فصل 23

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فصل 23

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متن انگلیسی فصل

CHAPTER TWENTY THREE

Panama City Beach

Joey Morolto flew down with forty of his men. He settled himself in the Sandpiper Hotel. The first thing he did was get all the available partners and associates from Memphis to come to Alabama. These people knew McDeere; they could recognize him.

Three miles along the beach, F. Denton Voyles and Tarrance were sitting in their hotel, waiting for news. They had sixty FBI agents and hundreds of local cops searching for the car.

The white Cutlass was found at nine in the morning in the car park of an apartment building in Panama City Beach. Voyles immediately moved all his men down there.

A local cop phoned that nice Mr Rimmer to tell him the news, so that he and his pretty girlfriend would feel better. Mr Rimmer called Lazarov at the Sandpiper. Rimmer and Lazarov immediately moved all their men down to Panama City Beach.


It took only a few minutes for the van to become hot news. The man who had rented it to Mitch was reading his morning paper and he remembered the name ‘McDeere’. He looked through his records and phoned the police. A short while later Voyles and Tarrance got the news. They realized that the van must be for carrying the files.


At nine, Mitch called Tammy. She had the new documents and passports. Mitch told her to send them to Sam Fortune at the Blue Tide Hotel and gave her the address. He told her to make sure they arrived the next day. Finally he told her to leave Nashville, drive to Knoxville and call him from there.

By midday, all the roads to the coast around Panama City Beach were closed by the police. Lazarov and Morolto were in the Best Western Hotel, while their men were out searching.

At four in the afternoon, a clerk in the Holiday Hotel told the police that Abby McDeere was probably the woman who had paid cash for two rooms for three nights but hadn’t really used either of them.

At 4.58, a police car stopped in the car park of a cheap hotel and found the van Mitch had rented. It was empty.


Andy Patrick had first gone to prison, for four months, when he was nineteen. Since then he had committed plenty of minor crimes. He hated violence. He hated cops. A cop had once beaten him so badly that he lost one eye.

Six months ago he found himself in Panama City Beach and got a job as a clerk at the Blue Tide Hotel. Around nine on Friday night he was watching TV when the cop walked in.

‘We’re looking for some people,’ said the cop, and laid pictures on the counter. ‘Seen any of them?’

Andy studied the pictures. He thought he recognized the one of Mitchell Y. McDeere. His criminal’s mind began to work.

‘I haven’t seen them,’ he said. ‘I’ll tell you if I do.’

‘They’re dangerous,’ said the cop.

You’re the dangerous one, Andy thought.

As soon as the cop had left, Andy went and knocked on the door of Room 38. He could see the red lights of police cars passing on the road behind the hotel.

‘Who’s there?’ a woman’s voice said.

‘The manager,’ Andy replied.

Mitch opened the door. Andy could see he was nervous. ‘What is it?’ he asked.

‘The police were just here,’ Andy explained. ‘They showed me some pictures. I said I couldn’t recognize them. Do you know what I mean? They said one of these people had been in prison. I’ve been in prison too, and I think everyone should escape. Am I making myself clear?’

‘Yes,’ Mitch said. ‘What’s your name?’

‘Andy.’

‘Andy, I’ll give you a thousand dollars now, and another thousand tomorrow, if you’re still unable to recognize any of the faces in the pictures.’

‘Five thousand a day,’ Andy said.

‘OK. And I’ll give you another five thousand to bring me a small packet that will arrive tomorrow morning.’

‘Good.’ Andy went back to his counter.

Back in the room, Mitch said, ‘I think our luck has just changed for the better.’

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