inside. He carried it to the government sedan and locked it in the trunk.

Kelly brought the prisoner over to the sedan as Carr made a little wave and pointed to the black woman's apartment. Kelly gave a thumbs-up sign.

Carr trotted down the walkway toward the apartment and knocked on the woman's door.

'Who's there?'

'It's me.'

She opened the door a few inches. A look of surprise. She tried to slam the door, but Carr had wedged his foot against it. He held his badge up to the crack. 'You're under arrest for dealing counterfeit money,' he said as he shoved open the door. The woman backed away, shaking her head sadly. Carr fastened handcuffs on her outstretched wrists. She seemed more resigned to the situation than frightened. 'Mind if I look around for more counterfeit money?' he said.

'You got a search warrant?'

Carr took the woman by the arm and led her to the refrigerator. He opened the door and pulled out a brown paper shopping bag. It was full of counterfeit fifties.

'How'd you know that was in there?'

Carr took the bag and led the woman by the arm out to the sedan. He motioned her into the backseat next to the black man. After locking the door he climbed in next to Kelly, who started the engine.

'I thought it was heroin in the briefcase,' the black man said finally. 'I don't know nothin' about no funny money.'

'He's the one put the funny money in my refrigerator,' the woman said, 'I didn't have nothing to do with it.'

After depositing their prisoners at the federal lockup downtown, Carr and Kelly spent the next hour filling out forms to officially book the two.


Having completed an hour's worth of paperwork, Carr took the elevator to the seventh floor. Kelly used the storeroom entrance to the Field Office to avoid walking past the special agent in charge, whom they hated.

In their office, a small gray room void of any personal effects or decoration except for a blown up photo of a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill hanging lopsided on the wall (it had been a government exhibit in an ancient case), they sat down at their desks. By agreement, Carr meticulously counted the counterfeit money as Kelly wrote the arrest report. They spent the next hour and a half filling out the usual plethora of standardized forms, lists and inventory sheets required to book the counterfeit money as evidence. Having completed the forms, Carr stapled them together and attached them to a fresh case file folder. Kelly dug in his pocket and pulled out a quarter. 'You call,' he said.

'Heads,' Carr said.

Kelly flipped the coin and showed it to Carr. It was tails. 'You get the honors,' he said, chuckling.

Carr shook his head and sighed. He gathered up the forms and the counterfeit money.

'Try not to get in an argument with him or we'll be here all night,' Kelly said as Carr left the office and headed down the hall. He stepped into Norbert Waeves's (aka No Waves) office. No Waves sat behind the desk with an oversized nameplate that read Special Agent in Charge. A man younger than Carr, with bony arms and a trace of freckles across the bridge of his nose and cheekbones, No Waves wore his usual uniform of short-sleeved white shirt with pen-heavy pockets and a thin red necktie. The tie had a rifle-and- pistols pattern.

There was nothing on his desk except pipe-cleaning equipment and a stack of Guns amp; Ammo magazines.

Carr set the reports and contraband on the desk and sat down in a chair in front of the desk.

No Waves put the pipe in his mouth. He flipped through the inventories and made sucking sounds.

'I take it both of you counted the notes?' No Waves said, without looking up.

'Yes,' Carr lied.

No Waves pressed an intercom button. 'Kelly,' he said.

'That's me,' Kelly replied.

'Who counted the counterfeit money?'

'What counterfeit money?' Kelly said in a monotone enmity.

No Waves bit the pipe. 'The money you and Carr seized tonight,' he said.

'We both did,' Kelly said.

No Waves switched off the intercom. He signed the forms and filled out an Approval for Booking Evidence form. He pushed the forms across the desk to Carr.

Carr picked up the forms. He turned to walk out.

No Waves reached into a desk drawer. He pulled out two envelopes. 'Here is your six-month evaluation,' he said, handing them to Carr. 'And Kelly's. Sign them and have them in the mail room by twelve hundred hours tomorrow.'

Carr walked out of Waeves's office as he sat lighting his pipe. He distributed the paperwork to various 'in' boxes in the office, locked the counterfeit money in the vault and picked up Kelly.

On the way to Chinatown, Kelly read aloud from his evaluation. 'Special Agent Kelly has an acceptable record of properly maintaining his issued equipment and government vehicle. Though he is not a self-starter, he works his assigned cases in an acceptable manner and meets most report deadlines. I rate his investigative efforts as barely adequate. Kelly has entered himself into a number of disputes with the members of the Federal Public Defender's Office during this reporting period. I have counseled him about the importance of maintaining proper relations with other agencies, per Treasury Manual of Operations Section zero-nine-point-five-six. I frequently have to counsel Kelly to include more detail in his investigative reports. He does not accept criticism readily and has a bad attitude.

'Special Agent Kelly is eligible for transfer and is not recommended for promotion.'

As Carr steered past Los Angeles Plaza, a restored city historical landmark where winos slept on benches, he pulled out his evaluation and handed it to Kelly,

Kelly tore open the envelope and read the report.

'Yours says pretty much the same thing except for the last sentence. Instead of eligible for transfer, he says you're ready for transfer.' Kelly stuffed the evaluation in the envelope and handed it back to Carr.

'It's hard to believe,' Kelly said, 'but at retirement parties when No Waves ends up sitting alone because no one wants to sit with him, or when I see him eating lunch by himself in his office, I actually feel sorry for him. It's like he can't help being the way he is…but most of the time I still feel like kicking his teeth out.'

'That's just the way he is,' Carr said.

Kelly's face turned red. 'He's nothing but a pipe-smoking, draft-dodging, headquarters-created butt-boy. Just the idea of that pencil-necked, mealy-mouthed, back-stabbing mama's boy evaluating me and trying to get me transferred…'

'Don't think about it,' Carr said as he turned a corner. 'He's not worth the trouble.' He steered past a commercial area into old Chinatown, a maze of pagoda-style buildings with gaudy neon trim. The walkways were crowded with families of tourists milling about in a sea of souvenir shops and Chinese restaurants with anglicized names. Carr pulled the sedan into a small parking lot between Ling's bar and a tailor shop. As he climbed out of the car, the mild scent of incense, cooking steam and fried shrimp enveloped him.

An hour later, most of the twelve seats at Ling's bar were still filled. It was the usual crowd, mostly detectives and federal investigators from various agencies, all dressed in cheap suits. At the end of the bar sat a pair of puffy-eyed blondes who Carr knew were secretaries at the courthouse.

Carr and Kelly sat on their usual stools. God only knew why the dusty place had become the favorite hangout over the years. It certainly wasn't the wall decorations: cheap oriental tapestries of swans floating on a lake, an autographed black-and-white photo of a deputy chief of the L.A. Police Department, a family photo of Ling and his

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