Thursday, 7 August 2008

07 August 2008

down that he’d lost his wallet in back of the grandstand at the track. “The truth is,” I said, “we lost all our money on the races, and to forestall any more hitching from racetracks from now on we go to a bookie, hey Henri?” Henri blushed all over. The man finally admitted he was an official of the Golden Gate track. He let us off at the elegant Palace Hotel; we watched him disappear among the chandeliers, his pockets full of money, his head held high. “Wagh! Whoo!” howled Henri in the evening streets of Frisco. “Kerouac rides with the man who runs the racetrack and SWEARS he’s switching to bookies, Diane! Diane!” he punched and mauled her- -“Positively the funniest man in the world! There must be lots of Italians in Sausalito. Aaaah-how!” He wrapped himself around a pole to laugh. But it started raining that night as Diane gave dirty looks to both of us. Not a cent left in the house. The rain drummed on the roof. “It’s going to last for a week” said Henri. He had taken off his beautiful suit, he was back in his miserable shorts and Army cap and T-shirt. His great brown sad eyes stared at the planks of the floor. We could hear Mr. Snow laughing his head off across the rainy night somewhere. “I get so sick and tired of that sonofabitch,” snapped Diane. She was on the go to start trouble. She began needling Henri. He was busy going thru his little black book in which were names of people, mostly seamen, who owed him money. Beside their names he wrote curses in red ink. I dreaded the day I’d ever find my way in that book. Lately I’d been sending so much money to my mother that I only bought four five dollars worth of groceries a week. In keeping with what President Truman said I added a few more dollars worth. But Henri felt it wasn’t my proper share; so he’d taken to hanging his grocery slips, the long ribbon slips with itemized prices, on the wall of the kitchen for me to see and understand. Diane was convinced Henri was hiding money from her, and me too for that matter. She threatened to leave him. Henri curled his lip “Where do you think you’ll go?” “Charlie.” “CHARLIE? A groom at the racetrack? Do you hear that Jack, Diane is going to go and put the latch on a groom at the racetrack. Be sure and bring your broom dear, the

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