At 1:35 p.m. yesterday, as the drug trial of D.C. Mayor Marion Barry resumed after lunch, Assistant U.S. Attorney Judith E. Retchin said, "The government calls Charles Lewis." With that, a small man dressed in a blue three-piece suit entered the room and took the witness stand, avoiding Barry's eyes.

It was the first time that Lewis and Barry had met since Dec. 22, 1988, the day the manager of the Ramada Inn on Rhode Island Avenue NW called police to investigate a tip about drug dealing in Lewis's room.

That investigation -- aborted when the hotel manager learned that Barry was visiting Lewis in his room -- provided government prosecutors with their first solid lead in the case.

If, as Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard W. Roberts told the jury in his opening statement, this trial is about "the secret side of Marion Barry," then 50-year-old Lewis was the first person to describe that secret side at close hand.

For three hours, he told a rapt courtroom that he made drug purchases at the mayor's behest, procured women for the mayor's pleasure, and of parties with Spanish brandy and daylong cruises in the Virgin Islands arranged for Barry and the woman who would later betray him, model Hazel Diane "Rasheeda" Moore.

The man who became a part of that life is a self-described former cocaine addict who still faces sentencing on drug charges in his native Virgin Islands. He agreed to testify as a result of a deal he struck with the government last year, when he pleaded guilty to conspiring to buy and distribute cocaine here.

Although he has played a pivotal role in Barry's political fortunes for more than a year, Lewis remains an enigma: a man from a prominent Virgin Islands family whose career never took off.

From 1976 to 1982, Lewis worked as an employee and consultant for the D.C. Office of Personnel. Before and after that, he held similar positions in the Virgin Islands. He also worked here as a private management consultant.

In 1985, he returned to the Virgin Islands, where Gov. Alexander Farrelly, a friend of the Lewis family, gave him a job heading a personnel study for the government. He was fired in 1988 for incompetence, Farrelly said.

Lewis first met Barry in 1986, while the mayor was visiting the Virgin Islands with Moore. He also played host to the mayor on a March 1988 trip -- when, at one point, he left the mayor alone in his hotel room with Zenna Matthias, a schoolteacher Lewis occasionally dated.

"We have this saying in the islands: I didn't want to cramp his style," Lewis said.

Barry, wearing a red carnation, sat impassively through that and most of Lewis's testimony. But at one point, the mayor reacted visibly when Retchin asked Lewis to describe smoking crack.

"I get a better and immediate high than {with} the {cocaine} powder. I don't get {a} runny or stuffy {nose}," Lewis said in his soft voice, as Barry leaned back in his chair and began to grin. "You feel good," Lewis added. Barry's grin grew. Then Lewis laughed. "You feel great, as a matter of fact."

Barry's June 1986 visit to the islands became an oddly intimate encounter among Lewis, Barry and Moore, Lewis said. Lewis described the first day of the mayor's vacation, when he arrived at the hotel suite Barry shared with Moore.

"The mayor asked if I wanted something for the road," Lewis said. "I understood it to mean drugs. In fact, it was."

Moore got out a plastic bag containing cocaine powder and, at Lewis's request, put the powder up his nose. Then, he said, Barry and Moore snorted cocaine. Then they took a day's cruise on a ship Lewis had chartered, accompanied by one of the mayor's security guards, Lewis's date and two other of his friends. It was a day of swimming and sunning, interrupted frequently by trips to the ship's toilet by Barry and Moore together to snort cocaine, Lewis said.

At lunch, there was marijuana, and in the afternoon, more cocaine, Lewis said.

When the ship docked in the evening, Lewis's friends invited the group to a meal at their house and served fine Spanish brandy. Then Lewis, Barry, Moore and the mayor's bodyguard went back to the hotel to prepare for an evening on the town, Lewis said. While the mayor and Moore went into the bedroom to freshen up, Lewis said, he lay down on a sofa. "The next thing I knew," he said, "it was 7:30 in the morning."

Born in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.

Former D.C. government employee.

Convicted cocaine dealer

Lewis testified:

That from fall to December 1988, he picked up cocaine powder in Miami and delivered it to Barry in the District.

That he used cocaine with Hazel Diane "Rasheeda" Moore and Barry in June 1986, at The Frenchman's Reef Hotel in the Virgin Islands.

That he, Barry and Moore smoked marijuana on a boat in the Virgin Islands.

That he smoked marijuana with Barry during that visit.

That on a March 1988 trip to the Virgin Islands, Barry gave him $300 to buy crack cocaine.

That he and Barry smoked crack together in the Virgin Islands.

That on Dec. 16, 1988, Barry brought cocaine to him in a matchbox at the Ramada Inn, in the District.