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Unformatted text preview: The medic gave him cold water and crackers. They refueled again in La Paz and Lima. In Bogota, they transferred him to a small Lear, which flew at twice the speed of the King Air. It refueled on Aruba, off the coast of Venezuela, then flew nonstop to a U.S. Navy base outside San Juan, Puerto Rico. An ambulance took him to the base hospital. After almost four and a half years, Patrick was back on American soil. Five THE LAW FIRM Patrick worked for before he died filed for bankruptcy protection a year after his funeral. After his death, the firm's letterhead properly included him: Patrick S. Lanigan, 1954-1992. He was listed up in the right-hand corner, just above the paralegals. Then the rumors got started and wouldn't stop. Before long, everyone believed he had taken the money and disappeared. After three months, no one on the Gulf Coast believed he was dead. His name came off the letterhead as the debts piled up. The four remaining partners were still together, attached unwillingly at the hip by the bondage of bankruptcy. Their names had been joined on the mortgages and the bank notes, back when they were rolling and on the verge of serious wealth. They had been joint defendants in several unwinnable lawsuits; thus the bankruptcy. Since Patrick's departure, they had tried every possible way to divorce one another, but nothing would work. Two were raging alcoholics who drank at the office behind locked doors, but never together. The other two were in recovery, still teetering on the brink of sobriety. He took their money. Their millions. Money they had already spent long before it arrived, as only lawyers can do. Money for their richly renovated office building in downtown Biloxi. Money for new homes, yachts, condos in the Caribbean. The money was on the way, approved, the papers signed, orders entered; they could see it, smell it, almost touch it when their dead partner snatched it at the last possible second. He was dead. They buried him on February 11, 1992. They had conso...
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- Spring '10