“That’s right. Or at least some agents of the FBI are.”

“Same thing happened in Boston. In exchange for information on the Patriarca Mafia family, a handful of maverick agents protected members of the Winter Hill Gang from prosecution. Eventually the Patriarca family was devastated by federal prosecutions, and the Winter Hill Gang took control of the Boston-area rackets. Now about a billion dollars’ worth of lawsuits have been brought against the government by victims of crimes committed by the informants while they were under FBI protection.”


“Same thing might be happening here.”

“Your friend who was killed …”

“His name is Mr. Mosley. He was a beekeeper. You can probably pick up everything you need from back issues of the St. Paul and Minneapolis newspapers.”

“You promised me a name.”

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“Steven Sykora.”


“He’s Frank Russo’s babysitter.”

“Sykora used to be with the organized crime task force that was investigating the Bonanno family. I heard he was transferred a few months ago.”

“Guess where.”

“The Minneapolis field office.”

“What a coincidence.”

“If I write this story—who am I kidding—when I write this story, probably tomorrow if I can get any kind of confirmation, all hell is going to break loose, you know that, don’t you? Along with the FBI freaking out, a hundred hitters are going to descend on the Land of 10,000 Lakes looking for Russo.”

“There’s something you should know, Roseanne.”

“What’s that?”

“It’s actually closer to fifteen thousand lakes.”

Special Agent Brian Wilson wasn’t in his office. I had to track him down at home.

He said, “Hello.”

I said, “Hi, Harry.”


“You recognized my voice.”

“That, plus you’re the only one who calls me Harry.”

“That’s because you look just like the actor Harry Dean Stanton, and that’s how I came to think of you before I learned what your real name was.”

“Yeah, you told me.”

“Besides, I hear Brian Wilson and I think of the Beach Boys.”

“Then you’re the only one. What do you want, McKenzie? You know the bureau’s been looking for you.”

“So I understand.”

“Tell me you’re going to give yourself up.”

“About that—how’s my credit?”

“Do you think I owe you a favor because you helped us bust those gunrunners a while back?”

“Maybe a small one.”

“McKenzie, we’re talking our nation’s security here.”

“C’mon, Harry. You know that so-called Seeking Information Alert is b.s.”

“I don’t know. I’ve had your andouille and chicken jambalaya. If that’s not a weapon of mass destruction …”

“You said you loved my jambalaya.”

“I was being polite.”

“Harry …”

“Okay, okay. A small favor. What is it?”

“Meet me at home plate of Metropolitan Stadium.”

He thought about that for a moment before asking, “When?”

I gave him a time. “Do I have to tell you to come alone?” I added.

“I’ll be alone.”

“You won’t be sorry.”

“Hell, McKenzie, I’m already sorry.”

After saying good-bye to Harry, I drove to an audio-video store and had a dozen copies made of the two cassettes I had recorded. Afterward, I found a sporting goods store. I bought a pair of Bushnell binoculars that were on sale and a set of palm-sized two-way radios. I also purchased a box of shells and a spare magazine for my Beretta.

A middle-aged white man in his fifties—my definition of middle age is considerably more conservative than Ruth Schramm’s—stood on the corner of First Avenue and Sixth Street in downtown Minneapolis, across the street from the Target Center. He was dressed in the colors of the Minnesota Timberwolves and holding up a handmade sign: I NEED 4.

I watched Chopper roll up to him.

“My man,” he said. “You want four? I got four. Where you want to sit?”

The man put down his sign and leaned over Chopper, examining the seating chart of Target Center that Chopper rested on the arm of his wheelchair.

“I can get you into blue, my man. You want four right here?”

“What do you want for those?”

“One and a half.”

“For all four?”

Chopper started laughing. So did the buyer.

“I know, I know,” said the buyer. He reached into his jeans and pulled out a roll of bills. He peeled off the correct amount of cash while Chopper reached into the saddlebag of his wheelchair and produced the four tickets.

“Listen,” said the buyer. “If the T-Wolves win, they get the Lakers next week. Can you help me out?”

“Tough series,” said Chopper. “All I got left, I got two. You want two? I can get you two in the upper deck.”

“How high?”

“Second row midcourt.” Chopper produced his chart again. “No way you’re gonna get better seats this late.”

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