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Titel: Mohawk
Autoren: Richard Russo
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your business. You look like shit, by the way.”
    “How’d you get in?” Benny D. had a lot of questions, but this, strangely, was foremost in his mind.
    “With a key. How’d you think?”
    “I gave you a key?”
    “You must’ve. I got one, don’t I?”
    It made sense, Benny D. had to admit.
    “Somebody told me your old lady was back.” Dallas pressed the button that lowered the Schwartz Bonneville until the tires met the cold floor and the lift whooshed in relief.
    Benny D. wondered what else Dallas had heard, and decided he’d better assert his manhood. “Took the boys for a bundle last night. Your buddy John had it the worst.”
    “Good,” Dallas said. “I could use a hundred, since you got it.”
    Benny D. peeled off some bills and passed them to him.
    “You ever paint a house?” Dallas said.
    “Not recently.”
    “You got brushes and stuff? A ladder?”
    Benny D. shrugged. “I guess. You can come over and check in the cellar.”
    “All right.”
    A car pulled up outside and Mrs. Benny got out. When her husband saw her through the bay doors, he shoved the rest of the money he won into Dallas’s back pocket. “Put it someplace for me. Someplace safe.”
    Mrs. Benny walked directly into the office, then noticed the two men in the garage. “See you found him,” she said, approaching carefully.
    “Of course I found him,” Benny D. said.
    “Look at you,” Dallas leered appreciatively.
    “Nevermind, Dallas Younger.”
    “Tell her to go away and come back again. Leaving does her good.”
    “I’m the one doing the telling,” she said before closing the office door.
    “So I heard,” Dallas said.
    Benny D. reddened. “So where the hell were you last night?”
    “Bullshit. I was by there half a dozen times.”
    Dallas got into Mrs. Schwartz’s Bonneville and gunned the engine. No knocks or pings. Perfect timing.
    Benny D. looked at him slyly. “Wouldn’t be your brother’s house that needs painting?”
    “You should see the place.”
    Benny D. shook his head. “No time of year to start painting.”
    “I was thinking about spring.”
    Dallas turned off the engine and handed Benny D. the key.
    “You don’t suppose we’re going to end up pussy-whipped, do you?” Benny D. said.
    “Nah,” Dallas grinned. “Not me, anyway.”

    A car was backing out of the Woods’ driveway when Anne Grouse turned onto Kings Road. She recognized the driver as Dan’s nephew, who’d been a bearer at her father’s funeral six years before. Though they hadn’t seen each other since, he smiled and rolled down his window. “Hi. Going in to see Uncle Dan?”
    Anne nodded. “How is he feeling?”
    “All right,” he said. “A little down. I think he wanted to say his goodbyes to the place alone.”
    “Maybe I shouldn’t bother him. Tell me, is he drinking?”
    “A little.” The boy reddened. “He’s okay though. I never saw anybody that can drink like him.” At this his voice sounded happier. “I’d be in a coma.”
    For some reason Anne was irritated and in no mood for small talk. “I’ll just go in and say hi.”
    “Sure, that’d be great. You want me to hang around?”
    “No need, I don’t think.”
    “We could go out for coffee later.”
    “What for?” But his hurt was immediately obvious, and she apologized. She also noted that she was forty.
    “Oh,” he said seriously. “I didn’t think.”
    Dan was padlocking the pool shed when she swung the gate shut with a clang. The back door of the housewas open and all its rooms empty and hollow, most of the furniture sold at auction the week before, the rest put in storage. She’d seen little of him since the funeral, and they hadn’t been alone at all. Nor was Anne sure how seeing him now would work out. The length of the swimming pool was between them, a distance that seemed greater than it was. “You just missed Michael,” he said.
    “Actually, we passed the baton in the drive,” she said. “He asked me out. Pretty funny, I thought.”
    “So what did you say?”
    “You can be a very nasty person.”
    “I don’t mean to be,” he said. “How’s tricks at Forest Lawn?”
    “It’s not Forest Lawn, as you well know. It’s Forest Towers.”
    She had dropped in on her mother and aunt that morning. They had moved into the small, fourth-floor apartment the previous week. There was an elevator, cable TV, a supermarket and drugstore next door. The OTB was across the street, and Milly, to her
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