'Why three?'

'Have you ever seen anybody with the same picture on everything?'

He gathered the photographs and put the envelope into his pocket. 'What now?'

'Now we wait, and we work to get you ready.'

That day they walked along the banks of the Grand River and up country roads past small farms and through woods. Always they talked.

'It’s time to use our imaginations,' she said. 'Think like a cop. The person you’re looking for is you. The fugitive has a false name and false papers, and he’s starting a new life. Where do you start?'

'Put out a circular with everything we know about him: his description, picture, habits.'

'Very good,' said Jane. 'Who does it go to?'


'Bad answer, but at least you’re thinking like a cop again. It goes to police stations. That’s not everybody. Nobody ever sees these things except other policemen. What’s the moral of the story?'

'Stay away from cops?'

'Right. There are ways to do that. The obvious one is to watch out how you drive. You’re never again going to be in enough of a hurry to speed or double-park. But you don’t go where trouble is, either.'

'That much I know,' he said.

'What do you do if you’re walking down the street and a man tries to pick a fight with you?'

'Walk away.'

'What if he doesn’t let you walk away?'

'Call for help?'

'Think harder. This shouldn’t be news to you,' she said. 'You obviously haven’t called for help much. Nobody jumps in, but sometimes they call the police. The safest thing for you to do is put him down fast, immobilize him, then get out. The people who couldn’t pull themselves together enough to stop him won’t be any better at stopping you.'

'I guess that’s true.'

'Suppose you come home from work and find out you have a burglary?'

'That one I’ve thought about. I don’t call the cops. The fingerprint people will take prints from all the surfaces, and they’ll need to take mine to be sure which ones belong to the burglars.'

'Very good. But what if you’re home when it happens? You’re asleep in bed and you hear them breaking in?'

'Same thing. Let them take what they want and go.'

She shook her head. 'No, I’m afraid that’s the exception. There are very few burglars who don’t case a place to see who lives there before they decide. There are almost none who can’t tell if somebody’s home before they break in. So what you’ll have is an intruder who knows who you are and that you haven’t gone out.'

'You mean—'

'I’m afraid so. It would probably mean that it’s not a burglar at all. One of the people who is after you has found you. The only thing you can do is get out.'

'But if I could subdue him somehow, I might be able to find out—'

'Find out what? Who he is? I can answer that now. He’s one of the hundreds of guys in jail who heard you were worth money, and he’s the one who guessed right.'

'What if there is no way out?'

'You’ll have to decide for yourself,' she said. 'Nobody can tell anybody else what the circumstances are when they’re justified in pulling the trigger. You’re not a cop anymore, so there aren’t any rules. Just make sure you do whatever thinking you have to do in advance.'

'Okay, what if I did it?'

'Even if you have the best case of self-defense in history, they’ll still find out who you are. You do whatever you can to hide the body and bail out. Come back to me and we try again.'

Each day they walked the same route through the country, taking the roads that ran along the fields and away from the houses. Two days later Jane asked, 'Remember the circular that John Felker the policeman was going to put out to catch John Felker the embezzler?'

'Sure,' he said.

'What else was on it?'

'Age, height, weight—'

'Can’t help you much there, but there are ways of thinking about it that are useful. What you have to think about isn’t the way you look but what photographs of you exist. Only one in a thousand of the people who will be looking for you have seen you in person. The last picture the police have would be at least five years old, right?'


'If there are any more recent ones—say your sister has some—try to get rid of them. Call her and tell her to burn them. Your ex-wife—'

'No problem there. If she has them, they’d be ten years old.'

'Good. Then, when you work on your appearance, think of the photographs as though you were John Felker the cop. The best things to do are simple. You’re tall, so you drive a small car. It has an unconscious effect. People just think: small. Wear a hat or sunglasses—anything that would keep John Felker the cop from making the connection at a glance. Unless you’re in some other trouble, a glance is all the time they’ll have. What else is on the circular?'

'Distinguishing marks or scars.'

'Do you have any?'

'No.' He smiled. 'Should I get some?'

'Hardly. What else?'

'Distinctive personal habits.'

'Okay,' she said. 'Go beyond the stuff that’s on the circular because the cops aren’t the only ones who will be looking. You don’t seem to smoke. Do you drink?'

'Not heavily. I’ve been known to have one or two.'

'One or two what?'

'Beers. Once in a while some scotch and water.'

'Where? Bars?'

'No. We used to spend too much time going out on calls to bars to want to go back after a shift. There were a couple of places in St. Louis that a lot of cops went to—not many civilians, so some cops felt relaxed, but I didn’t. It was the same faces I’d seen at work.'

'Good. Stay out of bars. Things happen—fights inside and robberies in the parking lots. If you were in the habit, that’s one of the first places they’d look. Besides, the strangest people get sanctimonious. When some guy goes out to get ripped, he doesn’t want to rub elbows with his kids’ math teacher. What about the rest of your social life?'

'What do you mean?'

She walked along for a step or two. 'If you’re uncomfortable about this, we’ll close the topic. Just think about what I’m saying. You’ve been divorced for about ten years. You don’t have any girlfriends at the moment. Are you gay?'

'No,' he said.

'Are you celibate?’’

He chuckled. 'Not for long, and never by choice.'

She seemed to choose her words carefully now. 'Okay, I don’t need to know anything about this. If you have some ... attitude about sex that’s unusual, just take it into consideration in the future.'

He looked at her closely. 'Unusual?'

She walked along for a few steps in silence, and then said, 'What I mean is predictable.'

'There’s nobody in my past that I can’t resist getting in touch with.'

She sighed in frustration. 'Good. But there are other possibilities. Since you’re single and you haven’t been celibate, presumably there are a number of women around who could tell somebody things about you. Since we

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