Tuesday, November 17, 2009

the seventeenth letter, part 11

for previous episode, click here

to begin at the beginning click here

"that's very generous, larry." d'annunzio looked at the two coins larry had handed him at the door of the restaurant.
"don't thank me, thank the universe."
"so, do you still want me to try for a seafood special - in a few days?"
larry glanced at sally, who was looking out the door and clutching a little bag with her second sandwich in it. "sure, why not. three days. we'll be here."
"thanks again, old timer."

'thank you," sally said to d'annunzio. " i really liked the sandwich."
"you're welcome, miss."
the door closed behind them.
the day was still bright though the afternoon was getting on.

"why did you tell him that?" sally asked. "i might have to work. i hope i have to work."
"don't worry about it. something can be arranged. you don't want to go back to the employment agency now, do you?"
"i don't feel like going back to the office either."

larry looked across at the car and then down the beach. "let's go for a walk."
larry went down on to the sand. sally continued on the sidewalk.
"come on, that's not walking on the beach."
"i'll get sand in my shoes and ruin them. i don't have a job - i can't afford new ones."

"if your shoes get ruined, i'll get you a new pair. we've got all sorts of clothes at the office."
"all right." sally moved slowly down on to the sand. "it's so quiet. i thought it was dangerous. "
"not any more."
they walked along. they saw a figure coming toward them, walking along the edge of the water.

larry squinted at it. "it's st bartholomew." he waved. "hey, bart! st bartholomew!"
the figure advanced at the same pace.
"ever met a saint?" larry asked sally.
"i don't think so."
"the world has passed them by. they don't have a whole lot to say for themselves."
"who was he?"
"he was a busboy at al's. looks like he isn't any more."

st bartholomew was carrying a brown sack. just before coming level with sally and larry he bent down and picked a tiny object out of the sand and put it into the sack.
"so, bart, how's it going?"
st bartholomew looked at larry with his bright eyes.
"all right, larry. how are you?"
"no complaints."

larry looked out at the water. "'pretty quiet here. peaceful."
"we're doing o k."
st bartholomew nodded up toward the road. a figure was lying in the sand, half covered in it,
"fine detective i am. i didn't even see him." larry moved a few paces toward the sprawled figure. "who is he?"
"that's kerouac. he was some kind of old sib of sancho's.

he was a busboy at al's for a while. when times were good."
"is he a saint too?" sally asked.
"sort of," st bartholomew answered.

he looked at sally a little suspiciously.
'he doesn't look like he has a whole lot to say for himself, " sally said.
'and who might you be?"
"she's just a citizen, " larry told him. "she's helping me on a case. i'm still on the police."
"yes, you mentioned that." st bartholomew shook his sack. "i'll be getting along." he smiled. "hope things start picking up."
larry smiled politely at the saint's little joke. "sure. take it easy."

"nice seeing you, larry. you too, miss."
larry and sally kept walking along the water's edge.
'how come it''s so quiet now." sally asked, "when it used to be dangerous?"

"it got cleaned up."
"shouldn't we be getting back?" a small wave came up almost to sally's foot and she hopped away from it.
"you in a hurry? let's walk a little further."

by the time charlotte and jeanne got off the elevator, charlotte's good mood had mostly evaporated.

they passed the room where tania and annabelle were huddled.
'i think i'll look in on them," jeanne said.

"don't take too long." charlotte went onto her own office and shut the door.
jeanne opened the door to the little room.
"everything all right here?"
"fine," annabelle told her.
"where are the others?"
"roy got a call - it didn't sound like much. i haven't seen larry all day." annabelle glanced at tania.
"he hasn't been back at all?" jeanne asked.
"i could go look for him," tania said.
annabelle, with her back to jeanne, smirked a little.

"that won't be necessary." jeanne looked at the files on the table. "keep working. but i have to tell you, things are changing. these things might not be so important as they were." she went out and closed the door
'what did i tell you?" annabelle asked tania.

"let's forget the cases," olivia told the duc. "for now."

the duc nodded glumly.
"we have to reorganize."
"consolidation. we know it's coming. so we have to anticipate. we need to show the madames we're on it at the next meeting."
"my poor empire," said the duc.

"we can't do anything to charlotte or margot - well, we could try but it's best to leave them alone, wouldn't you agree? especially charlotte."
"but the rest of them - suspicious circumstances, suspicious development, economic crimes, recreation crimes, sports crimes -"

"sports crimes! i forgot they existed!"
'they can all get cut down or thrown in the dumpster. and a lot of the regional offices - what good are they?"
"i suppose." the duc sighed. "economic crimes, though - that might be the coming thing. we could let them go, maybe build them up a little."
olivia considered this. "you're right. we can transfer a few of the better people out of the others."
"better people!"

"whatever, the less worthless people. after we decide, i'll take tallboy -"
"or the new assistant you're going to get."
"of course, the new assistant - we'll go around to the ones not in the building -"
"yes , light a fire under them."

"we don't have to light any fires, i'll let them down easy. who knows where some of them might end up?'
"true." the duc leaned back in his chair and sighed again.
"we don't need any new enemies."

"the waterfront! couldn't they find anybody closer to the waterfront!" leslie complained as she and country girl went out to the van.

"you want to go back and discuss it with giselle?" country girl asked her.
leslie didn't answer. she got into the passenger seat and slammed the door.
country girl got in and turned the ignition on but didn't back the van out.

"what are we waiting for?"
"martindale. we have to follow martindale."
"oh please! she's the slowest driver on the whole police force."
"i was told to follow martindale. that's what we're going to do."
"well, i don't like it one bit." leslie took a new toothpick out of her pocket and stuck in her mouth.

"here she comes now," country girl said. corporal martindale and her robot partner bobo were making their way to their van. they got in it but didn't move.
'what's she doing in there, taking a bath?"leslie asked.

"don't talk filth."
"filth! ok, miss great lover, i won't talk filth."
"you got me there. i'm sorry - it just slipped out."
leslie took her toothpick out of her mouth and stared at it "apology accepted."
"have you ever been to the waterfront?" country girl asked.
"i have. a couple of times. it's kind of cool."
'i hope it's not a cool place to spend the whole night."
martindale's van started backing out.
'she's finally moving," said country girl. "all right,we're off.."
"ride'em cowboy."

larry and sally came around a bend in the beach. they saw a bench up by the sidewalk.
sally looked up at the cloudless sky. "should we start back?" she asked.
'let's sit on that bench for a while."
"we need to have a little talk."

the seventeenth letter, part 12

1 comment:

Christine Gram said...

Your writing is brilliant. We are hooked. Still way back at letter number 10, but my son and I are reading together after school. We both love it.