Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Jack Carter and the Law by Ted Lewis (Alfred A. Knopf 1974)

Jimmy is wearing a neat red satin dressing gown but there's nothing neat about his face, foreshortened and distorted in my sights; he looks like an astronaut experiencing twenty Gs. The filth who's shepherding him out is superfluous. Jimmy really doesn't need any guidance, and as he hurries down the garden path away from the flames, to safety, I steady the rifle so that the cross is resting perfectly on the middle of Jimmy's furrowed forehead, and then I pull the trigger three times, and immediately the last bullet leaves the barrel I turn away and run back down the side of the house, and as I pass the open door I glance into the house but there is no sign of the man who'd been putting out the milk bottles. That's the trouble with the world today, I reflect. A lack of public spirit. Nobody seems to be prepared to have a go these days.