Part 2, Chapter 13 Summary
Two bouncers approach Thompson at the baccarat table and tell him it is time to go. They escort him to the front entrance and signal to the valet. They want to know where Thompson’s friend is. Thompson claims ignorance, but one of the bouncers produces a large photograph of him with his attorney.
Although it clearly is Thompson in the picture, he denies being that man. He says it is a guy named Thompson who works for Rolling Stone.His own name, he claims, is Raoul Duke. He says the other man in the photograph is a hit man for the Mafia. The bouncers want to know where he gets this information. Thompson flashes his police conference badge and warns the men to not make a scene. While they are equivocating, Thompson drives off in the Whale.
Thompson knows the gig is up, so he heads back to the Flamingo to retrieve his things. He tries to put up the convertible top as he exits, but it will not budge. It has been damaged by a “water test” in Lake Mead. The entire car is battered; it is the mobile equivalent of the destroyed hotel room at the Flamingo.
It is very early in the morning when Thompson eases the Whale into the VIP parking lot at the airport. The only attendant is a kid of about fifteen. This is a break for Thompson, who assures the kid that he signed the daily insurance form and that his two dollars per day will cover the damage. Had anyone else other than a naïve kid been on duty, there surely would have been trouble.
There are still a few hours to kill before the flight back to Los Angeles departs. Thompson checks his luggage except for the leather satchel, which contains his gun and the remainder of the drugs. He hunkers down in a coffee shop. As he looks around, Thompson is horrified to see that the entire airport is full of “pigs.” This disconcerts him greatly for a few minutes until he realizes that all the attendees of the National Attorneys’ Association’s Conference on Narcotics and Dangerous drugs are on their way back home.
As he sits and watches the throngs of law enforcement personnel, Thompson’s mind wanders back to the day he was rejected from enlistment in the military. The reason was a minor physical problem: one leg was a bit longer than the other one. When Thompson was denied a career in the armed services he became a “Doctor of Gonzo Journalism.” The Captain who refused to admit him into the Navy was later killed in battle.