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"And because of that, you went easy on me, is that it?"

Hunt chuckled. "Perhaps not. That's not really my style. If I'm gonna play, I'm gonna beat you."

"I noticed. Congratulations. Mission accomplished."

Hunt nodded in acknowledgment.

"So in theory," Mickey added, "that means you still owe me, right?"

"Up to a point, in theory." Hunt sipped his drink. "You getting at something?"

"Not much except the reason I came by in the first place. You want to try to guess which cops pulled the Dominic Como case?"

Hunt sipped at his lemonade, wiped some sweat from his brow, then wiped his hands on his tank top. He looked up at the side of the graffiti-tagged building across the alley. "Okay, since you ask it that way, I'm deducing Devin's one of 'em. And Russo's his partner."

"You ought to do that stuff as a party trick. You know that?"

Hunt shrugged off the compliment, spread his palms. "Elementary, my dear Dade. But, if I may ask you, this is relevant to us because . . . ?"

"Because we might be able to talk to them."

"About Como? Why do we want to do that?"

Mickey took a breath and launched into an explanation of his strategy, about midway through which Hunt stopped him. "Wait a minute. Nice idea, but the cops already have a unit to field reward calls."

"I know that. But the point is that we want the people who won't call the city, who won't call the cops."

Hunt said gently, "No offense, Mick, but that dog just don't hunt. And I mean that in the nicest possible way. We'd have to turn anything we get over to the cops anyway. So somebody calls us first, big deal. Eventually, they're talking to the police. We've got no privilege. We can't promise anonymity. We're just an extra phone call."

"Yeah, but the trick is to get 'em to call in the first place. Then we ease 'em into the process, which might not be too hard if it's a lot of money and they're not completely nuts. Maybe initially we don't ask for names. We can't disclose what we don't know. If it really looks like they've got something, we just explain that we'll have to give them up if they're going to get the reward. The whole point, Wyatt, is to get information from people who wouldn't normally give up anything at all. We can finesse the details later."

"So in your dreams, how much reward are we talking about?"

"I have no idea. Best case fifty, maybe a hundred thou, maybe more. I don't know how many hours we'll charge, but at least it would be work that could keep us solvent a while longer-"

"And how do we find these people who are going to offer a reward again?"

"Wyatt, c'mon, work with me here. I go by and talk to 'em. We create a groundswell movement among these people who are already so inclined. Como was large in half of these nonprofits, either as a consultant or an actual board member or director. He was the man. These people are going to line up to help find his killer."

Hunt got to his feet, paced across the alle

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