Snyder walked out of the courthouse a civilian for the first time in four years.
A long black stretch limo pulled up. Hired muscle rolled down one of the back windows. “Get in. Boss wants to talk to you.”
Snyder folded his arms. “What if I don’t want to talk to him?”
The mug pulled a gun. “He can be pretty persuasive.”
Snyder got in the car beside Verducci.
Verducci waved the driver on. “Go around the block.”
Snyder asked, “So, are you going to bump me off?”
Verducci laughed. “Kid, I said around the block, not down to the ocean. I don’t do that myself. It’s very unpleasant. I just wanted to say what you did took a lot of guts.”
“Thanks. Coming from a harem operator, that’s a compliment, I guess.”
“I’ve been rationalizing that for years. All these prophets come by and tell me to free them and take care of them, and I’ve ignored it. Then you went on trial, and I felt like a skunk.”
“If I’d run, the captive clientele would’ve made you feel much better, I’m sure.”
“What are you talking about?”
“If the court had ruled that everyone had to use public harems, you would have seen an increase in business.”
“Kid, not everybody thinks as strategically as you do. I just felt guilty about owning the harems, partnering with Bloody Harry no less. But, you went through this whole thing and took the risks. So, I tell you what I’m going to do. I’ll close all four harems I operate and make provision for the girls. And as for you, I got you an appointment with a friend in Los Angeles. He’ll make you look like yourself rather than like you spent five years playing hockey and then took up boxing.”
“And if there’s anything else, call me.”
Snyder got out of the car. Harems would be closed. Girls would be going free. He’d have to tell Father Bernard.
Mama Borden grabbed his arm. “Anny, come on, boy! We have to go out to celebrate.”
“Later, I got to talk to somebody.”
“Okay, but when you get back, I want to hear about that serial killer and your Indian father and whatever else you haven’t told me.”
“Okay, if you promise not to hit me.”
“Baby, I’m glad to have you alive. I’ll give you amnesty.”
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