Revenge Should Have No Bounds 109

 [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     107     108

Revenge Should Have No Bounds  109
Chapter 18 (14 of 15): Arrest

Could it have been Yukiko?  But why?  Mazarine knew from personal experience that Yukiko was not quite as tightly wrapped as she often gave people to believe who did not know her close up.  There was an element of instability there, of an emotional iciness:  her dealings with Mazarine herself, with the Malaysian woman Su Lien, with men in general, with the world.  But did these … these idiosyncracies translate into murder?  Mazarine did find that hard to believe, too.  So, somebody none of them knew anything about?  Somebody Trinh had known at the university?  Was it, as in so many TV mysteries, the most obvious person of all, the person who was so obvious nobody would even have considered it?  Who was the most obvious person in this instance?  Somebody from her family.  Could it be one of them?  But what could the motive possibly have been?  Out of the question.  Absolutely.  Well, then?  Who? Who? Who?

Mazarine was growing woozy churning all of this in her head.  She drained the last of the liqueur and headed into the bedroom.  Letting the bathrobe fall on the floor she crawled naked in between the cool sheets of the huge bed and fell into the deep, dreamless sleep of an innocent.

By Tuesday, eight days after the bail hearing, Mazarine moves back to her own apartment.  Natalie feels that the media will have moved on to other things by then, and will pretty much leave her alone until the trial starts in July.  If she is contacted by anyone, she is to say nothing – only refer all calls to Natalie.  Mazarine has an answering machine and uses it zealously to screen out all calls from reporters and television media requesting interviews, and since she answers none of them and returns no calls, soon even these stop.  Natalie has arranged for an upscale grocery store to deliver necessities to Mazarine’s apartment, so she has no need to run a gauntlet of reporters potentially camping out by her apartment house.  Even these hardy scoopers finally give up.  In early February Natalie gives her the all clear, and she deems it safe for Mazarine, suitably attired, or disguised, to venture out for walks, coffee shops, and some of the less popular restaurants.

The days go by for her, sometimes too fast, sometimes too slow.  January turns into February and winter turns into spring.  There are periodic strategy meetings at Natalie’s office and many phone calls between the lawyers and Mazarine.  Her team seems generally optimistic and talk encouragingly of the possibility for a verdict of not guilty.  Mazarine maintains that fervent hope.

In the interstices of these lonely days Mazarine is drawn to old and comfortable friends, her collection of classical texts – the light blue Teubner editions and the navy blue volumes in the series of Oxford Classical Texts.  She is delighted to recognize that she can still handle the Greek and reads desultorily in Homer’s Odyssey with all its complex themes of change and transformation.  This in turn leads her to her favorite Roman poem, the Metamorphoses of Ovid, whose slick Latin is still easy on her eyes;  these richly textured stories of erotic angst and psychic as well as physical conversions captivate her as they always have.  She is brought finally to that masterful modern exploration of change, Die Verwandlung by Franz Kafka, and in her bilingual edition she can get through the German without difficulty.  Homer, Ovid, Kafka:  she immerses herself in these narratives, reads short sections and stops to contemplate their import, takes notes, and composes personalized critiques befitting her present predicament.

It is against this backdrop of narratives of metamorphosis that she one day also takes percipient note of an important change in herself.  She has always thought of herself as an easy-going person, the type who pretty much lives and lets live.  She has never been one to harbor resentments or wasted much time in angry recriminations at real or imagined slights from others.   But now, as the months go by and her reading deepens, she senses a growing anger within her, a rage even.  Here she is, going about her business, providing important and powerful men what they want, paying all her taxes, harming no one, and suddenly she finds herself starring in a world-class media trial for a murder that she did not commit.  Somebody has built a convincing frame.  And as a result she may well end up spending the rest of her life in jail.  As the spring wears on she moves beyond a concern with merely proving her own innocence.  She wants to find out who is responsible for Trinh’s murder and for putting her, Mazarine, life in legal jeopardy.  The more she mulls over her situation, the more she begins to think in terms of revenge and payback, feelings quite novel to her way of approaching life.  She begins to contemplate ways in which, to put it crudely, she can get back.  If, that is, she is acquitted, and has the freedom to go down that road.  Or should she simply forget it?  At first she vacillates, a bit frightened by the rage that powers her thinking, which she likens to a favorite pet suddenly turned wild animal and straining to throw off all restraints.  But the more she contemplates what has happened to her, the more she allows herself to seethe and the more obdurate does her resolve to do something deeply vengeful about it become.

In late June she has an afternoon conference with Natalie and Danny.  They want to discuss a deposition made by Yukiko and the matter of expert testimony regarding the physical evidence that lies at the heart of the case against her:  Mazarine’s hair and the note found on Trinh’s corpse.

Mazarine is shocked to learn the content of Yukiko’s deposition.

TO BE CONTINUED

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