Tell me your dreams, p.21
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       Tell Me Your Dreams, p.21
 

           Sidney Sheldon
Chapter Twenty-One

  HE rewrote the scenes in his mind, over and over again, endlessly.

  I saw the news this morning. Dr. Patterson. I can't tell you how very sorry I am.

  Yes. It's been quite a blow. I need your help, David.

  Of course. Anything I can do.

  I want you to represent Ashley.

  I can't do that. I'm not a criminal defense lawyer. But I can recommend a great attorney, Jesse Quitter.

  That will be fine. Thank you, David. . . .

  You're an anxious young fellow, aren't you? Our meeting wasn't supposed to be until five o'clock. Well, I have good news for you. We're making you a partner.

  * * *

  You asked to see me?

  Yes, Your Honor. They're talking about this trial on the Internet, and they've already convicted the defendant. This could seriously damage the defense. Therefore, I'm making a motion for a mistrial.

  I think those are excellent grounds for a mistrial, Mr. Singer. I'm going to grant it. . . .

  The bitter-tasting game of "what if. ". . .

  The following morning, the court was in session.

  "Is the prosecution ready to make its closing argument?" Brennan stood up. He walked over to the jury box and looked at the jurors one by one.

  "You're in a position to make history here. If you believe that the defendant is really a lot of different people and she's not responsible for what she's done, for the terrible crimes she committed, and you let her go, then you're saying that anybody can get away with murder by simply claiming that they didn't do it, that some mysterious alter ego did it. They can rob, rape and kill, and are they guilty? No. I didn't do it. My alter ego did it. ' Ken or Joe or Suzy or whatever they want to call themselves. Well, I think you're all too intelligent to fall for that fantasy. The reality is in those photographs you looked at. Those people weren't murdered by any alter egos. They were all deliberately, calculatedly, cruelly murdered by the defendant sitting at that table, Ashley Patterson. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, what the defense has tried to do in this court has been tried before. In Mann Versus Teller, the decision was that a finding of MPD does not, per se, require a finding of acquittal. In United States Versus Whirley, a nurse who murdered a baby pleaded that she had MPD. The court found her guilty.

  "You know, I almost feel sorry for the defendant. . All those characters living in that poor girl. I'm sure none of us would want a bunch of crazy strangers moving around inside us, would we? Going around murdering and castrating men. I'd be scared. "

  He turned to look at Ashley. "The defendant doesn't seem scared, does she? Not too scared to put on a pretty dress and comb her hair nicely and apply makeup. Six doesn't seem scared at all. She thinks you're going to believe her story and let her go. No one can prove whether this multiple personality disorder really exists at all, so we're going to have to make our own judgments.

  "The defense claims that these characters come out and take over. Let's see - there's Toni; she was born ii England. And Alette; she was born in Italy. They're al the same person. They were just born in different countries at different times. Does that confuse you? I know it confuses me. I offered the defendant a chance to let us see her alters, but she didn't take me up on it. I wonder why? Could it be because they don't exist. . . ? Does California law recognize MPD as a mental condition? No. Colorado law? No. Mississippi? No. Federal law? No. As a matter of fact, no state has a law confirming MPD as a legal defense. And why? Because it isn't a defense. Ladies and gentlemen, it's a fictitious alibi to punishment. . . . "

  "What the defense is asking you to believe is that are two people inside the defendant, so no one bears any responsibility for her criminal actions. But there is only one defendant sitting in this courtroom - Ashley Patterson. We have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that she is a murderer. But she claims she didn't commit the crimes. That was done by someone else, someone who borrowed her body to kill innocent people - her alters. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all had alters, someone to carry out anything we secretly wanted done that society doesn't permit? Or maybe not. Would you like to live in a world where people could go around murdering others and say, 'You can't touch me, my alter did it' and 'You can't punish my alter because my alter is really me'?

  "But this trial is not about some mythical characters who don't exist. The defendant, Ashley Patterson, is on trial for three vicious, cold-blooded murders, and the state is asking the death penalty. Thank you. "

  Mickey Brennan returned to his seat.

  "Is the defense ready to present its closing argument?"

  David rose. He walked to the jury box and looked into the faces of the jurors, and what he saw there was disheartening. "I know that this has been a very difficult case for all of us. You've heard experts testify that they've treated multiple personality disorder, and you've heard other experts testify that there is no such thing. You're not doctors, so no one expects you to make your judgment based on medical knowledge. I want to apologize to all of you if my behavior yesterday seemed boorish. I yelled at Ashley Patterson only because I wanted to force her alters to come out. I've talked to those alters. I know they exist. There really is an Alette and a Toni, and they can control Ashley anytime they want to. She has no knowledge of committing any murders.

  "I told you at the beginning of this trial that for someone to be convicted of first-degree murder, there has to be physical evidence and a motive. There is no motive here, ladies and gentlemen. None. And the law says that the prosecution must prove a defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. I'm sure you'll agree that in this case, there is a reasonable doubt.

  "As far as proof is concerned, the defense does not question it. There are Ashley Patterson's fingerprints and traces of DNA at each of the crime scenes. But the very fact that they are there should give us pause. Ashley Patterson is an intelligent young woman. If she committed a murder and did not want to be caught, would she have been stupid enough to leave her fingerprints at each one of the scenes? The answer is no. "

  David went on for another thirty minutes. At the end, he looked at their faces and was not reassured. He sat down.

  Judge Williams turned to the jurors. "I want to instruct you now on the applicable law to this case. I want you to listen carefully. " She talked for the next twenty minutes, detailing what was admissible and allowable by law.

  "If you have any questions, or want any part of the testimony read back to you, the court reporter will do so. The jury is excused to go deliberate. Court is adjourned until they return with their verdict. "

  David watched the jury file out of the box and into the jury room. The longer the jurors take, the better our chances, David thought. The jurors returned forty-five minutes later.

  David and Ashley watched as the jurors filed in and took their seats in the jury box. Ashley was stone-faced. David found that he was perspiring.

  Judge Williams turned to the jury foreman. "Have the jurors reached a verdict?"

  "We have. Your Honor. "

  "Would you please hand it to the bailiff. "

  The bailiff carried the piece of paper to the judge. Judge Williams unfolded it. There was not a sound in the courtroom.

  The bailiff returned the paper to the jury foreman. "Would you read the verdict, please?"

  In a slow, measured tone, he read, "In the case of The People of the State of California Versus Ashley Patterson, we, the jury, in the above entitled action, find the defendant, Ashley Patterson, guilty of the murder of Dennis Tibble, a violation of Penal Code Section 187. "

  There was a gasp in the courtroom. Ashley shut her eyes tightly.

  "In the case of The People of the State of California Versus Ashley Patterson, we, the jury, in the above entitled action, find the defendant, Ashley Patterson, guilty of the murder of deputy Samuel Blake, a violation of Penal Code Section 187.

  "In the case of The People of the State of California Versus Ashl
ey Patterson, we, the jury, in the above entitled action, find the defendant, Ashley Patterson, guilty of the murder of Richard Melton, a violation of Penal Code Section 187. We, the jury, in all the verdicts, further fix the degree at first degree. "

  David was finding it difficult to breathe. He turned to Ashley, but he had no words. He leaned over and put his arms around her.

  Judge Williams said, "I would like to have the jury polled. " One by one, each juror stood up.

  "Was the verdict read, your verdict?"

  And when each one had affirmed it, Judge Williams said, "The verdict will be recorded and entered into the record. " She went on. "I want to thank the jury for their time and service in this case. You're dismissed. Tomorrow the court will take up the issue of sanity. "

  David sat there, numb, watching Ashley being led away.

  Judge Williams got up and walked to her chambers without looking at David. Her attitude told David more clearly than words what her decision was going to be in the morning. Ashley was going to be sentenced to die.

  Sandra called from San Francisco. "Are you all right, David?"

  He tried to sound cheerful. "Yes, I'm great. How are you feeling?"

  "I'm fine. I've been watching the news on television. The judge wasn't fair to you. She can't have you disbarred. You were only trying to help your client. "

  He had no answer.

  "I'm so sorry, David. I wish were with you. I could drive down and - "

  "No," David said. "We can't take any chances. Did you see the doctor today?"

  "Yes. "

  "What did he say?"

  "Very soon now. Any day. " Happy birthday, Jeffrey.

  Jesse Quiller called. "I bungled it," David said.

  "Like hell you did. You got the wrong judge. What did you ever do to get ho: so down on you?"

  David said, "She wanted me to plea-bargain. She didn't want this to go to trial. Maybe I should have listened to her. "

  All the television channels were full of the news of his disgrace. He watched one of the network's legal experts discussing the case.

  "I've never heard of a defending attorney screaming at his own client before. I must tell you, the courtroom was stunned. It was one of the most outrageous - "

  David switched off the station. Where did it all go wrong? Life is supposed to have a happy ending. Because I've bungled everything, Ashley's going to die. I'm going to be disbarred, the baby's going to be born any minute and I don't even have a job.

  He sat in his hotel room in the middle of the night, staring into the darkness. It was the lowest moment of his life. Playing over and over again in his mind was the final courtroom scene. "You can't hypnotize her in my courtroom. The answer is no. "

  If only she had let me hypnotize Ashley on the stand, I know she would have convinced the jury. Too late. It's all over now.

  And a small, nagging voice in his mind said. Who says it's over? I don't hear the fat lady singing.

  There's nothing more I can do.

  Your client is innocent. Are you going to let her die?

  Leave me alone.

  Judge Williams's words kept echoing in his mind.

  "You can't hypnotize her in my courtroom. "

  And three words kept repeating themselves - "in my courtroom. "

  At five o'clock in the morning, David made two excited, urgent phone calls. As he finished, the sun was just beginning to appear over the horizon. It's an omen, David thought. We're going to win.

  A little later, David hurried into an antiques store.

  The clerk approached him. "May I help you, sir?" He recognized David. "Mr. Singer. "

  "I'm looking for a folding Chinese screen. Do you have something like that?"

  "Yes, we do. We don't have any real antique screens, but-"

  "Let's see what you have. "

  "Certainly. " He led David over to the section where there were several Chinese folding screens. The clerk pointed to the first one. "Now, this one - "

  "That's fine," David said.

  "Yes, sir. Where shall I send it?"

  "I'll take it with me. "

  David's next stop was at a hardware store, where he bought a Swiss Army knife. Fifteen minutes later, he was walking into the lobby of the courthouse carrying the screen. He said to the guard at the desk, "I made arrangements to interview Ashley Patterson. I have permission to use Judge Goldberg's chambers. He's not here today. "

  The guard said, "Yes, sir. It's all set. I'll have the defendant brought up. Dr. Salem and another man are already up there, waiting. "

  "Thank you. "

  The guard watched David carry the Chinese screen into the elevator. Crazy as a loon, he thought.

  Judge Goldberg's chamber was a comfortable-looking room with a desk facing the window, a swivel chair, and near one wall a couch and several chars. Dr. Salem and another man were standing in the room when David entered.

  "Sorry I'm late," David said.

  Dr. Salem said, "This is Hugh Iverson. He's the expert you asked for. "

  The two men shook hands. "Let's get set up fast," David said. "Ashley's on her way here. "

  He turned to Hugh Iverson and pointed to a corner of the room. "How's that for you?"

  "Fine. "

  He watched Iverson go to work. A few minutes later, the door opened and Ashley entered with a guard. "I'll have to stay in the room," the guard said.

  David nodded. "That's all right. " He turned to Ashley. "Sit down, please. "

  He watched her take a seat. "First of all, I want to tell you how terribly sorry I am about the way things went. "

  She nodded, almost dazed.

  "But it's not over yet. We still have a chance. "

  She looked at him with disbelieving eyes.

  "Ashley, I would like Dr. Salem to hypnotize you again. "

  "No. What's the point in - "

  "Do it for me. Will you?"

  She shrugged.

  David nodded to Dr. Salem.

  Dr. Salem said to Ashley, "We've done this before, so you know that all you have to do is close your eyes and relax. Just relax. Feel all the muscles in your body letting go of all the tension. All you want to do is sleep. You're getting very drowsy. . . . "

  Ten minutes later. Dr. Salem looked at David and said, "She's completely under. "

  David moved toward Ashley, and his heart was pounding.

  "I want to talk to Toni. "

  There was no reaction.

  David raised his voice. "Toni, I want you to come out. Do you hear me? Alette. . . want you both to talk tome. "

  Silence.

  David was yelling now. "What's the matter with you? Are you too frightened? That's what happened in the courtroom, isn't it? Did you hear what the jury said? Ashley's guilty. You were afraid to come out. You're a coward, Toni!"

  They looked at Ashley. There was no reaction. David looked at Dr. Salem in despair. It was not going to work.

  "Court is now in session. The Honorable Judge Tessa Williams presiding. "

  Ashley was seated at the defendant's table next to David. David's hand was wrapped in a large bandage.

  David rose. "May I approach the bench? Your Honor?"

  "You may. "

  David walked toward the bench. Brennan followed him.

  David said, "I would like to present new evidence to this case. "

  "Absolutely not," Brennan objected.

  Judge Williams turned to him and said, "Let me make that decision, Mr. Brennan. " She turned back to David.

  "The trial is over. Your client has been convicted and-"

  "This concerns the insanity plea," David said. "All I'm asking for is ten minutes of your time. "

  Judge Williams said angrily, "Time doesn't mean much to you, does it, Mr. Singer? You have already wasted a great deal of everyone's time. " She made her decision. "All right. I hope this is the last request you'll
ever be able to make in a court of law. The court is recessed for ten minutes. "

  David and Brennan followed the judge to her chambers.

  She turned to David. "I'm giving you your ten minutes. What is it, Counselor?"

  "I want to show you a piece of film. Your Honor. " Brennan said, I don't see what this has to do with - "

  Judge Williams said to Brennan, "I don't, either. " She turned to David. "You now have nine minutes. "

  David hurried over to the door leading to the hallway and opened it. "Come in. "

  Hugh Iverson walked in, carrying a sixteen-millimeter projector and a portable screen. "Where should I set it up?"

  David pointed to a corner of the room. "Over there. "

  They watched as the man set up the equipment and plugged in the projector.

  "May I pull down the shades?" David asked.

  It was all Judge Williams could do to hold back her anger. "Yes, you go right ahead, Mr. Singer. " She looked at her watch. "You have seven minutes. "

  The projector was turned on. Judge Goldberg's chambers flickered onto the screen. David and Dr. Salem were watching Ashley, who was seated in a chair.

  On the screen, Dr. Salem said, "She's completely under. "

  David walked up to Ashley. "I want to talk to Toni. . . . Toni, want you to come out. Do you hear me? Alette. . . want you both to talk to me. "

  Silence.

  Judge Williams sat there, her face tight, watching the film.

  David was yelling now. "What's the matter with you? Are you too frightened? That's what happened in the courtroom, isn't it? Did you hear what the jury said? Ashley's guilty. You were afraid to come out. You're a coward, Toni!"

  Judge Williams got to her feet. "I've had enough of this! I've seen this disgusting performance before. Your time is up, Mr. Singer. "

  "Wait," David said. "You haven't - "

  "It's finished," Judge Williams told him and started for the door. Suddenly, a song began to fill the room.

  "A penny for a spool of thread.

  A penny for a needle.

  That's the way the money goes,

  Pop! goes the weasel. "

  Puzzled, Judge Williams turned around. She looked at the picture on the screen.

  Ashley's face had completely changed. It was Toni. Toni said angrily, "Too frightened to come out in court? Did you really think I would come out just because you ordered me to? What do you think I am, a trained pony?"

  Judge Williams slowly moved back into the room, staring at the film.

  "I listened to all those bloody gits making fools of themselves. " She mimicked one of their voices. " 'I don't think that multiple personality disorder exists. ' What idiots. I've never seen such - "

  As they watched, Ashley's face changed again. She seemed to relax in her chair, and her face took on a shy look. In her Italian accent, Alette said, "Mr. Singer, know you did the best you could. I wanted to appear in court and help you, but Toni wouldn't let me. " Judge Williams was watching, her face blank. The face and voice changed again. "You're bleeding right wouldn't," Toni said.

  David said, "Toni, what do you think is going to happen to you if the judge gives Ashley the death sentence?"

  "She's not going to give her the death sentence. Ashley didn't even know one of the men. Remember?"

  David said, "But Alette knew them all. You committed those murders, Alette. You had sex with those men and then you stabbed them to death and castrated them. . . . "

  Toni said, "You bloody idiot! You don't know anything, do you? Alette would never have had the nerve to do that. I did it. They deserved to die. All they wanted to do was have sex. " She was breathing hard. "But I made them all pay for it, didn't I? And no one can ever prove I did it. Let little Miss Goody Two-shoes take the blame. We'll all go to a nice cozy asylum and - "

  In the background, behind the Chinese screen in the corner, there was a loud click.

  Toni turned. "What was that?"

  "Nothing," David said quickly. "It was just - "

  Toni rose and started running toward the camera until her face filled the screen. She pushed against something, and the scene tilled; part of the folding Chinese screen fell into the picture. A small hole had been cut in the center.

  "You've got a fucking camera behind here," Toni screamed. She turned to David. "You son of a bitch, what are you trying to do? You tricked me!"

  On the desk was a letter opener. Toni grabbed it and lunged at David, screaming, "I'm going to kill you. I'm going to kill you!"

  David tried to hold her, but he was no match for her. The letter opener sliced into his hand.

  Toni raised her arm to strike again, and the guard ran to her and tried to grab her. Toni knocked him to the floor. The door opened and a uniformed officer ran in. When he saw what was happening, he lunged at Toni. She kicked him in the groin, and he went down. Two more officers came running in. It took three of them to pin Toni to the chair, and all the time she was yelling and screaming at them.

  Blood was pouring from David's hand. He said to Dr. Salem, "For God's sake, wake her up. "

  Dr. Salem said, "Ashley. . . Ashley. . . listen to me. You're going to come out now. Toni is gone. It's safe to come out now, Ashley. I'm going to count to three. "

  And as the group watched, Ashley's body became quiet and relaxed.

  "Can you hear me?"

  "Yes. " It was Ashley's voice, sounding far away.

  "You'll awaken at the count of three. One. . . two. . . three. . . How do you feel?"

  Her eyes opened. "I feel so tired. Did I say anything?"

  The screen in Judge Williams' s office went blank. David walked over to the wall and turned on the lights.

  Brennan said, "Well! What a performance. If they were giving out Oscars for the best - "

  Judge Williams turned to him. "Shut up. " Brennan looked at her, in shock. There was a momentary silence. Judge Williams turned to David. "Counselor. "

  "Yes?" There was a pause. "I owe you an apology. "

  Seated on the bench, Judge Tessa Williams said, "Both counsels have agreed that they will accept the opinion of a psychiatrist who has already examined the defendant, Dr. Salem. The decision of this court is that the defendant is not guilty by reason of insanity. She will be ordered to a mental health facility, where she can be treated. The court is now adjourned. '

  David stood up, drained. It's over, he thought. It's finally over. He and Sandra could start living their lives again.

  He looked at Judge Williams and said happily, "We're having a baby. "

  Dr. Salem said to David, "I would like to make a suggestion. I'm not sure it can be done, but if you can arrange it, I think it would be helpful to Ashley. "

  "What is it?"

  "The Connecticut Psychiatric Hospital back east has handled more cases of MPD than any other place in the country. A friend of mine, Dr. Otto Lewison, is in charge of it. If you could arrange for the court to have Ashley sent there, I think it would be very beneficial. "

  "Thanks," David said. "I'll see what I can do. "

  Dr. Steven Patterson said to David, "I - I don't know how to thank you. "

  David smiled. "You don't have to. It was quid pro quo. Remember?"

  "You did a brilliant job. For a while I was afraid - "

  "So was I. "

  "But justice has been served. My daughter's going to be cured. "

  "I'm sure of it," David said. "Dr. Salem suggested a psychiatric hospital in Connecticut. Their doctors are trained in MPD. "

  Dr. Patterson was silent for a moment. "You know, Ashley didn't deserve any of this. She's such a beautiful person. "

  "I agree. I'll talk to Judge Williams and try to get the transfer. "

  Judge Williams was in her chambers. "What can I do for you, Mr. Singer?"

  "I'd like to ask a favor. " She smiled. "I hope I can grant it. What is it?" David explained to the judge what Dr. Salem h
ad told him.

  "Well, that's a rather unusual request. We have some fine psychiatric facilities right here in California. "

  David said, "All right. Thank you. Your Honor. " He turned to leave, disappointed.

  "I haven't said no, Mr. Singer. " David stopped. "It's an unusual request, but this has been an unusual case. " David waited.

  "I think I can arrange for her to be transferred. "

  "Thank you. Your Honor. I appreciate it. "

  In her cell, Ashley thought. They've sentenced me to death. A long death in an asylum filled with crazy people. It would have been kinder to kill me now. She thought of the endless, hopeless years ahead of her, and she began to sob.

  The cell door opened, and her father came in. He stood there a moment, looking at her, his face filled with anguish.

  "Honey. . . " He sat down opposite her. "You're going to live," he said.

  She shook her head. "I don't want to live. "

  "Don't say that. You have a medical problem, but it can be cured. And it's going to be. When you're better, you're going to come and live with me, and I'll take care of you. No matter what happens, we'll always have each other. They can't take that away from us. "

  Ashley sat there, saying nothing.

  "I know how you're feeling right now, but believe me, that's going to change. My girl is going to come home to me, cured. " He slowly got to his feet "I'm afraid I have to get back to San Francisco. " He waited for Ashley to say something.

  She was silent.

  "David told me that he thinks you're going to be sent to one of the best psychiatric centers in the world. I'll come and visit you. Would you like that?"

  She nodded, dully. "Yes. "

  "All right, honey. " He kissed her on the cheek and gave her a hug. "I'm going to see to it that you have the best care in the world. I want my little girl back. "

  Ashley watched her father leave, and she thought, Why can't I die now? Why won't they let me die? One hour later, David came to see her. "Well, we did it," he said. He looked at her in concern. "Are you all right?"

  "I don't want to go to an insane asylum. I want to die. I can't stand living like this. Help me, David. Please help me. "

  "Ashley, you're going to get help. The past is over. You have a future now. The nightmare is going to be finished. " He took her hand. "Look, you've trusted me this far. Keep trusting me. You're going to live a normal life again. "

  She sat there, silent.

  "Say 'I believe you, David. ' "

  She took a deep breath. "I - I believe you, David. "

  He grinned. "Good girl. This is a new beginning for you. "

  The moment the ruling was made public, the media went crazy. Overnight, David was a hero. He had taken an impossible case and won it. He called Sandra. "Honey, I - "

  "I know, darling. I know. I just saw it on television. Isn't it wonderful? I'm so proud of you. "

  "I can't tell you how glad I am that it's over. I'll be coming back tonight. I can't wait to see - "

  "David. . . ?"

  "Yes?"

  "David. . . oooh. . . "

  "Yes? What's wrong, honey?"

  ". . . Oooh. . . We're having a baby. . . . "

  "Wait for me!" David shouted.

  Jeffrey Singer weighed eight pounds, ten ounces, and was the most beautiful baby David had ever seen.

  "He looks just like you, David," Sandra said.

  "He does, doesn't he?" David beamed.

  "I'm glad everything turned out so well," Sandra said.

  David sighed. "There were times when I wasn't so sure".

  "I never doubted you. "

  David bugged Sandra and said, "I'll be back, honey. I have to clean out my things at the office. "

  When David arrived at the offices of Kincaid, Turner, Rose & Ripley, he was greeted warmly.

  "Congratulations, David. . . "

  "Good job. . . "

  "You really showed them. . . . "

  David walked into his office. Holly was gone. David started cleaning out his desk.

  "David - "

  David turned around. It was Joseph Kincaid.

  Kincaid walked up to him and said, "What are you doing?"

  "I'm cleaning out my office. I was fired. "

  Kincaid smiled. "Fired? Of course not No, no, no. There was some kind of a misunderstanding. " He beamed. "We're making you a partner, my boy. In fact, I've set up a press conference for you here this afternoon at three o'clock. "

  David looked at him. "Really?"

  Kincaid nodded. "Absolutely. "

  David said, "You'd better cancel it. I've decided to go back into criminal law. I've been offered a partnership by Jesse Quiller. At least when you're dealing with that part of the law, you know who the criminals really are. So, Joey, baby, you take your partnership and shove it where the sun don't shine. "

  And David walked out of the office.

  * * *

  Jesse Quiller looked around the penthouse and said, "This is great. It really becomes you two. "

  "Thank you," Sandra said. She heard a sound from the nursery. "I'd better check on Jeffrey. " She hurried off to the next room.

  Jesse Quiller walked over to admire a beautiful sterling silver picture frame with Jeffrey's first photograph already in it. "This is lovely. Where did it come from?"

  "Judge Williams sent it"

  Jesse said, "I'm glad to have you back, partner. "

  "I'm glad to be back, Jesse. "

  "You'll probably want a little time to relax now. Rest up a little. . . . "

  "Yes. We thought we'd take Jeffrey and drive up Oregon to visit Sandra's parents and - "

  "By the way, an interesting case came into the of this morning, David. This woman is accused of murdering her two children. I have a feeling she's innocent. Unfortunately, I'm going to Washington on another case, but I thought that you might just talk to her and see what you think. . . . "

 
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