We sent a list of Cameron Davis’ properties to his house, with no note and no signature. That would get his attention. Another letter would follow, demanding a meeting. I went back to Eureka to wait. Ed got busy making arrangements to pull this stunt off without getting us all killed. Daniel Cabral flew back from France.
Four days later, I met Ed in Garberville and followed him out of town. He drove toward the Davis mansion, then turned off a mile short and lead me by a narrow dirt road to where a panel truck was parked on a hill overlooking a broad valley. Oaks and a few redwoods were scattered across the landscape.
There was a dish antenna on top of the panel truck. A middle aged man with a rifle was waiting for us, relaxed but ready. He nodded as we approached and said, “I’m Barton.”
“I’m on vacation.”
“Don’t you guys ever work for a living?”
He just grinned and motioned toward the truck. Ed and I went inside. Senator Cabral was waiting; he shook hands and said, “Are you sure you want to do this?”
“I’m sure. Are you sure you should be here?”
“No. Politically, this is the stupidest thing I’ve ever done. But I’m not Richard Nixon. I don’t send people out to do things I wouldn’t do myself.”
I had to admire that. He had a lot more to lose than I did. But maybe he had even more to gain. “You should at least stay in the truck,” I said. “It doesn’t make any sense for you to talk to Davis face to face. We are here to use leverage on him, not give him a lever to use on you.”
“I will let you begin the meeting. If Davis sends a messenger, send him away. If Davis actually shows up, I want to see him.
“Ed,” Cabral added, “please step outside for a moment.”
Wilkes nodded and withdrew. The Senator studied me for a minute, then said, “Ian, why are you doing this?”
I shrugged. It wasn’t something I wanted to talk about. I just said, “For Raven.”
“Even though she ran off on you?”
“Do you love her that much?”
“God damn it, is this the right time for this conversation?”
“I am her father,” he said simply.
There wasn’t much I could say to that, except, “I love her.”
“Enough for this?”
“Enough to protect her.”
“And to live with her?”
“For as long as we could stand each other. I don’t know if that would be a week or a lifetime.”
“She needs you,” he said. “She may run from you, but she needs you. Those pasty boys she finds . . .” He made a gesture of disgust. “They are not enough for her. She needs more. She needs a genuine man; a serious man. A man of honor.” more tomorrow