I am just about fool enough to try and make a run for it when another cop squeals up, siren going off like a wet cat, and then another one behind him. Other end of the alley is about the same picture: cop convention. There’s a whole lot of yelling going on, and I’m stuck in the middle. I know the story, how it will go with my boys in blue; how it always goes with people like me. I can sense everything I might’a thought good about them dissolving away in a white anger, hatred at the way they worked, working the law, twisting it so even when they were inside it, they were outside it.
Then it strikes me, like a slug from a champion boxer, and maybe for the first time since that day in New York City when I saw her face for the first time, I start thinking clear.
“Freeze and put your hands in the air!” yells one of the deputies. I smile, though I know I probably look like a movie monster freak.
“Which one you want?” I ask, and the guy pulls a confused face out of his chest of drawers. “Which one, freeze or put my hands up?” I ask him. He motions with his gun. I raise my hands slowly. “I’m Ferret-Eye Jack, Private Investigator,” I say. “Can I show you my badge? It’s in my left breast pocket,” I tell him, and he nods.
“Do it slowly, Mister.” I reach in and pull out the white and brown wallet stitched up with cheap leather, and let it fall open so he can see the state seal. “Throw it down next to my feet,” he tells me. “Cuff ‘im,” he says to the cop who’s come up behind me.
“As I was saying, my name is Ferret–” I start to say, but the other cop grabs me roughly from behind, forcing my arms behind me. He shoves me forward and tells me to shut my mouth, which I do, since I can’t even breathe because of the sudden, sharp pain his wrenching movement causes inside my chest. Like a burning desert in there.
He pushes me forward, and the first cop kind of nods. “You’re a PI,” he says, looking at my badge again. “That really don’t mean jack shit here, now does it? You’re under arrest for murdering two cops, doncha know? And damned if you didn�t resist arrest too.”
He gives a Significant Look at the cop behind me who instantly punches my side-my drinking side. I can feel my liver sliding westward and my lungs seize as I try to pull air from the vacuum. He hits me again and there’s spots and I–