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"Maybe it wasn't true, what he told his driver."

"Maybe that," Russo conceded. "Or maybe the driver-Al Carter-didn't tell us the truth about what Como told him."

Hunt put his sandwich down, looked across at Russo. "Any sign of that?"

She shook her head. "Not really, no. Carter got the limo back to Sunset's headquarters, where they keep it parked, at six-thirty, when it was still light out. Three witnesses there agree with that timetable. And there's no motive for him anyway. Carter's loyal as a dog. He's been driving Como around for something like eight years."

"But wait," Juhle suddenly said. "Let's back up to the first thing Wyatt asked about that. Maybe what Como told this guy Carter wasn't true. Maybe he wasn't meeting an old friend after all."

"Devin likes the idea of a woman being involved," Russo said.

"Who's that?" Hunt asked, all innocence.

"Young girl," Juhle said. "Really, really beautiful young girl, I think even Sarah will agree. . . ."

Russo nodded. "Even Sarah admits she's very pretty."

"In fact"-Juhle leaned halfway across the table to Hunt-"she is so incredibly beautiful she'll make your teeth bleed. Alicia Thorpe. Twenty-five or so, volunteering at Sunset-"

"-and Como was having an affair with her?"

"That's the problem." Juhle shook his head sadly. "If he was, they both were d.a.m.ned discreet."

"And so," Hunt asked, "how would she be involved then, exactly?"

Russo let herself chuckle. "Probably not, is your answer. And Devin's answer after we talked to her. And mine, too, while we're at it. And Dev so badly wants an excuse to go look at her again. I told him if he kept it up I'd have to tell Connie."

"h.e.l.l," Juhle said, "I've already told Connie. Now she wants to see her too. I'm thinking of taking Connie out to Morton's and spending a million dollars just so we can both look at her."

"Morton's?" Hunt asked.

"She's the hostess there," Russo told him.

Hunt looked over at Juhle. "Is she there Tuesday nights?"

Juhle pointed back at him. "Not the last one. She could have been anywhere."

"Did you ask her?"

Juhle threw him a withering gaze. "Oh, I must have forgot. What a good idea." Then, "Of course I asked her, Wyatt. She, like Mrs. Como, was home alone watching television. Except if she really was out with Como."

"But alas," Russo said, "we have nothing like any evidence on her."

Hunt's cell phone went off and he brought it to his ear and had a short conversation. When he closed it, he said, "Well, I'm glad you took this opportunity to get me caught up on all the excellent police work and progress you've made so far. That was Tamara from my office and it looks like we're going to be in business together for a while."

Jaime Sanchez came up from the Mission Street Coalition offices to downtown to have lunch with Len Turner at the Olympic Club, a venue in the grand tradition of old San Francisco. The s.p.a.cious, high-ceilinged dining roo

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