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said, quietly, "I can't counsel ye further than this, boy, but if ye ever listen to advice, listen no
There was little of the pure Irish in his voice; it was his Da, but burdened with some new yet old
unspeakable dread. "Break no laws, even speed laws. Don't argue with those two. Think of them
grown children. Your job is to drive, nothing more. Nothing more, d'ye understand?"
Donny nodded, wincing under the steely grip. After a moment his father continued. "Maybe
lending ye to them for your own sake, maybe just for mine. I don't know. But the bargain is jus
driving. Whatever ye do, do not let either of them put a weapon into your hands."
Donny nodded again.
"Swear it." The grip was excruciating.
"I swear to God I won't, Da," said Donny Flynn, wondering why his father's face made him w
to cry.
"Ye've sworn it, Donegal Flynn," his father said, and then released him. A gentle fist tapped
bicep. "Ye know our telephone number, if it comes to that. Keep the credit card in your pocket.
now, get yer arse out to Route Ninety-five afore the weekend rush."
At first Donny was too busy driving to pay attention to his passengers. Once on the inter
route, he began to listen. McTaggart, nursing a bottle of booze, luxuriated in leather cushions
entertained himself with an endless curse on American luxury. Bunch of girnin' soft cunts they w
aye, who'd risk nobbut filthy fookin' money fer the cause.
Occasionally Flaherty responded, snoozing, his legs stretched out as he slumped in the rear
gloom. Once Donny tried to join in by agree-ing. They ignored him. Boozing and snoozing,
ignored Donny's route past Pawtucket and Providence, ignored his brief panic on the stretch o
outside Warwick. It was not until he suggested a stop at New London, trying to invent some cl
phrase from the bits and pieces he had collected, that they stopped ignor-ing him. He made
mistake of referring to them as oul sods.
The open-handed slap across the back of his head made Donny swerve, sent bright gobbet
light dancing across his vision. "What the fuck kind of answer is that," he yelled, half turning.
"The kind ye earn, ye wee bastid," Flaherty piped, "callin' yer betters sods." Flaherty would h
made a good soprano, Donny thought, but a lousy debater.
McTaggart started to cackle, understanding the problem, explaining at great length between sw
that the oul sod was holy, but a couple of oul sods were sodomites. He did not blame Donny fo
mistake. He did not blame Fla-herty, either. Flaherty had made no mistake. Flaherty had sim
made his point in a way that even a wee lad could not fail to remember. Donny Flynn shook his h
to clear it, and remembered.
In Newark they bought the biggest, most grossly oleaginous giantburgers the micks had ever s
and Donny located two fresh bottles of John Jameson. Donny perceived something ritualized in
insistence on that particular whiskey from that particular part of Ireland, did not understand,
knew better than to ask. For one thing, McTaggart was so smashed he could not have interced
Flaherty had fancied some fresh offense by Donny.
Donny wondered if the leather seats would ever be the same after McTaggart dropped
giantburger on his fly and, in a rage, ground the mess into the seat before hurling the debris from
window. It was shaping up to be a great little trip, thought Donny.
The following day, Sunday, Donny found it necessary to tell McTaggart about antilitter law
they sped across Virginia. McTaggart cared fuck-all about that until Donny explained about
highway patrol cruisers that blossomed in thousands across the land like winter wildflow-ers, si
in hidden spots to surprise the jaded traveler. Flaherty said nothing, only patting the Christ
package, nearly as long as his arm, that Donny had seen carried from his father's hobby room.
McTaggart saw the gesture. "None o' that, ye eejit," he cautioned, laughing; "yell have a chanc
Colorado, by Jasus, an' not afore."
Monday, the whiskey consumed, Donny tried to find more John J. in St. Louis, feeling more li
nursemaid to grown men at every futile stop. Bushmill's was heretical, any Scotch just as
Donny bought two gray stoneware jugs of local Platte Valley straight corn and smiled at the sigh
the two provos, slouching in new but outdated trenchcoats, cradling their booze and swilling it e
as they reviled it. They looked wholly harmless, old-faced children in Sam Spade suits, playin
some unfathomable in-ternational game. Donny wondered if their mis-sion was to pick up mo [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]


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