"You done good, to use the popular vernacular," I told Philips several hours later as we nursed our drinks at my favorite watering hole.
"I tried to get him to say enough to hang himself," he replied. "Do you think I did?"
"Yeah. And more importantly, so did Detective Sharp or he wouldn't have come in when he did. From what he told me before we left the precinct house, Eber's lawyer is not a happy camper. Of course he'll try to negate what the cops got on tape, but since nothing Eber said was coerced and there wasn't any entrapment, I think he'll have a hard time of it."
"I hope." Philips managed a small chuckle. "I wish I knew who Eber was planning to sell the book to, so I could offer it to them."
"You can bet the price he gave was lower than what the book's worth. Besides, after all we've been through; do you really want to get rid of it?"
"Maybe not. One thing that still bothers me. Since he wasn't in possession of it when he was arrested, will that negate the fact that he stole it in the first place?"
"Good question. I can always ask Caiazzo to have his people return it to where they found it. But then it could be forever until you get it back because it'll become evidence when the case goes to trial."
"But if it's not there…"
"I have a feeling a good prosecutor can deal with that problem. After all, Eber did admit to stealing it. The fact that he"—I made finger quotes—"'lost track of it afterwards', is not your problem."
My phone vibrated just then. It was Ricky, wanting to know how everything had gone and why I hadn't called him. He was upset because, when he'd tried to call me—several times according to him—my phone had been turned off. Of course he knew why, but that didn't do anything to ease his anxiety.
"You should have let me know the second it was over," he grouched. "For all I knew you could have ended up in the hospital. Again."
"I know. I'm sorry," I told him contritely. "I'll make it up to you." I glanced at Philips and saw he was on his phone. I had the distinct feeling he was calling his wife, having heard my end of my conversation.
"I know you will," Ricky said. "Starting with dinner at… humm…"
I could almost hear the wheels turning as he tried to decide what very expensive place he wanted to go to. "Sanoma's," I suggested. It was one of his favorites and it wouldn't put too big a hole in my finances.
"Yeah. I like that idea. You have an hour to get home and dressed before picking me up."
"What makes you think I'm not home already?"
"Maybe the background noise? I bet you and Philips are at Dubb's."
I chuckled. "You know me too well." Then I realized it had to be later than I thought if he was off work, or about to be. A quick check of the time told me I was right. "Okay, I'll see you in an hour. Love you."
"Love you back—now. I was debating it a few minutes ago."
"I know. Honest, I am sorry."
"I believe you," he said softly before hanging up.
Philips looked at me with more than a bit of amusement. "I suspect Ricky was reacting the same way my wife did, so we'd better call it a night. At least I don't have to take her out to dinner. She's got it waiting at home and, according to her, it's getting cold."
"Then we're out of here." I laughed. "And I'll give you a ride home."
"Oh? Oh yeah. I forgot. Again."
"Next time, you drive," I said as we left.
I shrugged. "Or something."