told her some secret . . .” Again, he just trailed off. It sounded so lame. “She told me he’d never let her stay down there if he knew she was in jail, but it was his secret to tell, not hers. She promised him.”
Canetta had no solace to offer. Hardy could see what he was thinking and didn’t blame him. “Well, good luck.”
He drove around for a while, trying to decide to visit the jail again, go home and sleep, wake up a judge. Everything felt wrong. Finally he wound up on Sutter Street, where he worked.
Upstairs in his office, Hardy called and woke up Glitsky at home. The lieutenant agreed that Ron Beaumont’s disappearance, if that’s what it was, increased his profile as a murder suspect. It didn’t help Frannie either. Finally, Glitsky promised that he would get in early tomorrow and talk to Scott Randall, maybe try to pull a string or two at the jail, but he didn’t hold out much hope.
After he hung up, Hardy thought a moment and seriously considered a night raid on Braun’s house, maybe getting David Freeman to accompany him, make his case to the judge. But he knew he’d only make things worse with any kind of spontaneous act in the mood he was in.
He had to think, develop a plan, stay rational. But the thought of his wife lying on one of the jail cots, surrounded by scum, terrified and unprotected, made this a tall order.
It took very little imagination to see her there, curled under the thin fabric of the institutional blanket. Smells of disinfectant, sounds of desperation. Wide-eyed and sleepless on the unyielding mattress, wondering what she’d done, how it had happened. What tomorrow would bring.
Four days! Hardy suddenly sat upright with the realization. Braun had given her four days. She couldn’t do four days, even in AdSeg. He knew his wife, or thought he did. Four days in jail would cause a lot of damage that would be a long time healing.
He sat trying to come up with something, anything. But it was the middle of the night, the world was asleep. At a little after one o’clock, he accepted that he’d failed. He wasn’t getting his wife out of jail today. If he didn’t get at least a little rest, he wouldn’t be any good for her tomorrow either.
There was nothing to do but go home.
But his night wasn’t over yet.
His house was a railroad-style Victorian—a long hallway down one side with rooms coming off to the right—about fifteen blocks from the beach, well within San Francisco’s belt of nearly perennial fog. He’d run into the wall of it, and by the time he’d reached his street, his windshield wipers were beating a steady rhythm. Of course there was no available street parking, but tonight he decided to take the risk and left his car in a no-parking zone right around the corner on Clement. He figured he’d be up and out before dawn anyway—most days the parking enforcers didn’t get rolling until well after that.
The house sat between a brace of four-story apartment buildings and was set back maybe forty feet from the curb. Hardy couldn’t see it until he was right in front. As he opened the gate through the white picket fence, he couldn’t see Moses, either, sitting on the darkened porch with his back against the front door. “Where is she?”
The surprise of the voice out of the dead night fog almost knocked him backward. When he got moving again, he didn’t waste any words. “Still locked up. Let’s go inside.”
Erin sat in her bathrobe, her feet up under her in the window seat, the blinds closed against the night and the fog. Moses paced in front of the fire’s embers. Ed Cochran snored gently in Hardy’s favorite recliner, so Hardy had pulled in one of the dining room chairs and now straddled it backward. After twenty minutes of regalingthem with the highlights of his frustrating night, he’d just asked if either one of them had heard