Adachi’s private office in the back is even more cluttered than the reception area. A steel bookshelf has been rigged up against the wall and is stuffed with volumes of law books and journals. A large conference table, taking up what little room there is in the office, is covered with piles of legal documents, heavy stacks of books, newspapers, magazines, and cardboard boxes filled higgledy-piggledy with papers. From a distance the table could pass for an overloaded container ship inching its way through a narrow canal.
Lifting a box off of a seat, the lawyer invites me to sit down.
“I’m sorry for coming unannounced like this,” I say, taking the seat. It wobbles unsteadily below me. “But, this morning my apartment was raided by the police.”
“Did they tell you why they were there?”
“No, they wouldn’t say. Here.”
I hand the lawyer the papers I have with me: copies of the warrants and an itemized list of things confiscated from my apartment.
“What’s this?” Adachi asks, pointing to the Modafinil on the list.
“That has nothing to do with the case . . .”
Before I can explain, Adachi picks up the phone and starts dialing the number of the chubby Customs agent with the pencil mustache.
“Is this Nakata? Oh good. My name’s Adachi, I’m a lawyer and I’ve got a Mr. Bon . . .”
“Boncoeur,” I prompt. I can’t tell if the lawyer before me has brass balls or is a reckless fool.
“I’ve got a Mr. Boncoeur here. He’s quite upset about what happened this . . . I see . . .”
After speaking briefly with the Customs agent, Adachi hangs up the phone and announces definitively, “This is a case of attempted smuggling.”
“Yes, yes, I realize that now. That’s what I was going to tell you,” I reply, somewhat exasperated.
Adachi apologizes, saying he mistakenly assumed the case revolved around the Modafinil.
Starting over from the beginning, I explain what happened, the phone call to my cousin, and so on.
“Well, attempted smuggling isn’t nearly as bad as actual smuggling. If the drugs had, for instance, made it to your home and you had used them, well, then it would be an entirely different story. Hmm, this is very interesting.”
Adachi pushes his glasses to the top of his head and takes a second look at the papers again.
“Very interesting, indeed,” he mumbles to himself. “I worked on a similar case a few years ago . . . An American teaching at a junior high school here in town . . . When he was coming through Customs at the airport, he was found to have drugs hidden in the lens of his camera . . . He claimed they had been planted on him . . . Hmm, very interesting.”
Of all the names on the list, why did I have to choose this guy?
I wanted to back-peddle out of Adachi’s cluttered law office and find another lawyer, that Kōga, perhaps. Trouble is, I now have even less time than before.
“I wouldn’t worry,” Adachi concludes after muttering incoherently to himself for a minute. “If the police thought you were guilty, they would have arrested you this morning.”
“You know, I would really like to believe that, but I’m afraid I don’t trust the police. I mean, what if they are just postponing my arrest?”
“I don’t think they’d do that.”
“They want me to come in for questioning on Sunday morning and again on Monday.”
“Make sure you go, then.”
“Do I haveto? Am I legally obligated to go?”
C’mon, man, throw me a fucking bone here!
“No, but it will only make you look more suspicious if you don’t. And then they’ll definitely arrest you.”
“Isn’t there anything youcan do?”
“I’m afraid not,” he says flatly. “Just tell them what you’ve told me and you should be all right. You haven’t got anything to hide, right?”
Nothing to hide? Good Lord, I have plenty.
“No, nothing,” I say. “I didn’t ask or want my cousin to send her medicine. I didn’t evenknow there was something ‘illegal’ in the package until this morning when my place was raided.”
“Well, tell them that and I’m sure everything will be settled before long.”
The first posting/chapter in this series can be found here.
Rokuban: Too Close to the Sun and other works are available in e-book form and paperback at Amazon.