By John D. MacDonald

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Sell our stock back to the corporation. " "The house is in our names, and I won't sign a thing. This is all a lot of talk. " But I had made a living, before I met her. After I got out of the army in that second war, I had the restless itch. I had done some roving and some roaming, and I had gotten into several kinds of choice trouble—bigger trouble than the kind I had gotten into in high school and my two years of college. The trouble hadn't scared me at all until one day I found myself in a Reno motel with a small group of deadly chums and we were planning how we would knock over one of the casinos.

You're boring me, Jerry. Honestly you are. You won't get out. " As I was wondering how it would feel to spin her around and bust her solidly in the mouth, I heard the front door chimes. " I asked. "And how the hell would I know? " I went down and opened the front door. A man as tall as I am stood there, and the familiar grin was wide and strong. " I said. "You bastard! " The last time I had seen Vince was in Calcutta in August of 1945, twenty years ago. As my air transpor- tation home had lifted off the runway I had looked down and seen him for the last time.

I slept poorly. In the morning I dressed in white shirt, black bow tie, gray suit. I had coffee in the hotel and then checked out and carried my suitcase and the hat in the paper bag to my car, put the suitcase in and relocked it. I had but a three-minute wait out in front of the parking lot before Vince came along in the black Chrysler. I put the bag on the floor in back and took the wheel. We made a final run-through, paying particular attention to time. Twenty-eight minutes, plus or minus two minutes depending on traffic and lights from Tampa International to the hospital.

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