While Drowning in the Desert

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Book: While Drowning in the Desert by Don Winslow Read Free Book Online
Authors: Don Winslow
Tags: Fiction, General, Thrillers
Street
    Los Angeles, CA
    4 August 1983
    Dear Pamela A. Holmstrum,
    Realizing now that you have recently emigrated from the unsullied moral purity of the prairie, I understand just how shocking and offensive you must find the corrupt stench of the former Bear Flag Republic. How awful it must be to emerge still fresh-faced and dewy-eyed from your white clapboard Methodist Church, hymnal clutched in your firm hand, to find that not all the world is as honest as the yeoman tillers of the land who were your plain, straight-shootin’ kinfolk in Omaha.
    Nevertheless, when in Sodom and Gommorah …
    Pay the money, Pam. Pay it now. Without an eyewitness to this arson we are hosed.
    You are a small insurance company. I am a small-time lawyer. And even Thomas Jefferson was never cross-examined by Eugene Petkovitch.
Sincerely,
Craig D. Schaeffer
    P.S.: Doubtless you are a tall, blonde, blue-eyed right-wing Christian conservative who reads National Review, is a member of the NRA, voted for Reagan and sits around her house watching John Wayne videos. Am I right?
    Ms. Pamela A. Holmstrum
Claims Superintendent
Western States Insurance Co.
801 Flower Street
Los Angeles, CA
    Craig D. Schaeffer
    Attorney- at-Law
    3615 Monterey
    Palm Desert, CA
    7 August 1983
    Dear Craig,
    Small is as small does.
    Western States Insurance Company is small in the sense that it does not have $15,000,000 to give away. I’m afraid we are saving this money for foolish things like hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and accidental fires.
    The question is: Are you a small lawyer? We need proof? Get proof. We need an eyewitness? Get an eyewitness.
Cheers,
Pamela
    P.S.: As a matter of fact, I’m a short, brown-eyed brunette. Yes, I am a Methodist, no I am not a member of the NRA, and yes I voted for President Reagan. And yes, I do from time to time like to watch the Duke. You are probably short, have black hair, bottle-thick glasses, read The New Republic, are a member of the ACLU, voted for that loser Carter, and go to Woody Allen movies. Just curious.
    P.P.S.: And it’s Lincoln, not Omaha.
    Craig D. Schaeffer
Attorney- at-Law
3615 Monterey
Palm Desert, CA
    Ms. Pamela A. Holmstrum
    Claims Superintendent
    Western States Insurance Co.
    801 Flower Street
    Los Angeles, CA
    8 August 1983
    Dear Pamela,
As the Muller household was built in a failing real-estate development, he had only one neighbor, a Mr. Nathan Silverstein. Mr. Silverstein is eighty-six years old and, when I contacted him in my initial investigation, claims to have seen “nothing— bubkus. ” Nevertheless I have tried to recontact Mr. Silverstein but he does not seem to be in town. I shall keep trying.
But I must still recommend that you lower your testosterone level and settle this file.
Sincerely,
Craig
P.S.: Thank you for your characterization of me as your stereotypical “Jew lawyer.” Sorry to shatter your dearly held illusions, but I am six-three, blue-eyed with straight black hair. Yes, I am a Democrat, a proud member of the ACLU, and voted against Ronald Reagan numerous times. I liked Woody Allen before he decided that he was Ingmar Bergman.
    By Fax
    Dear Craig,
    If I get rid of some excess testosterone as you suggest, shall I send it to you? Sounds like you could use some.
Pam
    By Fax
    Dear Pam,
    I am the Palm Desert triathlete champion in the 35-43 age bracket.
Craig
    By Fax
    Dear Craig,
    I could run, swim, and bike you into the ground.
Pam
    By Fax
    Pam,
    Want to meet for lunch Monday and discuss it?
Craig
    By Fax
    Craig,
    You bet.
Pam

Chapter 11
    Of course I didn’t have the benefit of seeing this epistolary yuppie romance until it was too late. Ditto the tapes that the testosteronally challenged—by Pam Holmstrum—Craig Schaeffer went out and got from Heinz Muller’s telephone:
    10 August. From a tape made by Attorney Craig D. Schaeffer of a conversation between Heinz Muller (HM) and Amin Abdullah (AA).
    AA: Hello, Heinz?
    HM: This is my home telephone.
    AA: I know, this is why I

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