He flicked on the light. The room had a musty, disused air about it. Stale air and dust, dull and windowless.
“What is this place?” she asked.
“It used to be a barrel house. Bootleggers would store their whiskey here until they could ship it upriver.” He pointed to a trap door in the floor. “This opens right onto the canal. They’d run a barge under it and load up. I heard the prohibition agents were so busy watching the roads they never thought of the river.”
“The canal runs under the building?”
“Yep.” He went to the tall cabinets along one of the walls, selected a key from his ring and undid the heavy padlock. “There’s enough canned food here for a year. The pump in the corner attached to a reverse-osmosis filter, so you’ll have plenty of water. Chemical toilet in stall there. Magazines and books on that shelf.”
“How long will I have to stay here?”
“The trial is set for the fifth, but I imagine Scalario’s lawyers will string it out as long as possible. A month, maybe. Three at the most.”
She felt the despair rise in her. It must have showed on her face, because he came over and put a hand on her shoulder. “We wouldn’t do this unless it was absolutely necessary. This is the only place I’m sure of. You’ll be safe here.”
He sounded so certain. She she almost believed him.