The Unspoken

Page 27

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"But you did work as a magician?"

"I have done so."

"In eighty feet of water could you make it look like you were a mummy?" Logan asked.

"You can make anything appear to be whatever you want-the key is that you do something that persuades your audience to suspend disbelief. Then you go in with the trick, which might not be perfect, but because your audience is ready to see what you want them to see, they will. Like this." He reached over to Kat's ear and moved his hand forward, presenting a silver dollar.

"Wow, that was good," Kelsey said. "Unless you've been stowing silver dollars in your ears, Kat?"

"No, and you barely touched it," Kat told Will.

Will smiled at her. "When we were talking, I made the natural movements I might make during conversation. I had my hand in my pocket, but then I waved it near your ear, so you never saw me with the silver dollar."

She took the dollar from him.


"I think it's mine-it was my ear, right?" she teased.

"That's not the same as making it look as if a mummy's attacking you in the depths," Jane said, frowning.

"No, it's not. You're talking about a much more complicated illusion, but it could be done," Will said. "You get the right dive suit. Then you find out what kind of bandaging would work best in the water-appear the most real-and you come down prepared to shed your tank while you perform the illusion. And you've got just that. An illusion. But I don't think Brady Laurie fell for it so easily. That's why there's bruising around his mouth. His regulator was torn from him. And someone held him. At least, I believe I'm correct about that. Kat, those bruises looked like ones that would appear postmortem if someone had been held, right?"

She nodded.

"So all we need to do is find a mummy dive suit," Kelsey said, rolling her eyes.

"Yeah, that would require a hundred search warrants from judges who have to be convinced that a drowning victim was actually murdered and so was an elderly man who had a heart attack. Or maybe we can get Austin Miller to appear before a judge. And if the judge doesn't have a heart attack, Austin can try to convince him that a mummy did him in."

Will's phone rang, startling him. He excused himself to answer it.

"Hey, it's Bernie. I hear Sean is in-the two of you coming over to see what kind of footage we've got?"

"Yes, of course." Will glanced at his watch. "Bernie," he said, nodding at Sean Cameron. "He's expecting Sean and me to see the film they've taken thus far," he told the others.

Sean rose. "Ready whenever you are."

But Will was surprised to realize that he wasn't ready to go. He had, in a short period of time, become accustomed to working with Kat.

"Go see what there is to see," Logan told them. "We'll be here if you need anything."

Jane said to Kat, "Let's get started on the face in that vision of yours."

Kat nodded, but Will was glad to see that she was watching him-watching him as he left. She gave him a smile, and he felt something inside him quiver.

Tinker Bell? Yeah, was what he'd thought.

If so, he sure wanted to be Peter Pan.

That's so sophomoric! he told himself.

But when she watched him go and he saw her eyes, he felt rivulets of heat race through his veins.

And he didn't bother to tell himself that she was his colleague.

That just made her more appealing. No, she couldn't be more appealing.

She was everything a ghost-seeking illusionist turned law enforcement agent could ever want-beauty, perfection…and understanding.

And then there were the basic but ravenous feelings he'd begun to experience when he was near her, as primal as the earth and air.

* * *

"What do you remember most?" Jane asked Kat.

"The eyes. They were large and dark. And they seemed to be rimmed with a black liner," Kat said. "And the face was lean and cleanly cut. Oval-shaped, I think. Classic."

"The nose?"

"Straight. No twists, bulbs, lifts, curves-very straight."

Jane sketched out the oval and the eyes and began shading, drawing in the nose. Then she asked about the mouth.

"Full. Full lower and upper lip," Kat said.

"How's that?" Jane asked, pointing to the sketch.

"A little thinner in the cheeks."

Tyler had come to stand behind them.

"That's him. He's coming along nicely," Kat said. "Maybe darken the eyes a little."

"He looks like someone," Tyler muttered.

"Who?" Kelsey stood over them then, Logan close beside her.

"I can't put my finger on it," Tyler said, "but…there's something familiar."

"He had on a hat. Not a turban, but it had width and substance and made him taller. Let's see…his chest was bare. And he wore a heavy necklace," Kat recalled.

Jane sketched the headdress and Kat instructed her to broaden it.

"That looks like an Egyptian ceremonial headdress," Kelsey said. "I saw a few that were very similar on the pictures and statues we've been studying."

"Egyptian, and how strange in many ways. The ancient culture lasted almost thirty centuries, and yet, so much remained the same throughout the dynasties," Kat said. "I was in the Sand Diggers' house, I was in Austin Miller's house and-" She broke off and looked up at Kelsey. "You're right. There are all kinds of similar faces…."

Tyler, who now sat across from her, took her hands and squeezed them. "Hey, Kat. You seem worried. An ancient Egyptian did not come walking across the water to sink the Jerry McGuen."

She smiled. Tyler was the team muscle-but he was also incredibly intelligent and surprisingly sensitive for the tough cowboy he often seemed to be. They'd connected like brother and sister from the first time they'd met, a number of years ago. "I know that, Tyler. And don't worry. I definitely don't believe that an Egyptian priest could create a giant image of himself to sink a ship. But I do think there was more than weather out there."

He nodded. "Okay. All we have to do, then, is figure out what happened that night."

Logan sat at the head of the table, frowning as he looked at Kat. "Interesting. The ship went down over a hundred years ago, and while you were able to get a little more information from Miller this evening, he couldn't give you a name-he gave you a mummy. But what you see when you dream and when you're below goes back to the sinking of the ship. I wonder if that has any bearing on what's happening now."

"Especially," Jane added, "if Amanda is searching for something specific."

"Well, finding something specific in a ship that's lain on the bottom of Lake Michigan for more than a century is…worse than looking for a needle in a haystack!" Kat said.

"What about Amanda?" Tyler asked. "Any ideas on how we find out whether she was involved?"

"I'd like Will or Sean to get their hands on her computer," Logan said.

Tyler grinned. "There is that pesky little thing called illegal search and seizure."

"Tomorrow, Tyler and Sean should dive with the film crew. Alan King told me that Amanda and Jon were bringing out their larger ship. It has a small crane and they plan to start pulling up a few of the boxes." Logan drummed his fingers on his desk. "Maybe now we'll find out what Amanda is up to."

* * *

"That woman is one skinny little witch!" Earl Candy said.

He was showing the film he'd taken the first day, which included Amanda having a fit on the deck of the film crew's boat. Will watched her, even though he'd been there.

He'd seen the other footage, and he knew she hadn't been down at the Jerry McGuen to kill Brady Laurie; there just hadn't been time. But maybe there was something hidden beneath the surface that was of more value than they'd imagined.

"How could there be anything more valuable than what they've discovered so far?" he mused aloud.

"The treasure does, in essence, belong to the state," Alan King said. He shook his head. "That's what I don't understand. I don't know much about the black market, but if there were a major piece-wouldn't everyone know once it went on the market?"

"The black market exists all over the world and most collectors will talk about it if, say, a Rembrandt or Matisse appears on the market somewhere. But finding out who actually has it or where it may be or how money changed hands is a nightmare. Once something disappears into the hands of a private collector, it disappears-sometimes for centuries," Will said. He spoke without looking at Alan. Like Sean, he kept his eyes glued to the film. "Then, suddenly, you'll hear about an auction-perhaps an estate auction-and there it'll be."

"And the family supposedly knew nothing about it," Sean said. "What if-"

Will interrupted him. "Hold on. That's the second dive on the second day, right?" He hadn't been the first to get to the Jerry McGuen's hold. He'd been with Kat, hovering near her in case she stopped breathing as she stared at the salon.

"Yeah, second dive, second day," Earl Candy said.

"What did you see?" Bernie asked Will.

Will nodded at Earl. "Go back to the end of the first dive, please."

Sean glanced over at him, repeating Bernie's question. "What did you see?"

"Maybe nothing. It just seemed that something changed. I wish I had a photographic memory, but I don't. Can you tell whether anything's off?"

Earl Candy set his digital video back to the end of the first dive.

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