فصل 24

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فصل 24

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  • زمان مطالعه 6 دقیقه
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CHAPTER TWENTY FOUR

On the Floor Among the Boxes

‘Why here?’ Lazarov asked. ‘Why did they choose Panama City Beach? They’re trapped here. The cops have got the whole place covered. There are only about sixty of our men, and the cops have got hundreds. So the chances are that they’ll find them before we do.’

Morolto nodded. ‘So we’ve got to improve our chances.’

‘Leave that to me,’ DeVasher said. ‘But why here? It’s good for them that there are a lot of small hotels, but we can still send our people to search them, room by room. It’ll take time, but we can do it.’

‘The water!’ Morolto suddenly shouted. ‘They’re going to try to escape by sea, in the dark!’

‘That makes sense to me,’ DeVasher said.

‘So where are our boats?’ Morolto said.

Lazarov jumped from his seat and began shouting orders down the phone. He wanted his men to hire every available boat and stay out at sea, waiting.

DeVasher gave his own orders to Rimmer and his men. Rimmer drove up to Tallahassee and phoned the police from there. ‘Listen!’ he said excitedly. ‘I just saw those three people you’re after. They’re driving a green Ford van! They’re going south!’

Five minutes later Fat Tony Verkler did exactly the same from a few miles further south.

Within a couple of hours nearly all the local cops had returned to their stations, and all the FBI agents were travelling south.


Mitch, Abby and Ray watched the news on TV. Now that the police search had moved away from Panama City Beach it was more dangerous for them. The police only wanted to arrest them; Morolto’s men wanted to kill them.

Early the next morning Mitch sat back down on the floor among all the boxes. He nodded at Abby, who was operating the camera. He continued giving evidence. After sixteen hours he had nearly finished. With the help of Tammy’s lists he told the court where they could find nine hundred million dollars of Mafia money in banks. He then explained how the whole system worked and who the most important figures were. For six hours he explained the various methods the Moroltos and their lawyers used to turn dirty money into clean. He knew that the evidence was incomplete, but when the FBI had these films they could easily get permission to search the whole Bendini Building and all its computer records.


At 10.35 Andy Patrick received the envelope addressed to Sam Fortune. He started to take it over to Room 38 but stopped when he saw two men knocking at the doors to the rooms. He went back to the reception desk and phoned Room 38.

‘Mr Fortune? I think you should know there are two men coming your way. They’re knocking on all the doors.’

‘Are they cops?’

‘I don’t think so. They didn’t come and see me first.’

‘Thanks. We’ll switch the lights off and not answer the door. They’ll think the room’s empty. What about the packet?’

‘It’s here.’

‘OK. Can you bring it over as soon as it’s safe?’

‘Yeah.’


In Room 38 they admired the new documents and passports. The Doctor certainly knew his work.

‘We have to celebrate,’ Ray said. ‘Besides, I’m going crazy in here. I’m going to get us some beers.’

‘Ray, no,’ Mitch said. ‘There’s no need to take chances.’

But Ray wasn’t listening. He stayed close to the walls until he reached the end of the hotel. There was a row of shops next to the hotel. He waited until he was sure no one was looking and then went into the supermarket.

In the car park in front of the shops Lamar Quin saw Ray enter the shop. The way the man moved was familiar. He walked over to the shop and went inside. He took a Coke and waited to pay for it until he came face to face with the man. It wasn’t Mitch McDeere, but he looked just like him.

It was Ray. It had to be. The face was darker than his prison photograph, and he was wearing sunglasses, but this was definitely a McDeere.

‘How’s it going?’ Lamar said to the man.

‘Fine. You?’ Even the voice was similar.

Lamar paid for his drink and returned to the car park. He calmly put the Coke in his car. Then he went to the next shop to continue his search for the McDeeres.

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