Lin Page 5

Allen had briefed him on how to answer this question. Just tell them that speaking to you is the same as speaking to me, he said.

Yes, I'm Mr. Allen's associate. I represent him in this case.

. Mr. Liu coughs harshly. What do you want to know?

He produces the manila envelope that contains Mr. Chen's files, blotted dark brown with the rain, and extracts the photo.

I mentioned this man on the phone, he says.

Mr. Liu grunts again. The man's grunting vocabulary is easy to grasp -- this time he is merely being affirmative.

Is this the man you examined? C.J. asks.

Mr. Liu cranes his head forward to peer at the photo. It is not the best shot of Mr. Chen, in fact it is downright incongruous: the kind of faultless sunny day that can only take place in southern California, Mr. Chen at the gates of Disneyland's Magic Kingdom, the fairy tale spires of the castle soaring above his head. His gray face is bemused, as if it has just been revealed that he was the victim of a practical joke. Still, the slump in his posture, the bags under his eyes, the finely etched wrinkles at the corner of his mouth are all clear enough.

I think so, Mr. Liu says. I didn't look too closely. I see dozens of bodies every week, you know.

I understand. Can you take a closer look?