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Unformatted text preview: tered the civilian world. Through the cheap thick sunglasses, Patrick saw everything outside. Streets he'd driven a million times. The houses looked familiar. They turned onto Highway 90 and there was the Gulf, its calm brown waters seemingly unchanged since he left. There was the beach, a narrow strip of sand between the highway and the water, too far from the hotels and condos on the other side of the highway. The Coast had prospered during his exile, thanks wholly to the surprising arrival of casino gambling. There had been rumors of its coming when he left town, and now he was riding past large Vegas-style casinos with glitz and neon. The parking lots were filling, at nine-thirty in the morning. "How many casinos?" he asked the Sheriff, seated to his right. "Thirteen at last count. With more on the way." "Hard to believe." The depressant was quite effective. His breathing became heavy and his body relaxed. He felt like nodding off for a moment, then they turned onto Main Street and he was anxious again. Just a couple of blocks now. A few more minutes, and his past would come roaring back to greet him. By City Hall, to the left, quickly now, for a glimpse of the Vieux Marche, and in the middle of the old street lined with shops and stores, a fine large white building he once owned a piece of as a partner in Bogan, Rapley, Vitrano, Havarac, and Lanigan, Attorneys and Counselors-at-Law. It was still standing, but the partnership was crumbling within. Ahead was the Harrison County Courthouse, only a three-block walk from his old office. It was a plain, brick two-story building with a small green lawn in the front next to Howard Street. The lawn was covered with people milling about. The streets were lined with cars. Pedestrians hurried along the sidewalks, all headed for the courthouse it seemed. Cars ahead pulled over as Patrick and his caravan came through. The horde in front of the courthouse moved in a frantic wave around both sides, bu...
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- Spring '10