Busted Axle Road
Chapter 37

Copyright© 1993, 2001, 2010

"I'll tell you, Harris, it isn't often that you get a check for twenty-five big ones and then get stuck for coffee," McMullen told Harper not too long after he said goodbye to the singer. Harper's home wasn't far away, and he wanted to share the news.

"It's a pity that it's Saturday," Harper said. "We can't get that check to the bank before Monday, and we're going to lose some interest."

"Really, it's kind of a consolation prize," McMullen conceded. "If I'd been able to talk her into really speaking out on the issue, then we could have really stacked it away. But, if you figure that we're going to have to ante up ten grand for the television surveillance, and maybe five to support Heather there for three months, it's not really a bad deal, especially since it gives us something to do with Heather for a while."

"Oh, I'll agree, the money is green," Harris said. "And, if we keep Heather on the office staff account, we can double-dip her paychecks and deposit one in Switzerland, so realistically, our net take is closer to twenty than it is to fifteen. It requires a little shuffle, but nothing the auditor's ever been able to catch before. It makes for a nice Saturday morning, doesn't it?"

McMullen leaded back in the deck chair, and stared out over the Pacific. "Sure is nice up here, today," he said. "How long have we been grubbing around like this? Twenty years?"

"Closer to twenty-five, and that's not even counting the civil rights demonstrations, back in the early sixties," Harper said. "But, the first years were rather lean, if you'll remember."

"God, we ate a lot of hamburgers from drive-throughs, going from one thing to another," McMullen said. "But we paid our dues. You know, some day, I'd like to just hang it up, maybe get a boat and take a couple of babes and go sailing. Just kind of be the kind of revered elder statesman sort of thing. Maybe stir something up once in a while, just for fun."

"I feel that way too, sometimes," Harper admitted. "The hell of it is, I'm afraid I'd miss the excitement of it, the thrill of the hunt."

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