home | login | register | DMCA | contacts | help | donate |      

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


my bookshelf | genres | recommend | rating of books | rating of authors | reviews | new | | collections | | | add



46

WHEN JUDSON CARRIED THE the Maylohda mail in to J. C. a little after ten that morning, she was seated at attention at her desk, speaking on the phone, using what he thought of as her High Teutonic voice not quite an accent but definitely not native-born: "Ai do not see," she was saying, "how Ai can be of help to you. Unless we have the manifest from the port at Lacuna in Maylohda, payment is simply impossible. Ai hope you can understand. Than kyew, please do that. Good-bye."

She hung up, shifted to a more relaxed at-ease position, and looked over at Judson, who had remained standing beside her desk, waiting to attract her attention. "Something?"

"I wondered," he said, feeling he had to tiptoe around this topic because he didn't want to push himself forward too aggressively but, on the other hand, didn't want to be left out, either, "if Mr. Tiny said when they were going to do that thing on Sixty-eighth Street."

J. C. didn't seem bothered by the question. In fact, she seemed, if anything, indifferent. "They're doing it now," she said.

Surprised, hurt, Judson said, "But Nobody told me."

The look she gave him was not warm. "Why should they?"

"Well I was helping, Mr. Kelp taught me about that burglar alarm, I thought" He moved his hands around, no longer sure what he thought.

"Look, Judson," she said, "you aren't a part of that group."

"But I thought"

"Tiny told me how you volunteered, and how he tried to let you know the volunteer isn't always necessarily right."

"Oh, he let me know that, all right. But they did let me help."

"And if they need some more help," she said, "they'll ask you again. Right now they know what they're doing, so they don't need any help. Okay?"

"Well"

It was just a fantasy, then, an assumption, and he'd been wrong. For one moment he'd held their coat, that's all. His position here was "the kid" and nothing else.

But if he wanted to at least keep that position, he'd better be careful here. So he stood up straighter and wiped the worried look from his face. "Sure," he said, as though it were no big deal. "They know Mr. Kelp and Mr. Tiny and all of them they know I'm here if they ever need some help again."

"They know that," J. C. agreed. "And, when they get their profit on what they're doing today, you'll get a piece, don't worry about it."

"Oh, I'm not worried," he told her, with a big self-confident grin.

Her own smile was wry as she studied him. "Well," she said, "maybe worry a little bit."

He had all day, surrounded by the incoming and outgoing mail, to wonder what she meant by that.


| Watch Your Back! | c