Mac inside Martin's apartment. They're watching the end of the national news, a humorous tag on the many ways oppressed midwest farmers are coping with foreclosures and hostility toward bankers, sewing and knitting clothes for barnyard animals, such as favorite pigs. "Want a coke? Or a brew?" Martin says, rising.
"A coke please."
There are commercials, and the Six o clock intro montage of scenic local shots. A brief rundown of upcoming stories, and then immediately into the feature. There they are, on the courthouse lawn, Kelly and Mac.
Mac is on television.
First, the closeup of Kelly; she gives a brief factual rundown of the story so far, then introduces Mac by his full name. His hesitation is only momentary, then he's fine, at ease, telling the story as if he were sitting at home with friends. Kelly interrupts, prodding for the exact location. Mac describes Black Bayou Lake, about five miles north of the city, and the surrounding milo fields.
He had been going fishing since he was no longer employed and saw something down a plow-row near where he'd parked, in the shadow of fast-growing milo stalks.
"Fishing? You fishing?" Martin said.
Mac motioned for silence, watching the screen. Kelly asks if Mac had personally known the victim. He pauses uncomfortably, as if it were something he'd already explained to her, but smiles for the camera and audience out there. No, he'd never shaken her hand but indeed knew who she was, what kind of person she was. Kelly inquires tastefully to what state he found her.
"She was nekkid," he nods, and then the interview is over. The anchor finishes the story and then they cut to a police report on the search for the killer (several leads exist) and finally wrap up with various tributes to the fallen samaritan from local personalities.
Martin lowers the sound with remote control, finishing his can of Old Milwaukee. Mac's face is flushed; he cannot help but grin. "I guess she had to act like she didn't know me personally or something--can't do that on television, huh?"
Martin nods absently, stepping to the kitchen. "Mac. Are you going to tell me what's going on?"
"Hey--I could give you an interview for the paper, Martin."
"I'm not writing the story--somebody else is on that one." Evasively.
Martin turns and looks at Mac a while. "I'm not asking because of my job. This is me, asking you."
"I was just driving out to the lake to toss a pole, listening to the radio like everybody else, and they wanted people to look around. I got lucky."
"I can just see you holding a fish. About like you would a pipe bomb. How did you get to Black Bayou Lake?"
"It's off 165."
"What road did you turn off on?"
Mac is a blank. "Uh, right offhand . . ."
"Any street in the city limits and you know its name and what it used to be called and how many houses are on it and what the numbers are. But you can't say Coover Road because it's up in the north end of the parish and you hate anything rural and you've never been on it before today. Am I right?"
Mac is visibly torn. "I can't say nothing else. That's how it happened."
"Didn't I tell you already this isn't going in the paper? Aren't we friends?"
Mac seems on the verge of tears, hearing Martin say that, as if an echo from many years ago. "I always told people we were."
Martin begins to ask something, then doesn't. Some instinct tells him to leave this alone for the time being. He says he's got to go to the office and work a while, and after Mac leaves (a close call--Martin almost finds himself hugged, necessitating some fancy evasive footwork) he opens another beer, dials the phone and hangs up on his sister.