“Who’s this now?”
“Didn’t get her name,” Teddy said, “but she used to work with you.”
“Oh. And she told you what exactly?”
“She told me the neuroleptics took four days to build up workable levels in the bloodstream. She predicted the dry mouth, the headaches, the shakes.”
“It’s not from neuroleptics.”
“What’s it from, then?”
“Withdrawal,” Cawley said.
“Withdrawal from what?”
Another smile and then Cawley’s gaze grew distant, and he flipped open Teddy’s notebook to the last page he’d written, pushed it across the table to him.
“That’s your handwriting, correct?”
Teddy glanced down at it. “Yeah.”
“The final code?”
“Well, it’s code.”
“But you didn’t break it.”
“I didn’t have the chance. Things got a bit hectic in case you didn’t notice.”
“Sure, sure.” Cawley tapped the page. “Care to break it now?”
Teddy looked down at the nine numbers and letters:
13(M)-21 (U)-25(Y)- 18®- 1 (A)-5(E)-8(H)- 15(O)-9(I)
He could feel the wire poking the back of his eye.
“I’m not really feeling my best at the moment.”
“But it’s simple,” Cawley said. “Nine letters.”
“Let’s give my head a chance to stop throbbing.”
“Withdrawal from what?” Teddy said. “What did you give me?” Cawley cracked his knuckles and leaned back into his chair with a shuddering yawn. “Chlorpromazine. It has its downsides. Many, I’m afraid. I’m not too fond of it. I’d hoped to start you on imipramine before this latest series of incidents, but I don’t think that will happen now.” He leaned forward. “Normally, I’m not a big fan of pharmacol ogy, but in your case, I definitely see the need for it.”
“Some people call it Tofranil.”
Teddy smiled. “And chlorpro...”
“... mazine.” Cawley nodded. “Chlorpromazine. That’s what you’re on now. What you’re withdrawing from. The same thing we’ve been giving you for the last two years.”
Teddy said, “The last what?” .
Teddy chuckled. “Look, I know you guys are powerful. You don’t have to oversell your case, though.”
“I’m not overselling anything.”
“You’ve been drugging me for two years?”
“I prefer the term ‘medicating.’ “
“And, what, you had a guy working in the U.S. marshals’ office? Guy’s job was to spike my joe every morning? Or maybe, wait, he worked for the newsstand where I buy my cup of coffee on the way in. That would be better. So for two years, you’ve had someone in Boston, slipping me drugs.”
“Not Boston,” Cawley said quietly. “Here.”
He nodded. “Here. You’ve been here for two years. A patient of this institution.”
Teddy could hear the tide coming in now, angry, hurling itself against the base of the bluff. He clasped his hands together to quiet the tremors and tried to ignore the pulsing behind his eye, growing hotter and more insistent.
“I’m a U.S. marshal,” Teddy said.
“Were a U.S. marshal,” Cawley said.
“Am,” Teddy said. “I am a federal marshal with the United States government. I left Boston on Monday morning, September the twenty-second, 1954” “Really?” Cawley said. “Tell me how you got to the ferry. Did you drive? Where did you park?”
“I took the subway.”
“The subway doesn’t go out that far.”
“Transferred to a bus.”
“Why didn’t you drive?”
“Car’s in the shop.”
“Oh. And Sunday, what is your recollection of Sunday? Can you tell me what you did? Can you honestly tell me anything about your day before you woke up in the bathroom of the ferry?” Teddy could. Well, he would have been able to, but the fucking wire in his head was digging through the back of his eye and into his sinus passages.
All right. Remember. Tell him what you did Sunday. You came home from work. You went to your apartment on Buttonwood. No, no. Not Buttonwood. Buttonwood burned to the ground when Laeddis lit it on fire. No, no. Where do you live? Jesus. He could see the place. Right, right. The place on... the place on... Castlemont. That’s it. Castle mont Avenue. By the water.
Okay, okay. Relax. You came back to the place on Castlemont and you ate dinner and drank some milk and went to bed. Right? Right.
Cawley said, “What about this? Did you get a chance to look at this?”
He pushed Laeddis’s intake form across the table.
“No?” He whistled. “You came here for it. If you got that piece of paper back to Senator Hurly—proof of a sixty-seventh patient we claim to have no record of—you could have blown the lid off this place.” “True.”
“Hell yes, true. And you couldn’t find time in the last twenty-four hours to give it a glance?”
“Again, things werea bit—“
“Hectic, yes. I understand. Well, take a look at it now.” Teddy glanced down at it, saw the pertinent name, age, date of intake info for Laeddis. In the comments section, he read:
Patient is highly intelligent and highly delusional. Known pro-; clivity for violence. Extremely agitated. Shows no remorse for his crime because his denial is such that no crime ever took place. Patient has erected a series of highly developed and highly fantastical narratives which preclude, at this time, his facing the truth of his actions.
The signature below read Dr. L. Sheehan. Teddy said, “Sounds about right.”
“In regards to whom?”
Cawley stood. He walked over to the wall and pulled down one of the sheets.
Four names were written there in block letters six inches high:
EDWARD DANIELS—ANDREW LAEDDIS
RACHEL SOLANDO—DOLORES CHANAL
Teddy waited, but Cawley seemed to be waiting too, neither of them saying a word for a full minute.
Eventually Teddy said, “You have a point, I’m guessing.”