COME EASY, GO EASY: Chapter 11 – The End

Now she has you in her sights. Don’t open that safe, Roy.”
“This doesn’t add up,” he said. “If she was going to murder you, how come you went to bed
with her?”

I was ready for that one. It was the obvious question he was bound to ask.

“She couldn’t do a thing to me so long as that safe remained shut. We lived here together and alone for five weeks before I touched her. I did it only because, like with you, she threw herself at me. She came into this room one night, and that was it.”
I felt cold sweat on my face now and I was having trouble in breathing.
Roy, seeing the state I was in, came over to me.

“Hey! You’ve got to quiet down. Don’t you understand how bad you are? Quit getting yourself

I caught hold of his wrist.
“If you open that safe, Roy, she’ll kill both of us! I’m warning you! If you open that safe we’re both sunk!”

“Take it easy, fella. She hasn’t even asked me to open the safe.”

I had shot my bolt. I dropped back on the pillow. I couldn’t make any more effort. I had warned him. I could only hope I had beaten her this time.
He stayed with me until I had drifted off into a heavy sleep.

When I woke the next morning the clock by the bed told me it was twenty to ten. I had had a
long sleep and I felt better, a little stronger, but not strong enough to get up.

Later, Roy came in and shaved me. He was quiet, and neither of us mentioned the safe, but I
knew it was big in both our minds.

The day dragged by. I was content to lie by the window and watch the activity going on
outside. Both Lola and Roy slaved. The lunch room was busy during the lunch hour and again at night.

Finally, around ten o’clock, the traffic died away and Roy found time to bring me a bowl of soup.

“It’s been some day,” he said, leaning against the wall. “I’ll be glad when you are up and about again.”

“I’ll be about,” I said.
“Yeah.” He stroked his nose, his black eyes watching me. “While we were having supper, she asked me if I could open a Lawrence safe.”
I slopped a little of the soup. “She did?”
“Yeah. I said I couldn’t say until I had seen it.”
My heart was thumping now. “What did she say?”

“A trucker came in and broke it up. We didn’t get around to it again.”
“So long as that safe remains shut, you’re okay and so am I. I’m not kidding, Roy.”
“Okay, so you’re not kidding. If it’s all this bad, how about lending me Jensen’s gun—the one
he shot hawks with?”
“She’s got it.”
That jolted him. His eyes narrowed and his mouth tightened.

“She took it,” I went on. “She told me she had got rid of it, but I know different.”
“Well, she hasn’t asked me to open the safe yet.”
“She will.” We left it like that.

Nothing happened for four days. According to Roy, Lola didn’t mention the safe to him again.
I made slow progress, but I still wasn’t strong enough to get out of bed. I was more easy in my mind for Roy didn’t go to the bungalow. At least, I seemed to have thrown a scare into him.

But on the fifth night, I woke around three o’clock in the morning and, looking out of the
window, I saw a light on in the sitting-room of the bungalow.

That gave me a h*ell of a jolt. I called out to Roy, but got no answer. He was over there with her and with the safe!

I was tempted to get out of bed and go over there, but I knew I would never have made it, so I
lay there, my heart hammering, waiting and watching.

It wasn’t until after four o’clock that the light snapped off and I saw Roy come out of the bungalow and cross to the cabin.

As I heard him come in, I called to him.
“Don’t put on the light,” he said at the door. “She’ll see it.”

I peered in the direction of his voice. It was too dark to see him.
“What happened?”
“She showed me the safe, and she asked me to open it,” he said. “I told her it was an old type and I couldn’t open it.”
I drew in a deep breath of relief.

“Then what happened?”
“She said there must be a way of opening it. She wanted me to blast it open. I said it was too dangerous. I told her dynamite wasn’t in my line.”
“Did she believe you?”
“Why not? I made it sound pretty convincing.”
“Did she say why she wanted it open?”

“Yeah.” There was a pause, then he went on, “She said there was money in the safe. If I opened
it, we would share it” Another long pause, then he asked, “Is there any money in the safe, Chet?”

I knew it would be fatal to tell him the truth.
“Three hundred dollars,” I lied. “Jenson kept it there against an emergency. She’s not after that;
she’s after the confession.”
“She said there was a lot of money there.”

“She’s lying. It was a bait to make you open the safe.”
“Yeah… well, she’ll be disappointed.”

The following morning, while Roy was supervising the unloading of gas into our tanks, and I was watching him through the window, I heard my bedroom door creak open Lola came in. She closed the door and leaned against it
It jolted me to see how she had changed.

She had lost weight. Her face was drawn and granite hard. There were dark smudges under her eyes, and she looked ten years older.
She stared at me.

“Tell me how to open the safe,” she said. Her voice was harsh and unsteady. “If you don’t tell me, I’ll call the police and you’ll go back to Farnworth.”

But she couldn’t blackmail me now. I held all the aces.
“Go ahead and call them,” I said. “You won’t get the money, and I’ll tell them where to find your husband. Don’t kid yourself they won’t believe my word against yours.

I’m not the only one with a reputation for violence. When I tell them about Frank Finney, you’re going to be in a h*ell of a jam.”

If I had hit her across her face the effect of my words couldn’t have been more startling.

She reared back. I heard her breath hiss out through her clenched teeth. Her face sagged. The fear that jumped into her eyes was ugly to see.
“What do you know about Frank?” she demanded, glaring at me.
“I know you murdered him.

You’re in a trap, and so am I. We’re going to spend the rest of our days here whether we like it or not. There’s no way out of it. No one is going to open that safe.

I’ve warned Roy about you. Even if he wanted to, he couldn’t open it. He doesn’t know how to.

You’ve been wasting your time and your talents.”
For a long moment she stared at me, her glittering green eyes hating me, then she went out,
leaving the door open.

This round was mine, but I wasn’t kidding myself. She wouldn’t give up that easily. The next round, if I didn’t watch out, could be hers.

Nothing happened for two tense and uneasy days, then on the third day after her visit to me Roy told me she was going to ft movie in Wentworth.

The red light flashed up in my mind.
“She is going to leave you alone here?” I said, staring at him.

“She’s movie mad,” he said, shrugging. “She wanted me to go with her, but I told her I wasn’t leaving you alone—besides, someone has to run this joint.”
“You’re not kidding yourself, are you?” I said. “She’s not going to the movies. She’s baiting the hook for you.”

He made an impatient movement.
“I wonder, sometimes, if you’re not crazy in the head. What’s on your mind now?”
“She’s told you there’s money in the safe. By now, she knows that money means everything to
you. She’s gambling on your weakness. She’s gambling on the hope that as soon as she is out of the way, you’ll open the safe, but she won’t have gone far. She’ll be back in time to catch you opening the safe.

It’s her only chance to fool you into opening it.”
“I told you, I’m not opening it!”
“Okay, just as long as you remember that when she drives away.

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