Thursday, 7 August 2008

31 July 2008

and he came back pissing mad. “I told some boys in there to keep quiet and they’re still making noise. I told them twice. I always give a man two chances. Not three. You come with me, and I’m going back there and arrest them.” “Well let me give them a third chance,” I said, “I’ll talk to them.” “No sir, I never gave a man more than two chances.” I sighed. Here we go. We went to the offending room and Tex opened the door and told everybody to file out. It was embarrassing. Every single one of us was blushing. This is the story of America. Everybody’s doing what they think they’re supposed to do. So what if a bunch of men talk in loud voices and drink in the night. But Tex wanted to prove something. He made sure to bring me along in case they jumped him. They might have. They were all brothers, all from Alabama. We all strolled back to the station. Tex in front and me in back. One of the boys said to me “Tell that crotch-eared meanass to take it easy on us, we might get fired for this and never get to Okinawa.” “I’ll talk to him.” In the station I told Tex to forget it. He said, for everybody to hear, and blushing, “I don’t give anybody no more than two chances.” “What the hail,” said the Alabaman, “what difference does it make. We might lose our jobs.” Tex said nothing and filled out the arrest forms. He arrested only one of them; he called the prowl car in town. They came and took him away. The other brothers walked off sullenly. “What’s Ma going to say?” they said. One of them came back to me. “You tell that Texas sonofabitch if my brother ain’t out of jail tomorrow night he’s going to get his ass fixed.” I told Tex, in a neutral way, and he said nothing. The brother was let off easy and nothing happened. The contingent shipped out; a new wild bunch came in. If it hadn’t been for Henri Cru I wouldn’t have stayed at this job two hours. But Henri Cru and I were on duty alone many a night and that’s when everything jumped. We made the first round of the evening in a leisurely way, Henri trying all the doors to see if they were locked and hoping to find one unlocked. He’d say “For years I’ve an idea to develop a dog into a superthief who’d go in to these guys rooms and take dollars out of their pockets. I’d train him to take nothing but green money; I’d make him smell it all day long. If there was

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