What the hell did “the equalizer” mean? I didn’t know but I was damn sure going to find out. I told the coroner that I had changed my mind and I would take the report.
Harville’s words were once again knocking on my brain. “Call me when you figure it out.” I hadn’t figured anything out but I was hell-bent on finding out what those words meant and how they tied into Parker’s last word. I also knew that Harville was the only person who could help me.
I flew into my office and told my clerk to get Harville on the phone. “What should I say?” she asked. I had to hold my tongue while I was thinking “you are dumber than a bag of hammers, aren’t you?” I collected myself and calmly asked her to just make the call.
A few minutes later, she knocked on my door and said “there was no answer.” I shook my head. I knew what the answer to my next question was going to be but I asked anyway. “Did you leave a message?”
“No,” she said. “You didn’t ask me to.” For a second, I thought I was going to go into orbit and stroke out. I envisioned snapping her useless head off and using it as a bowling ball but on second thought, hollow bowling balls won’t knock down many, if any, pins.
This gal had been hired because she was the niece of one of the partners. How I got strapped with her, I have no idea but she sure wasn’t office material. It was like trying to teach a first grader to write when they had never seen a pencil or a piece of paper. I was sure I was being punished for some reason.
I emphasized every single word as I said “call him back and if he doesn’t answer, leave a message and that message should be that I would like for him to return my call at his earliest convenience. Do you think you can handle that?”
She smiled and gave me a cutesy “of course.” I’m not sure she was even bright enough to understand when she was being insulted. I didn’t care. I just wanted to talk to Harville.
I wasn’t sure what I was going to say to him, if he called back. I hadn’t “figured” anything out but I did believe that there was a connection between the word “tattoo” and the actual tattooed words “the equalizer.”
What was she trying to tell me? I was sure that the last word she uttered wasn’t to let me know that she had a tattoo. I just kept asking myself. What does it mean? What does it mean?
I waited all afternoon for Harville’s call. It didn’t come. I had already decided that he wasn’t going to get the autopsy report until he returned my call. It was pure petulance on my part but I didn’t care. If it pissed him off, tough shit. If he wanted the report, he would have to talk to me first.
I left my office feeling a little smug, although I really didn’t know why. Maybe I felt like I had the upper hand because I was holding the autopsy report hostage.
I had a conversation with myself all the way home. Not only was I talking to myself, I was answering myself. “Like Harville is going to fold because you’re pouting like a child. Like he’s going to tell you the answer to what you haven’t figured out yet. Like he’s even going to return your call. You’re a fucking idiot and he knows it.”
I battled myself long enough and decided I would let it go until the next morning. I had it in mind to just barrage him with calls until he responded. Sure, with the clerk I had, that would mean a call every other month maybe, if I was lucky.
I strolled into my office and asked for Harville’s number. My clerk said “oh. Do you want me to call him?” I told her that I did not and I would like for her to give me his number.
I called and of course, got no answer. I left a rather hostile, not threatening, but hostile message. I told him that I had the autopsy report and stopped just short of telling him that I intended to keep it until he returned my call. I stressed the importance of a return call and told him that I would be anxiously waiting.
I wasn’t listed in The Chamber’s Legal Library but I tried to act like a big shot, you know, like I was someone of substance that warranted a call from the noted Mr. Morgan Ayers Harville, Esquire.
Another call went unanswered, and another and another. I started doodling “the equalizer.” I was trying to take an analytical approach. “Okay. What is the definition of an equalizer?”
“One who equalizes. One who gets even. One who counterbalances. One who evens the score. In slang terms, it can mean a gun.”
I was on to something! I quickly dismissed the gun definition.
“Getting even.” Who was she getting even with? Other attorneys? That was a good question but I didn’t have an answer.
“Counterbalancing.” What was she counterbalancing? Guilt versus innocence? Righteousness versus pure evil? I wasn’t sure.
“Evening the score.” What was the game and who were the players? Was the game the trial? Were the players the accused or the victims? Somehow, I couldn’t get that to make any sense.
But like I said, I thought I was on to something and it had to do with something or someone being “equalized.”
To be continued_________________