Sunday, August 24, 2014

First Shot (42)

“Right Here. This is where the shot was fired.” They had come to a place sealed with yellow police tape, about six hundred yards from the designated parking area. They'd reached this spot having walked along a narrow hiking trail in the north end of Leicester County's Algonquin Park. The tape stretched around the nearest trees—a sweet gum, a live oak and two scrub pines—blocking the easiest access from the path through underbrush to a less dense space that overlooked a broad cleared area. “And out there?” He raised an arm and aimed his index finger, “There's your battlefield.”
Blow moved to get a better view. Part of a field was visible through the dense growth to the space beyond. A carpet lined with rough streaks of green and gold in the midday sunlight. It felt unfamiliar from where he stood, missing the colorful Colonial uniforms and the rattle and smoke of muskets, but he knew the geography was right.
“How far?”
“A good three hundred yards to the edge, another hundred to where Gunther was hit. Still an easy shot with a modern rifle.”

Blow wanted to ask how Callahan knew where the shot was fired from, but he was beginning to feel uncomfortable. No problem were he a prosecutor, he knew, but defense lawyers and cops in theory were natural adversaries. And that's the way they tended to be in practice. The closeness Blow and Callahan had developed during the prison construction case was unusual in that Blow's principal client for the most part was comatose, in little danger of being charged with anything. Leicester was then under siege by outsiders, and the community was working together against them.
To say this case was more complicated would be akin to comparing long division to trigonometry. In this situation Blow had four binding confidences and a possible fifth to juggle. Worse, among the people he had to be careful talking to were the two people closest to him—his sister and his father. It helped to hear Callahan say he wanted to keep what he knew about the woman calling herself Moriarty from the feds. If Joan's FBI boyfriend, already hunting for Moriarty in Leicester, were to become directly involved in Gunther's murder things could go haywire. Blow hoped Joan was keeping mum what she'd learned from their last conversation, but he could not feel certain. His insecurity with her troubled him deeply. His father, who knew nothing of Blow's involvement in the Gunther murder, was due home in three days. It pained the young lawyer to anticipate how that might go.
He hadn't shared what he knew about the Kellams with Callahan despite knowing the likely bearing it might have on Himmler's murder as well as Gunther's. It occurred to him Callahan might be trying to use the trust that seemed to have developed between them to Blow's disadvantage. Or maybe the trust was only in his mind. Cops were trained to be deceptive, to be con artists. Callahan might be testing him, see if Blow would give anything away, maybe tip one of his clients. Shit, he might have some kind of hidden camera watching this spot.
“The GoPro?”
“Huh?”
“You said some of the reenactors were wearing GoPro cameras. I'm guessing that's how you found this spot.”
“You sure you don't want to join the department? Be a detective?”
“Carl, it's hard enough being a lawyer. Besides, guns scare me.”
“Scare me, too, when they're pointed at me. You didn't do too bad when that bulldozer was coming at you last year. Shot one of its lights, as I recall. I doubt I could do that.”
Blow laughed. “Lucky shot. I couldn't do it again for love or money.”
“Anyway, you're right. We're still analyzing the image, but you can clearly see the shot being fired. Flame from the barrel, recoil. Trouble is the gun was under some kind of hood, as if the shooter knew there'd be cameras. And he was so cammied up you couldn't tell if he was a he or a she.”
“Any luck here?” Blow pointed at the thicket behind the yellow tape.
“A little. No identifiable footprints, but he or she forgot to plug up the holes for the tripods.”
“Tripods? More than one?”
“One for the piece and one for his/her ass. One of those little folding three-legged stools. Calvin's coming up later today to go over it again, but it looked pretty clean to me. This is all on the QT, by the way.”
“Mum's the word. Any suspects? I mean persons of interest?”
“Shit, Blow, everybody's a person of interest. You know that.”

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