“Get him out,” she ordered the boy, who had followed her and who was
awkwardly trying to step into his jeans.
When Hughie was into his pants they pulled Wick out of the car. Then
she picked his pants up from the floorboard and excitedly started to go
through his pockets, pulling keys and coins and handkerchief out onto
the ground until she found the wallet in the inside pocket of the coat.
Wick had removed it before the screwing began. Wick lay in his shirt
and socks on the cold ground while the girl and Hughie stared wide-eyed
at the thick sheaf of bills from Wick's wallet.
“Gaw,” Hughie said. “Must be a hunnert dollars there.” He talked
slowly, as if it took complete concentration to form each word. He
paused often, searching for the proper sounds.
“At least,” she said, counting the five one-hundred-dollar bills
first, then the twenties and the tens. She peeled off three one-dollar
bills and gave them to Hughie. “Here's your share, Hughie.”
“That all?” He looked at the money.
“That's all for now,'“ she said. “You know what would happen if
either of us started spending a lot of money. There's no use our
risking a lot of questions. So I'll keep most of the money and hide it.
Then, when we're ready to leave this crummy place, we'll take it and go
and have ourselves a ball.”
Hughie was looking through the glove compartment. He came up with a
pint bottle of whisky. He snickered. The girl jerked it from his hands
and smashed it against the steering wheel.
“Aw, gaw,” Hughie said.
“We gotta get busy,” the girl told him. “No time for that.”
“You ain't gonna let me play with him?” The boy's face was devoid of
all emotion, but his voice was plaintive.
“Goddamn, Hughie, you have to?”
“Oh, all right,” she said. “But put the bastard back in the car so
you won't leave signs.”
He was long and lanky but he was strong. He horsed the body into the
back seat. The girl watched for a minute, but when Hughie buried his
wicked looking knife in Wick Diggs' great, dead stomach and the stomach
growled and made a sound like escaping gas, she frowned and turned
away. She walked down to the creek. It was, at that point, perhaps a
hundred feet wide. She knew it was deep. And the water was dark with
the swamp water which drained into it, so dark that no one would ever
see anything on the bottom of the creek. She stood idly, seemingly
untouched by the chill of the north wind. After a long time she went
back to the car. Hughie was doing fine work with his sharp knife. He
was making little crooning sounds down in his throat. She put her hand
on his arm and shrank from the look he gave her. Then he grinned and
allowed her to pull him out of the car.
Hughie had been careful. She always told him to be careful. He didn't
have anything on him. She checked him three or four times to be sure
and then she made him clean his fine-honed knife in the sand. After
that there was nothing to do but start the car, put a brick on the
accelerator, jump out and watch the car leap forward and disappear into
the black water of the creek.