“Shades of Justice” Chapter Forty-eight

The green pickup stayed within the speed limit for the next hour and a half. Without using a turn signal, the pickup turned into a gas station-restaurant stop. Fortunately Lou had kept his distance and two cars in front of him pulled into the large parking lot. Lou saw the pickup park and a man get out and walk toward the restaurant. Ted put the glasses on him and said, “He sure fits Conrad’s description.”

“Warren, I’ll drop you off before we get to the restaurant’s entrance. Go inside and see if he meets anyone,” Lou directed. “We’ll watch the door for you to come out. If he meets anyone, we’ll switch and follow the new target.”

Thirty minutes later, Warren appeared at the entrance. Lou moved the car up and Warren climbed in the front seat and said, “Drive around the side. The guy he had coffee with is driving a black Cadillac CTS. He fits the description we have of Dom Salvatori.”

Nosing around the corner, Lou saw the black CTS in the merge lane to Interstate 95. The green pickup truck was nowhere in sight. Lou thought it must have gotten off at the next exit and headed back to Leesburg. He settled in several cars behind the CTS and said, “Well, it looks like we are going to Atlantic City. Jack said for us to buy whatever clothes we needed to stay over for a day or so. One of us will have to go into the casino we see Dom go in. Who knows their way around a casino?”

“I do,” said Ted. “I’ve spent some time in them on FBI business and have gambled a little on my own.”

“Will a $1,000 carry you for a few hours?”

“Hell, I can nurse a grand for half a day, even if my luck is no good. But I can’t mix with even the first level of big boys with less than $50,000.”

“See where Dom goes and who he hangs with inside. Don’t push the envelope. Those guys will spot you using a cell phone camera and be all over you.”

The CTS stayed within the speed limit and turned east on Route 322 to Atlantic City. Lou was still a few cars behind Dom when he turned into the parking garage for the Silver Chalice, a small but upscale hotel over the casino.

“Okay, we’ll be here for a while,” Lou said. “We need to rent a couple of cars and buy some clothes and a few suitcases. Each of us will go into a different hotel. We’ll use the hotel I pick as our meeting place.” Lou used his iPhone to check into the Emerald Hotel. He passed his room information on to Ted and Warren and said, “Rent a car, get some suitable clothes, and check into a hotel, then call me. Ted, after you check in with me, go to the Silver Chalice and nose around a bit. Here’s $1,000. Don’t lose it all in one place. Warren and I will be in my room waiting for your call. Don’t take longer than a couple of hours to check the place out. I’ll call Jack and see what he wants to do.”

Lou dropped Ted and Warren off near a car rental agency and called Jack. Lou briefed him and asked for instructions. Jack said, “Good. We’re moving much faster than I thought. I’m coming up with Kathy. Get us a suite for three nights. Show them your credit card but tell them you’ll pay the bill in cash. Anything you want me to bring?”

“Yeah. We could use a car beacon, a couple of audio bugs with limited range, and short-range communications with earplugs.”

“You got it. I have a stock of surveillance stuff. We’ll be there in five or six hours.”

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Filed under Action thrillers, Barry Kelly, Books, Spy novels

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