The Senator remained quiet, staring at the report in front of her. She couldn’t change the fact that an investigation showed the influential warden at a women’s prison ran a brothel there and had caused the death of a young inmate who wouldn’t go along with his scheme.
I tried again. "Nancy, the guards’ depositions can’t be ignored. What would they gain by lying?"
She looked at me again. "Annie, I can’t take on this issue. I want to run for governor in two years. If I look like I’m coddling criminals, I might as well give up the notion right now."
"Senator, those women have been beaten and raped. One of them got killed. The warden sealed the coffin and said it was meningitis."
"So you say." Her smile was condescending. "Annie, these women are just different from you and me." Meaning they didn’t have pedigrees that went back to Jamestown. "Why, the warden told me at my fundraiser last week that some of them are, you know."
"Oh, don’t play me that way. You know very well what I’m talking about." Her voice dropped to a whisper. "Some of them are lesbians."
"Lord, Nancy, you don’t have to whisper the word, lesbian. The best families have them. Why do you think Aunt Margery nicked all those lace hankies? They certainly weren’t for Uncle Powell."
The Senator rose and came from behind her desk. She whipped off her glasses and pointed at me with them. "I will not release that report to the press. Write me one that says my investigation could not substantiate the charges."
"How much did the warden contribute?"
"Let me hold the press conference. My name alone will draw a crowd of reporters. You don’t have to be involved."
"Annie, the only way I’d let you do that is if you didn’t work for me." The smile was pure bitch. "But we all know how badly you need a job."
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