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11

KELP, sitting in the back seat with the Mickey Mouse masks, said, Here he comes.

I see him, Dortmunder said. Dortmunder was driving, and May was sitting next to him. Kelp was the one who had gotten this car, a blue Caprice with MD plates, and it had been his intention to drive it, but Dortmunder had said, Ill drive. No explanation, just a sort of heavy determination that Kelp had found it impossible to argue with. So Kelp was now in the back seat, leaning forward between Dortmunder and May, watching through the windshield as the kidsomewhat tall for his age, but very skinnycame out of the apartment building and was escorted into the gray Cadillac by the doorman.

Dortmunder started the engine of the Caprice. Kelp said, You dont want to follow too close. Hang back a couple cars.

Shut up, Andy, Dortmunder said, and May turned to look at Kelp and give him a little nod, suggesting that he should humor Dortmunder at the moment by leaving him alone.

Anything you say, Kelp said, and relaxed against the seat back as Dortmunder eased the Caprice into the line of traffic.

The Cadillac led the way down Central Park West to Sixty-ninth Street, then across to Ninth Avenue and straight down to the Lincoln Tunnel. It was shortly after four on a Wednesday afternoon, and the rush-hour traffic had already started to build. It was stop-and-go through the tunnel, but over on the Jersey side things loosened up, and they were driving almost up to the speed limit as they headed west, across route 3.

Kelp had been nervous and full of anticipation all day, but now that they were actually in motion he found himself growing increasingly calm. In fact, sifting in the back seat of a car heading west across New Jersey was essentially a dull and monotonous occupation no matter what the purpose, and Kelp soon had to admit he was getting bored. Conversation might have helped, but he suspected Dortmunder wasnt in any mood for chitchat, and in any event its always hard to maintain a conversation between the front and back seats of an automobile. So after a while he pulled from his pocket one of his copies of Child Heist and began to read again the part where they grabbed the kid. Chapter eight.


| Jimmy the Kid | c