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"Yes," the Chief said, leaning back. "Exactly. Thorsen realizes that also. So he has been doing whatever he can whenever he can to remake the Department so that it reflects the minority. He has been pushing for more minority cops on the street and for advancement of minorities to higher ranks.

Especially appointive ranks. You think I would have two stars today if it was not for Thorsen's clout? No way! So when you tell me he is trying to save his own ass by bringing you in on the Ellerbee case, I say yes, that is true. But it is also to protect something in which he believes deeply."

"Thorsen is a survivor," Delaney said harshly. "And a shrewd infighter.

Don't worry about Thorsen. I owe him as much as you do. I know damned well what he's up against.

He's fighting the Irish Mafia every day he goes downtown.

Those guys remember the way the Department was thirty years ago, and that's the way they want it to be today-an Irish kingdom. I can say that because I'm a mick myself, but I had my own fights with harps in high places. I agree with everything you've said. I'm just telling you to be your own man. Screw Thorsen and screw me. If you want to work on the Ellerbee case on your own, say so. You'll break it or you won't. Either way, it'll be your way. And God knows if I do come in, there's absolutely no guarantee that I can do a damned bit of good-for you, for Thorsen, or for the Department." There was silence, then Suarez said in a low voice, "I admit that when Deputy Thorsen first suggested that he bring you into the investigation, I was insulted. I know your reputation, of course. Your record of closed files. Still, I thought Thorsen was saying, in effect, that he did not trust me. I almost told him right off that I wanted no help from you or anyone else; I would handle the Ellerbee homicide by myself.

Fortunately, I held my tongue, came home, thought about it, and talked it over with Rosa."

"That was smart," Delaney said. "Women may know shit all about Department politics, but they sure know a hell of a lot about people-and that's what the Department is."

"Well…" Suarez said, sighing, "Rosa made me see that it was an ego thing for me. She said that if I failed on the Ellerbee case, everyone in the city would say, "See, the spic can't cut the mustard." She said I should accept help anywhere I could get it. Also, there is another thing. If the Ellerbee crime is solved, Thorsen will try to get me a third star and permanent appointment as Chief of Detectives when Murphy retires. Did you know that?"

"Yes. Thorsen told me."

"So there are a lot of motives involved- political, ethnic, personal. I cannot honestly tell you which is the strongest. So I gave the whole matter many hours of very heavy thought."

"I'll bet you did," Delaney said. "It's a tough decision to make."

"Another factor…" Suarez said. "I have some very good men in my bureau."

"I trained a lot of them myself."

"I know that. But none have your talent and experience. I don't say that to butter you up; it is the truth. I spoke to several detectives who worked with you on various cases.

They all said the same thing: If you can get Delaney, get him!

So that finally made up my mind. If you would be willing to help me on the Ellerbee homicide, I will welcome your help with deep gratitude and give you all the cooperation I possibly can.

Delaney leaned forward to look at him. "You're sure about this?"

"Absolutely sure."

"You realize I might strike out? Believe me, it wouldn't be the first time I failed. Far from it."

"I realize that."

"All right, let's get down to nuts and bolts. I've been following the case in the papers. Reading between the lines, I'd say you haven't got much."

"Much?" Suarez cried. "We have nothing!"

"Let me tell you what I know about it. Then you tell me what I've got wrong.' Speaking rapidly, Delaney summarized what he had read in newspaper accounts and heard on TV new casts. Suarez listened intently, not interrupting. When Delaney finished, the Chief said, "Yes, that is about it.

Some of the times you mentioned are a little off, but not enough to make any big difference."

Delaney nodded. "Now tell me what you didn't give to the reporters."

"Several things," Suarez said. "They may or may not mean anything. First of all, the victim told his wife he was staying in Manhattan because he was expecting a patient late on Friday evening. We found his appointment book on his desk. The last patient listed was for five P.m. No one listed after five.

The receptionist says that was not unusual. Sometimes the doctor got what they called 'crisis screams." A patient who is really disturbed phones and says he must see the shrink immediately. The doctor makes the appointment and neglects to tell the receptionist. She left at five o'clock anyway, right after the last patient listed in the appointment book arrived."

"Uh-huh," Delaney said. "Could happen…"

"The second thing is this. The Medical Examiner thinks the murder weapon was a ball peen hammer. You know what that is?"

"A ball peen? Sure. It's got a little rounded knob on one side of the head."

"Correct. I asked, and found that such a hammer is used to shape metallike taking a dent out of a fender. Ellerbee was struck multiple blows on the top and back of his skull with the ball peen. They found many round wounds, like punctures."

"Multiple blows? Someone hammering away even after he was a clunk?"

"Yes. The ME calls the attack 'frenzied." Many more blows than were needed to kill him. But that is not all. After Ellerbee was dead, the killer apparently rolled him over onto his back and struck him two more times. In his eyes. One blow to each eye."

"That's nice," Delaney said. "Was the rounded knob of the ballpeen used on the eyes?" t t was. When Dr. Samuelson found the corpse, it was on its back, the eyes a mess."

"All right," Delaney said. "Anything else you didn't give the press?"

"Yes. When Samuelson discovered the body, he called nine-eleven, then went back downstairs to wait for the cops. A car with two uniforms responded. Here is where we got a little lucky-I think. Because those two blues, first on the scene, did everything by the book. One of them hung on to Samuelson and his cabdriver, making sure they would not take off.

Meanwhile, he called in for backup, saying they had a reported homicide.

The second blue went upstairs to confirm the kill. You remember how hard it was raining Friday night?

Well, the uniform who went upstairs saw soaked tracks on the carpet of the hall and the staircase leading to the third floor.

So he was careful to step as close to the wall as he could to preserve the prints."

"That was smart," Delaney said. "Who was he?"

"A big, big black," Suarez said. "I talked with him, and he made me feel like a midget."

"My God!" Delaney said, astonished. "Don't tell me his name is Jason T.


It was Suarez's turn to be astonished. "That is who it was.

You know him?"

"Oh, hell yes. We worked together. They call him Jason Two. A brainy lad. There's detective material if ever I saw it.

He'd never go trampling over everything."

"Well, he did not. So when the Crime Scene Unit arrived, they were able to eliminate his wet prints on the carpet of the staircase and in the receptionist's office where the body was found. A day later, they had also eliminated Dr. Samuelson's footprints. He was wearing street shoes and has very small feet. The kicker is this: That left two sets of unidentified wet prints on the carpet."

"Two sets?"

"Absolutely. The photos prove it. Ellerbee had two visitors that night.

Both were wearing rubbers or galoshes. Indistinct blots, but there is no doubt they were made by two different people."

"Son of a bitch," Delaney said. "Male or female?"

Suarez shrugged. "With rubbers or boots, who knows? But there were two sets of prints left after Samuelson's and Jason's were eliminated."