The Last Days
of Monkey Zak: Part 2

All you have to do is recognize an opportunity.

—Meyer Lansky

Thursday, and Mikey was waiting for Mr. Yarbrough in the glassed patio of a neoplantation house of a home. But beyond that glass, instead of genteel CSA cotton fields was the wide fairway of a par five—a replica of some paragon hole in faraway Scotland. Morning dew on the ground. A white flock of cattle egrets. Grass as green as pond algae.

Metairie Country Club. Carlos Marcello—a criminal, a dago, a son of a farmer—had joked: “You gotta die before you can get in there.” But in this, the last lustrum of Talbot Yarbrough’s lengthy life, he’d managed what Marcello never would have been able to pull off. Years pass, memories fade, and over time Mr. Yarbrough’s law firm had grown reputable enough to soften the concerns of MCC bluebloods.

As for Mikey, Mikey and his Nigerian-immigrant cabdriver, he was only there because he’d been summoned. Yesterday, eating in casual fine-dining clothes at Muriel’s with the Lonely Fools (but still secretly, and paradoxically, both meditating on Susannah Clark and trying not to think about her), a before-the-bread-pudding phone call from Mr. Yarbrough because:

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