confirmed womanizer, whose behavior aggravated his wife’s mental illness.”

“For how many years?”

The attorney frowned. “I knew Rich Addwatter. He wasn’t a close friend, just club golfing buddy. But I do know he changed his ways a good five years ago.”

“He really changed ’em this afternoon.”

Bernie stopped.

So did I.

“Ms. Tree, Rich Addwatter loved his wife. Loved her very much. I truly believe he turned over a major new leaf, five years ago, to save her...and himself.”

I couldn’t suppress the smirk. “Nobility like that rarely winds up in sleazy motel rooms.”

Bernie ignored my expression and my words. “Otherwise, with her sickness? He’d have skated. Dumped her like a falling stock—a lot of guys would, you know.”

I couldn’t argue with him.

We began to walk again, and I said, “ she snags the insanity verdict and is institutionalized. You know when she’ll get out, don’t you? The day after Hinckley.”

He nodded, said, “Which would be a major miscarriage of justice. Marcy Addwatter has been stabilized for years.”

“Her husband falling off the faithfulness wagon unstabilized her in a hurry.”

Bernie stopped again, took the sleeve of my trenchcoat. “All right, Ms. Tree, fine...but how? How did that happen?”

I thought for a moment, then started walking again and Bernie fell in step with me.

I said, “Okay. Richard...let’s call him Dick...made an afternoon pick-up in a bar, most likely.”

“After all these years, why?”

“Bernie, you don’t know for sure that hubby hadn’t been feeding his letch habit by picking up the occasional working girl. And the dead woman was a pro?”

“The police haven’t confirmed that, but that’s the assumption.”

“Okay, then. Maybe Dick’s idea of being faithful was not to have a serious affair. Strictly cash and carry on.”

“Even so,” Bernie said, “how did my client happen to know about this pick-up? And find her way to that no-tell motel?”

“I don’t know.”

“Then find out, Ms. Tree. Talk to her.”

I was shaking my head, not in refusal but to clear the cobwebs. “Top of the list of a couple hundred things I don’t understand is why I’m even able to talk to her—the murders happened just hours ago. Nobody should be getting in but you and maybe family....”

“Haven’t you guessed?” Bernie smiled for the first time since he’d spirited me off. “Your friend Lt. Valer of Homicide greased the wheels.”

I frowned. “Why?”

“You’ll have to ask him. I don’t look gift cops in the mouth.”

Within minutes Bernie Levine and I were seated on our side of the booth and its Plexiglas divider in the city jail visitor’s area, a study in gray institutional brick and no windows. We watched as a uniformed policewoman escorted in a shell-shocked Marcy Addwatter—her permed hair a fright wig, her face pale and sans make-up—and guided the small woman in jailhouse orange over to the seat opposite us.

The attorney reached for the phone, nodding to his glassy-eyed client for her to do the same. She did, sluggishly.

“Marcy,” Bernie said, and he bobbed his head toward me, “this is Ms. Tree. She’s working for us as an investigator.”

“Rich is dead,” Marcy said into her phone.

I could barely hear it through Bernie’s phone, which he cocked to share with me; but got it well enough for her zombie monotone to register.

“I know Rich is dead, Marcy,” Bernie was saying, “but you’re alive, and you’re going to be well again. Have you seen a doctor yet?”


“Okay, I’ll work on that. Right away. But first I’m going to turn the phone over to Ms. Tree. Answer her questions, Marcy. She’s our friend. She’s your friend.”


The attorney let out a breath, sat back, and passed the phone over to me.

I scooched forward.

“Hello, Marcy—my name is Michael.”

The tiniest confusion came into the woman’s eyes. “Boy’s name. That’s a boy’s name.”

“Sometimes it’s a girl’s name. May I call you ‘Marcy’?”

“That’s a girl’s name. Marcy’s a girl’s name.”

Her gaze was unblinking and steered vaguely my way, but she didn’t really seem to be seeing me. Or anything.

“Marcy, how did you know where Rich was this afternoon?”

“Phone call.”

“Who called you?”

“A friend.”

“What friend?”

The barest shrug. “Just a friend. Said he was a friend. Doing what friends do.”

“What do friends do, Marcy?”

“Help. Help friends.”

“When was this phone call?”

“After lunch.”

I tried to put it as delicately as possible: “And this was the first you suspected your husband was—”

But I wasn’t delicate enough, because she came alive, her eyes wide and wild—those eyes had probably looked like that when she shot her husband and his pick-up.

No! No. I’ve known for weeks. Over a month....We argued. He denied it. Such a good actor. Made me remember the other times.”

“Other times?”

“In our marriage. Years back. When he cheated. Cheated all the time.”

How have you known for weeks? Other phone calls?”

“Just the one phone call.”

“Then how—”

“Voices. The voices.”

“What voices, Marcy?”

“The voices at night. In the dark. In my head....Could I talk to Mr. Levine, Michael?”

Feeling like I was getting nowhere, I passed the phone back over to the attorney, who brought his chair forward.

I could hear Marcy’s monotone coming scratchily from the phone: “I need something. My head hurts. And I’m awful blue. I’d kill myself, but...”

“Marcy, don’t talk that way.”

“Don’t worry. I won’t do it. What if I went to heaven or hell or someplace? And Richard was there? I’d have to talk to him about this. And I really don’t want to.”

The woman hung up.

Stood up.

The policewoman came over and escorted her out.

Bernie and I lingered momentarily, feeling pretty shell-shocked ourselves.

“Voices,” I said. “That’s par for schizophrenia, right?”

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