Ainslie reported, "Subject has left Bayshore Drive, entered Halissee Street, driving north, very little traffic." He told Zagaki, "Stay well back, but be sure not to lose him."
It was becoming harder to see, though. While the rain had eased, the light was going, and it would soon be night.
Halissee, like most of Bay Heights, was a street of large, elegant residences, the whole area thickly wooded. A twoway cross street appeared ahead; Ainslie knew it was Tigertail Avenue, with similar style homes. But before reaching Tigertail, the pickup pulled over to the right and stopped under a large, overhanging ficus tree fronting one of the spacious houses. The pickup's headlights went out as Zagaki stopped the Burdines van and switched off his headlights, too. They were about five hundred feet behind, with several parked cars between, but were high enough to see over their roofs and observe the head and shoulders of Doil in the pickup, outlined by a streetlight.
"Subject has stopped on Halissee near Tigertail," Ainslie reported. "He is still in pickup cab. No sign of moving out. "
Newbold responded, "We are a block behind you. Have stopped, too."
Ten minutes passed and Doil had not moved.
"He doesn't seem so restless anymore, Sergeant," Zagaki said.
After a few more minutes the police radio came alive and Newbold asked, "Anything going on?"
"Negative. Pickup still stopped, subject in cab."
"I've received a message, Malcolm. I need to talk to you. Can you walk back? If anything happens, we can get you back fast."
Ainslie hesitated. He was not happy about leaving Zagaki alone to watch Doil, and his inclination was to stay. But he knew the lieutenant would have good reason for wanting him.
"I'm coming now," he transmitted, then said to Zagaki,
"I'll be as fast as I can. Don't take your eyes off Doil, and use your radio to call me if he gets out or drives on, or if anything else at all happens. If he does move, follow him closely and above all keep in touch."
"Don't worry, Sergeant," Zagaki said brightly. "My mind will be on nothing else."
Ainslie left the van, noticing as he stepped down that the rain had stopped. In near darkness he walked briskly back the way they had come.
Watching him go, Dan Zagaki thought, Christ, what a Bucking bore you are, Sergeant, don't hurry back!
From the start, Zagaki had wished he was paired with someone more with-it and exciting. Ainslie, in Zagaki's opinion, was an overly cautious plodder, and not very smart. If he were, he'd be a lieutenant by now, maybe captain ranks that Zagaki had his eye on. He knew he had the smarts to go right to the top hadn't he made it quickly out of uniform to become a Homicide detective? The main thing in any kind of force, police or military, was to think promotion, promotion, promotion, remembering that advancement didn't just happen; you had to make it happen! Coupled with that, it was essential to be noticed, frequently and favorably, by the brass above you.
Dan Zagaki had absorbed those rules and tactics by watching his father get promotion after promotion in the U.S. Army, and then his big brother Cedric move up similarly in the Marines. Cedric, like their father, was going to be a general someday he made no secret of it. Cedric had also been contemptuous of young Dan's choice when he joined the Miami Police a ''pissant outfit,'' he had called it. The general hadn't been quite so blunt, but Dan sensed he was disappointed in his younger son's decision. Well, he would show them both.
He smiled, remembering how skillfully he, Detective Dauntless Dan, had buttered up Ainslie these past two weeks, calling him "Sergeant" with almost every other breath. and still the dimwit hadn't noticed. He'd even finagled his way back onto the serial killings caper by pretending to eat humble pie. And Ainslie ate it up. Fool.
"Oh damn," Zagaki muttered, still sitting in the driver's seat of the van. "I've gotta go again. How many times is that today?"
Like several hundred others in Miami, including the absent Detectives Wightman and Garcia, Dan Zagaki had intestinal flu. True, he didn't have an intense fever so far, but the other symptoms, especially an upset stomach and acute diarrhea, were very much in evidence. Unlike others, however, he had kept quiet about it, determined to soldier on at any cost. He just couldn't miss the chance to help break this case. He had managed to take care of his problem during several earlier stops today, but at this moment he had to, simply had to, find a sanctuary and he could see one, a clump of bushes over to the right where he could let nature take its urgent course.
Looking ahead, through the Burdines van windshield, he could still see the silhouette of Doil. If the bastard had stayed still this long, he sure as hell wasn't going to move in the few seconds he needed right now!
Should he call Ainslie by radio to let him know? Nuts to that! Dauntless Dan could make his own decisions.
Moving quickly, Zagaki got out from the van and, closing the door quietly, moved to the bushes. Moments later, Oh, what a relief! But hurry up! He didn't have all night.
* * *
"I'll make this quick, Malcolm," Leo Newbold said. Ainslie had reached the backup surveillance car moments earlier and slipped into the backseat. The lieutenant continued, "I just took a call from Homicide in Philadelphia. We put out a nationwide 'detain and hold' BOLO on a Dudley Rickins. Right?"
"Yes, sir, I okayed it. It's Bernie Quinn's case, and Rickins is the hot suspect. If we question him, we think we can close it."
"Well, they have Rickins in Philadelphia and can hold him seventy-two hours, but someone goofed by not calling us sooner, and there's only twelve hours left before they must let him go. I know you need all the bodies here . . ."
"Just the same, we should fly Bernie up immediately."
Newbold sighed. "That's what I thought."
As both knew, they could ill afford the loss of one more from the surveillance detail, but would have to manage somehow.
"Okay, Malcolm. I'll get word to Bernie and send him on his way. Thanks. Now, you'd better get back. Doil still hasn't moved?"
"Not yet. If he had, we'd have heard from Zagaki."
Ainslie left the backup car and returned the way he had come.
* * *
Goddammit! Zagaki thought, adjusting his clothes. That took too damn long! He hurried back to the van.
As he arrived, so did Malcolm Ainslie.
Ainslie said incredulously, "Where the hell have you been?"
"Well, Sergeant, I just had to "
Livid, Ainslie stormed, "Cut that crap out! Do you think I can't see through you? Didn't I tell you not to take your eyes off Doil, and if anything happened, to call me by radio?"
"Yes, Sergeant, but "
"But nothing! When we finish tonight, you are through with this detail."
Zagaki pleaded, "Sergeant, if you'll only let me explain. I wasn't well "
Ainslie was not listening, but looking around the vehicles ahead toward the pickup truck. Then he shouted, "Oh Jesus, he's gone!"
From the pickup's cab, Elroy Doil's silhouette had disappeared.
Briefly, confusion reigned. Ainslie ran toward the truck, peering into the darkness for any sign of Doil. There was none nor were there any pedestrians in sight. From the pickup he ran the short distance to Tigertail Avenue. The streets were only faintly lit. Doil, Ainslie realized, could easily hide out in any of the shadows.
Dan Zagaki ran up behind him, panting. "Sergeant, I'm "
Ainslie spun around. "Shut the fuck up!" He snarled at Zagaki, "How long were you away from the van?"
"Only a minute or two, I swear." "Don't lie to me, you little bastard!" Ainslie grabbed the younger man by his lapels and shook him. "How long was it?" Seething, he pulled Zagaki toward him until their eyes were close. "Was it the whole time I was gone?"
Zagaki, close to tears, conceded, "Most of it."
Pushing him away in disgust, Ainslie calculated that Doil's head start could be ten minutes, maybe twelve. Even assuming he had remained in the area, he could be anywhere, and there was no way of finding him without help, which left only one choice. He reached for his police radio.
"Thirteen-ten to dispatcher."
A woman's calm voice answered, "Thirteen-ten QSK."
"Send me several units into the area of Tigertail Avenue . . ." Ainslie paused to read the nearest street number.
"Number 1611. We have lost a white male who was under surveillance. Height six feet four, weighs about two hundred and ninety pounds, is wearing red shirt and dark pants. He is armed and dangerous."
Within seconds, Ainslie could hear the approaching sirens, responding to a swiftly transmitted 315 3 for "Emergency," 15 for "Officer needs help."
Newbold and Jacobo would have overheard his transmission, Ainslie knew, and would also be on their way. For the moment there was nothing he could do.
Then he received a radio phone call from the communications sergeant in charge of dispatchers and radio traffic who spoke quickly but calmly.
"Male, just caught your call. I have a boy on the phone who says his grandparents are being beaten and stabbed by a big man in their house."
"That's Doil, Harry! Give me the address fast."
"I'm getting it, hang on. Kid has to whisper." Ainslie could hear the communications sergeant asking patient questions, addressing the caller as "Ivan." The sergeant came back. "Says his grandparents' name is Tempone, their house is on Tigertail. Doesn't know the number, we're looking it up . . . We have it! It's 1643 . . . I've called for paramedics, Malcolm, and am changing that 315 to a 331." Meaning, "Emergency homicide in progress."
Ainslie scarcely heard. He was already running eastward down Tigertail Avenue. Dan Zagaki ran beside him, though Ainslie was long past caring.
As both drew near, they could see the number 1643 on the gate of a large two-story house fronted by several pillars and a wide paved path leading to a carved doorway. A high iron fence surrounded the entire property, with six foot-high shrubbery on both sides. The double gate in the fence provided access from the street; one side of the gate was slightly open.
As Ainslie and Zagaki arrived, two squad cars with flashing lights and fading sirens pulled up, tires screeching. Four officers leapt out, guns drawn. Two more squad cars were speeding down Tigertail from both directions.
Ainslie identified himself and quickly described Doil.
"We think he's inside, maybe killing right now." He ma ,,, tioned to two of the officers. "You two come with me." And to the others, "Gendry, take charge and set up a perimeter four blocks each way. Don't let anyone in or out until you hear from me." One of the officers called out, "Sergeant, over there!" He pointed to the side of the house, where a shadowy figure was creeping along a small path. Another officer directed a powerful flashlight. It lit up the back of a large man wearing a red shirt and brown pants. "That's him!" Ainslie shouted. With his own gun drawn, he raced through the gate and across the lawn, the others following fast behind him. Doil was running now, and Ainslie shouted, "Freeze, Doil, or I'll blow your fucking head off!"
The figure stopped and turned. Doil snarled, "Fuck you!" Moving closer, Ainslie could see a knife in Doil's right hand, and noticed that both of his hands were encased in rubber gloves. With his gun raised, Ainslie ordered fiercely, "Drop that knife. Now!" Then, as Doil hesitated, "And peel off those gloves. Let them fall beside the knife." Slowly, Doil complied. When he had done so, Ainslie bellowed, "Now down on your stomach, you son of a bitch, hands behind you. Move!"