Missing the Academy Awards, Part 3

He’d taken up with this woman, Crystal, who had some paintings decorating the hotel.
She’d found him. He was suspicious. Suspicious is his job.
“Which turn is it?”
“Not the next one, the next one, beyond the church, up the hill.”
She knew the CIA guy, code named, “The Warlock”.
Crystal said, “Yale,” as they went up a steep hill and around a bend.
Kuroaka: “Reed. You?”
“Santa Barbara.”
“How do you know Chitwood?”
“I sold him a painting.

Chitwood is on the other side of his garage, up and around the bend, at his still.

Crystal walks further up the hill to visit Drew Mingus. She’s brought some cheese, some bread, some wine, a smile, laughter. Kuroaka watches her and her straw bag dance up the hill.

Chitwood says: “The Principals are willing to discuss the recycled. Mingus is their point man.”
Kuroaka takes a swig of the booze that Chitwood’s handed him. “Smooth,” he says.
“No iron in the water, ” says Chitwood. ” That’s the secret!”

At a picnic table up the hill, Crystal has opened the wine, broken out the cheese, and a bagette, below her a small cluster of buildings, a white steepled church, the sea.
She can see a scout ship coming out of the water.
Kuroaka? He sees it, too. Coming out from beyond the point. He watches the spook head up the hill. He’s got a drink in his hand.
It’s a beautiful day and Kuroaka’s been told that he knows nothing, has no knowledge of anything. Mingus’ disappearance, an epiphany, private stuff, very spiritual.
Later that afternooon, just as they reached Front Street in Lahaina, Crystal says: “Drew’s playing in the finals of the yacht club pool tournament, against The Bear. A grudge match. Should be fun! Join us, say around nine!”

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