like every lawyer j murray riddleton had been

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Unformatted text preview: back of his chair was a foot from the end of his bed. "Nice," Hayani said. Rumors in hospitals flew faster than in law offices, and throughout the last two days there had been amused whispers about the new firm being established in Room 312. "I hope you don't sue doctors." "Never. In thirteen years of practicing law, I never sued a doctor. Nor a hospital." He stood as he said this and turned to face Hayani. "I knew I liked you," the doctor said as he gently examined the burns on Patrick's chest. "How are you doing?" he asked, for the third time that day. "I'm fine," Patrick repeated, for the umpteenth time that day. The nurses, starstruck and curious, barged in at least twice an hour with any one of a hundred errands, and always with a chirping, "How ya feeling?" "I'm fine," he always answered. "Did you nap today?" Hayani asked, squatting and poking along the left thigh. "No. It's hard to sleep without pills, and I really hate to take anything during the day," Patrick answered. In truth, napping was impossible with the parade of nurses and orderlies. He sat on the edge of the bed and looked sincerely at his doctor. "Can I tell you something?" he asked. Hayani stopped scribbling on a chart. "Certainly." Patrick cast his eyes to the left and to the right as if there could be ears everywhere. "When I was a lawyer," he began softly, "I had this client, a banker, who got caught embezzling. He was forty-four years old, married, three teenaged kids, a great guy who did a dumb thing. He was arrested at home, late at night, and taken to the county jail. It was crowded, and he got thrown into a cell with a couple of young street punks, black guys, mean as hell. They gagged him first so he couldn't scream. They beat him, then they did things you don't want to know about. Two hours after he was sitting in his den watching a movie, he was half-dead in a ja...
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