COME EASY, GO EASY: Chapter 11 – The End

You’ve tried to make an impression on him already. It didn’t work, did it? The only thing in life that means anything to him is money. He would take the money and ditch you.

You would never touch it. Don’t kid yourself. If you want to lose that money, ask him to open the safe.”

I left her staring at me with narrowed eyes. I joined Roy who was sweeping up around the gas
pumps. He grinned at me.

“I thought I’d leave you two together. Have you kissed and made it up?”
“Not yet,” I said. I couldn’t help staring at him, wondering about him, asking myself if I could trust him not to make a fool of himself over Lola.

Looking at his dark, cynical face, I tried to assure myself I could trust him. “She’ll get over it.”
“Treat them rough, Chet,” he said. “No woman is worth a guy worrying himself. I found that
out years ago. Relax. Don’t look so worried. If she doesn’t toe the line, there are plenty who will.”

“Yeah, that’s right. I have an idea, Roy, she’s going to make a play at you to fix me. I just
mention it. It’s just an idea I have.”
He laughed.
“That’s funny. Okay, let her try. You know me, pal. She won’t cut any ice with me. What’s the idea then? Trying to make you jealous?”

I wondered if I should tell him about the safe, but I decided against it. If Roy knew there was all that money in the safe it would unsettle him. He would put pressure on me to try to persuade me to open the safe and that was something I wasn’t going to do.
“That’s the idea I guess.”
He shook his head.

The next three days and nights must have been pretty lonely for Lola. As she continued to sulk with me, she found herself without anyone to talk to.

Roy and I kept together. We shared the night duty and we started a non-stop game of Gin.

As soon as the traffic dropped off, we put a table on the veranda and started this game. We betted against each other on paper: no money passed between us, but we kept account.

Roy had a lot of luck, and he was a better player than I was.
It was on the fourth night that he said with a grin, “You’re in the hole for five hundred bucks. You should quit before I ruin you.”

“You don’t have to worry about ruining me,” I said, grinning at him. “What you’ve got to
worry about is when you’re going to get paid.”
“Piker!” He shuffled the cards. “I could do with five hundred bucks. Next week, the races start.

There’s a horse that’s going to walk it. If I could put five hundred bucks on that gee, I’d clear five thousand.” He whistled. “That’s the kind of money I’d like to put my hands on.”
I thought of the hundred thousand in the safe.

“You wouldn’t know what to do with it if you had it,” I said. “Come on: concentrate, or you’ll be owing me money soon.”
He sat back in his chair.

“I’d know what to do with it,” he said. “With five thousand bucks I could buy myself a
partnership in a wire service. I know a guy who wants a little extra capital. With three times that money I could buy him out, then Boy! would I be in the dough!”
“You’re nuts. Who ever heard of anyone making money out of a wire service?”

“I’m serious, Chet. If I could get some capital together, I would really be in the money. Okay, five thousand wouldn’t get me far, but fifty thousand would.”

I shifted uneasily in my chair.
“Forget it! How could you ever scrape up fifty thousand?”
“We could do it in six months, Chet.” He leaned forward to stare at me. “I’ve got it all worked out.

Now look, at the back of here there’s a couple of acres of good, solid sand. You could land a hoverplane there. I know a guy in Mexico who would pay a hundred dollars a head to land
Mexican wetbacks here. We could ferry them into Wentworth and Tropica Springs and lose them
there. This is the idea place for a racket like that.”

“I told you I was through with rackets, and I mean it. If you’re not happy here, Roy, say so. I want you here, but if you want to start that kind of thing, you’ll have to start it some place else.”

Roy began to deal the cards.
“Well, okay,” he said, but this time he didn’t look at me. “I think you’re passing up a good
thing, but this is your show and not mine. I’ve got to get me some money before long. I’ve got to get some big money. I’d hate to break this up, but I’ll have to in a while. I’ll stick around for a bit, but I can’t afford to stay here indefinitely. I’ve got to dream up a way to get some money.”
“Don’t be a fool, Roy,” I said sharply. “You are heading for trouble the way you’re thinking.

Here, you are on your own, you are your own boss and can live damn well. This money itch is no good. If you had been to Farnworth …”

“I know, but it so happens, Chet, I haven’t been to Farnworth, and you wouldn’t have been there if you had done what I had told you to instead of rushing down to the street.”
“Oh, forget it!” I said. “Let’s play if we’re going to play.”

We played a couple of hands and I won them both. Roy wasn’t concentrating. I knew he was
still thinking about this pipe dream of his.

Suddenly he dropped his cards on the table.
“Let’s chuck it,” he said. “I’m tired. I guess I’ll hit the sack.”
It was my turn for night duty. This was the first time in five days that Roy wasn’t sharing it
with me.

“Sure, go ahead,” I said.
He got up and stretched elaborately, yawning.
“See you in the morning. So long.”

I watched him walk over to the cabin. I watched the light go up in the window. Across the way, Lola’s light was still on,
I looked from one light to the other.

I had an idea that Roy was suddenly hostile to me.
That made two of them.

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