The Rum Diary / Ромовий щоденник: vol 4

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"And Yeamon!" he shouted. "I knew it the minute I saw him! I said to myself,


Christ, get rid of this guy quick — he's pure trouble." He shook a warning finger at us.


"I want you to stay away from him, understand? What the hell is he doing here


anyway? Why doesn't he go back where he came from? What's he living on?"


We both shrugged. "I think he has a trust fund," I said. "He's been talking


about investing some money."


"God almighty!" Lotterman exclaimed. "That's just the kind we don't want


here!" He shook his head. "And he had the nerve to tell me he was broke — borrowed


a hundred dollars and threw it away on a motorcycle — can you beat that?"


I couldn't beat it and neither could Sala.


"Now he's hounding me for blood money," Lotterman went on. "By God, we'll


see." He slumped back in the chair again. "It's almost too horrible to believe," he said.


"I've just paid a thousand dollars to get him out of jail — a dangerous nut who


threatened to twist my head. And Moberg," he muttered. "Where did he come from?"


He shook his head and waved us out of the office. "Go on," he said. "Tell Moberg I'm


going to have him locked up."


As we started to go he remembered something else. "Wait a minute," he


called. "I don't want you boys to think I wouldn't have got you out of jail. Of course I


would — you know that, don't you?"


We assured him that we did, and left him mumbling at his desk. I went back to


the library and sat down to think. I was going to have a car, regardless of what I had


to do to get it. I'd seen a Volkswagen convertible for five hundred and it seemed in


pretty good shape. Considering the fantastic price of cars in San Juan, it would be a


real bargain if I could get it for four hundred.


I called Sanderson. "Say," I said casually, "what's the least I'll get out of this


Zimburger deal?"


"Why?" he asked.


"I want an advance. I need a car."


He laughed. "You don't need a car — you want a car. How much do you




"About a thousand," I said. "I'm not greedy."


"You must be out of your mind," he replied. "The best I could do under any


circumstances would be two fifty."


"Okay," I said. "It's a drop in the bucket, but it might help. When can I get it?"


"Tomorrow morning," he said. "Zimburger's coming in and I think we should


get together and set this thing up. I don't want to do it at home." He paused.


"Can you come in around ten?"


"Okay," I said. "See you then."


When I put down the phone I realized I was preparing to make the plunge. I


would move into my own apartment at the end of the week, and now I was about to


buy a car. San Juan was getting a grip on me. I hadn't had a car in five years — not


since the old Citroen I bought in Paris for twenty-five dollars, and sold a year later for


ten, after driving it all over Europe. Now I was ready to shoot four hundred on a


Volkswagen. If nothing else, it gave me a sense of moving up in the world, for good


or ill.


On my way to Sanderson's the next day I stopped at the lot where I'd seen the


car. The office was empty, and on a wall above one of the desks was a sign saying




I found the dealer outside. "Get this one ready to go," I said, pointing to the


convertible. "I'll give you four hundred for it at noon."


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