COME EASY, GO EASY: Chapter 11 – The End




But I needn’t have worried.
The next morning, Roy was his old self again. I realised he had been disappointed that I had turned down his Mexican emigrant idea, but having slept on it, he seemed to have put it out of his mind.

We played Gin in the evening and we kidded each other about his winnings, and we talked
about this and that, but we didn’t talk about hoverplanes nor about quick, easy money.

I was relieved, not only because he was back in form, but also because Lola was slowly thawing out. She had spoken to me once or twice during the day: strictly business, but at least she was speaking.

Around ten o’clock that evening, she came out on the veranda and watch us playing Gin.

“Why not join us?” I said. “I’ll get another chair.”
“Cards are a waste of time,” she said. “I’m going to bed. I have to be up early. I have a lot of stuff to get from Wentworth tomorrow. Which of you is coming to give me a hand?”

Up to now, she had always managed on her own when marketing in Wentworth. Her request startled me. While I was hesitating, Roy said, “If you don’t want to go, Chet, I’d be glad to. I haven’t been off the place since I’ve been here.

There are things I want to buy. Okay?”
I felt a sudden stab of suspicion. I looked at him. He was lighting a cigarette and his face, lit by
the flame of the lighter, was casual.

“Why, sure,” I said. “You’ll be back by lunch time. I can manage until then.”
“I’ll be leaving at eight,” Lola said. “Good night,” and she walked away towards the bungalow.

“I’ve got to get me some shirts and a pair of shoes,” Roy said as he picked up his cards.

My suspicions died down. It was true he hadn’t left Point of No Return since he had been here.
It was reasonable that he should want some new clothes, but I wished he wasn’t going with Lola.

That bothered me. I was sure she would get to work on him. A twenty mile drive into Wentworth and back was too long for them to be alone together.

“Relax, pea brain,” Roy said and reaching out, he slapped me on the knee. “I know what you’re thinking—let her try. She’ll cut no ice with me.”
“I’m not worrying,” I said.
But when I saw them go off together the following morning, I felt lonely and uneasy.

To get my mind off them, I began to take down the engine of the Station wagon, but even working on a job I liked, I kept thinking and wondering and worrying.

A big truck, loaded with wooden crates, pulled up by the gas pumps. The driver was a thickset, elderly man. His blond hair was shot with white and his red, heavy face was shaded by a Stetson hat.

While I was filling the tanks, he climbed down from the cab, wiping his face with a grimy
“You’re new around here, aren’t you?” he said, looking curiously at me. “Where’s Carl

I spotted he was a Swede, and that warned me he might be a friend of Jenson’s. I gave him the story that Jenson was in Arizona.

For some reason this seemed to bother him. I saw his face tighten and his staring eyes harden.

“I’ve never known him to leave here before,” he said. “I’ve been through here off and on for the past twenty years, and I’ve always found him here. Arizona, huh? Going to open a new gas station? Does that mean he isn’t coming back?”
“He’ll be back to clear up.”
“Did he take his wife with him?”

“She’s running this place while he’s away. I’m just helping out.”
“Are you a friend of hers?” he asked as I screwed on the caps to the tanks.
“I’m just hired to help out. What do you mean?”

“She’s no good. You could have knocked me over with a puff of wind when I found her here,
married to Jenson.” He leaned up against the side of the truck and began to roll a cigarette. “I
knew her in Carson City. That was five years ago.

Then she was married to a guy named Frank Finney. He ran a repair station and a snack bar: she helped out. It wasn’t his place: he just ran it.
Know what happened to him?”
I was listening, tense, not missing a word.

“They found him dead in the snack bar one morning. There was a gun in his hand and his brains all over the floor. Her story was she heard the shot when she was upstairs. She came down and found him. There was a check on the till. They found over two thousand bucks missing. It looked like Finney had been robbing the till for months.

They never found the money. The cops reckoned she had it, but they never proved it. There was one cop who even figured she shot Finney. They had been quarrelling for months, but they never proved that either. She left town soon after.

Imagine my surprise to find her here, married to a good man like Jenson.”
“First time I’ve heard of it,” I said, managing to keep my face expressionless.

Click 6 below to continue reading