The Long Goodbye

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I went home and showered and shaved and changed clothes and began to feel clean again. I cooked some breakfast, ate it, washed up, swept the kitchen and the service porch, filled a pipe and called the phone answering service. I shot a blank. Why go to the office? There would be nothing there but another dead moth and another layer of dust. In the safe would be my portrait of Madison. I could go down and play with that, and with the five crisp hundred dollar bills that still smelled of coffee. I could do that, but I didn’t want to. Something inside me had gone sour. None of it really belonged to me. What was it supposed to buy? How much loyalty can a dead man use? Phooey: I was looking at life through the mists of a hangover.

It was the kind of morning that seems to go on forever. I was flat and tired and dull and the passing minutes seemed to fall into a void, with a soft whirring sound, like spent rockets. Birds chirped in the shrubbery outside and the cars went up and down Laurel Canyon Boulevard endlessly. Usually I wouldn’t even hear them. But I was brooding and irritable and mean and oversensitive. I decided to kill the hangover.

Ordinarily I was not a morning drinker. The Southern California climate is too soft for it. You don’t metabolize fast enough. But I mixed a tall cold one this time and sat in an easy chair with my shirt open and pecked at a magazine, reading a crazy story about a guy that had two lives and two psychiatrists, one was human and one was some kind of insect in a hive. The guy kept going from one to the other and the whole thing was as crazy as a crumpet, but funny in an offbeat sort of way. I was handling the drink carefully, a sip at a time, watching myself.

It was about noon when the telephone rang and the voice said: “This is Linda Loring. I called your office and your phone service told me to try your home. I’d like to see you.”


“I’d rather explain that in person. You go to your office from time to time, I suppose.”

“Yeah. From time to time. Is there any money in it?”

“I hadn’t thought of it that way. But I have no objection, if you want to be paid. I could be at your office in about an hour.”


“What’s the matter with you?” she asked sharply.

“Hangover. But I’m not paralyzed. I’ll be there. Unless you’d rather come here.”

“Your office would suit me better.”

“I’ve got a nice quiet place here. Dead-end street, no near neighbors.”

“The implication does not attract me—if I understand you.”

“Nobody understands me, Mrs. Loring. I’m enigmatic. Okay, I’ll struggle down to the coop.”

“Thank you so much.” She hung up.

I was slow getting down there because I stopped on the way for a sandwich. I aired out the office and switched on the buzzer and poked my head through the communicating door and she was there already, sitting in the same chair where Mendy Menendez had sat and looking through what could have been the same magazine. She had a tan gabardine suit on today and she looked pretty elegant. She put the magazine aside, gave me a serious look and said: “Your Boston fern needs watering. I think it needs repotting too. Too many air roots.”

I held the door open for her. The hell with the Boston fern. When she was inside and I had let the door swing shut I held the customer’s chair for her and she gave the office the usual once-over. I got around to my side of the desk.

“You’re establishment isn’t exactly palatial,” she said. “Don’t you even have a secretary?”

“It’s a sordid life, but I’m used to it.”

“But I shouldn’t think very lucrative,” she said.

“Oh I don’t know. Depends. Want to see a portrait of Madison?”

“A what?”

“A five-thousand-dollar bill. Retainer. I’ve got it in the safe.” I got up and started over there. I spun the knob and opened it and unlocked a drawer inside, opened an envelope, and dropped it in front of her. She stared at it in something like amazement.

“Don’t let the office fool you,” I said. “I worked for an old boy one time that would cash in at about twenty millions. Even your old man would say hello to him. His office was no better than mine, except he was a bit deaf and had that soundproofing stuff on the ceiling. On the floor brown linoleum, no carpet.”

She picked the portrait of Madison up and pulled it between her fingers and turned it over. She put it down again.

“You got this from Terry, didn’t you?”

“Gosh, you know everything, don’t you Mrs. Loring?”

She pushed the bill away from her, frowning. “He had one. He carried it on him ever since he and Sylvia were married the second time. He called it his mad money. It was not found on his body.”

“There could be other reasons for that.”

“I know. But how many people carry a five-thousand-dollar bill around with them? How many who could afford to give you that much money would give it to you in this form?”

It wasn’t worth answering. I just nodded. She went on brusquely.

“And what were you supposed to do for it, Mr. Marlowe?’ Or would you tell me? On that last ride down to Tijuana he had plenty of time to talk. You made it very clear the other evening that you didn’t believe his confession. Did he give you a list of his wife’s lovers so that you might find a murderer among them?”

I didn’t answer that either, but for different reasons.

“And would the name of Roger Wade appear on that list by any chance?” she asked harshly. “If Terry didn’t kill his wife, the murderer would have to be some violent and irresponsible man, a lunatic or a savage drunk. Only that sort of man could, to use your own repulsive phrase, beat her face into a bloody sponge. Is that why you are making yourself so very useful to the Wades—a regular mother’s helper who comes on call to nurse him when he is drunk, to find him when he is lost, to bring him home when he is helpless?”

“Let me set you right on a couple of points, Mrs. Loring, Terry may or may not have given me that beautiful piece of engraving. But he gave me no list and mentioned no names. There was nothing he asked me to do except what you seem to feel sure I did do, drive him to Tijuana. My getting involved with the Wades was the work of a New York publisher who is desperate to have Roger Wade finish his book, which involves keeping him fairly sober, which in turn involves finding out if there is any special trouble that makes him get drunk. If there is and it an be found out, then the next step would be an effort to remove it. I say effort, because the chances are you couldn’t do it. But you could try.”

“I could tell you in one simple sentence why he gets drunk,” she said contemptuously. “That anemic blond show piece he’s married to.”

“Oh I don’t know,” I said. “I wouldn’t call her anemic.”

“Really? How interesting.” Her eyes glittered.

I picked up my portrait of Madison. “Don’t chew too long on that one, Mrs. Loring. I am not sleeping with the lady. Sorry to disappoint you.”

I went over to the safe and put my money away in the locked compartment. I shut the safe and spun the dial.

“On second thought,” she said to my back, “I doubt very much that anyone is sleeping with her.”

I went back and sat on the corner of the desk. “You’re getting bitchy, Mrs. Loring. Why? Are you carrying a torch for our alcoholic friend?”

“I hate remarks like that,” she said bitingly. “I hate them. I suppose that idiotic scene my husband made makes you think you have the right to insult me. No, I am not carrying a torch for Roger Wade. I never did—even when he was a sober man who behaved himself. Still less now that he is what he is.”

I flopped into my chair, reached for a matchbox, and stared at her. She looked at her watch.

“You people with a lot of money are really something,” I said. “You think anything you choose to say, however nasty, is perfectly all right. You can make sneering remarks about Wade and his wife to a man you hardly know, but if I hand you back a little change, that’s an insult. Okay, let’s play it low down. Any drunk will eventually turn up with a loose woman. Wade is a drunk, but you’re not a loose woman. That’s just a casual suggestion your high-bred husband drops to brighten up a, cocktail party. He doesn’t mean it, he’s just saying it for laughs. So we rule you out, and look for a loose woman elsewhere. How far do we have to look, Mrs. Loring—to find one that would involve you enough to bring you down here trading sneers with me? It has to be somebody rather special, doesn’t it—otherwise why should you care?”

She sat perfectly silent, just looking. A long half-minute went by. The corners of her mouth were white and her hands were rigid on her gabardine bag that matched her suit.

“You haven’t exactly wasted your time, have you?” she said at last. “How convenient that this publisher should have thought of employing you! So Terry named no names to you! Not a name. But it really didn’t matter, did it, Mr. Marlowe? Your instinct was unerring. May I ask what you propose to do next?”


“Why, what a waste of talent! How can you reconcile it with your obligation to your portrait of Madison? Surely there must be something you can do.”

“Just between the two of us,” I said, “you’re getting pretty corny. So Wade knew your sister. Thanks for telling me, however indirectly. I already guessed it. So what? He’s just one of what was most likely a fairly rich collection. Let’s leave it there. And let’s get around to why you wanted to see me. That kind of got lost in the shuffle didn’t it?”

She stood up. She glanced at her watch once more. “I have a car downstairs. Could I prevail upon you to drive home with me and drink a cup of tea?”

“Go on,” I said. “Let’s have it.”

“Do I sound so suspicious? I have a guest who would like to make your acquaintance.”

“The old man?”

“I don’t call him that,” she said evenly, I stood up and leaned across the desk. “Honey, you’re awful cute sometimes. You really are. Is it all right if I carry a gun?”

“Surely you’re not afraid of an old man.” She wrinkled her lip at me.

“Why not? I’ll bet you are—plenty.”

She sighed. “Yes, I’m afraid I am. I always have been. He can be rather terrifying.”

“Maybe I’d better take two guns,” I said, then wished I hadn’t.

It was the damndest-looking house I ever saw. It was a square gray box three stories high, with a mansard roof, steeply sloped and broken by twenty or thirty double dormer windows with a lot of wedding cake decoration around them and between them. The entrance had double stone pillars on each side but the cream of the joint was an outside spiral staircase with a stone railing, topped by a tower room from which there must have been a view the whole length of the lake.

The motor yard was paved with stone. What the place really seemed to need was a half mile of poplar-lined driveway and a deer park and a wild garden and a terrace on three levels and a few hundred roses outside the library window and a long green vista from every window ending in forest and silence and quiet emptiness. What it had was a wall of fieldstone around a comfortable ten or fifteen acres, which is a fair hunk of real estate in our crowded little country. The driveway was lined with a cypress hedge trimmed round. There were all sorts of ornamental trees in clumps here and there and they didn’t look like California trees. Imported stuff. Whoever built that place was trying to drag the Atlantic seaboard over the Rockies. He was trying hard, but he hadn’t made it.

Amos, the middle-aged colored chauffeur, stopped the Caddy gently in front of the pillared entrance, hopped out, and came around to hold the open door for Mrs. Loring. I got out first and helped him hold it. I helped her get out. She had hardly spoken to me since we got into the car in front of my building. She looked tired and nervous. Maybe this idiotic hunk of architecture depressed her. It would have depressed a laughing jackass and made it coo like a mourning dove.

“Who built this place?” I asked her. “And who was he mad at?”

She finally smiled. “Hadn’t you seen it before?”

“Never been this far into the valley.”

She walked me over to the other side of the driveway and pointed up. “The man who built it jumped out of that tower room and landed about where you are standing. He was a French count named La Tourelle and unlike most French counts he had a lot of money. His wife was Ramona Desborough, who was not exactly threadbare herself. In the silent-picture days she made thirty thousand a week. La Tourelle built this place for their home. It’s supposed to be a miniature of the Château de Blois. You know that, of course.”

“Like the back of my hand,” I said. “I remember now. It was one of those Sunday paper stories once. She left him and he killed himself. There was some kind of queer will too, wasn’t there?”

She nodded. “He left his ex-wife a few millions for car fare and tied the rest up in a trust. The estate was to be kept on just as it was. Nothing was to be changed, the dining table was to be laid in style every night, and nobody was to be allowed inside the grounds except the servants and the lawyers. The will was broken, of course. Eventually the estate was carved up to some extent and when I married Dr. Loring my father gave it to me for a wedding present. It must have cost him a fortune merely to make it fit to live in again. I loathe it. I always have.”

“You don’t have to stay here, do you?”

She shrugged in a tired sort of way. “Part of the time, at least. One of his daughters has to show him some sign of stability. Dr. Loring likes it here.”

“He would. Any guy who could make the kind of scene he made at Wade’s house ought to wear spats with his pajamas.”

She arched her eyebrows. “Why, thank you for taking such an interest, Mr. Marlowe. But I think enough has been said on that subject. Shall we go in? My father doesn’t like to be kept waiting.”

We crossed the driveway again and went up the stone steps and half of the big double doors swung open noiselessly and an expensive and very snooty looking character stood aside for us to enter. The hallway was bigger than all the floor space in the house I was living in. It had a tessellated floor and there seemed to be stained-glass windows at the back and if there had been any light coming through them I might have been able to see what else was there. From the hallway we went through some more double carved doors into a dim room that couldn’t have been less than seventy feet long. A man was sitting there waiting, silent. He stared at us coldly.

“Am I late, Father?” Mrs. Loring asked hurriedly. “This is Mr. Philip Marlowe. Mr. Harlan Potter.”

The man just looked at me and moved his chin down about half an inch.

“Ring for tea,” he said. “Sit down, Mr. Marlowe.”

I sat down and looked at him. He looked at me like an entomologist looking at a beetle. Nobody said anything. There was complete silence until the tea came. It was put down on a huge silver tray on a Chinese table. Linda sat at a table and poured.

“Two cups,” Harlan Potter said. “You can have your tea in another room, Linda.”

“Yes, Father. How do you like your tea, Mr. Marlowe?”

“Any way at all,” I said. My voice seemed to echo off into the distance and get small and lonely.

She gave the old man a cup and then gave me a cup. Then she stood up silently and went out of the room. I watched her go. I took a sip of tea and got a cigarette out.

“Don’t smoke, please. I am subject to asthma.”

I put the cigarette back in the pack. I stared at him. I don’t know how it feels to be worth a hundred million or so, but he didn’t look as if he was having any fun. He was an enormous man, all of six feet five and built to scale. He wore a gray tweed suit with no padding. His shoulders didn’t need any. He wore a white shirt and a dark tie and no display handkerchief. A spectacle case showed in the outside breast pocket. It was black, like his shoes. His hair was black too, no gray at all. It was brushed sideways across his skull in a MacArthur sweep. And I had a hunch there was nothing under it but bare skull. His eyebrows were thick and black. His voice seemed to come from a long way off. He drank his tea as if he hated it.

“It will save time, Mr. Marlowe, if I put my position before you. I believe you are interfering in my affairs. If I am correct, I propose to stop it.”

“I don’t know enough about your affairs to interfere in them, Mr. Potter.”

“I disagree.”

He drank some more tea and put the cup aside. He leaned back in the big chair he was sitting in and took me to pieces with his hard gray eyes.

“I know who you are, naturally. And how you make your living—if you make one—and how you became involved with Terry Lennox. It has been reported to me that you helped Terry get out of the country, that you have doubts about his guilt, and that you have since made contact with a man who was known to my dead daughter. For what purpose has not been explained to me. Explain it.”

“If the man has a name,” I said, “name it.”

He smiled very slightly but not as if he was falling for me. “Wade. Roger Wade. Some sort of writer, I believe. A writer, they tell me, of rather prurient books which I should not be interested to read. I further understand that this man is a dangerous alcoholic. That may have given you a strange notion.”

“Maybe you had better let me have my own notions, Mr. Potter. They are not important, naturally, but they’re all I have. First, I do not believe Terry killed his wife, because of the way it was done and because I don’t think he was that kind of man. Second, I didn’t make contact with Wade. I was asked to live in his house and do what I could to keep him sober while he finished a job of writing. Third, if he is a dangerous alcoholic, I haven’t seen any sign of it. Fourth, my first contact was at the request of his New York publisher and I didn’t at that time have any idea that Roger Wade even knew your daughter. Fifth, I refused this offer of employment and then Mrs. Wade asked me to find her husband who was away somewhere taking a cure. I found him and took him home.”

“Very methodical,” he said dryly.

“I’m not finished being methodical, Mr. Potter. Sixth—you or someone on your instructions sent a lawyer named Sewell Endicott to get me out of jail. He didn’t say who sent him, but there wasn’t anyone else in the picture. Seventh, when I got out of jail a hoodlum named Mendy Menendez pushed me around and warned me to keep my nose clean and gave me a song and dance about how Terry had saved his life and the life of a gambler at Las Vegas named Randy Starr. The story could be true for all I know. Menendez pretended to be sore that Terry hadn’t asked him for help getting to Mexico and had asked a punk like me instead. He, Menendez, could have done it two ways from the jack by lifting one finger, and done it much better.”

“Surely,” Harlan Potter said with a bleak smile, “you are not under the impression that I number Mr. Menendez and Mr. Starr among my acquaintances.”

“I wouldn’t know, Mr. Potter. A man doesn’t make your kind of money in any way I can understand. The next person to warn me off the courthouse lawn was your daughter, Mrs. Loring. We met by accident at a bar and we spoke because we were both drinking gimlets, Terry’s favorite drink, but an uncommon one around here. I didn’t know who she was until she told me. I told her a little of how I felt about Terry and she gave me the idea that I would have a short unhappy career if I got you mad. Are you mad, Mr. Potter?”

“When I am,” he said coldly, “you will not have to ask me. You will be in no uncertainty about it.”

“What I thought. I’ve been kind of expecting the goon squad to drop around, but they haven’t shown so far. I haven’t been bothered by the cops either. I could have been. I could have been given a rough time. I think all you wanted, Mr. Potter, was quiet. Just what have I done to disturb you?”

He grinned. It was a sour kind of grin, but it was a grin. He put his long yellow fingers together and crossed a leg over his knee and leaned back comfortably.

“A pretty good pitch, Mr. Marlowe, and I have let you make it. Now listen to me. You are exactly right in thinking all I want is quiet. It’s quite possible that your connection with the Wades may be incidental, accidental, and coincidental. Let it remain so. I am a family man in an age when it means almost nothing. One of my daughters married a Bostonian prig and the other made a number of foolish marriages, the last being with a complaisant pauper who allowed her to live a worthless and immoral life until he suddenly and for, no good reason lost his self-control and murdered her. You think that impossible to accept because of the brutality with which it was done. You are wrong. He shot her with a Mauser automatic, the very gun he took with him to Mexico. And after he shot her he did what he did in order to cover the bullet wound. I admit the brutality of this, but remember the man had been in a war, had been badly wounded, had suffered a great deal and seen others suffer. He may not have intended to kill her. There may have been some sort of scuffle, since the gun belonged to my daughter. It was a small but powerful gun, 7.65mm caliber, a model called P.P.K. The bullet went completely through her head and lodged in the wall behind a chintz curtain. It was not found immediately and the fact was not published at all. Now let us consider the situation.” He broke off and stared at me. “Are you very badly in need of a cigarette?”

“Sorry, Mr. Potter. I took it out without thinking. Force of habit.” I put the cigarette back for the second time.

“Terry had just killed his wife. He had ample motive from the rather limited police point of view. But he also had an excellent defense—that it was her gun in her possession and that he tried to take it away from her and failed and she shot herself with it. A good trial lawyer could have done a lot with that. He would probably have been acquitted. If he had called me up then, I would have helped him. But by making the murder a brutal affair to cover the traces of the bullet, he made it impossible. He had to run away and even that he did clumsily.”

“He certainly did, Mr. Potter. But he called you up in Pasadena first, didn’t he? He told me he did.”

The big man nodded. “I told him to disappear and I would still see what I could do. I didn’t want to know where he was. That was imperative. I could not hide a criminal. ”

“Sounds good, Mr. Potter.”

“Do I detect a note of sarcasm? No matter. When I learned the details there was nothing to be done. I could not permit the sort of trial that kind of killing would result in. To be frank, I was very glad when I learned that he had shot himself in Mexico and left a confession.”

“I can understand that, Mr. Potter.”

He beetled his eyebrows at me. “Be careful, young man. I don’t like irony. Can you understand now that I cannot tolerate any further investigation of any sort by any person? And why I have used all my influence to make what investigation there was as brief as possible and as little publicized as possible?”

“Sure—if you’re convinced he killed her.”

“Of course he killed her. With what intent is another matter it is no longer important. I am not a public character and I do not intend to be. I have always gone to a great deal of trouble to avoid any kind of publicity. I have influence but I can’t abuse it. The District Attorney of Los Angeles County is an ambitious man who has too much good sense to wreck his career for the notoriety of the moment. I see a glint in your eye, Marlowe. Get rid of it. We live in what is called a democracy, rule by the majority of the people. A fine ideal if it could be made to work. The people elect, but the party machines nominate, and the party machines to be effective must spend a great deal of money. Somebody has to give it to them, and that somebody, whether it be an individual, a financial group, a trade union or what have you, expects some consideration in return. What I and people of my kind expect is to be allowed to live our lives in decent privacy. I own newspapers, but I don’t like them. I regard them as a constant menace to whatever privacy we have left. Their constant yelping about a free press means, with a few honorable exceptions, freedom to peddle scandal, crime, sex, sensationalism, hate, innuendo, and the political and financial uses of propaganda. A newspaper is a business out to make money through advertising revenue. That is predicated on its circulation and you know what the circulation depends on.”

I got up and walked around my chair. He eyed me with cold attention. I sat down again. I needed a little luck. Hell, I needed it in carload lots. “Okay, Mr. Potter, what goes from here?”

He wasn’t listening. He was frowning at his own thoughts. “There’s a peculiar thing about money,” he went on. “In large quantities it tends to have a life of its own, even a conscience of its own. The power of money becomes very difficult to control. Man has always been a venal animal. The growth of populations, the huge costs of wars, the incessant pressure of confiscatory taxation—all these things make him more and more venal. The average man is tired and scared, and a tired, scared man can’t afford ideals. He has to buy food for his family. In our time we have seen a shocking decline in both public and private morals. You can’t expect quality from people whose lives are a subjection to a lack of quality. You can’t have quality with mass production. You don’t want it because it lasts too long. So you substitute styling, which is a commercial swindle intended to produce artificial obsolescence. Mass production couldn’t sell its goods next year unless it made what it sold this year look unfashionable a year from now. We have the whitest kitchens and the most shining bathrooms in the world. But in the lovely white kitchen the average American housewife can’t produce a meal fit to eat, and the lovely shining bathroom is mostly a receptacle for deodorants, laxatives, sleeping pills, and the products of that confidence racket called the cosmetic industry. We make the finest packages in the world, Mr. Marlowe. The stuff inside is mostly junk.”

He took out a large white handkerchief and touched his temples with it. I was sitting there with my mouth open, wondering what made the guy tick. He hated everything.

“It’s a little too warm for me in these parts,” he said. “I’m used to a cooler climate. I’m beginning to sound like an editorial that has forgotten the point it wanted to make.”

“I got your point all right, Mr. Potter. You don’t like the way the world is going so you use what power you have to close off a private corner to live in as near as possible to the way you remember people lived fifty years ago before the age of mass production. You’ve got a hundred million dollars and all it has bought you is a pain in the neck.”

He pulled the handkerchief taut by two opposite corners, then crumpled it into a ball and stuffed it in a pocket.

“And then?” he asked shortly.

“That’s all there is, there isn’t any more. You don’t care who murdered your daughter, Mr. Potter. You wrote her off as a bad job long ago. Even if Terry Lennox didn’t kill her, and the real murderer is still walking around free, you don’t care. You wouldn’t want him caught, because that would revive the scandal and there would have to be a trial and his defense would blow your privacy as high as the Empire State Building. Unless, of course, he was obliging enough to commit suicide, before there was any trial. Preferably in Tahiti or Guatemala or the middle of the Sahara Desert. Anywhere where the County would hate the expense of sending a man to verify what had happened.”

He smiled suddenly, a big rugged smile with a reasonable amount of friendliness in it.

“What do you want from me, Marlowe?”

“If you mean how much money, nothing. I didn’t ask myself here. I was brought. I told the truth about how I met Roger Wade. But he did know your daughter and he does have a record of violence, although I haven’t seen any of it. Last night the guy tried to shoot himself. He’s a haunted man. He has a massive guilt complex. If I happened to be looking for a good suspect, he might do. I realize he’s only one of many, but he happens to be the only one I’ve met.”

He stood up and standing up he was really big. Tough too. He came over and stood in front of me.

“A telephone call, Mr. Marlowe, would deprive you of your license. Don’t fence with me. I won’t put up with it.”

“Two telephone calls and I’d wake up kissing the gutter—with the back of my head missing.”

He laughed harshly. “I don’t operate that way. I suppose in your quaint line of business it is natural for you to think so. I’ve given you too much of my time. I’ll ring for the butler to show you out.”

“Not necessary,” I said, and stood up myself. “I came here and got told. Thanks for the time.”

He held his hand out. “Thank you for coming. I think you’re a pretty honest sort of fellow. Don’t be a hero, young man. There’s no percentage in it.”

I shook hands with him. He had a grip like a pipe wrench. He smiled at me benignantly now. He was Mr. Big, the winner, everything under control.

“One of these days I might be able to throw some business your way,” he said. “And don’t go away thinking that I buy politicians or law enforcement officers. I don’t have to. Goodbye, Mr. Marlowe. And thank you again for coming.”

He stood there and watched me out of the room. I had my hand on the front door when Linda Loring popped out of a shadow somewhere.

“Well?” she asked me quietly. “How did you get on with Father?”

“Fine. He explained civilization to me. I mean how it looks to him. He’s going to let it go on for a little while longer. But it better be careful and not interfere with his private life. If it does, he’s apt to make a phone call to God and cancel the order.”

“You’re hopeless,” she said.

“Me? I’m hopeless? Lady, take a look at your old man. Compared with him I’m a blue-eyed baby with a brand new rattle.”

I went on out and Amos had the Caddy there waiting. He drove me back to Hollywood. I offered him a buck but he wouldn’t take it. I offered to buy him the poems of T. S. Eliot. He said he already had them.

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