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A man is found hanging in a locked room with no furniture and a puddle of water under his feet. A man is dead in a puddle of blood and water on the floor of a locked room. A man is lying, dead, face down in the desert wearing a backpack. A man is lying face down, dead, in the desert, with a match near his outstretched hand. Download Dead In The Water - by Stuart Woods in Pdf ePub ebook. Stone barrington only wants a winter getaway from the chill of new york in the be.

'It looks bad,' Stone said, taking a stool and handing Thomas the arrest warrant. 'I'm going to have to find her a first-class barrister.'

Thomas shoved a pad across the bar. 'I thought that might be the case. Here's a list of three who might--I stress, might--take her on.'

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Stone read four names. 'What about the fourth name?'

'First we'd better call the first three. Shall I?' 'Please.'

Thomas picked up the phone and dialed a number.

Ten minutes later, after the third call, Thomas hung up the phone.

'Well?' Stone said.

'No hope,' Thomas replied. 'The word is out that Sir Winston really wants this one--nobody knows exactly why--and nobody is going to go up against him right at this moment in time, with an election coming up soon. The consensus seems to be that a conviction would give him a lot of favorable publicity, and nobody wants to get between Sir Winston and publicity.'

'What if Sir Winston should lose the case?'

'As far as I can tell from these phone conversations,

nobody in the legal community thinks he's going to.' 'How about somebody else?'

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'Not a chance,' Thomas said. 'I eliminated most of them before I made my list. Those three were the only ones who might have opposed Sir Winston.'

'What about the fourth name on the list?' 'Sir Leslie Hewitt,' Thomas said. 'Yes, what about him?'

'He'll represent her,' Thomas said. 'He hates Sir

Winston's guts, as his father before him did.'

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'Well, then, give him a call.'

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Thomas shook his head. 'You don't understand.'

'Explain it to me.'

'Leslie was once a first-rate barrister, one of the best, in fact.'

'And now?'

'He's well past eighty; he hasn't tried a case in at least fifteen years; and...'

'And?'

'And he's..' failing, you know? I mean, he's bright as a new penny at times, but at other times...'

'I think I get the picture,' Stone said. 'You're suggesting that an eighty-year-old barrister who's half gaga should defend Allison Manning?'

'No, that's not what I'm suggesting. You've got a hearing tomorrow morning at ten, and somebody be des you has got to be there to go through the motions, to be the barrister of record until you can get somebody in here from out of the country.'

'You mean from England?'

'Probably. You could go to Antigua, which is another former British colony and which has a similar legal system, but that's too close to home. Those people are going to have to get along with Sir Winston, too, if his political dreams come true, and they are very likely to.'

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'I thought about London. I do a lot of work for a firm in New York, and I can ask them to recommend somebody in London. But I don't know whether Allison can meet that kind of expense.'

'Then she's between a rock and a hard place,' Thomas said. 'Right now, I think you and I had better go see Leslie Hewitt.'

They drove along the coast road to the western end of the island and turned off toward the beach onto a rutted dirt road.

'Where are you taking me?' Stone asked.

'Leslie has a cottage down by the beach,' Thomas replied. 'It's been in his family since the seventeenth century.'

'Is he black?'

'Yes.'

'I would have thought that in the seventeenth century, any blacks on this island would have been slaves.'

'You're not far off the mark there, but an ancestor of Leslie's bought his freedom and started a stevedoring business. They were a very prosperous family indeed until we got our freedom from Britain. Then the new government confiscated nearly everything Leslie had inherited. His wife died, his children fled the country, and he was left here with nothing but this cottage.' He pulled up before a whitewashed building.

It was larger than Stone had imagined. He got out and, with Thomas leading the way, approached the Dutch front door, which was open at the top.

'Leslie!' Thomas called out. He beckoned to Stone and entered the cottage. They walked through a small foyer and into a comfortably if somewhat seedily furnished living room. 'Leslie!' Thomas called out again, but there was no reply. 'Let's take a look out back.' They walked through a neat kitchen and through a pretty garden, then down to the beach. A tiny black man in faded shbrts and a straw hat was pulling a dinghy up the beach from the water. 'There he is,' Thomas said, approaching. 'Leslie, how you doing?' he asked.

'Thomas? Is that Thomas Hardy?' Leslie Hewitt asked, shielding his eyes from the light.

'Sure is,' Thomas said. 'Come to see you, and I

brought a friend.' He introduced the barrister to Stone. 'How do you do,. Sir Leslie,' Stone said. 'I'm very well, Mr. Barrington; and you?' 'Very well, thank you.'

'Leslie, can we go into the house?' Thomas asked. 'There's a matter we need to discuss with you.'

'Do I owe you money?' Hewitt asked, removing his straw hat and mopping his brow with his forearm. He had short, snow white hair.

'Certainly not, Leslie.'

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'Then this is very surprising,' he said. 'It's been a very ing time since anyone needed to discuss anything with me except a bill.'

Sitting in a small study crowded with dusty books, Thomas Hardy explained the situation to Leslie Hewitt. 'What do you think, Leslie?'

'Well, I certainly don't like the sound of it,' Hewitt replied, crossing a bare leg over another and dusting off his foot. 'All happening very quickly, isn't it?'

'Very quickly indeed,' Thomas said.

'I shouldn't be surprised if, in the circumstances, Winston will ask for an early trial date. What is it you want of me? I don't know if I'm up to trying a murder case, not unless you enjoy a hanging.'

Thomas and Stone laughed. 'We need your help for the hearing, Leslie,' Thomas said. 'To hold the fort until we can get a barrister in from London.'

'Ah, I see,' Hewitt said. 'Well, I can certainly help you to that extent.'

'There's the matter of bail, too, Sir Leslie,' Stone said.

'Please call me Leslie,' the little man said. 'Everyone does.'

'Leslie, do you think there's a chance of bail?'

'It's not unheard of in such a case,' Hewitt replied. 'It's not an easy island to get off of, especially if you're a foreigner, so the judge might smile on such a request. Bail might be steep, though.'

'How steep?'

'A hundred thousand dollars, perhaps twice that.' 'Cash?'

'Does the lady have any property in St. Marks?' 'An expensive yacht.'

'That might do very nicely, if the judge is sure she won't sail away.'

'That's good news; I'll pass it on to Mrs. Manning.' 'I shall want to meet her before the hearing,' Hewitt said. 'May we meet at the courthouse at, say, nine in the morning? That should give us time.'

'Of course,' Stone said. 'Ah, you mentioned hanging; I hope that was in jest?'

'Oh, no,' Sir Leslie said, shaking his head. 'Certainly not in jest.'

'St. Marks has capital punishment, then?'

'Oh, yes; it's quite easy to get hanged in St. Marks. You see, Mr. Barrington, there's no prison system to speak of on our lovely island. Crimes tend to get divided into three classes: first, there's anything from petty theft through assault and battery up to, say, multiple burglaries. These crimes are dealt with by fines and short sentences, up to about three months, in our local

jail. If there's no room in the jail, then the fine is increased, and the Ministry of Justice is very scrupulous about collecting the fines. Then we have a second category of offenses, starting with armed robbery and running up through assault with intent to kill--virtually any crime involving violence but not death. These are dealt with by exile, permanent exile from our island. For natives of St. Marks, who love their island, this is a crueler punishment than you might imagine. Then, lastly, we have crimes involving death: voluntary manslaughter, any degree of murder, conspiracy to murder--these crimes are capital offenses, and death is by hanging. We have one or two hangings a year.'

'You mean, then, that if Allison Manning is found guilty of any degree of homicide, she will be hanged? They would hang a woman?'

'Quite so. Only about one in ten persons hanged is a woman, but it happens.'

'What about race? Would the fact that Mrs. Manning is white be a factor in a possible death sentence?'

'I should say that would increase her chances of hanging,' Sir Leslie said, 'especially since her jury is very likely to be all or nearly all black.'

Stone swallowed hard. 'I see.'

'I should mention, too,' Sir Leslie continued, 'that in St. Marks, jury verdicts are by majority, not unanimous vote, so a white juror or two would not be able to cause a deadlock, and the judge elects the jury.' 'Jesus Christ,' Stone said quietly.

Sir Leslie smiled. 'I'm glad to see you are taking this seriously.'

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'What is the appeals procedure?' Stone asked. 'There is only a single appeal,' Sir Leslie replied. 'All capital convictions are automatically referred to the prime minister, whose word is final. He generally responds the next day, and, should his decision be negative, the hanging takes place on the following day.' He smiled. 'Since our system is so efficient, we tend to think that capital punishment really is a deterrent to capital crime.'

'Yes,' Stone replied, 'I can see how it might be.' Thomas turned to Stone. 'You're going to be doing a lot of telephoning tomorrow, I should think. There's a room with a phone over the bar you can use.'

'Thanks, Thomas,' Stone said. 'Maybe I should just take the room for the duration.'

'That will be fine.'

'Is there somewhere I can rent a printer for my laptop?'

'My bookkeeper is on vacation; I'll move hers in there for you.'

They turned back to Leslie Hewitt, who seemed to have dozed off.

'Leslie?' Thomas said.

The little man opened his eyes. 'Thomas? Is that Thomas Hardy?'

'Yes, Leslie.'

'How very good of you to come and see me,' he said, beaming at them. He turned toward Stone. 'And who might this be?'

When they returned to the restaurant, Thomas handed Stone a fax. 'This came for you while we were gone.'

Dear Stone,

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I cannot find a way to tell you how important this assignment has become, but the fact is, I have to spend as much time as possible with Vance Calder while he is in New York, which is for the rest of the week. I know how angry and disappointed you will be to read this, but there's simply no way I am going to be able to get to St. Marks in time to go sailing with you, no matter how hard I try, so we may as well both face it now. I ask your forgiveness, and I look forward to your return.

Arrington

Stone wadded up the paper and tossed it into a wastebasket. 'Bad news?' Thomas 'asked. 'Is there any other kind?' Stone replied.

CHAPTER

Stone sweated through a nearly sleepless night, tossing in his berth, trying in vain to think of some tactic to abort this whole process. He rose at dawn, had a swim in the harbor and showered off the salt water, then forced down some breakfast. He left his chartered yacht, walked to the berth where Expansive lay, and went aboard. BelOw, he found a makeup kit in the head, and he chose a demure dress and some shoes from a clothing cupboard. In a drawer he found fresh lingerie and, feeling odd, chose some lace bikini panties. There were no bras in the drawer. He stuffed the lot into a small duffel he found in a locker. He was about to go up the companionway stairs when he stopped and looked around.

Allison Manning was an innocent woman, he was sure of that, but if there was anything incriminating on this yacht, he wanted to know about it. He certainly

;o i wasn't going to tamper with evidence, but he needed to know what was here. He set down the duffel and went to the galley. He had no idea what sort of criminal investigation skills were available to the St. Marks police force, but he thought it wise not to leave a lot of fingerprints about. He went to the galley and found a pair of rubber kitchen gloves and put them on. Then he went to the bow of the yacht and started working his way toward the stern, looking at everything along the way. He paid particular attention to the chart table and bookcases, then moved on to the master cabin. He found nothing incriminating. Then he found himself staring at Allison Manning's briefcase.

He was torn between his lawyer's respect for his client's prixacy and the cop in him who wanted to know everything. If she was guilty, did he want to know? Probably not. Yes. Finally he made his decision; he laid the briefcase on the large bed and pressed the releases on the locks. Nothing happened. Then he saw the combination locks. Frustrated,'he tried changing the last digits one, then two notches in each direction, then he turned the combinations to zero on both sides. The case would still not unlock. 'Shit!' he said. Well, it was none of his business anyway. He left the briefcase on the bed, returned the rubber gloves to the galley, picked up the duffel, and went on deck.

He trudged up to the Shipwright's Arms and climbed upstairs to the room over the bar. Nobody ever seemed to lock anything in St. Marks; he walked in, tossed Allison's duffel onto the bed, sat down at the desk, picked up the phone, and dialed Bill Eggers's home number.

'Yeah?' Eggers said grumpily.

'It's Stone, Bill. Wake up; I need you to pay attention.'

There was a groan as Eggers apparently sat up in bed. 'What are you doing back?' he asked, awake now.

'I'm not back; I'm still in St. Marks.'

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'Then you must be in jail,' Eggers chuckled. 'I can't think of any other reason you'd call me from there.'

'Close. I have a client who's in jail, and it's very,

very serious; a murder charge.'

'Did she do it?'

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'No, but what does that matter?'

'What do you want from me?'

'She needs an English barrister badly; nobody here will defend her, for political reasons, but it's a former English colony with an English-style court system. I don't know any English barristers; you got any ideas?'

'We deal with a firm at Gray's Inn in London. Let's see, it's..' six forty-five?! Jesus, Stone; you ever hear of office hours?'