and family, and the business he built, declared I'd take photos of them to show Lou what he was dying for.
That was when he knocked me down and left the room. These four walls are driving me crazy, and I'm going to Judge Andrews' chambers now to wait for the Governor's verdict on the new evidence.
Of course, the Governor decreed no more stays. The execution had to go ahead. Judge Andrews tried to explain the man's position, and I thought, had I gone into politics, made it all the way to the Governor's Mansion, this kind of dilemma would be facing me all the time.
When I got back to my hotel there was a message from Fletcher, telling me to meet him at the Pacific Police Station. Why didn't I stay in my hotel room? Why didn't I leave the Judge's phone number in case of a call? These questions will haunt me to the day I die.
When I arrived at the station, Fletcher had confessed to be one of the robbers, admitted that Lou Patterson wasn't there at all, and that Pons had killed the watchman.
But it was too late. Lou Patterson was already dead.
The Sunday papers were full of the injustice and the Governor's decision in light of new evidence.
There was also an interview with the clergyman who spoke with Lou just before he was taken to the gas chamber - quoting him as saying I had used him to ease my conscious over getting the conviction of an innocent man …. that I had made him want to live again.
This is the lowest point I've ever sunk to, and I just hope that my own death is very near, and I won't have to live with these thoughts much longer. For Kate's sake, I will not take my own life, but otherwise I would.
Fletcher confronts Paul, complaiting violently about being harassed by detectives. Paul goes to the judge's chambers to wait for the Governor's decision.
Driven mad with guilt, Fletcher rings Paul's hotel to say that the condemned man was not part of the robbery, and that he was the accomplice of the man who actually killed the watchman (the patient of the psychiatrist who broke down when the execution was within 48 hours).
But Paul is not at the hotel, and a message is left to meet him at a police station. When Paul gets there, Fletcher has confessed, but the execution has already taken place.
Monday, October 17
Went to the firm to clear the mess I'd made in Ralph's office, and move back into mine. At this point I can't possibly fulfil my plan to campaign for Tony Oliviera - would be a liability after all the bad publicity, so wrote a check for $1000 which is probably more than he can spend in the next two weeks, and might cover any debts he's built up.
When I returned to Kate's, Molly was there, a little more mature than usual. Only Alice knows that Kate and I are together, and I told Molly that I was in San Francisco working on an old case. She clearly hadn't read the papers.
After making what seemed a very genuine inquiry about how I was, when I simply said, “fine, fine,” Molly began talking about her wedding plans and Armand's funeral, but also her concern for Kate, who she said was under sedation at the moment.
Kate had said she was setting up a trust fund that would double the income Molly received from their father, and her new will would continue that without further bequest.
As a wedding present Kate was going to buy her sister an elegant apartment, enabling Molly to sell the place she bought with her graduation money. But that was it. I sensed that Kate was actually fearful of Alex Ryder.
The abominable fiancé then came to pick Molly up, and as she was getting her things, he made clear that my visit must have something to do with the billions Kate had inheirited.
I didn't want to cause a scene. Kate was upset enough about her sister marrying Alex, but with my mood at rock bottom, it was difficult to restrain myself.
Alex started to speak about the execution, and I could see, was getting around to the minister's statements, when I cut him off.
Then he asked, “how's your health?” This sentence, followed by, “you're looking great,” was not uttered in solicitousness, but somehow seemed to indicate that he really didn't believe I was dying.
I just turned and walked out, and with time before my appointment at Mason's went over to Garms. Still can't get used to Odette de Martignac Foundation, but Barry Givens kept referring to it as ODM.
He had much positive news, but none that would affect my life. Only that they'd added a new associate to the foundation, a Dr. Papagapoulos in Athens who was interested in my case. I doubt I'll be there again, but told Mason to send him my records.
Execution or no, I still had my appointment at the doctor's. Somehow, the examination and tests seemed worse than usual, but my mind was a million miles away. It felt like some kind of punishment for what Lou Patterson accused me of.
Wondered why there was any point in going through these sessions, but Mason says they might help in future research.
Now it seems like it's Kate running for her life. Having flown from Paris, she now feels uncomfortable in this edifice of an apartment that Armand bought her.
This is the first time I learned he paid for it, but what would have been an unbearable shock once, is now a small surprise.
Kate's doctor asked what places gave her the most comfort, and along with Armand's island in Tahiti and the place in Zermatt, Santa Margarita was the one she needed most now.
Dr. Owen spoke to me at lenth, and said that a few days at the retreat house there would be beneficial to both of us, and would give him more of an idea of whether it helped Kate to be with me or not. He knows my borrowed time is quickly running out.
While waiting for Kate to get ready, I rang Pete in Malaga, surprised at how warm he was after my being out of touch for so long.
To my apologies, he responded that everything had been going well, and he looked forward to seeing me on the weekend.
Paul is in a bad state over what happened.
Tuesday - Wednesday, October 18 - 19
We couldn't have felt much more dilapidated when arriving here. Kate and I haven't had any real conversation since I came back from Brazil, too bound in our own sorrows to offer one another any support.
So full of emotional pain and yet, somehow devoid of feelings, we were little more than zombies who received Father Bart's warm hugs of greeting. To our surprise, he gave us individual accommodations for the night.
Bart said that the grief we were feeling was too great to be cured without time, that we'd just try getting the two of us to connect. How he saw that in us so quickly.
When we got together alone Bart told me that the most important thing right now was for me to get strong enough to support Katie, and we had to work on that first.
He spoke about being at Dachau, how often one would risk their life to save another, and the diabolical system made that impossible. In most cases, both parties were executed.
If I had experienced that on a daily basis, I would see more clearly that the tragedy I'd just been part of was motivated by a heroic spirit, and that so much in life is beyond our control, but we must never let that stop us from trying to build a better world - from inside ourselves outwards.
“There is no justice,” Bart declared, that being the hardest thing to come to terms with in life - and still keep fighting for it.
Even today Father Bart can't understand how he went on living when so many others died, the hardest thing not being the deprivation, but to soldier on, and not lose his compassion.
By the time fatigue had set in beyond my power to fight it, the depth of my despair over Lou Patterson was moderated enough to make me want to concentrate on Kate.
In the morning we had breakfast together, and she was stable, given a dispensation from the no-drugs rule at the center.
She then spent some time with Father Bart, and I went to the little grotto that has always given me sustenance. I considered what Lou Patterson had said about already feeling dead, and decided to try and rejoice that much more that I have each new day to live.
Bart had led me to this path, only to have me travel on it and rediscover this truth on my own. The three of us had a small meal on the beach, and although relevant, didn't let the conversation go too deep.
Bart wants to attend the Grand Prix, and asked Kate if she felt well enough to be there for Pete. She said she would go tomorrow, but wanted to keep her profile low with French media there - surely watching out for her.
I probably could never guess the life she lived, hounded by the paparazzi all her time with Armand.
We went for a walk in the afternoon, and she said Father Bart had been helpful, but that she had to find resources in herself at a time they were in great need of regeneration. An awful lot lies ahead of her beyond grieving.
Kate said she needed to carry on with all the things that were important to Armand, and each step she put in front of her had that purpose.
There was an awkward moment - as if she already had to think of a time when I too was gone, but she added, “and every beat of my heart is for you.”
We still found it difficult to talk as openly as in the past, but have to be grateful for small mercies.
One is that she wants me to take up Krieger's skiing invitation, and will come with me to Zermatt, if not to his place. She says it's what she wants right now, to go back to Armand's chalet where they spent their last days together.
Paul and Kate go to a retreat center in Mexico.
Thursday, October 20
Bart traveled with us to the Autodromo, the length and warmth of Kate's embrace with Pete clearly containing all the emotions the two of them were feeling today, neither able to hold back their tears. Incredible for him.
To honor Pete and Clive and our brave little team, everyone connected with Pete Gaffney Mastin Racing is here, including all the factory employees, and Pete fifth place in practice is something everyone will always remember.
He told us at the private gathering following the session that Sunday would represent his retirement from the track, the announcement to be made on Saturday.
I was waiting for him to add casually that he and June were to be married - as a way of proposing to her - but he just went on to thank everybody for all they'd done to support him through the season. There wasn't a dry eye in the house.
Father Bart took Kate back to Santa Margarita, and I joined the others at a few parties to show my face, but was too emotionally confused to enjoy anything.
Paul attends the Mexico Grand Prix.
Friday, October 21
They let me loose in the T car, everyone - mostly me - holding their breath that I wouldn't crash it. While I managed not to do so, it was too challenging for my nerves, much less my driving skills, but a thrill to be taking the machine around this Grand Prix circuit.
Pete was tense, and finished well back in practice, but didn't seem in a bad mood, nevertheless, and invited me for a drink afterwards at a quiet cantina. I wanted so much to finally tell him about the prognosis, but this weekend is his, and I knew it wouldn't be right.
He said that Clive and Rhona have decided to go forward next year as constructors, and if Pete could get enough backing for a team, the Mastin was his.
My heart overflowed. That explained all the glad-handing and good mood he had projected this weekend. Pete tried to be matter of fact, but was clearly invigorated by the idea, and asked me to be a partner.
Replied that since I had no money left after this year, I could only offer moral support, but that I was thrilled to be asked, and wondered, when the time was right, if he wanted me to talk to Katie about it - unless he would approach her himself.
“We can discuss that when she's a lot better” was his response, then he dropped another bombshell, saying that he was about to do some free lancing, but that it was top secret.
I made a few guesses, then he revealed that probably next month he'd be going for the land speed record. Dumbfounded, I tried to get more out of him, but all he'd reveal was that he'd try and let me know more when the time came.
Not being up to the party circuit I flew back to the retreat house, surprised to find Kate full of questions about the racing. I told her about my driving, Pete's poor time today, and also his plans for a new team.
She responded that she'd offer him any financial backing he wanted, clear in her mind that Armand would be pleased with the investment.
Retiring as a driver, Pete Gaffney is hoping to be principal of his own Formula 1 team in 1967.
Saturday, October 22
Whatever they did to soup up the car (Clive said it was a little something Rudy was trying out for next year's Mastin), Pete qualified fifth on the grid.
Never expecting anything like that, I'd planned to tell him about Kate's backing of the new team just before his press conference. But he was surrounded by reporters, and headed for the session grinning from ear to ear.
There was already a buzz, no doubt from a leak by someone from the factory. After making the formal announcement of his retirement from driving, the obvious question was about what he would do next.
Would he and Paul Bryan continue to work with Mastin? In Formula One? The question seemed repeated a hundred ways, and Pete managed a different witty answer each time without ever giving anything away. The big announcement belonged to Mastin.
In spite of the heavy mood holding sway in my head, I couldn't help smiling, and have even decided to stay on for the social scene to treasure his grid spot and to keep the interest in Pete's future fizzing.
But thank goodness Katie isn't here. When Rachel arrived from Hong Kong, she was constantly bombarded with speculative questions from reporters about the future, but used every one to promote the road car.
Pete announces his retirement.
Sunday, October 23
Finishing last, lapped six times by John Surtees was a dull end for the oddessey that has been Pete Gaffney Mastin. That numbbess I felt all weekend sustained - the small hug with Pete when he got out of the car was weak.
Kate offers sponsorship to Pete's new team, but he finishes last.
En route to Switzerland - Zermatt
Monday, October 24
Things brightened up a lot at the end-of-season parties, and Pete had mellowed out. High on champagne, he and June made the best of the occasion, so another reason not to tell him about the diagnosis.
My own spirits never really picked up, but I had the satisfaction of cherishing the gift of this Formula 1 season to Pete, and all the thrills it had brought me personally.
Starting from that hesitant word in Bangkok about a racing partnership 19 months ago, it was all quite an accomplishment.
We're staying at one of Armand's (now I have to realize that everything I think of as his is Kate's) sattelite properties here, as she isn't yet able to go back to the main house where he died.
Contacted Michele Deneuve to say we were here, but probably wouldn't take part in any of the social life, and Krieger rang back, wanting to come over.
He hugged Kate warmly, saying he was sorry his guests would occupy so much of his time, but he was at her beck and call nevertheless.
After he left Kate said he was one of the people she'd like on her team of insiders. More and more the power of Kate's connections and importance of her position in international business is sinking in.
She urged me to go to at least one of Krieger's parties tonight, and I was glad I did - thrilled by a sight that made my heart soar - dear Claire Mallory beckoning me with a wave, her once-again elegant hands now graced by a stunning engagement ring, its presenter, a very solid-looking guy by her side.
From warm smiles, her eyes broke into flowing tears when I embraced her. The Argentinian fiancé is a business partner of Krieger's and totally attentive to Claire.
25 October - 2 November1966 ("A Choice of Evils")
Paul and Kate fly to Switzerland.