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约翰·格里森(John Grisham)

美国'最喜欢的讲故事的人

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排列五综合走势图(Mark)曾经十一岁,已经断断续续吸烟了两年,从未尝试戒烟,但要小心不要上钩。他更喜欢前父亲库尔斯’是他的品牌,但他的母亲每天要抽两包烟,所以他平均每周可以从她那里偷十到十二包。她是一个忙碌的女人,有很多问题,也许对男孩来说有点天真,而且她从来没有梦想过大姐在11岁时会吸烟。

Occasionally Kevin, the delinquent two streets over, would sell 标记 a pack of stolen Marlboros for a dollar. But for the most part he had to rely on his mother’s skinny cigarettes.

今天下午,他带领八岁的哥哥里奇(Ricky)沿着拖车公园后面的树林进入小路时,口袋里有四个。瑞奇对此感到不安,这是他第一次抽烟。他昨天发现排列五综合走势图将香烟藏在床下的鞋盒中,并威胁要告诉所有人他的哥哥是否’告诉他怎么做。他们沿着树木繁茂的小路偷偷摸摸,前往排列五综合走势图之一’他的秘密地点’d花费了许多单独的时间来尝试吸入和吹出烟圈。

邻里的其他大多数孩子都倒入啤酒和锅中,排列五综合走势图决心避免两个恶习。他们的前父亲是一个酒鬼’d殴打了男孩和他们的母亲,殴打总是伴随着他讨厌的啤酒而来。排列五综合走势图看到并感受到了酒精的影响。他还害怕毒品。

“Are you lost?” 瑞奇 asked, just like a little brother, as they left the trail 和 waded through chest-high weeds.

“Just shut up,”排列五综合走势图说,不放慢脚步。他们父亲唯一一次在家度过的时间就是喝酒,睡觉和虐待他们。他现在走了,谢天谢地。排列五综合走势图(Mark)负责里奇(Ricky)已经五年了。他觉得自己像个十一岁的父亲。他’d教他如何踢足球和骑自行车。他’d解释了他对性的了解。他’d就毒品警告他,并保护他免受欺凌。他对这个关于恶习的介绍感到很恐怖。但这只是一支香烟。情况可能更糟。

杂草停了下来,它们在一棵大树下,一根粗绳子上挂着一根绳子。一排灌木丛变成了一个小小的空地,在那之后,一条茂密的土路消失在小山上。远处可以听到一条高速公路。

排列五综合走势图停下来,指着绳子旁边的一根木头。“Sit there,” he instructed, 和 瑞奇 obediently backed onto the log 和 glanced around anxiously as if the police might be watching. 标记 eyed him like a drill sergeant while picking a cigarette from his shirt pocket. He held it with his right thumb 和 index finger, 和 tried to be casual about it.

“You know the rules,” he said, looking down at 瑞奇. There were only two rules, 和 they had discussed them a dozen times during the day, 和 瑞奇 was frustrated at being treated like a child. He rolled his eyes away 和 said, “是的,如果我告诉任何人,你’ll beat me up.”

“That’s right.”

瑞奇 folded his arms. “我每天只能抽烟一次。”

“That’是的。如果我发现你吸烟更多,那你’麻烦了。如果我找到你’重新喝啤酒或弄乱毒品,然后–”

“I know, I know. 您’ll beat me up again.”

“Right.”

“你一天抽多少烟?”

“Only one,” 标记 lied. Some days, only one. Some days, three or four, depending on supply. He stuck the filter between his lips like a gangster.

“一天会杀了我吗?” 瑞奇 asked.

标记 removed the cigarette from his lips. “不会很快。一天是很安全的。不仅如此,您可能会遇到麻烦。”

“How many does 妈妈 smoke a day?”

“Two packs.”

“How many is that?”

“Forty.”

“Wow. Then she’s in big trouble.”

“Mom’s got all kinds of troubles. 我不’t think she’担心香烟。”

“爸爸一天抽多少烟?”

“四或五包。一天一百。”

瑞奇 grinned slightly. “Then he’快要死了吧?”

“希望如此。在醉酒和抽烟之间,他’几年后会死。”

“What’s chain-smoking?”

“It’当您用新旧灯点亮新旧灯时。我希望他’d每天抽十包烟。”

“Me too.” 瑞奇 glanced toward the small clearing 和 the dirt road. It was shady 和 cool under the tree, but beyond the limbs the sun was bright. 标记 pinched the filter with his thumb 和 index finger 和 sort of waved it before his mouth. “Are you scared?”他嘲笑着只有大兄弟才能做到的。

“No.”

“我想你是。看,像这样握住,好吗?” He waved it closer, then with great drama withdrew it 和 stuck it between his lips. 瑞奇 watched intently.

标记 lit the cigarette, puffed a tiny cloud of smoke, then held it 和 admired it. “Don’尝试吞下烟雾。您’还没有为此做好准备。吸一点,然后把烟吹出去。你准备好了吗?”

“它会让我恶心吗?”

“如果您吞下烟雾,它将会。”他迅速抽了两下,喘不过气来。“See. It’s really easy. I’会教你以后如何吸气。”

“Okay.” 瑞奇 nervously reached out with his thumb 和 index finger, 和 标记 placed the cigarette carefully between them. “Go ahead.”

瑞奇 eased the wet filter to his lips. His hand shook 和 he took a short drag 和 blew smoke. Another short drag. The smoke never got past his front teeth. Another drag. 标记 watched carefully, hoping he would choke 和 cough 和 turn blue, then get sick 和 never smoke again.

“It’s easy,” 瑞奇 said proudly as he held the cigarette 和 admired it. His hand was shaking.

“It’s no big deal.”

“味道有点可笑。”

“Yeah, yeah.” 标记 sat next to him on the log 和 picked another one from his pocket. 瑞奇 puffed rapidly. 标记 lit his, 和 they sat in silence under the tree enjoying a quiet smoke.

“This is fun,” 瑞奇 said, nibbling at the filter.

“大。那为什么你的手在颤抖呢?”

“They’re not.”

“Sure.”

瑞奇 ignored this. He leaned forward with his elbows on his knees, took a longer drag, then spat in the dirt like he’d看到凯文(Kevin)和大男孩在拖车公园后面走。这很简单。

标记 opened his mouth into a perfect circle 和 attempted a smoke ring. He thought this would really impress his little brother, but the ring failed to form 和 the gray smoke dissipated.

“I think you’还不年轻,不能吸烟” he said.

瑞奇 was busy puffing 和 spitting, 和 thoroughly enjoying this giant step toward manhood. “您几岁开始学习?” he asked.

“九。但是我比你还成熟。”

“You always say that.”

“That’s because it’s always true.”

他们在树下的原木上挨着坐着,安静地抽烟,盯着树荫下的草丛。排列五综合走势图实际上在八岁时就比里奇更成熟。他比同龄的孩子都要成熟。他’d一直很成熟。他七岁时用棒球棒打了他的父亲。后果不妙,但是醉酒的白痴不再殴打他们的母亲。发生了许多战斗和殴打,戴安娜·斯威(Dianne Sway)向长子寻求庇护和建议。他们互相安慰,共谋生存。殴打后他们一起哭了。他们制定了保护瑞奇的方法。当他九岁时,排列五综合走势图说服她申请离婚。当他的父亲在接受离婚证件后出现醉酒时,他曾打电话给警察。他在法庭上作了关于虐待,忽视和殴打的证词。他很成熟。

瑞奇 heard the car first. There was a low, rushing sound coming from the dirt road. Then 标记 heard it, 和 they stopped smoking. “Just sit still,” 标记 said softly. 他们 did not move.

A long, black, shiny Lincoln appeared over the slight hill 和 eased toward them. The weeds in the road were as high as the front bumper. 标记 dropped his cigarette to the ground 和 covered it with his shoe. 瑞奇 did the same.

The car slowed almost to a stop as it neared the clearing, then circled around, touching the tree limbs as it moved slowly. It stopped 和 faced the road. The boys were directly behind it, 和 hidden from view. 标记 slid off the log, 和 crawled through the weeds to a row of brush at the edge of the clearing. 瑞奇 followed. The rear of the Lincoln was thirty feet away. 他们 watched it carefully. It had Louisiana license plates.

“What’s he doing?” 瑞奇 whispered.

排列五综合走势图偷看了杂草。“Shhhhh!”他听过青少年的拖车公园周围的故事,他们用这些树林去见女孩和烟锅,但是这辆车不属于青少年。引擎熄火了,汽车停在杂草丛中一分钟。然后门开了,司机走进了杂草,环顾四周。他是一个穿着黑色西装的胖乎乎的人。他的头又胖又圆,除了耳朵上方整齐的排和黑色和灰色的胡须之外,没有头发。他跌跌撞撞地走到汽车后部,摸索着钥匙,最后打开行李箱。他移开水管,将一端插入排气管,另一端穿过左后车窗的裂缝。他合上后备箱,再次环顾四周,仿佛他希望被监视一样,然后消失在车里。

引擎启动了。

“Wow,” 标记 said softly, staring blankly at the car.

“What’s he doing?” 瑞奇 asked.

“He’试图自杀。”

瑞奇 raised his head a few inches for a better view. “I don’t understand, 标记.”

“Keep down. 您 see the hose, right? The fumes from the tail pipe go into the car, 和 it kills him.”

“You mean suicide?”

“对。我曾经在电影中看到一个人这样做。”

他们更加靠近杂草,凝视着从管道到窗户的软管。发动机平稳地怠速运转。

“他为什么要自杀?” 瑞奇 asked.

“我应该怎么知道?但是我们必须做点什么。”

“Yeah, let’s滚滚而去。”

“不,再等一分钟。”

“I’m leaving, 标记. 您 can watch him die if you want to, but I’m gone.”

标记 grabbed his brother’s shoulder 和 forced him lower. 瑞奇’呼吸沉重,他们都在流汗。太阳躲在云层后面。

“多久时间?” 瑞奇 asked, his voice quivering.

“Not very long.” 标记 released his brother 和 eased onto all fours. “你待在这里,好吧。如果你移动,我’ll kick your tail.”

“What’re you doing, 标记?”

“就待在这里。我是认真的。”排列五综合走势图将瘦弱的身体几乎降到了地面,并通过杂草向汽车爬上了肘部和膝盖。草是干的,至少高两英尺。他知道那个男人不能’听不到他的声音,但他担心杂草的运动。他直接呆在车后,在肚子上像蛇一样滑动,直到身在后备箱的阴影下。他到达并小心地从尾管上松开软管,然后将其掉到地上。他以更高的速度追踪了自己的踪迹,几秒钟后,他蹲在瑞奇旁边,看着并在树的最外肢下方的较重草丛中等待。他知道,如果发现它们,它们会飞到树上,沿着小径滑下,然后在胖乎乎的人抓住它们之前就消失了。

他们等了。虽然看起来像一个小时,但已经过去了五分钟。

“You think he’s dead?” 瑞奇 whispered, his voice dry 和 weak.

“I don’t know.”

突然,门开了,那人走了出来。他在哭泣,喃喃自语,他蹒跚地走到汽车的后部,在那儿看到草丛中的软管,然后将其推回到尾管中时诅咒了它。他拿着一瓶威士忌酒,疯狂地环顾四周,看着树木,然后迷迷糊糊地回到车里。他猛地敲门,喃喃自语。

男孩子惊恐地看着。

“He’s crazy as hell,” 标记 said faintly.

“Let’s get out of here,” 瑞奇 said.

“We can’!如果他自杀了,而我们看到了或知道了它,那么我们可能会遇到各种各样的麻烦。”

瑞奇 raised his head as if to retreat. “Then we won’t tell anybody. Come on, 标记!”

标记 grabbed his shoulder again 和 forced him to the ground. “Just stay down! We’在我说我们之前不离开’re leaving!”

瑞奇 closed his eyes tightly 和 started crying. 标记 shook his head in disgust but didn’不要把目光从车上移开。弟兄们的麻烦多于其应得的。“Stop it,”他咬紧牙关咆哮。

“I’m scared.”

“Fine. Just don’t move, okay. Do you hear me? 唐’不要动。别哭了” 标记 was back on his elbows, deep in the weeds 和 preparing to ease through the tall grass once more.

“Just let him die, 标记,” 瑞奇 whispered between sobs.

排列五综合走势图瞪着他的肩膀怒视着他,向那辆仍在行驶的汽车驶去。他缓慢而小心地沿着那条踩着草的小路爬行,以至于瑞奇现在眼睛干涩,也几乎看不到他。瑞奇看着司机’的门,等待它飞开,疯狂的人冲出来杀死排列五综合走势图。他坐在短跑运动员的脚趾上’站在树林里快速逃脱的立场。他看到Mark出现在后保险杠下方,把手放在尾灯上以保持平衡,然后慢慢放下尾管上的软管。草地轻柔地劈啪作响,杂草晃了一下,排列五综合走势图再次在他旁边,喘着粗气,满头大汗,奇怪的是,对自己微笑。

他们像刷子上的两只昆虫一样坐在腿上,看着汽车。

“如果他再次出来怎么办?” 瑞奇 asked. “What if he sees us?”

“He can’看不到我们。但是,如果他这样开始,那就跟着我吧。我们’在他迈出一步之前将不见了。”

“Why don’t we go now?”

标记 stared at him fiercely. “I’试图拯救他的生命,好吗?也许,也许,他’会发现这不起作用,也许他’会决定他应该等待什么。为什么这么难理解?”

“Because he’s crazy. If he’会自杀,然后他’会杀了我们为什么这么难理解?”

排列五综合走势图沮丧地摇了摇头,突然门又打开了。那人从车上咆哮着自言自语,从草地上踩到后方。他抓住软管的末端,凝视着它,就好像它不会’t表现得很,并慢慢地看着小小的空地。他呼吸沉重,出汗。他看着树木,男孩们放松了下来。他低下头,僵住了,好像他突然明白了。草被轻踩在汽车后部周围,他跪下来似乎要检查一下,但随后将软管塞回尾管,然后匆匆回到他的门。如果有人从树上看着,他似乎不在乎。他只是想快点死。

The two heads rose together above the brush, but just a few inches. 他们 peeked through the weeds for a long minute. 瑞奇 was ready to run, but 标记 was thinking.

“Mark, please, let’s go,” 瑞奇 pleaded. “他几乎看见了我们。如果他怎么办’有枪之类的东西?”

“If he had a gun he’d use it on himself.”

瑞奇 bit his lip 和 his eyes watered again. He had never won an argument with his brother, 和 he would not win this one.

Another minute passed, 和 标记 began to fidget. “I’再尝试一次,好吧。如果他没有’t give up, then we’会离开这里。我保证,好吗?”

瑞奇 nodded reluctantly. His brother stretched on his stomach 和 inched his way through the weeds into the

律师’吸气时鼻孔张开了。他缓慢地呼气,凝视着挡风玻璃,同时试图确定是否有任何宝贵的致命气体进入他的血液中并开始工作。他旁边的座位上坐着一支手枪。杰克·丹尼尔斯(Jack Daniels)的五分之一空了。他a了一口,拧上帽子,然后将其放在座位上。他慢慢地吸了口,闭上了眼睛,品尝了煤气。他会随便走吗?它会导致他受伤或烧伤或使他生病吗?钞票在方向盘上方的破折号上,旁边是一瓶药。

他哭着哭着对自己说话,等着他急着要走,该死!’d放弃使用枪支。他是一个胆小鬼,但非常坚决,他更喜欢这种嗅探和漂浮而不是将枪插在嘴里。

他了一口威士忌,并在威士忌下降时发出嘶嘶声。是的,终于可以了。很快,一切都结束了,他在镜子里对自己微笑,因为镜子在起作用,他快死了,毕竟他不是胆小鬼。为此,需要胆量。

他哭着喃喃自语,因为他移开了威士忌酒瓶的盖子,最后吞了下去。他咽了口,它从他的嘴唇上滑落,流进他的胡须。

他不会被错过。尽管这种想法本来很痛苦,但律师对没有人会感到悲伤的认识感到平静。他的母亲是世界上唯一爱他的人,她’死了四年,所以这不会伤害她。第一次灾难性婚姻有一个孩子,他是一个女儿’d十一年来未见,但他’有人告诉她她加入了一个邪教组织,并且和她的母亲一样疯狂。

It would be a small funeral. A few lawyer buddies 和 perhaps a judge or two would be there all dressed up in dark suits 和 whispering importantly as the piped-in organ music drifted around the near-empty chapel. No tears. 律师s would sit 和 glance at their watches while the minister, a stranger, sped through the standard comments used for dear departed ones who never went to church.

这将是十分钟的工作,没有多余的装饰。破折号上的注释要求将尸体火化。

“Wow,”他又喝了一口,轻声说。他把瓶子打开了,一边吞咽着后视镜,一边看到杂草在车后移动。

瑞奇 saw the door open before 标记 heard it. It flew open, as if kicked, 和 suddenly the large, heavy man with the red face was running through the weeds, holding onto the car 和 growling. 瑞奇 stood, in shock 和 fear, 和 wet his pants.

排列五综合走势图听到门的声音刚碰到保险杠。他僵住了一秒钟,迅速想着要爬到车下,犹豫不决地钉住了他。当他试图站着跑步时,他的脚滑了下来,那个人抓住了他。“您!你这个小混蛋!”他抓住Mark时尖叫’的头发,把他扔到汽车后备箱上。“You little bastard!”排列五综合走势图踢了一下,扭了扭,一只肥大的手拍了拍他的脸。他再次踢了一下,没有那么猛烈,他又被打了耳光。

标记 stared at the wild, glowing face just inches away. The eyes were red 和 wet. Fluids dripped from the nose 和 chin. “You little bastard,”他咬紧了肮脏的牙齿,咆哮着。

When he had him pinned 和 still 和 subdued, the lawyer stuck the hose back into the exhaust pipe, then yanked 标记 off the trunk by his collar 和 dragged him through the weeds to the driver’的门开了。他把孩子扔进了门,把他推过黑色的皮革座椅。

标记 was grabbing at the door handle 和 searching for the door lock switch when the man fell behind the steering wheel. He slammed the door behind him, pointed at the door handle, 和 screamed, “Don’t touch that!” 随后他 backhanded 标记 in the left eye with a vicious slap.

排列五综合走势图痛苦地尖叫着,抓住他的眼睛,弯下腰,惊呆了,哭了起来。他的鼻子像地狱一样疼,嘴也更糟。他头晕。他尝到了鲜血。他听见那个人在哭泣和咆哮。他可以闻到威士忌的香气,右眼可以看到他那条肮脏的蓝色牛仔裤的膝盖。左边开始膨胀。事情变得模糊了。

The fat lawyer gulped his whiskey 和 stared at 标记, who was all bent over 和 shaking at every joint. “Stop crying,” he snarled.

标记 licked his lips 和 swallowed blood. He rubbed the knot above his eye 和 tried to breathe deeply, still staring at his jeans. Again, the man said, “Stop crying,”所以他试图停下来。

The engine was running. It was a big, heavy, quiet car, but 标记 could hear the engine humming very softly somewhere far away. He turned slowly 和 glanced at the hose winding through the rear window behind the driver like an angry snake sneaking toward them for the kill. The fat man laughed.

“我想我们应该一起死”他宣布,突然间很镇定。

标记’s left eye was swelling fast. He turned his shoulders 和 looked squarely at the man, who was even larger now. His face was chubby, the beard was bushy, the eyes were still red 和 glowed at him like a demon in the dark. 标记 was crying. “请让我离开这里”他说,嘴唇颤抖,声音破裂。

司机把威士忌瓶塞在嘴里,然后把它打开。他做鬼脸,sm了lips嘴唇。“抱歉,孩子你必须是个可爱的屁股,必须把肮脏的小鼻子伸进我的生意,’你呢?所以我认为我们应该在一起死。好的?朋友,只有你和我。前往La La Land。关闭以查看向导。甜梦,孩子。”

标记 sniffed the air, then noticed the pistol lying between them. He glanced away, then stared at it when the man took another drink from the bottle.

“You want the gun?” the man asked.

“No sir.”

“那你为什么要看呢?”

“I wasn’t.”

“Don’骗我,孩子,因为如果你这样做,我’ll kill you. I’我像地狱一样疯狂,好吧,我’ll kill you.”尽管眼泪从他的眼睛里自由流淌,但他的声音还是很平静。他说话时深呼吸。“而且,孩子,如果我们’重新成为好朋友,你’我必须对我诚实。诚实’非常重要,你知道吗?现在,你想要那把枪吗?”

“No sir.”

“您想拿起枪射击我吗?”

“No sir.”

“I’我不怕死,孩子,你明白吗?”

“Yes sir, but 我不’不想死。我照顾妈妈和弟弟。”

“Aw, ain’真甜。房子的一个真正的男人。”

他将瓶盖拧到威士忌酒瓶上,然后突然抓住手枪,将其深深地塞在嘴里,双唇curl绕,看着排列五综合走势图,后者看着每一步,希望他能扣动扳机,希望他能’t。慢慢地,他从口中抽出了枪管,吻了一下枪管的末端,然后将其指向排列五综合走势图。

“I’我从来没有拍过这个东西,你知道,”他说,几乎是在耳语。“一个小时前刚刚在孟菲斯的当铺买了它。你觉得呢’ll work?”

“请让我离开这里。”

“孩子,您可以选择”他说,吸入了无形的烟雾。“I’尽全力’现在结束了,还是气’会得到你的。你的选择。”

标记 did not look at the pistol. He sniffed the air 和 thought for an instant that maybe he smelled something. The gun was close to his head. “你为什么做这个?” he asked.

“没关系,该死的孩子,好吧,孩子。一世’m nuts, okay. Over the edge. I planned a nice little private suicide, you know, just me 和 my hose 和 maybe a few pills 和 some whiskey. Nobody looking for me. But, no, you have to get cute. 你这个小混蛋!”他放下手枪,小心地将它放在座位上。排列五综合走势图擦了擦额头上的结,咬了咬嘴唇。他的手在颤抖,他将它们压在双腿之间。

“We’会在五分钟内死亡”当他把瓶子举到嘴唇上时,他正式宣布。“朋友,只有你和我一起去见向导。”

瑞奇终于感动了。他的牙齿颤抖着,牛仔裤湿了,但他现在正在思考,从他的下蹲移到了他的手和膝盖上,沉入了草丛中。他爬到汽车上,在肚子上滑动时哭泣并咬着牙。门快要开了。疯子虽然又大又快,却会像排列五综合走势图一样从无处跳来,抓住他的脖子,他们’所有人都死在那辆黑色的长车上。慢慢地,他一寸一寸地穿过杂草。

标记 slowly lifted the pistol with both hands. It was as heavy as a brick. It shook as he raised it 和 pointed it at the fat man, who leaned toward it until the barrel was an inch from his nose.

“现在,扣动扳机,孩子,”他笑着说,湿wet的脸上闪闪发光,充满期待。“拉动扳机,我’会死的,你会自由的。 ”排列五综合走势图用手指curl住扳机。该名男子点点头,然后往前靠得更近,用闪烁的牙齿咬住枪管的尖端。“Pull the trigger!” he shouted.

排列五综合走势图闭上眼睛,用手掌按压枪柄。他屏住呼吸,当那个人从他身上拉动扳机时,他正要挤压扳机。他在排列五综合走势图面前疯狂地挥舞着’的脸,然后扣动扳机。当他的头后面的窗户裂成一千片,但没有破碎时,排列五综合走势图尖叫着。“It works! It works!”排列五综合走势图低下头,捂住耳朵,他大喊。

瑞奇 buried his face in the grass when he heard the shot. He was ten feet from the car when something popped 和 标记 yelled. The fat man was yelling, 和 瑞奇 peed on himself again. He closed his eyes 和 clutched the weeds. His stomach cramped 和 his heart pounded, 和 for a minute after the gunshot he did not move. He cried for his brother, who was dead now, shot by a crazy man.

“别哭了,该死!一世’我讨厌你的哭泣!”

排列五综合走势图抓紧膝盖,试图停止哭泣。他的头ed打着,嘴巴干了。他双手插在膝盖之间,弯腰。他不得不停止哭泣,想些什么。在电视节目中,有一次坚果要从建筑物上跳下来,这位很酷的警察一直不停地与他交谈并与他交谈,最后坚果开始回头说话,当然也没有跳下来。排列五综合走势图迅速闻到煤气味,问道:“你为什么做这个?”

“因为我想死”那人平静地说。

“Why?”他再次问,瞥了一眼窗户上整洁的小圆孔。

“为什么孩子问这么多问题?”

“Because we’再孩子们。你为什么要死?”他几乎听不见自己的话。

“Look, kid, we’会在五分钟内死掉,好吗?朋友,只有你和我一起去见向导。”他从瓶子里喝了一大杯,现在几乎是空的。“小子,我感到气。你感觉到了吗?最后。”

In the side mirror, through the cracks in the window, 标记 saw the weeds move 和 caught a glimpse of 瑞奇 as he slithered through the weeds 和 ducked into the bushes near the tree. He closed his eyes 和 said a prayer.

“我要告诉你,孩子’很高兴你在这里。没有人愿意一个人死。什么’s your name?”

“Mark.”

“Mark who?”

“Mark Sway.”继续说话,也许坚果赢了’t jump. “What’s your name?”

“Jerome. But you can call me 罗密. 那’s what my friends call me, 和 since you 和 I are pretty tight now you can call me 罗密. No more questions, okay, kid?”

“Why do you want to die, 罗密?”

“I said no more questions. Do you feel the gas, 标记?”

“I don’t know.”

“你很快就会。最好说您的祈祷。” 罗密 sank low into the seat with his beefy head straight back 和 eyes closed, completely at ease. “We’ve got about five minutes, 标记, any last words?”威士忌瓶在他的右手,枪在他的左手。

“是的,你为什么要这样做?” 标记 asked, glancing at the mirror for another sign of his brother. He took short, quick breaths through the nose, 和 neither smelled nor felt anything. Surely 瑞奇 had removed the hose.

“Because I’我疯了,只是另一位疯狂的律师,对。一世’ve been driven crazy, 标记, 和 how old are you?”

“Eleven.”

“Ever tasted whiskey?”

“No,” 标记 answered truthfully.

突然,威士忌酒瓶出现在他的脸上,他接住了它。

“Take a shot,” 罗密 said without opening his eyes.

标记 tried to read the label, but his left eye was virtually closed 和 his ears were ringing from the gunshot, 和 he couldn’t concentrate. He sat the bottle on the seat where 罗密 took it without a word.

“We’re dying, 标记,”他几乎对自己说。“I guess that’在11岁时就很艰难,但事实如此。我对此无能为力。最后的话,大男孩?”

标记 told himself that 瑞奇 had done the trick, that the hose was now harmless, that his new friend 罗密 here was drunk 和 crazy, 和 that if he survived he would have to do so by thinking 和 talking. The air was clean. He breathed deeply 和 told himself that he could make it. “What made you crazy?”

罗密思想了一秒钟,认为这很幽默。他了一下,实际上笑了一下。“哦,太好了。完善。几周以来,我’我知道的东西,除了我的客户,’顺便说一下,这是一个真正的败类。排列五综合走势图,律师们,您会听到各种各样的私人信息,我们永远不会重复。严格保密,您了解。我们永远无法分辨这笔钱发生了什么或谁’与谁或谁的身体睡觉’埋了,你跟随吗?”他大力吸气,并以极大的快乐呼气。他在座位上沉没了,眼睛仍然闭着。“对不起,我不得不打你一巴掌。”他将手指卷曲在扳机周围。

标记 closed his eyes 和 felt nothing.

“How old are you, 标记?”

“Eleven.”

“你告诉我的。十一。和我’m forty-four. We’都太年轻而死’t we, 标记?”

“Yes sir.”

“But it’发生了,朋友你感觉到了吗?”

“Yes sir.”

“我的委托人杀了一个人并掩藏了尸体,现在我的委托人想杀了我。那’整个故事。他们’让我发疯。哈!哈!排列五综合走势图,太好了。太好了我,那位值得信赖的律师,现在可以告诉您,在我们漂浮之前几秒钟,您的尸体在哪里。尸体,排列五综合走势图,是我们这个时代最臭名昭著的尸体。难以置信的。我终于可以说出来了!”他的眼睛睁开,对着Mark发光。“排列五综合走势图,这真是可笑,地狱!”

标记 missed the humor. He glanced at the mirror, then at the door lock switch a foot away. The handle was even closer.

罗米再次放松下来,闭上了眼睛,仿佛在拼命地打a。“I’对不起,孩子,非常抱歉,但是,就像我说的那样,’很高兴你在这里。”他慢慢地将瓶子放在钞票旁边的破折号上,并将手枪从左手移到右手,轻柔地抚摸着它,然后用食指抚摸扳机。排列五综合走势图试着不看。 “I’对此我真的很抱歉,孩子。你几岁?”

“Eleven. 您’我问了我三遍。”

“闭嘴!我现在感觉到了气,别’你呢?别再嗅了,该死!它’无味,你这个小笨蛋。您可以 ’t smell it. I’现在死了,你’如果您没有玩过GI乔’t been so cute. 您’非常愚蠢,你知道。”

Not as stupid as you, thought 标记. “您的客户杀死了谁?”

罗密 grinned but did not open his eyes. “美国参议员。一世’m telling. I’m telling. I’我溢出了我的胆量。你看报纸吗?”

“No.”

“I’m not surprised. Senator Boyette from New Orleans. 那’s where I’m from.”

“你为什么来孟菲斯?”

“该死,孩子!充满问题的地方’t you?”

“Yeah. Why’您的客户杀死了博耶特参议员?”

“Why, why, why, who, who, who. 您’re a real pain in the ass, 标记.”

“I know. 为什么不’你让我走吗?” 标记 glanced at the mirror, then at the hose running into the backseat.

“如果你不愿意,我可能会开枪打你’t shut up.”他留着胡须的下巴掉了下来,几乎摸了摸他的胸部。“我的客户杀死了很多人。那’是他如何通过杀人来赚钱。他’是新奥尔良黑手党的成员,现在他’试图杀死我。太糟糕了’小子我们击败了他。玩笑’s on him.”

罗密 took a long drink from the bottle 和 stared at 标记.

“想一想,孩子,现在,当Barry或Barry The Blade时,’众所周知,这些黑手党小伙子都有个可爱的昵称,在新奥尔良一个肮脏的餐馆里等着我。他’可能有几个朋友在附近,安静的晚餐后,’我要我上车去开车,谈谈他的案子和所有事情,然后他’我会掏出一把刀’这就是为什么他们称他为The Blade,而我’m history. 他们’像处置博伊特参议员一样,将我胖乎乎的小尸体丢在某个地方,可真是,新奥尔良还有另一起未决的谋杀案。但是我们给他们看了,没有’我们,孩子吗?我们给他们看了。”

他的讲话较慢,舌头较粗。说话时,他在大腿上上下移动手枪。手指停留在扳机上。

让他说话。“为什么这个巴里家伙想杀了你?”

“Another question. I’米浮。你在浮动吗?”

“Yeah. It feels good.”

“Buncha的原因。闭上眼睛,孩子说你的祷告。” 标记 watched the pistol 和 glanced at the door lock. He slowly touched each fingertip to each thumb, like counting in kindergarten, 和 the coordination was perfect.

“So where’s the body?”

罗米哼了一声,头点了点头。声音几乎是耳语。“博伊德·博耶特的尸体。这是什么问题。美国第一位参议员在办公室被谋杀,你知道吗?我亲爱的客户巴里·布拉德·穆尔丹诺(Barry The Blade Muldanno)谋杀了他,后者四次向他开枪打中头部,然后将尸体藏起来。没有身体,没有案例。你了解吗,孩子?”

“Not really.”

“Why aren’t you crying, kid? 您 were crying a few minutes ago. Aren’t you scared?”

“Yes, I’m scared. And I’d like to leave. I’对不起,你想死全部,但我必须照顾我的母亲。”

“感动,真正的感动。现在,闭嘴。你看,孩子,美联储必须有尸体证明有谋杀案。巴里是他们的犯罪嫌疑人,也是他们唯一的犯罪嫌疑人,因为您确实做到了,因为您知道,事实上他们知道他做到了。但是他们需要身体。”

“Where is it?”

A dark cloud moved in front of the sun 和 the clearing was suddenly darker. 罗密 moved the gun gently along his leg as if to warn 标记 against any sudden moves. “刀刃不是我最聪明的暴徒’我曾经见过,你知道。认为他’s a genius, but he’真的很傻。”

您’re the stupid one, 标记 thought again. Sitting in a car with a hose running from the exhaust. He waited as still as could be.

“The body’s under my boat.”

“Your boat?”

“是的,我的船。他很着急。我不在城里,所以我心爱的客户将尸体带到我的房子里,并将其埋在车库下的新鲜混凝土中。它’还在,你相信吗?联邦调查局挖了一半的新奥尔良试图找到它,但他们’我从来没有想过我的房子。也许巴里·艾因’毕竟如此愚蠢。”

“他什么时候告诉你的?”

“I’孩子,我讨厌您的问题。”

“I’d非常想现在离开。”

“闭嘴。煤气在工作。我们’re gone, kid. Gone.”他把手枪放在座位上。

The engine hummed quietly. 标记 glanced at the bullet hole in the window, at the millions of tiny crooked cracks running from it, then at the red face 和 heavy eyelids. A quick snort, almost a snore, 和 the head nodded downward.

He was passing out! 标记 stared at him 和 watched his thick chest move. He’d见过他的前父亲做了一百次。

标记 breathed deeply. The door lock would make noise. The gun was too close to 罗密’s hand. 标记’肚子狭窄,脚发麻。

The red face emitted a loud, sluggish noise, 和 标记 knew there would be no more chances. Slowly, ever so slowly, he inched his shaking finger to the door lock switch.

瑞奇’他的眼睛几乎和他的嘴一样干燥,但是他的牛仔裤被浸湿了。他在树下,在黑暗中,远离灌木丛,高高的草丛和汽车。自从他卸下软管以来已经过去了五分钟。枪声响起五分钟。但是他知道他的哥哥还活着,因为他已经在树后疾驰了五十英尺,直到他瞥见那低沉的金发碧眼的头坐在巨大的汽车中四处走动。于是他停止了哭泣,开始祈祷。

He made his way back to the log, 和 as he crouched low 和 stared at the car 和 ached for his brother, the passenger door suddenly flew open, 和 there was 标记.

罗密’下巴跌落在胸口,正当他开始下一个打sn时,排列五综合走势图用左手将手枪拍打在地板上,而右手则打开了门。他猛拉把手,将肩膀撞到门上,他滚出时听到的最后一声是律师的另一声deep声。

他从车上抓着抓着爪子,跪在地上,抓着杂草。他在草地上低速奔跑,几秒钟之内就撞到了树,Ricky静静地看着恐怖。他停在树桩上转身,期望看到律师拿着枪追赶他。但是汽车显得无害。乘客门已打开。引擎正在运转。排气管无设备。他在一分钟内第一次呼吸,然后慢慢地看着瑞奇。

“我拉软管” 瑞奇 said in a shrill voice between rapid breaths. 标记 nodded but said nothing. He was suddenly much calmer. The car was fifty feet away, 和 if 罗密 emerged, they could disappear through the woods in an instant. And hidden by the tree 和 the cover of the brush, they would never be seen by 罗密 if he decided to jump out 和 start blasting away with the gun.

“I’m scared, 标记. 让’s go,” 瑞奇 said, his voice still shrill, his hands shaking.

“Just a minute.” 标记 studied the car intently.

“Come on, 标记. 让’s go.”

“我说了一分钟。”

瑞奇 watched the car. “Is he dead?”

“I don’t think so.”

So the man was alive, 和 had the gun, 和 it was becoming obvious that his big brother was no longer scared 和 was thinking of something. 瑞奇 took a step backward. “I’m leaving,” he mumbled. “I want to go home.”

标记 did not move. He exhaled calmly 和 studied the car. “Just a second,” he said without looking at 瑞奇. The voice had authority again.

瑞奇 grew still 和 leaned forward, placing both hands on both wet knees. He watched his brother, 和 shook his head slowly as 标记 carefully picked a cigarette from his shirt pocket while staring at the car. He lit it, took a long draw, 和 blew smoke upward to the branches. It was at this point that 瑞奇 first noticed the swelling.

“你的眼睛怎么了?”

标记 suddenly remembered. He rubbed it gently, then rubbed the knot on his forehead. “他拍了我几次。”

“It looks bad.”

“It’可以你知道我’m gonna do?”他说没有期待答案。“I’我会偷偷回到那里,然后将软管插入排气管。一世’我要把它塞给混蛋”

“You’re crazier than he is. 您’re kidding, right, 标记?”

标记 puffed deliberately. Suddenly, the driver’s door swung open, 和 罗密 stumbled out with the pistol. He mumbled loudly as he faltered to the rear of the car, 和 once again found the garden hose lying harmlessly in the grass. He screamed obscenities at the sky.

标记 crouched low 和 held 瑞奇 with him. 罗密 spun around 和 surveyed the trees around the clearing. He cursed more, 和 started crying loudly. Sweat dripped from his hair, 和 his black jacket was soaked 和 glued to him. He stomped around the rear of the car, sobbing 和 talking, screaming at the trees.

他突然停下脚步,将沉重的笨拙摔到了行李箱的顶部,然后像毒drug一样蠕动着向后滑动,直到撞到后窗。他笨拙的双腿在他面前伸展。一只鞋不见了。他几乎不定期地拿着枪,既不缓慢也不迅速,将其深深地塞在嘴里。他那狂野的红眼睛转过身,在男孩上方的树的树干上停了一秒钟。

他张开嘴唇,用大而肮脏的牙齿咬住枪管。他闭上眼睛,用右拇指拉动扳机。