“Look at the names.”
“I see them.”
“Your name, Patient Sixty-seven’s name, the missing patient’s name, and your wife’s name.”
“Uh-huh. I’m not blind.”
“There’s your rule of four,” Cawley said.
“How so?” Teddy rubbed his temple hard, trying to massage that wire out of there.
“Well, you’re the genius with code. You tell me.”
“Tell you what?”
“What do the names Edward Daniels and Andrew Laeddis have in common ?”
Teddy looked at his own name and Laeddis’s for a moment. “They both have thirteen letters.”
“Yes, they do,” Cawley said. “Yes, they do. Anything else?”
Teddy stared and stared. “Nope.”
“Oh, come on.” Cawley removed his lab coat, placed it over the back of a chair.
Teddy tried to concentrate, already tiring of this parlor game.
“Take your time.”
Teddy stared at the letters until their edges grew soft.
“Anything?” Cawley said.
“No. I can’t see anything. Just thirteen letters.”
Cawley whacked the names with the back of his hand. “Come on!”
Teddy shook his head and felt nauseated. The letters jumped.
“I am concentrating.”
“What do these letters have in common?” Cawley said.
“I don’t... There are thirteen of them. Thirteen.”
Teddy peered at the letters until they blurred. “Nothing.”
“Nothing,” Teddy said. “What do you want me to say? I can’t tell you what I don’t know. I can’t—“ Cawley shouted it: “They’re the same letters!”
Teddy hunched forward, tried to get the letters to stop quivering.
“They’re the same letters.”
“The names are anagrams for each other.”
Teddy said it again: “No.”
“No?” Cawley frowned and moved his hand across the line. “Those are the exact same letters. Look at them. Edward Daniels. Andrew Laeddis. Same letters. You’re gifted with code, even flirted with becoming a code breaker in the war, isn’t that right? Tell me that you don’t see the same thirteen letters when you look up at these two names.” “No!” Teddy rammed the heels of his hands against his eyes, trying to clear them or blot out the light, he wasn’t sure.
“ ‘No,’ as in they’re not the same letters? Or ‘no,’ as in you don’t want them to be the same letters.”
“They can’t be.”
“They are. Open your eyes. Look at them.”
Teddy opened his eyes but continued to shake his head and the quivering letters canted from side to side.
Cawley slapped the next line with the back of his hand. “Try this, then. ‘Dolores Chanal and Rachel Solando.’ Both thirteen letters. You want to tell me what they have in common?”
Teddy knew what he was seeing, but he also knew it wasn’t possible.
“No? Can’t grasp that one either?”
“It can’t be.”
“It is,” Cawley said. “The same letters again. Anagrams for each other. You came here for the truth? Here’s your truth, Andrew.” “Teddy,” Teddy said.
Cawley stared down at him, his face once again filling with lies of empathy.
“Your name is Andrew Laeddis,” Cawtey said. “The sixty-seventh patient at Ashecliffe Hospital? He’s you, Andrew.”
Teddy screamed it and the scream rocketed through his head. “Your name is Andrew Laeddis,” Cawley repeated. “You were committed here by court order twenty-two months ago.” Teddy threw his hand at that. “This is below even you guys.”
“Look at the evidence. Please, Andrew. You—“
“Don’t call me that.”
“—came here two years ago because you committed a terrible crime. One that society can’t forgive, but I can. Andrew, look at me.” Teddy’s eyes rose from the hand Cawley had extended, up the arm and across the chest and into Cawley’s face, the man’s eyes brimming now with. that false compassion, that imitation of decency. “My name is Edward Daniels.”
“No.” Cawley shook his head with an air of weary defeat. “Your name is Andrew Laeddis. You did a terrible thing, and you can’t forgive yourself, no matter what, so you playact. You’ve created a dense, complex nar rative structure in which you are the hero, Andrew. You convince yoursdf you’re still a U.S. marshal and you’re here on a case. And you’ve uncovered a conspiracy, which means that anything we tell you to the contrary plays into your fantasy that we’re conspiring against you. And maybe we could let that go, let you live in your fantasy world. I’d like that. If you were harmless, I’d like that a lot. But you’re violent, you’re very violent. And because of your military and law enforcement training, you’re too good at it. You’re the most dangerous patient we have here. We can’t con rain you. It’s been decided look at me.”
Teddy looked up, saw Cawley half stretching across the table, his eyes pleading.
“It’s been decided that if we can’t bring you back to sanity—now, right now—permanent measures will be taken to ensure you never hurt anyone again. Do you understand what I’m saying to you?” For a moment—not even a full moment, a tenth of a moment—
Teddy almost believed him.
Then Teddy smiled.
“It’s a nice act you’ve got going, Doc. Who’s the bad cop—
Sheehan?” He glanced back at the door. “He’s about due, I’d say.”
“Look at me,” Cawley said. “Look into my eyes.”
Teddy did. They were red and swimming from lack of sleep. And more. What was it? Teddy hdd Cawley’s gaze, studied those eyes. And then it came to him—if he didn’t know otherwise, he’d swear Cawley was suffering from a broken heart.
“Listen,” Cawley said, “I’m all you’ve got. I’m all you’ve ever had. I’ve been hearing this fantasy for two years now. I know every detail, every wrinkle—the codes, the missing partner, the storm, the woman in the cave, the evil experiments in the lighthouse. I know about Noyce and the fictitious Senator Hurly. I know you dream of Dolores all the time and her belly leaks and she’s soaking with water. I know about the logs.”