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."Sure, Troy.I just thought, from the way you were talking, that James was going to steal a car, that's all.""Renting is a long way from stealing, Pop.While I run James over to the Brickell station, see if you can find some hacksaw blades down there in the garage.There's a vise on the workbench where James keeps his paints, and I remember seeing a box of tools under the bench.Then, when I come back, you can help me out."Troy and James left in the Morris, and Stanley went into the kitchen."That was a nice dinner, Dale, and I really enjoyed it.Want me to carry that bag of garbage down to the yard?""No, I'd better do it myself." Tears trickled down her cheeks."You've got to look for the hacksaw blades like Troy said.When he tells you to do something, he means it.How was I to know he wanted ice cream on his pie? If he'd said, then I could've gotten ice cream and cheese, too.If you only knew how many rejections I've had in my life, Mr.Sinkiewicz, you'd feel sorry for me.""I feel sorry for you already, Dale.That's why I loaned Troy the money he needed.""Did I ever tell you about the lawyer I lived with once in Coconut Grove?" Dale wiped her eyes with her wet hands and then had to use the dry edge of a dish towel to get the soap out of her eyes."I'd been living with him for two months in his apartment, you know, and I thought he really liked me.Jesus, I used to go down on him every morning before he went to the office, and I never had any complaints.Then one night, it was after midnight, he said, 'Get your coat.' I was wearing a nightgown, so I started to get dressed.Then he said, 'No, just your coat.' I had this fur coat he'd given me, but I'd never worn it.It was a good fur--dyed rabbit--but you never need a fur coat down here.Anyway, I put it on over my nightgown, and slipped on some sandals.I didn't have on panties or pantyhose or nothing else.Just the nightgown and the fur coat.We got into his Mercedes, and he drove to Biscayne Boulevard, downtown, and then he stopped the car and told me to get out.Nothing else.Not a word of appreciation or thanks or nothing.And after two months.I didn't have my purse, my clothes, my money, anything.Lucky for me, just after he drove away, another car picked me up--an insurance man from Hialeah.We went to a motel on Seventy-ninth Street, and I was back in business again.But my life's been one rejection after another like that, and sometimes I just don't think I can stand any more of it.""You're lucky you have Troy now." Stanley patted her on the shoulder."I'm sure he didn't mean to hurt your feelings about the ice cream.You saw the way he made James eat his greens.That shows how sensitive he is to your feelings.Next time, you'll know to get ice cream when you fix apple pie.""I guess I should look on the bright side, huh?" Dale's twisted, toothless smile made Stanley turn his head away."I like you a lot, Mr.Sinkiewicz, and if you ever want a little action and Troy ain't around, you just let me know.Hear?" She reached amiably for Stanley's crotch, but he backed away before she could touch him."I'd better go down to the garage and look for those blades."Stanley found a metal toolbox beneath the bench, but the box had been left open and the unused tools were rusty from long exposure to the humidity.There were a halfdozen hacksaw blades wrapped in waxed paper, and the rusty saw was usable.The garage was well-lighted with several overhead 150-watt bulbs.One of the shadeless bulbs was directly above James's easel so he could paint at night.Stanley looked at James's paintings until Troy returned, thinking that James was lucky that he didn't need subject matter to paint.The Bajan could paint day or night, or anytime he felt like it, and it wouldn't make any difference.He wondered if they would make James paint objects of some kind when he enrolled in the Art Students League up in New York.If they did, James was going to be in trouble.Troy returned in the Morris and parked it beside Stanley's Honda.Stanley showed him the blades, and Troy went upstairs to get what he called his "new, but used" shotgun from his suitcase.He came down to the garage again, locked the shotgun in the vise, and sawed off the barrels as close as he could to the forestock.Then he turned the gun around in the vise and sawed off the rear stock.It took him a great deal longer to get through the wood than it had to shorten the metal barrels.When Troy finished it was an odd-looking weapon.He would have to hold it like a pistol to fire it.It looked unwieldy to Stanley."Won't that thing kick out of your hand when you shoot it?" Stanley asked."It won't be accurate, neither, if you go dove hunting.""I'm not going to -fire- it, Pop.Jesus, there'll be doubleaught shells in it.If I shot it, especially at close range, it would blow great big holes in a man's body.I just sawed off the barrels so it wouldn't look like some kind of sporting gun you see in the Sears catalog, but would look like a sawed-off shotgun, which it is now.It's a psychological ploy, Pop.A person associates long barrels with bird-shooting.But he associates a sawed-off shotgun with gangster movies, and he's afraid of it.This way, you don't have to shoot anyone, all you have to do is show the thing.If I do shoot it, I'll just shoot it up at the ceiling or something, and carry a few extra shells in my jacket pocket.""It looks wicked that way, and you've sure ruint it for shooting birds.""It was more accurate, or wicked as you say, with long barrels, Pop, and you just proved my point.But I'd never shoot birds with a shotgun [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]