"Broken?" Danny said.
"Twisted, I think." Mark slung his arm around Danny's shoulder and they walked to the loading dock on the other side of the street, Mark sucking oxygen from the air with a hiss.
"Might be sprained," Mark said. "Fuck, Dan, I lost my helmet."
He had a cut along his hairline that had dried black and he gripped his ribs with his free arm. Danny leaned him against the loading dock and noticed two cops kneeling over Sergeant Francie Stoddard. One of them met his eyes and shook his head.
"What?" Danny said.
"He's dead. He's gone," the cop said.
"He's what?" Mark said. "No. How the fuck . . . ?"
"He just grabbed his chest," the cop said. "Right in the middle of it all. Just grabbed his chest and went all red and starting gasping. We got him over here, but . . ." The cop shrugged. "Fucking heart attack. You believe that? Here? In this?" The cop looked out at the street.
His partner still held Stoddard's hand. "Fucking guy had less than a year till his thirty, he goes like this?" The cop was crying. "He goes like this, because of them?"
"Jesus Christ," Mark whispered and touched the top of Stoddard's shoe. They'd worked together five years at D-10 in Roxbury Crossing.
"They shot Welch in the thigh," the first cop said. "Shot Armstrong in the hand. Fuckers were stabbing guys with ice picks?"
"There's going to be some hell to pay," Mark said.
"You goddamn got that right," the crying cop said. "You can make goddamn fucking book on that."
Danny looked away from Stoddard's body. Ambulances rolled up Dudley Street. Across the square, a cop rose from the pavement on wobbly feet and wiped at the blood in his eyes and then tipped over again. Danny saw a cop empty a metal trash can on a prone Lett, then drop the can on the body for good measure. It was the cream-colored suit that got Danny moving. He walked toward them as the cop delivered a kick so hard it lifted his other foot off the ground.
Nathan Bishop's face looked like a crushed plum. His teeth littered the ground near his chin. One ear was torn halfway off. The fingers of both hands pointed in all the wrong directions.
Danny put his hand on the shoulder of the cop. It was Henry Temple, a Special Squads goon.
"I think you got him," Danny said.
Temple looked at Danny for a bit like he was searching for an apt response. Then he shrugged and walked off.
A pair of paramedics were passing and Danny said, "We got one here."
One of the paramedics grimaced. "He ain't wearing a badge? He'll be lucky we get to him by sundown." They walked off.
Nathan Bishop opened his left eye. It was startlingly white in the ruin of his face.
Danny opened his mouth. He wanted to say something. He wanted to say, I'm sorry. He wanted to say, Forgive me. Instead, he said nothing.
Nathan's lips were sectioned into strips, but behind them spread a bitter smile.
"My name's Nathan Bishop," he slurred. "What's yours, eh?" He closed his eye again, and Danny lowered his head.
Luther had an hour for lunch, and he hustled back across the Dover Street Bridge and over to the Giddreauxs' house on St. Botolph, which, these days, was the operating headquarters of the Boston NAACP. Mrs. Giddreaux worked there with a dozen other women pretty much every day, and it was in the very basement of the house on St. Botolph where the Crisis was printed and then mailed out to the rest of the country. Luther came home to an empty house, as he knew he would--on fine days, the girls all took their lunch in Union Park a few blocks away, and this was the finest day, thus far, of an often unforgiving spring. He let himself into Mrs. Giddreaux's office. He sat behind her desk. He opened her drawer. He lifted the ledger out and placed it on the desk and that's where it was sitting half an hour later when Mrs. Giddreaux came back through the door.
She hung up her coat and her scarf. "Luther, honey, what're you doing in here?"
Luther tapped the ledger with his finger. "I don't give this list to a policeman, he's gonna have my wife arrested, have our baby taken from her soon as it's born."
Mrs. Giddreaux's smile froze and then vanished. "Excuse me?" Luther repeated himself.
Mrs. Giddreaux sat in the chair across from him. "Tell me all of it." Luther told her about everything except the vault he'd built under the kitchen floorboards on Shawmut Avenue. Until he knew what McKenna intended it for, he wasn't going to speak of it. As he talked, Mrs. Giddreaux's kind, old face lost its kindness and lost its age, too. It grew as smooth and unmoving as a headstone.
When he finished, she said, "You've never given him a thing he could use against us? Never once played the rat?"
Luther stared back at her, his mouth open.
"Answer my question, Luther. This is no child's game."
"No," Luther said. "I never gave him anything."
"That doesn't make sense."
Luther didn't say anything.
"He wouldn't just get you under his thumb and not dirty you up a little bit in his filth with him. The police don't work that way. He would have sent you in with something to plant here or at the new building, something illegal."
Luther shook his head.
She looked back at him, her breaths coming soft and measured. Luther shook his head again.
Luther told her about the vault.
She looked at him with such pained confusion Luther wanted to jump out the window. "Why didn't you just come to us the moment he approached you?"
Luther said, "I don't know."
She shook her head. "Don't you trust anyone, son? Anyone?" Luther kept his mouth shut.
Mrs. Giddreaux reached for the phone on her desk and tapped the cradle once, tucked her hair behind her ear as she placed the receiver to her ear. "Edna? Girl, send every typist you've got up to the main floor. Get them all in the parlor and the dining room. You hear? Right now. And tell them to carry those typewriters with them. Oh, and Edna? You have phone directories down there, don't you? No, I can't use Boston. You have Philadelphia? Good. Send that up, too."
She hung up and tapped her fingers lightly off her lips. When she looked at Luther again, the anger was gone from her eyes, replaced by the shine of excitement. Then her face darkened again and those fingers stopped tapping.
"What?" Luther said.
"No matter what you bring him tonight, he may just have you arrested or shot."
"Why would he do that?" Luther said.