Chapter 34.

The police station.
Just as Maria and Pierce were leaving the scene of the crime the police had arrived on a tip given by Gwen and blocked the car of Maria so as to prevent all escape.

“Please put your hands up and do not move,” said a burly police officer in Spanish to Maria and Pierce. The police officer went up to them, put the handcuffs on and led them to the patrol car.

“You have to understand that we did nothing wrong.” Maria was amazed at the turn of events. The other police officer scampered up the hill and found Joanna lying in a pool of blood. He notified by radio to the other police officer that yes indeed, there was a body up there.

Pierce decided to speak to them. “Look, I am an American citizen and you are making a grave mistake.”

The police officer in the car told him directly, “Sir, you and the lovely lady are accused of murdering a poor woman in those famous ruins of ours. Anything you say to me could be used in court against you.”

Maria had an inkling of what was going on. She whispered to Pierce, “Don’t waste your time. This is all the doing of that treacherous woman. She probably tipped them off when she left. We might need a lawyer.”

Pierce reflected on that. He knew that the only lawyer he would need to call was his lawyer, John P. Stevens. He might be able to do something and pull some strings for him. They were brought back to the local station and put in separate cells with other prisoners with Pierce thrown in a cell with drunks and thieves.

“I want to call a lawyer, I am an American, I want a lawyer,” cried out Pierce, desperate to get out of prison. Soon after he heard the lumbering steps of the burly officer who sported not a smile but a long stick in his hand. He opened the cell and at that same moment the other petty criminals in the cell separated them themselves from Pierce, opening up like Moses opening the Red Sea. He was alone face to face with the burly officer. The other police officer came to the cell and promptly closed it behind them.

“Alright Mr. American gringo, let me show you my lawyer. He’s not big but he can be very mean and very persuasive when disturbed. But of course, he’s cheaper than a regular lawyer because he’s free.” And at those words the police officer smiled and unleashed a barrage of hits to the body of Pierce who even if he was young and healthy, was not exactly into fitness and martial arts. His flabbiness luckily insulated him from much of the blows that were delivered. The hits did not sting at first but after a few minutes of this regiment Pierce tried to respond. He tried to punch and kick but this only inflamed the wrath of the officer. The stick came down on him even more furiously after he resisted.

The other police officer outside the cell at first simply smiled and looked on, egging on the other officer. But when he saw Pierce trying to respond to the blows he jumped in as well. Both officers were now yielding the stick and hitting Pierce. The other prisoners made sure to stay in a corner so as not to be caught in the crossfire and remained mere spectators. At that point Pierce was on the floor, with the hits from both officers continuing albeit at a slower pace. The burly officer then said to his colleague.

“Manuel, I think that this gringo has had enough of my lawyer and yours, what do you think?”

“Yes Claudio, I think that you’re right. You’re lawyer was quite persuasive in his arguments.” At these words both laughed and left the cell, wiping the sweat from their faces and giving mean looks to the other prisoners. “Remember you vermin, you never saw anything!” the burly man called Claudio said in leaving. Pierce was on the floor in the foetal position, with a bloody face and his body black and blue. He was not moving.




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