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Titel: Mohawk
Autoren: Richard Russo
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sister’s horror, had actually hobbled in, elbowing her way to the counter where she extracted two musty dollar bills from her fat coin pouch, asked for and ignored advice from a man with a tattoo, then played her own daily double. She lost her money, but not her enthusiasm. “I like that gambling,” she told Anne. “All those years I lived with that son-in-law of mine, I never had a minute’s fun.”
    “How are things,” Anne asked her mother once Milly was out of earshot.
    “Fine,” Mrs. Grouse said. “Just fine.”
    “It’s not going to be easy.”
    “I know,” her mother allowed. “But it’s welcome tobe needed. No one’s needed me since your father.”
    “I’m sorry,” Anne said, not that Mrs. Grouse meant anything particular by her remark. The present arrangement was perfect. Her sister was probably the only soul Milly wouldn’t torment with bogus complaints and needs. When the sale of Mather Grouse’s house became final, the two old women would have enough to live more than comfortably. Anne planned to be out before Christmas. The new owner had bought the Grouse home for an investment and was chagrined to hear that Anne didn’t intend to stay on. But he quickly rented both flats.
    “I’d offer you a chair,” Dan said, “if I had one to offer.”
    “How’d you make out?”
    “Not bad, actually. The house fetched more than we thought. Than I thought. Break-even territory.”
    Anne looked away.
    “Of course Di didn’t break even, but she always knew she wouldn’t.”
    The swimming pool seemed to stretch even longer. Neither had moved. “If we’re going to part friends, you’re going to have to stop trying to hurt me, Dan.”
    At first he didn’t say anything, just looked off past the redwood fence at the sky above the golf course. “I’m not trying to hurt you. Myself, maybe. But not you.”
    “But we feel the same things. That’s the really terrible part. We always have. You can’t punish yourself without punishing me. So please stop. I’ve always been the one to push for us, even when I knew there couldn’t really be any us. But I won’t any more. I promise. We’ve lost practically everything there is to lose, haven’t we?”
    “I’m not hurting. That’s the strange part. I don’t mind losing the house, or anything in it. I know I should, and I’ll probably feel better when I do, but right now I just feel bored. I’d even feel better if I thought there was some tragic flaw, some error in judgment I could trace everything to. If I could look back and say I’d missed a sign, and that if I hadn’t, things would’ve been different.”
    “I’ve taken a job in Phoenix,” she said, suddenly impatient with his abstractions. “When I told them yes, I fully intended to ask you to come with me. I had this idea that we might even make each other happy in the end. I should’ve known better. You’d rather I went out with your dippy nephew.”
    “I’d kill you first.”
    “Good,” she said. “Then we’re still friends.”
    “Let’s get out of here,” Dan suggested, suddenly wheeling toward her. She closed the patio gate behind them. “I’m glad I still have the car,” he admitted. “Don’t help now.”
    He swung himself inside behind the wheel, then closed the door and rolled down the window. “Where the hell is Phoenix, Arizona?”
    She collapsed the chair and bundled it around to the passenger side. “Consult a map.”
    “I bet they don’t even have ramps. It’s just like you to invite me to a place that doesn’t have any goddamn ramps.”
    “These days they’re building them everywhere.”
    “More trouble than they’re worth, believe me.”
    “But they
be built.”
    “I suppose,” he admitted. “In time.”

    At the Mohawk Grill there are many systems for picking winners at the track, and each of the regulars who slips in off the street when Harry opens promptly at six has his own, though as they readily admit no system’s perfect or the players would all live in Florida. So they compose elaborate mathematical formulas, not to determine who the winner
be but who the winner
be if the track weren’t crooked. These scientific men are not chagrined by their cynical belief that the science of handicapping is seriously compromised by dishonesty and greed. Poring over the charts of workout times and track conditions, analyzing the level of competition—these are pleasurable activities in themselves, especially in the
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