I got out my phonebook after she left and looked up the address of Pallas’s company. I could have called ahead, but I don’t really like to use the phone too much. Sometimes I have to, but if I can avoid it...

The first person I see when I walk in is the receptionist. She’s your stereotypical receptionist. Young and cute, chewing gum and talking on the phone. The way I handle this type is to show them my badge. I don’t say I’m a cop, but I don’t say I’m not either. That way they assume you are official but you can’t get busted for impersonating an officer. So there I was with my badge in my hand asking to see the owner of the company. Most of these girls freak out in this situation. They get nervous or want to know what the problem is. This one’s cool as could be. She just calls up the boss and tells him a cop wants to see him. I guess it isn’t rare for cops to show up there.

She gets out of her little chair and leads me through a maze of shoe making machinery. There’s a lot of people working, people of all races and ages. And its loud. There’s huge presses stamping out leather uppers and toe boxes. Rubber soles and heels. There’s guys with hammers pounding away shaping steel toes and attacking grommets. A whole line of women are stitching suede insoles together. At first glance it seems chaotic, but I can see the order in it all. Work is getting done, and getting done efficiently.

We get all the way through the factory floor and at the back wall they have a bunch of cubicles set up. I guess these are for factory foremen, I notice one has Larry Hunty’s nameplate on it and make a mental note, Past these cubicles a door opens in the back wall and we enter a hall way. Lining each side is a series of office doors. The further down the hall we walk the quieter it gets. I figure whoever gets the office closest to the factory is lowest on the totem pole. I’m looking for names I recognize as we walk down the hall. They’re all at the end, Randy Oldemeyer, Ruth Bunis, Dan D’Minte and at the very end, Cyrus Pallas. The receptionist knocks twice and holds the door open for me.

And there he was behind his desk. The fat fuck. Just sitting there doing nothing and he was pouring sweat.

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