Wycoff glanced at his watch. It was eight forty-five, and he had to be in court at nine. “Look, Adam, I’ve gotta run,” he said, buttoning his jacket. “When are you going back to Memphis?”
“Today, I guess.”
“Can we have lunch? I’d like to talk to you.”
He opened the door, and said, “Great. My secretary will give you a call. Gotta run. See you.” And he was gone.
Goodman suddenly glanced at his watch too. His watch ran much slower than the real lawyers in the firm, but he did have appointments to keep. “I need to see someone in my office. I’ll join you guys for lunch.”
“One lousy vote,” Adam repeated, staring at the wall.
“Come on, Adam. It wasn’t that close.”
“It certainly feels close.”
“Look, we need to spend a few hours together before you leave. I wanna hear about Sam, okay?
Let’s start with lunch.” He opened the door and was gone.
Adam sat on the table, shaking his head.
OF Baker Cooley and the other lawyers in the Memphis office knew anything about Adam’s sudden termination and its quick reversal, it was not apparent. They treated him the same, which was to say they kept to themselves and stayed away from his office. They were not rude to him, because, after all, he was from Chicago. They smiled when forced to, and they could muster a moment of small talk in the hallways if Adam was in the mood. But they were corporate lawyers, with starched shirts and soft hands which were unaccustomed to the dirt and grime of criminal defense. They did not go to jails or prisons or holding tanks to visit with clients, nor did they wrangle with cops and prosecutors and cranky judges. They worked primarily behind their desks and around mahogany conference tables. Their time was spent talking to clients who could afford to pay them several hundred dollars an hour for advice, and when they weren’t talking to clients they were on the phone or doing lunch with other lawyers and bankers and insurance executives.
There’d been enough in the newspapers already to arouse resentment around the office. Most of the lawyers were embarrassed to see the name of their firm associated with a character such as Sam Cayhall. Most of them had no idea that he’d been represented by Chicago for seven years. Now friends were asking questions. Other lawyers were making wisecracks. Wives were humiliated over garden club teas. In-laws were suddenly interested in their legal careers.
Sam Cayhall and his grandson had quickly become a pain in the ass for the Memphis office, but nothing could be done about it.
Adam could sense it but didn’t care. It was a temporary office, suitable for three more weeks and hopefully not a day longer. He stepped from the elevator Friday morning, and ignored the receptionist who was suddenly busy arranging magazines. He spoke to his secretary, a young woman named Darlene, and she handed him a phone message from Todd Marks at the Memphis Press.
He took the pink phone message to his office and threw it in the wastebasket. He hung his coat on a hanger, and began covering the table with paper. There were pages of notes he’d taken on the flights to and from Chicago, and similar pleadings he’d borrowed from Goodman’s files, and dozens of copies of recent federal decisions.
He was soon lost in a world of legal theories and strategies. Chicago was, a fading memory.
Rollie Wedge entered the Brinkley Plaza building through the front doors to the Mall. He had waited patiently at a table of a sidewalk cafe until the black Saab appeared then turned into a nearby parking garage.