Chronology of Events
en route - Paris
Sunday, May 1
Today would have been our first wedding anniversary, and before flying out to Paris, Kate and I went to the beautiful Franciscan monastery just outside Rio Santos, and recited wedding vows.
Rather than being a source of happiness or comfort, however, the gravity of this exchange under dark circumstances seemed to disintegrate all the joy we'd felt yesterday.
But then, it wasn't a real wedding, and that was probably what made it so sad. It was an emotional experience, and when I said, “I thee wed,” instead of using Kate's engagement ring as she'd expected, I placed my grandmother's wedding band on her finger, and after that, we were mostly silent until we left the captivating atmosphere of the garden, and joined the world again.
The worst kind of pain, which only hits from time to time, and is usually dispersed by distraction, has hung in the air through this flight to Paris, and we've found it difficult to talk.
Finally, I told Katie how much I admired her strength, and repeated what a support she has been to me.
Maybe it was just a weak moment from the morning's moving ceremony, but in response, she buried her head into my chest, and murmured that since the first day she knew, she'd cried herself to sleep every night - including all those we'd been together, always waiting until I was asleep to let the tears fall.
The broken pieces of my heart shattered then, and I told her what I've been wanting to say for a long while now, that when I know that the end is near, I want us to marry officially, in Rome, and asked her if she would.
Kate touched my face, and said, “of course,” and we will start making arrangements now, when it seems like some distant time in the future.
There is something about time being a kind of healer, and this flight has been so interminable that it slowly brought us out of the dark place into something a little better. We are together.
That means so much, and passing this marker on our journey, we began to go back to cherishing instead of regretting.
Even though Paris is my only real home now, going there with Kate frightens me a little. The idea that we would run into Armand or Nicole, and something might come between us.
Just as I had started to come to a point of looking forward to our vacation in France, spending the night together in my apartment, signing the big contract with the FIA for Formula 1 …. all the glow of the moment was turned to pitch black darkness.
Pete and June were there to meet us at the airport, and we could tell, as soon as we saw their faces that something was wrong. It was nonetheless little preparation for their news.
My dear friend and mentor, the man who had nurtured my faint political ambitions into what he said was a solid bid for Attorney General - and beyond, - was dead.
Kate embraced me, but I needed the weak Pete's support as well, to stand for a moment as everything seemed to go black. Dwight was killed in an auto accident, somewhere in the Midwest while campaigning for the anti-gambling amendment.
Pete and June knew little more, but had gotten a call just before leaving her apartment. It had been Marcella looking for me, and then came more calls from June's mother and Pete's father.
Now we have to go through all the falderal tomorrow. How I'd looked forward to it like a kid at Christmas. But, at this point, the FIA formalities are only something getting in my way.
At least, we have a quiet place to stay, and I'm glad Kate rejected my initial suggestion to go to The Ritz. Pete and June have moved to Rachel Pike's mansion, Rachel understanding when I declined her invitation, and offered very sincere condolences over Dwight's death.
Paul leaves South America for Paris to attend the launch of his new Formula 1 team.
Monday, May 2
Thank goodness I'd taken Katie's advice not to drink as much as I felt like doing last night. Hung over from my mind, not dehydration, the day started with a mean headache.
The aspirins and orange juice Katie brought before I tried raising my head helped enough for me to stagger up, but even the wondrous Parisian view from my window only caused me more pain.
New everything to wear which had meant to be part of the celebration now meant nothing - just fabric - and we drove to the FIA headquarters in gloom.
Though officially, Pete and I are the only joint owners of the team, in addition to everyone's legal representatives, all the silent partners were there as well, Rhona and Clive as constructors and Rachel Pike as a new director of The Mastin Corporation.
Lots of photographs taken, and a fair amount of press there, interested in both the return of Mastin and Pete Gaffney to the top stage of motor racing.
Pete, whose only dealings with Dwight had been in his official capacity as Mayor, was at least able to savor the occasion, but I couldn't share my friend's big moment with even a little happiness.
There was a press conference, and I realized just how bad my French had gotten, despite the refreshing it had received lately. Pete's fluency, however, was total, and most journalists weren't that interested in what I had to say anyway. My stony countenance would have put off any who might have been.
After the toasts and well wishes, Kate and I returned to the apartment. Though we prefer to stay here, and maybe grab a quiet bite somewhere in the neighborhood, Rachel Pike's dinner tonight in honor of the team is not something we'd be allowed to skip.
On arrival in Paris, Paul learns that his friend and political sponsor, the former Mayor of San Francisco, Dwight Sinclair, has been killed in a road incident.
en route to San Francisco
Tuesday, May 3
We'd thought Rachel's dinner to be something only involving people connected to her new interest in Mastin, and my mind had been too flattened to pick up any of the chat going around FIA headquarters about the evening.
But it turned out to be an occasion attended by everyone who was anyone in Paris, and of course, that included Monsieur and Madame Armand de Martignac. He surely knew that Kate would be at the event, and should have stayed away. But no, he even came up to us. We all acted civilized, Odette and Kate even hugging one another. I had never met Armand's wife before, and was shocked how old and frail she appeared, though she's not much over 50.
He, however, looked stunning, and the magnetic force between Katie and this man was obvious and overwhelming. They conversed casually, but their eyes said everything, and I felt embarrassed, intruding on their privacy, trying to speak to Odette with some semblance of normality while the two of them made love on some higher plain.
I not only felt like an outsider, but also moved by their poignant and impossible situation. When he shook my hand in parting, his eyes met mine with the most profound sympathy and compassion, tinged with something else - hope for himself, perhaps.
But if I might have anticipated Armand's presence when noting the size of the crowd, it never would have occurred to me that Nicole would also be there - on the arm of a decrepit-looking guy whose tuxedo was ill-worn. Nicole herself looked out of place in the grand company, her hair much as she'd wear it for a stroll around San Patrazio.
I saw her before she turned and looked over at me. Seeing my expression, Katie didn't need a second before asking, “Nicole?” Though I found it impossible to break the link between us for the longest while, I finally moved away, hoping that my glance across the room had been kind, and led Katie to Rachel's table, forced to endure an evening of buzzing around me. For a moment - just a moment - I thought it might have been better that I died before this dinner took place.
An instant later I thought what a jerk I was, this night of glory for Pete the culmination of the one consistent goal I've been trying to achieve.
It was our team's night, but not easy to smile and wave each time I was referred to in speeches by Pete, Clive, Rhona, Rachel, and even the wealthy and high-ranking French politician who was her escort.
Today, it all seems like a dream, but my premonition that something would come between Katie and me in Paris turned out to be frighteningly correct. It's as if there's a glass wall between us, and I feel as if I weigh a thousand pounds.
Back at the apartment, I wanted to ask her if she preferred to stay in Paris instead of flying back to San Francisco. Ask about Armand, and the obvious pain they were going through …. But I just couldn't bring myself to speaking about it. Nor did Katie. When I embraced her, it seemed like there was no one in my arms.
All the chemistry, heart, and even spiritual contact between us was absent. I don't think that either of us slept at all last night, but Kate's now taken a pill, and has finally dozed off. The fatigue is starting to hit me now too.
Paul flies back to San Francisco to attend the funeral. He is asked to temporarily take over Dwight Sinclair's position as Chairman of the Committee for the 26th Amendment to outlaw gambling nationally across the United States. Part of his role will be to testify at an upcoming Senate Hearing.
en route to Chicago,
Wednesday, May 4
It was certainly one of the largest funerals I've ever attended, and I was overwhelmed that Dwight's brother asked me to be one of the pall bearers.
The glories and tragedies of this valiant man's life were spelled out most movingly, and I was also asked to read out Dwight's favorite poem as part of the service. By concentrating on the words, and not their touching meaning, I just about made it through.
In my mind was not only the loss of this dear friend, but the bequest Edgar had quietly informed me of last night. Dwight had left $500,000 in trust as a contribution towards my future political campaigns. I was never able to tell him about the diagnosis, but have felt that I let him down, and yet, he was still behind me.
That left me in a position to talk with other local members of the Committee, and at the wake, Edgar Sinclair asked me if I'd be willing to temporarily take over the chairmanship until someone permanent could be secured.
Whatever thoughts I had of moving about the world went out of my head, and I said yes instantly.
Though no one seemed to know a lot about the accident, the inner circle were all aware of the incident that Dwight had felt certain was an attempt on his life last month.
As important as any Committee business might be, not least taking Dwight's place at the Senate hearing on the 16th - which officers had decided I should do even before my agreeing to accept the Chairmanship - it seems that the most urgent thing right now is to look into the “accident” that killed him.
Knowing that this could involve a certain amount of personal danger, I talked it over with Katie. She was solemn and mostly silent, just nodding when I said it was something I have to do.
So now I fly to Chicago. For revenge? For the Committee? For Dwight? I really don't know, but until I have looked into the matter myself, I cannot take another step in my own life.
Hard to believe that this morning I was in Dr. Mason's office for the monthly check. It seems months ago.
After the funeral, Paul flies to Chicago to do his own private investigation into Dwight Sinclair's death.
Thursday, May 5
The Lieutenant who processed Dwight's crash was convinced that there was no foul play, but nevertheless, gave me access to the accident file, and before lunch, I was lucky enough to reach the two truck drivers who sounded the alarm.
They were most accommodating, and without realizing that they'd seen anything, were able to give me a tip - the brush-like hat ornament worn by one of the men in a car which had passed them just before they encountered the crash scene.
Spent the afternoon tramping to one gas station after another, describing the hat, and not only found an attendant who'd seen it, but was able to get the driver's name and that of his company here in Detroit from a credit card receipt.
Significantly, the plates were Michigan, not Illinois, as clearly noted by the truckers. After the short flight from O'Hare, am ready for a stiff drink, large meal and a hot bath.
Phoned Edgar and General Andrew Douglas regarding what I've found, then had a long call with Katie who seemed low.
At least, the desolation I've been feeling is now diluted by a sense of purpose, but I know she's worried, even if she said no more than “be careful.” Throughout the nearly two hours we talked, I kept wanting to bring up Armand, but just couldn't.
Paul gets a tip from the truckers who were first on the scene of the accident - that one of the men in a car which had just passed them before the crash, was wearing an unusual ornament in his hat.
Paul drives from service station to service station, asking if anyone saw someone wearing a hat as described, and finds that the man was a passenger in a car with Michigan licence plates (not Illinois, as the truckers clearly remembered).
Paul is even able to get the name of the driver, Vincent Pielow, and his company in Detroit, from the credit card slip, and he flies to Detroit.
Detroit - Columbus
Friday, May 6
Consulted a local detective about the man who signed the credit card, and got Pielow's address here in Detroit, as well as the information that his company is in the gaming machine business.
As this has to mean something, I'm going to fly to Columbus, and confer with the General.
General Douglas was quite concerned about my findings, and I believe he too is now convinced that Dwight was the victim of organized crime.
Was about to talk unofficially with my old Stanford Law pal Jed Marshall who's with Justice in Columbus when Ames Farley, the General's security man, stopped me in an elevator.
Saying that the General asked him to watch out for me, he indicated that, since I left the company offices, I've been alternately followed by two cars owned by a D.C. based firm.
If that weren't enough, he then informed me that Vincent Pielow, the driver of the car who caused Dwight's crash, had been gunned down in the street outside his house this afternoon.
Farley then provided me with a clever escape route, and I'm going to hide out for the weekend.
In Detroit Paul consults a local detective for information about Vincent Pielow, and learns that his company is in the gaming machine business. (After Paul leaves, the detective makes a phone call, and informs someone about the inquiry.)
Based on this new development and the fact that the plates on the Michigan car had been changed, Paul flies to Ohio to consult a prominent member of the Committee for the 26th Amendment to outlaw gambling, General Andrew Douglas.
The General is convinced of foul play in Dwight Sinclair's accident, and worried about Paul, having the company security man, Ames Farley, watch him. Later, Farley informs Paul that he is being followed and that Pielow was shot.
Saturday - Sunday, May 7 - 8
After spending the day reading and talking on the phone from the “safe apartment” provided by the General's security man, I wandered down the hall where a party was going on.
As far as I was able to judge (and confirmed by a quick phone call to Farley), the other inhabitants of the apartments were all known, ordinary people.
One of them was a girl named Jenny who kept coming on to me all evening. What was a gentleman to do? She was OK, but one of the other guests was definitely not ordinary.
Convinced that he was someone well-known to the other people at the party, I accompanied Jenny to his house. Maybe it was the idea of having to go back to that lonely apartment for another long day.
This guy, Harry Blunt, promised to offer us a haunted house right out of Edgar Allen Poe, and though figuring him harmless and more talk than anything, I still thought the intrigued Jenny shouldn't go with him alone.
How right I was. He turned out to be deeply disturbed, and virtually held us prisoner in the house, as he tried to spook us from the attic. Jenny was terrified, but I was only angry, and determined to get the best of this prankster.
However, as the night progressed, it became obvious that Harry was really the one who was terrorized. Although he held his brother in a perversely subjugated role, the long-oncoming breakdown happened before our eyes when he cracked up entirely.
Harry had been brutalized by a father who ended up hanging himself and making sure his son would find the body. I can just imagine what would have happened if Jenny had gone there alone.
While not the best preparation for the week ahead, having gone through the bogus baptism of fire via Harry's inept horror show, I feel that much stronger to take on the mob who killed my friend.
Spending the day in a safe apartment arranged by Farley, Paul grows restless, and attends a party down the hall at a neighbor's place.
One of the guests invites the others to a haunted house, and Jenny, a girl who has been flirting with Paul, says that she'd like to see it. Paul worries about her safety, and goes along.
The haunting is actually done by the man who took them there, Harry Blunt, and they become his prisoners.
From the attic of the farm house, he tries to "pounce" on them, and Jenny becomes terrified.
Realizing that he's supposed to be at the safe apartment, Paul is only annoyed, and manages to trap Harry's brother who tells something of the horrible lives the two boys lived, before their father hanged himself, making sure that Harry would find the body.
As the night progresses, Harry's inevitable breakdown takes place.
Monday, May 9
Picked up my car where I'd left it, assured by Farley that it was safe, and began driving back towards Detroit. Aware now that I was being followed, I stopped in a curio shop, and found exactly what I was looking for - an antique pistol.
It enabled me to confront and disarm the man who was following me, and find out who was employing him. Flew to Washington to see his boss, one Frederick Hufschmidt who fronts one of the largest detective agencies in the US, but is surely mob.
Having reached the anger stage of bereavement, I went in with guns blazing, and informed him that nothing he could try could prevent me from testifying at the Senate hearing on Monday.
A lot of bravado backing up my wrath, but I really felt the entire Mafia couldn't stop me. I had this same sensation with Angie Zeno, and it hasn't escaped my notice that Gene Mason said that the earliest symptoms of the disease are psychological - claustrophobia, the sense of a need to escape or run away, and a feeling of invincibility.
Well, safe enough I feel tonight at the secure home of a military colleague of the General's, but tomorrow, I'm going to go into the fray again, and see if I can find any information in Vincent Pielow's Detroit neighborhood.
Setting out early, and assured that his car has not been tampered with, Paul begins driving towards Michigan. After purchasing an old pistol at an antique shop, he manages to trap one of the detectives following him - from a large firm based in Washington, D.C.
Flying there, he confronts the owner, Frederick Hufschmidt. Paul says that he realizes there is an attempt to keep him from testifying at the Senate Hearing on the anti-gambling amendment, but that he intends to be there at all costs.
Tuesday, May 10
Flew into Detroit and struck gold. Had only asked at a few neighbor's homes when I ran into a local kid who supplied me with his “memento” of the shooting.
It was the hat with the brush ornament belonging to Pielow's companion, and I'm flying to Columbus to see if General Douglas' security man might be able to find out who owned it.
Farley seemed dubious, but between his FBI contacts and the General's muscle, I feel sure that we might get a lead. Staying at the General's massive home which is like a museum with all its historical memorabilia has been an event in itself.
We've had a great chance to talk at length, not just about history, but Dwight's mission to eliminate gambling in the US, and I am hoping that Andrew will take over the chairmanship of the Committee for the 26th.
There is no question that he is genuinely interested. We were still chewing the fat after midnight when Farley rang to say that they'd identified the owner of the hat, a Detroit hood named Tony Cupid.
Now the task of finding him. He knows that the mob are after him, so our own chances of locating him would seem to be slim.
Wednesday, May 11
Andrew said there was nothing I could do for the moment, and invited me to relax at his home, letting me loose in his fantastic library for the day.
Farley's team still hasn't turned up any sign of Tony Cupid, but we still have a few days, and if necessary, I can skip the fishing date with Ramon on the weekend.
Paul flies to Detroit, and visits the neighborhood of Vincent Pielow where he encounters a boy who found the hat of the man who was with Pielow when he was shot dead.
It is the same unusual hat described by the truck drivers who found Dwight Sinclair's crashed car.
Paul takes the hat back to General Douglas in the hope that the man's identity can be determined, and perhaps the man found.
Paul waits for news, and tries to convince the General to take over Dwight Sinclair's role as chairman of the amendment committee.
Thursday, May 12
Even the General's library couldn't divert my mind from the countdown to find Tony Cupid, but I've just gotten a call from Farley who is coming by with information.
The circuitous route Farley advised to find the hotel in Detroit where Tony Cupid was staying could never have been matched by a cloak and dagger movie, but I not only managed to see him, but came away with a signed confession of all the events leading up to the Mafia hit on Dwight - in detail. All for only $25,000.
Whereas I could easily have then killed the man with my bare hands, I instead executed a few more bits of footwork to enable Cupid to get out of the hotel and the US as well.
It was all pretty tense, but I have to be getting something out of this disease, and if an insane brand of courage is one, then at least, I'm putting it to some good use. Nevertheless, I'm glad to feel safe back in Andrew and Carole's house now.
The owner of the hat is identified as Tony Cupid, and although he is hiding out from the mob, Farley manages to locate him.
Paul flies to Detroit via a complex route, and tells Cupid that he'll give the hood $25,000 if he writes a full confession naming names.
Though not much of an option, it's better than his present situation, and Paul comes away with the details of Dwight Sinclair's murder.
Friday, May 13
In these conditions, what should I expect from a Friday, the 13th? Driving to the airport, who asked me for a lift but Frederick Hufschmidt. His message was simple. If I testify on Monday, he will make public my terminal illness.
Before leaving I contacted Farley, and said that, if he had any resources to get some dirt on Hufschmidt, such information would come in very handy.
Ramon was at the airport to meet me, and drove me to Puerto Seguero in a snappy convertible, apparently rich again from his latest conquest.
We are going to have one great night of it to celebrate my appearing for a fishing date I never expected to keep when we set it a year ago.
Saturday, May 14
To say that the day on the water did me good, and that Ramon's company blew away the tension of the last week would be an understatement.
That he was also understanding and compassionate over the murder of my friend was just another aspect of Ramon that makes him dear to me.
Before leaving for the airport to fly to Mexico to keep a fishing date set the previous year with Ramon de Vega, Frederick Hufschmidt accosts Paul, and says that if he testifies before the Senate Committee on Monday, the press will receive the information about Paul's terminal illness.
How to counteract this threat remains in Paul's head as he and Ramon drive to a favorite fishing village.
Paul flies back to Washington after inviting Ramon to join the party for the Monaco Grand Prix the following week.
en route - Washington, D. C.
Sunday, May 15
By limiting last night's drinking, we were able to get out in the boat early and have a good morning's fishing before I had to head for Washington.
Ramon can be the most frivolous man one could meet, and then turn around and be able to discuss matters of the greatest gravity with a clarity few have.
I told him the whole story of my quest to find Dwight's killers, and felt his support and encouragement will be an asset when I go before the Senate Committee tomorrow.
When we said goodbye, he suggested another fishing trip for this same date next year, and I tried to humor him into believing I thought that would be possible.
Suggesting that we get together even sooner, and to counter a sinking feeling, I invited him to join us in Monaco next weekend, the resulting glimmer in his eye seeming to say the Riviera might make good Sparrow Hunting country.
Despite the good weekend, my nerves are on edge here in the hotel, so I'm going to ring Katie, and talk until I start falling asleep. Tonight, I feel I can finally speak to her about Armand - if she's able.
en route to Paris
Monday, May 16
The big moment has come and gone. I have testified about the murder of Dwight Sinclair by gambling interests, and bluffed down Frederick Hufschmidt. While Andrew showed up, and supplied a folder of dirt on FH, it turned out not to be necessary.
When the Senate Committee heard my testimony and received the supporting documents, the Chairman adjourned the hearing until tomorrow, and then I later received a call that the hearings were being suspended indefinitely while the FBI looked into Dwight's murder.
Whether a lot of heads roll is questionable, but I did what I set out to. Andrew Douglas has also offered to take over the chairmanship of The Committee for the 26th Amendment, and to testify when the Senate hearings resume. The General is definitely the man to take them on.
Capitol Police were brilliant at getting me out a side entrance, and whisking me to the airport before the press knew I'd left the building. With so much buzz, decided to fly to Paris alone, Kate traveling with Violet and her husband.
It sounds like the entire Bradley clan will be on hand to cheer on June's investment. For now, I'm going to take a sleeping pill, and try to get some rest on this flight.
The heavy days in the past two weeks feel like they've taken their toll, but I'm going to do my best to be in good spirits for the debut of Pete Gaffney Racing.
17 - 25 May 1966 ("The Rediscovery of Charlotte Hyde" / "Strangers at the Door")
Paul meets Hufschmidt before the hearing begins, and tells him that the Committee has information about the mob's detective that they will release if he reveals Paul's diagnosis.
After giving testimony to the Senate Committee about Dwight Sinclair's murder to stop him from promoting the anti-gambling amendment, the session is suspended. General Douglas offers to take Paul's place as chairman of the amendment committee, and Paul flies to Paris.