The spring grass tastes cold and wet. I know this for a fact because I’ve been wrestled to the ground. My stomach, nose and mouth now burrow deep into the shady green turf.
“Where do you think you’re going, Carr?” Franny says.
El Capitan seems to be the only living thing not latched on, pinning me to the lawn. Bet Luis and Stuart total three-fifty, three-hundred and seventy-five pounds, easy. Even Stuart’s bomb-sniffing German Shepherd, Doris, who smells like ear cheese, has a sharp-clawed paw on my neck. I guess everybody wants a piece of the credit for my arrest and detention.
I got a little lathered up, I guess. All I could think of was wrapping my hands around Bluefish’s throat. I started running.
“I asked where you were going, Carr?”
“Bluefimmsh’s.” Think it’s my face being squashed that makes the ever-mellow Carr tones ring slightly out of tune?
“Bluefish’s? Good. I’m glad,” Franny says. “But instead of storming over there, getting yourself killed, how about working with me? When you go see Bluefish, my guys could have you wired up to broadcast like Geraldo Rivera. You get him to say the right thing, give me the right evidence, maybe you don’t have to pick out Mama Bones for the Grand Jury.”
I stop struggling against Stuart, Luis, and Doris. Not that I was getting anywhere. The three of them were too much for me, although I do believe that damn dog’s paralyzing ear odor was the margin of victory. “Bluefish would be certain to check me for a wire, wouldn’t he?”
“Presumably,” Franny says. “But he won’t find the transmitter my people place in you.”
I stand up. Luis and Stuart let me dust off a few dozen chunks of chocolate brown mud. “In me?”
“Nano technology,” Franny says. “You won’t feel a thing.”
My stomach’s reaction seems somewhat negative over possible venous inserts and trans-dermal implantation. My gaze starts scanning for a place to barf.
“Are you sure Bluefish will get in touch with me?” I say.
“He already did,” Franny says. “While you were doing your macho jailbreak thing.”
Franny hands me a telegram with a lawyer’s signature. It says Mr. Joseph Pepperman may have information of import to one Austin Carr, who is believed to be in the custody of New Jersey State Police. A private golf round and meeting is proposed for tomorrow at the Branchtown Country Club.
“Bluefish wants me to play golf?” I say.
“Damnedest kidnapping I’ve ever seen,” Franny says.
(Austin's note: TFA and I began serializing BIG MONEY last July, pretty much on a weekly basis. You can go back in the archives to catch up, or click on the headline above--BIG MONEY, Chapter 41--to read just the opening scenes.)