“A double barreled attack. Destroy any chance that Raven might have information, and discredit me at the same time, through her.”
“That’s why the luggage came on through. It’s probably loaded with drugs.”
“And it would look like Raven was smuggling.”
“And like I’m the world’s biggest hypocrite.”
* * *
When I asked the luggage question, I didn’t have a theory. I was just fishing for useful knowledge. The Senator’s reaction took me by surprise, and made no sense until I heard the story behind it.
Senator Daniel Cabral has a scar, low on his left side, just above his belt, the size of a dime, and a matching scar, slightly higher, that covers three square inches of his back just above his belt where partially successful plastic surgery left a white and lumpy mass. Entry wound and exit wound for a 38 caliber bullet. The other five bullets went through his partner.
He didn’t show me the scar, of course, but it was part of the story he and Ed Wilkes told me that night in Paris.
Dan Cabral was born in California of Mexican-American parents. His ancestors had been citizens for ten generations. He didn’t speak Spanish until he was ten years old and spent a summer with an uncle in Sinaloa. His parents were wealthy. His grandfather had bought farmland which had been in the path of growth. His father had sold it for development, reinvested, and repeated the process several more times. By the time Cabral was born, there were millions in the bank and in real estate.
Daniel had gone to college and, over his parents objections, had joined the FBI. He did well. The FBI needed Chicano agents to deal with Cuban refugee problems around Miami. Later, when Cabral became too well known there, they sent him to deal with drug smuggling across the Texas border. He spent two years, then transferred to Calexico to continue the same work.
Cabral had been with the FBI seven years when an arrest went bad on an empty road in the middle of the Mohave Desert. As he was falling, hit in the side, he shot the two smugglers who had killed his partner. One died there in the dirt beside his stalled truck. The other ran a hundred yards into the sage brush and bled to death. So did Cabral, nearly, before help came.
They gave him a commendation and four months leave to recuperate. He spent it thinking about all the things he had seen, and came to the conclusion that drug enforcement was causing the drug problem.
I didn’t entirely buy his argument, but it went this way.
A drug user needs his drugs. If they are available at a reasonable price, he uses them. Sometimes he destroys himself, and sometimes he doesn’t. Lots of prominent citizens have gone through a successful lifetime on drugs without being found out. But if the drugs become too expensive, problems arise. To support his habit, the user might spend money that should have gone to his family, or rip off car stereos, or hold up a convenience store.
Or he might become a supplier. more tomorrow