Chapter 15

Denis, Fritz, and Bigfoot alert Doc of Shasta’s return.

We get a sense that Bigfoot doesn’t enjoy a lot of cooperation from his LAPD colleagues. We also get a sense that he is trying to (A) get Doc to provide information on Puck or (B) steer Doc toward Puck for some unspoken reason, even though doing so may put Doc in danger.

Bigfoot tells Doc that Coy Harlingen’s dealer, El Drano, has been found dead. Bigfoot warns Doc not “to be fucking with” the forces behind El Drano’s death and, presumably, the forces behind Coy Harlingen’s disappearance.

Nevertheless Doc visits El Drano’s home and learns from his roommate, Pepe, that El Drano suffered pangs of conscience after selling Coy the dose that apparently killed him. After Coy’s “death,” El Drano’s debts were forgiven and he began to receive substantial monthly “blood money” payments from Arbolada Savings and Loan—the bank used by Mickey Wolfmann and the Chryskylodon Institute. Doc thinks El Drano’s death was either suicide (Coy’s death was too much for El Drano’s conscience to bear) or a murder (by someone who didn’t want El Drano to confess.)

Fritz tells Doc that the state Attorney General’s office has been after loan shark Adrian Prussia for years yet no one can touch him because so many police owe him money. Prussia’s immunity from the police extends “to the people he sends around to collect” (268) with one exception: Puck Beaverton. Beaverton was arrested for having a single marijuana seed in his vacuum-cleaner bag. Someone on the police force, therefore, must have a personal vendetta against Puck. Doc turns to Bigfoot for answers.

Doc has realized that Bigfoot has been trying to get him to talk to Puck Beaverton “but can’t let on, because otherwise [Bigfoot would be] in deep shit with powers unnamed.” Doc insists Bigfoot be honest with him.

Bigfoot confirms that an unnamed “mystery cop” arrested Puck Beaverton on a “chicken-shit” charge “hoping with his record he’d be put back in Folsom [prison] for a while.” (271) Bigfoot also confirms that Puck’s employer, loan shark Adrian Prussia, “did regular business with many officers in the Department.” (271) The detective who arrested Puck was later killed by Adrian Prussia or one of his goons. The police cover up the killing and Internal Affairs locked away the file for thirty years.

Bigfoot reveals that Adrian Prussia “has been a prime suspect in … let’s say a number of homicides—and each time, upon intervention from the highest levels, he’s walked.” (272) Bigfoot challenges Doc to figure out why.

Hoping to learn about all of Adrian Prussia’s murder raps, Doc turns to his girlfriend and Deputy District Attorney Penny Kimball.

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