Revenge Should Have No Bounds 107

 [If you have not already done so, you must
read the Introduction
before proceeding.]

For 1-55 (Chapters 1-13), see here.
56     57     58     59     60     61     62     63     Chap 14  056-063     64     65     66     67     68     69     70     71     72     73     74     Chap 15  064-074     75     76     77   78     79     80     81     82     83     84     Chap 16  075-084     85     86     87     88     89    90     91     92     93     94     95     Chap 17 85-95     96     97     98     99    100     101     102     103     104     105     106

Revenge Should Have No Bounds  107
Chapter 18 (12 of 15): Arrest

 “In the present situation – and please don’t take offense, as I’m just laying it out the way it is – at least one person and, assuming no accomplices, at most two people know who is or who is not the murderer.  If you did it, you know that you are the murderer and nobody else;  if you did not do it, you know that you did not do it but that someone else did.  But you don’t necessarily know who that someone else is.”

Mazarine started to protest, but Natalie cuts her off.

“No, let me finish.  Now, the problem here is that only the murderer, and nobody else, knows with any kind of epistemological certainty who actually killed Trinh.  This is an irreducible fact.  So the prosecution will do all it can to make the jury believe its theory, its narrative, which says that you are that person.  And we will do all we can to convince the jury of our theory, our narrative, that you are not that person.  And the best way to do that is to point the finger at somebody else.  If the jury can be made to believe that some other person did it or could have done it, then they have reasonable doubt that you did it.  And have to acquit you.”

“And now you have at least two suspects you can throw in the jury’s face:  Fabian and Yukiko.  Especially Yukiko.”

“Bingo!” Natalie says.  “Now you are starting to think like a defense lawyer.”

Mazarine is shaking her head.

“It seems … seems somehow such a … such a contingent way to deal with such important matters.”

“I can’t entirely disagree,” Natalie responds.  “There’s more than a little Las Vegas in any trial.  And what’s worse, in my personal opinion, is the importation of television into the court room.  What already was a kind of circus has now become theater.  And lawyers – on both sides – have turned into histrionic narcissists.  As have the judges.  And, I’m afraid, the jurors and the defendant too.  Just dreadful.”  She shakes her head, distaste clearly written on her face.  “It’s not a healthy development, this televisionization if you will of justice.  Not healthy at all.”

There is a somber lull in the conversation.

“But that’s the reality.  And between now and the trial, we are going to be working full bore to make sure that we can line up things in such a way that the jury will believe our theory of the crime.  It’s all this pre-trial stuff that takes place even before a jury is selected that can determine the outcome of the actual trial itself.  We want all evidence and witness accounts ‘in’ that supports our version of reality and keep ‘out’ everything that doesn’t.  And the defense will do the same to promote theirs.  Most juries probably don’t realize that they’re being asked to make decisions with inadequate or circumscribed information, or at least pieces of information that bias one side or the other.  And we want that bias to favor us.”

Mazarine sighs.  She is bewildered.  “So what do you want me to be doing?”

“I want you to have faith in yourself and in us.  And to try to relax.  Think of it as a forced vacation.  Above all, don’t talk to anyone about any of this unless I am present, and don’t work.  Got that!”

“Got it,” she says.  She tries to sound enthusiastic, but she is listless.

“Mazarine, I’m going to order up a limo for you that will take you back to the hotel.  Take a hot shower, order room service, try to have a relaxing evening.  By next Monday we’ll be moving you back to your own apartment.  If you need anything or can think of anything in connection with the case, be sure to call me or Danny right away.  Any time of day.”

Natalie picks up a phone and punches in a button, asking the garage to have a limo waiting for Ms. Cape at the front of the building in ten minutes.  She and Danny stand up and shake Mazarine’s hand and escort her to the door.  Natalie continues with her to the elevator and gives her an encouraging smile.

Mazarine feels in a daze, all the questions and talk of the day spinning and tumbling in her head like wet laundry in a dryer.  As she walks through the vast entry hall she sees the limo standing at the curb, and when she comes out of the building the liveried driver puts his hand to his cap and opens the door for her.  It is around four and the day is starting to wane.  The solid chunk of the car door closing behind her shuts out the cacophony of the street, and soon she is gently pushed back into the plush seat as the car pulls out into the traffic.

Back in the quiet of her tasteful suite Mazarine does take a very long and hot shower.  After using three nappy towels to dry off she puts on one of the heavy, comfortable bathrobes that hang in the bathroom.  She calls room service and orders a small salad and a poached egg with toast and coffee, and throws in a bottle of Grand Marnier and two large snifters.  She signs for everything, including the tip, and is at last alone.  Her favorite time of day is here, and she chews thoughtfully on her food as she gazes out one of the large windows into the darkening evening and the light-studded city stretching out below her.

She tries to assimilate and organize the day’s experience at Wu, Hsien, Blair & Balthazar.

First, what are the positive things in her current situation?  She is reassured by having Natalie Siu and the backing of the large law firm in her corner.  Natalie strikes her as supremely competent at what she does, and if anyone can help her, it is Natalie Siu and Wu, Hsien, Blair & Balthazar.  She has enough money to see this whole thing through and still have enough left to live a good life even if she decided not to go back to work.  This also is reassuring.  The sudden appearance of Agung lifted her spirits greatly, for several reasons.  She knows that she has, as they say, “a thing” for him, and to see him coming to her rescue in the way that he did in that courtroom last Monday …  it had given her goose bumps.  Like a dark knight in shining armor.  He had looked so delicious.  And as she had pointed out to Natalie, she had a strong intimation that, as powerfully as he had already affected the course of events in this trial, he would somehow appear in the action in the not too distant future.  She recalled the thrilling tale that her friend Chick had once told her about what he’d referred to as ‘The Wyang Caper’ – replete with the gathering of vast resources, the application of steely determination, and a goal-oriented intensity that had proved so dreadfully disastrous for the unfortunates who had tried to take advantage of Agung.  It felt more than comforting to realize that this kind of power was massed on her side, however it might play out in her particular case.

TO BE CONTINUED

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