Sunday, 14 September 2008

12 September 2008

on the Southern Pacific railroad making four hundred dollars a month.” There was utter confusion in the following hour. In the first place, my Southern relatives had no idea what was going on, or who, or what Neal, Louanne and Al Hinkle were; they dumbly stared. My mother and my sister went in to the kitchen to consult. There were, in all, eleven people in the little southern house. Not only that but my sister had just decided to move from that house and half her furniture was gone; she and her husband and baby were coming to Ozone Park to live with us in the little apartment. When Neal heard this he at once offered his services with the Hudson. He and I would carry furniture to New York in two fast trips and bring my mother back the tail end of the second trip. This was going to save us a lot of money. It was agreed upon. My sister made a spread and the three battered travelers sat down to eat. Louanne had not slept since Denver; I thought she looked older and more beautiful now. Let me describe everything that had happened and why Louanne was with Neal. He had lived happily with Carolyn in San Francisco ever since that Fall in 1947; he got a job on the railroad and made a lot of money. He became the father of a cute little girl, Cathy Jo Ann Cassady. Then suddenly he blew his top and while walking down the street one day he saw a ’49 Hudson for sale and rushed to the bank for his entire roll. He bought the car on the spot. Al Hinkle was with him. Now they were broke. Neal calmed Carolyn’s fears and told her he’d be back in a month. “I’m going to New York and bring Jack back.” She wasn’t too pleased at this prospect. “But what is the purpose of all this? Why are you doing this to me?” “It’s nothing, it’s nothing darling---ah---hem---Jack has pleaded and begged with me to come and get him, it is absolutely necessary for me to---but we won’t go into all these explanations---and I’ll tell you why…no listen, I’ll tell you why.” And he told her why, and of course it made no sense. Big tall Al Hinkle also worked on the railroad with Neal. They had just been laid off during a strike. Al had just met a girl called Helen who was living in San Francisco on her savings. These two mindless cads decided to bring the girl along to the East and have her foot the bill.

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