“Mr. Andros Mikealson, businessman, dealer in electronics,” Jack read out, worry dancing across his eyes. “I know nothing about electronics.”

“It does not matter. I’m your partner and I’d rather be sleeping than worrying about electronics.” Newman assured him.

“But we have to make this person believe.”

“Easy peasy.”

The operation code names Tennessee Waltz had begun. Jack and Newman had the unenviable task of infiltrating through the ranks of corrupt lawmakers to make them accept a bribe, so they could be nailed. What they had prior to this moment were just the words of a corrupt comrade of these lawmakers. In the court, it might not stand for much.

They had a tough job ahead of them. Following Hikinfield’s advice, they were to approach Senator Watford first. He told them the senator had a lot of influence within the Tennessee circle and if they could win him over first, the others would fall in line. On no occasion should they approach Senator Markle first, he could smell FBI on them from ten crossroads away.

Getting through to Senator Watford took longer than necessary. Jack fidgeted all the time, which Newman found irritating, but had to admit it was in line with the role they were playing. Finally, they were let in.

“Thank you for taking the time out to see us, Senator, although you should be thanking us for seeing you,” Newman said, taking on the arrogant edge of a man who knew what he was about to bring to the table.

“I should be thanking you?”

“Yes, Senator Watford. I’d have loved to spell it out for you, but I am in a hurry. You see, the people I…”

“Then get out of my office,” the senator exploded.

Newman and Jack had been counting on that. It was Jack’s turn now to act the coolheaded partner.

“I’m really sorry, senator if you found my partner’s rantings to be offensive. I…”

“They were more than rantings. What both of you do not know is that I’m a busy man.”

“Senator, I have an offer that will help us all. The state, the country, you and I. Everyone. For the sake of successful things, if you will ignore my partner’s utterances, I’m sure you’ll see the light with us.”

The senator calmed down somewhat and looked impatient to hear what they had to say. Newman coughed.

“I don’t want to hear anymore word from him,” Senator Watford told Jack, pointing at Newman.

With expertise, Jack went over the script he had rehearsed time and time again with Newman, patching up things when he forgot what he had been told. In no time, he had the greedy senator on the palm of his hands and wheeled him this way and that.

It was surprising what money could do. An anonymous donation to support his bid for the governorship seat of Tennessee opened the floodgate and Watford was well and truly in deep waters. The FBI agents planted outside the door simply waited until he had taken the bribe before they burst in on him. It was over very fast before the secretaries knew what was going on.

Dead Men’s Path 7


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