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John Grisham

The Broker

deeds, and settled nicely into the routine of small-town living. He eventually met and married a local girl and they quickly produced a daughter, Joel's second grandchild, and the only one he had a photo of. Neal read about his fathers release in the Post. He discussed it at length with his wife, and briefly with the partners of his firm. The story might be causing earthquakes in D.C., but the tremors had not reached Culpeper. No one seemed to know or care. He wasn't the broker's son; he was simply Neal Backman, one of many lawyers in a small Southern town. A judge pulled him aside after a hearing and said, "Where are they hiding your old man?" To which Neal replied respectfully, "Not one of my favorite subjects, Your Honor." And that was the end of the conversation. On the surface, nothing changed in Culpeper. Neal went about his business as if the pardon had been granted to a man he didn't know. He waited on a phone call; somewhere down the road his father would eventually check in. After repeated demands, the supervising nurse passed the hat and collected almost three bucks in change. This was delivered to the patient they still called Major Herzog, an increasingly cranky sort whose condition was no doubt worsening because of hunger. Major Herzog took the money and proceeded directly to the vending machines he'd found on the second floor, and there he bought three small bags of Fritos corn chips and two Dr Peppers. All were consumed within minutes, and an hour later he was on the toilet with raging diarrhea. But at least he wasn't quite as hungry, nor was he drugged and saying things he shouldn't say. Though technically a free man, fully pardoned and all that, he was still confined to a facility owned by the US. government, and still living in a room not much larger than his cell at Rudley. The food there had been dreadful, but at least he could eat it without fear of being sedated. Now he was living on corn chips and sodas. The nurses were only slightly friendlier than the guards who tormented him. The doctors just wanted to dope him, following orders from above, he was certain. Somewhere close by was a little torture chamber where they

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John Grisham: The broker  

John Grisham - 2005

John Grisham: The broker  

John Grisham - 2005

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