Two days later, Judith arranged for a limo to take them to the airport. She also had a wheelchair ready for him, which, to Jack, was a hoot. She pushed him to the starting gate, cornered the chair as far from the others as possible. She bought him magazines, Sports Illustrated, People, Playboy, and laid them on his lap, then went happily off to take care of tickets, boarding passes, baggage, make a few last minute phone calls, do her pre-flight ablutions.
So here he was maybe fifteen minutes from returning to the real world of his pleasures. He had only to look at People Magazine to see what the world thought of him for there was the battered face on a full page. "Black (and Blue) Jack" they called him.
He went from People to Sports Illustrated for other pictures and other words when he heard her sad sympathetic sigh.
"Oh my, you really are a mess, aren't you?"
"It only hurts when I laugh," he said.
"I'll live." Then, to clear the air: "Just get me on that plane."
She seemed not to hear him.
"You came, you saw, you got conquered."
"The word is mugged, Foxx."
"Yes, but more than yes."
"They took what they came for, then reminded me what color I was."
"They were sending you a message, Jack. Somebody paid them to deliver it!"