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Synopsis

It’s always a good day when the client shows up.

On this bright, New Orleans autumn morning, my newest client opens the smoky-glass door of my office, peeks in and says, “Are you Mr. Caye?”

“Come in.” I stand and wave her forward. Leaning my hands on my desk, I watch Mrs. Truly Fortenberry cautiously step in. A big woman, Truly has mousy brown hair worn under one of those turban hats, the kind Ann Sheridan made popular during the war. She wears a full brown skirt with a matching vest over a white blouse.

A typical-looking 1948 housewife, Truly glances around my office, at my tired sofa, at the hardwood floor in need of waxing, at the high ceiling with its water marks. She looks at the row of windows facing Barracks Street. With the Venetian blinds open, the oaks and magnolias of Cabrini Playground give this section of the lower French Quarter a country feel in the middle of town.

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