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“Do you speak Spanish? Because the guy I’ll use won’t speak any English.”
“A few words but the phone will translate what I don’t know.”
Hector shook his head. “Not the greatest reception down there.”
“I’ll make due.”
“All right, but just so you know, Paul, once you’re in the guy’s hands, I’m not going to be able to help you. The guy will be all you’ve got.”
“But you think the guy’s really good?”
“Somebody really good wouldn’t be doing this.”
Paul nodded. “I’ll take the chance.”
“Okay, then. Give me a couple days.”
A couple of days sounded like a couple of years, but what could he do? “Just one more thing, Hector.”
“Yeah?”
“I need to bring a woman with me.”

*

Paul drove back to the hotel, thinking about Hector’s “Give me a couple days.” A couple of days. In the meantime, Mr. Cardi’s guys would pounce on them like starving pumas. He pulled alongside a Maricopa County Sheriff cruiser. Just look straight ahead, he told himself.
When he opened the door to their room back at the hotel, Sherry was lying face down on the bed weeping.
“Sherry, what happened?”
She just kept bawling, her shoulders shaking.
“Sherry!” He turned her to him. “For God’s sake, tell me what’s going on.”
Tears streaked her face. “They said a baby fell off the balcony.”
“What?!”
“Oh God, Paul.” She burrowed herself into his arms. “A Mexican lady knocked on the door and said a baby fell off the balcony and could I call 911? So I did and then I went out and looked. The baby was just lying there on the
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