Thursday, 7 August 2008

04 August 2008

delighted. I suddenly began to realize that everybody in America is a natural born thief. I was getting the bug myself. I even began to try to see if doors were locked. The other cops were getting suspicious of us; they saw it in our eyes; they understood with unfailing instinct what was on our minds. Years of experience had taught them the likes of Henri and Me. In the daytime Henri and I went out with the gun and tried to shoot quail in the hills. Henri sneaked up to within three feet of the clucking birds and let go a blast of the .32. He missed. His tremendous laugh roared over the California woods and over America. “The time has come for you and me to go and see the Banana King.” It was Saturday; we got all spruced up and went down to the bus station at the crossroads. Here we spent an hour playing the pinball machine. We knew how to tip on it and left a hundred games there for anybody who wanted some fun. Henri’s huge laugh resounded everywhere we went. He took me to see the Banana King. “You must write a story about the Banana King” he warned me. “Don’t pull any tricks on the old maestro and write about something else. The Banana King is your meat. There stands the Banana King.” The Banana King was an old man selling bananas on the corner. I was completely bored. But Henri kept punching me in the ribs and even dragging me along by the collar. “When you write about the Banana King you write about the human interest things of life.” We strolled through the streets of San Francisco. Henri had no use for Chinatown. He took me back to see the Banana King. I told him I didn’t give a damn about the Banana King. “Until you learn to realize the importance of the Banana King you will know absolutely nothing about the human interest things of the world,” said Henri emphatically. On the highway in back of our shack, up the hill, Henri planted birdseed in the ditch in the hope of raising a crop of marijuana. The only time we went to look at the progress of the thing a cruising car pulled up beside us. “What are you boys doing?” “Oh, we’re members of the Sausalito police force, we work down there at the barracks. Just spending an afternoon off.” The cops went away. Down by the Sausalito waterfront Henri suddenly whipped out his gun and shot at the

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