Being doused with gasoline hadn’t improved Walter Tierson’s sunny demeanor. Neither did the garden-hose drenching that followed, nor the cold, wet ride back to the station. Danny wisely stayed out of his way. In spite of the frigid rage pouring out of him, Tierson seemed to be sufficiently in control of himself and of the investigation to keep sight of his goal. Their goal.
Danny was right. Five minutes after he had changed (and a total of nine after they entered the station) they were boarding a helicopter. The police chopper was of course much cruder than he was used to (no carpet?) but he admired the Ile du Soleil police’s resourcefulness neverthelss. Try as she might, Lexi could never outrun a helicopter, or a radio.
Once they were in the air they did a quick circuit of the city. There was no sight of the gaudy convertible Lexi had been driving.
“She’s gotten it off the road,” Tierson yelled over the noise of the helicopter. Danny nodded. The chopper wheeled toward the west, away from the rising sun. “Almost certainly switched cars. A unit picked up an SUV on L7 with one of our units in pursuit. Shots fired.” Danny raised his eyebrows. “It’s too early for carjackers, so it’s a good chance it’s them.”
“Maybe she stole the car.”
Tierson thumbed a button on his headset, listening. “The truck is registered to Dobie Cassarell,” he called. “It’s her.” The helicopter dropped altitude with sickening speed over the residential area outside Marjori and accelerated toward the freeway.
“So she stole Dobie’s car,” Danny said, gripping the handle over his head. He’d ridden in many choppers, and the motion didn’t make him the least bit sick. “Amazing.”
“She’s getting desperate,” Tierson added. Although he tried not to show it, he enjoyed having the rich American riding along. It was like being on a television show.
They reached L7 in a matter of minutes. The gray Land Rover and the police car behind it had the freeway mostly to themselves, and although it was too far away to hear, there was clearly a rolling gun battle in progress. They could see the cop on the passenger side of the police Saab leaned as far out as he dared, plugging away without apparent effect. That was somewhat against regulations, but Tierson chose not to call any attention to it. The men down there obviously had a good head for the situation, and they wouldn’t be shooting unless they’d been fired on first. About half a mile back a second police Saab followed, matching their speed, lights off.
Tierson watched as the copter paced the chase, then signaled to the driver that they should accelerate ahead. From the back, Danny gave him a questioning look. “She wasn’t working alone,” he explained. “She hasn’t been this entire time. There may be more accomplices, and they’ll be on their way to the treasure site just like she is.” He watched the few cars they passed. There wasn’t much traffic on L7 during the week, just large trucks and small economy cars driven by the poor saps who made the hundred-mile commute from Marjori to Hamilton every day. The helicopter passed right by the Thick Penis truck, which was three miles ahead of Lexi, but when Tierson saw Glen’s Suburban with the tow dolly another four miles ahead, he signaled the pilot to slow down and gain altitude. “I want to see where this one’s going,” he said. “And I don’t want them to see me.”
“What about Lexi?”
“There’s no point in chasing her if we can be waiting at her destination, now is there?”