Blow quickly picked up on a curious dynamic between the Bacon brothers. Elvin was bigger, better looking and with the more forceful persona, the kind of male that presumed the alpha role in most any setting. As he did now toward Leonard, ostensibly. After entering the office first and handling the introductions, and not waiting for an invitation, he gestured to the two wooden courtroom chairs facing Blow's desk. Leonard played along, giving his younger brother a half smile before sitting.
Within moments Blow could see a slick irony at play in Elvin's deference to the older man. It appeared as simple civility, appropriate on the surface, but also natural cover for something less obvious.
Leonard presented an air of diffidence. He was shorter and thinner than Elvin. His movements lacked assertion, with no sense of physical grace. His bland face and receding hairline gave him the meek look of a stereotypical accountant. Even his voice was mild. As befit this unexceptional impression, his white shirt seemed apologetic under a pale blue tie, mouse-gray suit and cheaply lined raincoat.
His eyes were the first indication all was not as it appeared. A watery gray-blue, rimmed with pink, they suggested weakness or an allergic condition. Until they fixed on Blow, on Blow's eyes. Leonard's held fast then in a way that bespoke amused confidence. Blow could see in that instant the older Bacon was assessing him. Leonard indicated a manila folder he'd set on the desk when he sat. Now he nudged it toward Blow. Blow rocked back up and stared at the folder.
“It's an affidavit,” Leonard Bacon said, his voice combining both aspects of his presence, mild, firm. “Or rather, I should say, a notarized transcript of a recording.” He remained leaning forward, his hand on the desk, until Blow pulled the folder closer and flipped it open. He scanned the top sheet of several in the folder and glanced up quickly.
“Granville Barton's in your firm?”
Elvin Bacon snorted, his brother answered, voice neutral. “Mr. Barton's with Legal Aid, Joe. The other fellow, Lucas King, is his client.” Blow nodded, propped his forearms on either side of the folder and began reading. The transcription purported to be a statement by Lucas King to his attorney relating one side of a conversation King had overheard in the prison laundry where he was working. Another couple of inmates, only one of whom was known to King and then only as Crawdad, seemed to be discussing a contract of some sort they were arranging on behalf of someone identified only as Mac. King was able to hear only Crawdad's remarks. The following is what appeared to Blow to be what Elvin Bacon had claimed on the phone to be exculpatory, meaning it could clear him of the murder charge:
King: Crawdad say Mac know this bitch...uh...he say she know this lawyer dude and she know what to do. She that swimmer. Seal or some shit, you know, in the Marines.
Barton: You mean the Navy?
King: No, he say the Marines.
Barton: SEALs are Navy.
King: Okay okay maybe not no SEAL how the fuck I know? He say like a SEAL and Marines. Not Navy. I would know Navy.
Barton: Did Crawdad say who the lawyer is?
Barton: The lawyer. Who this swimmer is supposed to...whatever she is supposed to do with. Did he say a name?
King: The lawyer dude?
Barton: Yeah. Who is he?
King: Uh, he say sump'n sound like, uh, Bacon?
Barton: You mean like eggs and bacon?
King: Yeah, like that. Bacon. He say it only one time. Sound like it to me anyway. Just Bacon.
Blow set the papers back in the folder. “When did this happen?”
Leonard said, “Late summer. He wasn't sure just when but he complains about the heat in there while he's talking to Barton.”
“And he's just now coming forward?”
“They have TV in prison, Stone.” Elvin Bacon's sarcasm.
His brother waved him off. “Trial's a big deal with the media, Joe. Evidently this guy King saw the connection.”
“What's he in for?”
“Burglary. Second conviction.”
“Do we know who this Crawdad is?”
“No, but Mac is Dwight MacKenzie.”
“Oh, yeah. Big fraud case. Up your way. Wasn't there some drug connection in there too?”
“Sure was. Meth. That's what this is all about.”
“You lost me, Leonard.”
“The meth. Torpedoed the fraud trial. He had the jury charmed until then. Judge had to be told.” He let it hang. Peered at Blow, half smile, his tell.
Blow, brow creased, stared at the papers on his desk. He looked up slowly as it started coming together for him. Turned to Elvin. “You were his lawyer.” Elvin Bacon, smirking, shook his head.
“I was,” said Leonard.