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. â€œGet in. Boss wants to talk to you.â€
Snyder folded his arms. â€œWhat if I don’t want to talk to him?â€
The mug pulled a gun. â€œHe can be pretty persuasive.â€
Snyder got in the car beside Verducci.
Verducci waved the driver on. â€œGo around the block.â€
Snyder asked,Â â€œSo, are you going to bump me off?â€
Verducci laughed. â€œKid, 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.â€
Â â€œThanks. Coming from a harem operator, thatâ€™s a compliment, I guess.â€
â€œIâ€™ve been rationalizing that for years. All these prophets come by and tell me to free them and take care of them, and Iâ€™ve ignored it. Then you went on trial, and I felt like a skunk.â€
â€œIf Iâ€™d run, the captive clientele wouldâ€™ve made you feel much better, Iâ€™m sure.â€
â€œWhat are you talking about?â€
â€œIf the court had ruled that everyone had to use public harems, you would have seen an increase in business.â€
â€œKid, 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.â€
â€œAnd if there’s anything else, call me.â€
Snyder got out of the car. Harems would be closed. Girls would be going free. Heâ€™d have to tell Father Bernard.
Mama Borden grabbed his arm. â€œAnny, come on, boy! We have to go out to celebrate.â€
â€œLater, I got to talk to somebody.â€
â€œOkay, but when you get back, I want to hear about that serial killer and your Indian father and whatever else you havenâ€™t told me.â€
â€œOkay, if you promise not to hit me.â€
â€œBaby, I’m glad to have you alive. I’ll give you amnesty.â€
Tales of the Dim Knight is available in Paperback form, in the Kindle StoreÂ as well as on Smashwords in a variety of formats. At both sites, you can get extensive free excerpts on your computer, or sent directly to your Kindle device from the Kindle store.