Ask the Parrot

By Richard Stark

Occasionally secret grasp Donald E. Westlake is the writer of uproarious crime capers. occasionally he has a median streak-and its identify is Parker. From his noir vintage The guy with the Getaway Face to his contemporary novel Nobody Runs Forever, at any time when Westlake writes as Stark, he shall we Parker run loose-a ruthless legal in a global of weak "straights."

On a sunny October afternoon a guy is working up a hill. he is not dressed for working. lower than him are barking police canines and ready up forward is a stranger-with a rifle, a lifestyles packed with regrets, and a parrot at domestic who will mutely witness simply how a lot hassle the runner, Parker, can deliver into a standard life.

The rabbit hunter is Tom Lindahl, a small-town lonely center nursing a big-time grudge opposed to the racetrack that fired him. He is familiar with from the instant he sees Parker that he is met a qualified thief-and a guy with homicide in his blood. Rescuing Parker from the chase hounds, Lindahl invitations the fugitive into his secluded domestic. He plans to tear off his former agency and precise a perilous degree of revenge-if he can get Parker to help.

But Tom does not comprehend Parker and that the determined legal will do whatever to survive-no topic who has to die...

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I do know those roads. ” “Good. ” Parker regarded earlier Lindahl’s bitter face, downslope to the left, and during the timber now he may simply see a street, two-lane blacktop, under them and working parallel to them. A pink pickup truck glided by down there, the other method, uphill. Parker stated, “Can they see us from the line, up in the following? ” “Doesn’t topic. ” “They’ll get to the head in a couple of minutes, with the dogs,” Parker acknowledged. “They’ll see this street, they’ll determine I’m in a motor vehicle. ” “Soon we’ll be home,” Lindahl stated, and all of sudden laughed, a rusty sound as if he didn’t do a lot giggling.

Cal now had cause to glower at all people. “Done in right here? Whadaya suggest performed in right here? Now the guy’s knocking off procuring department stores! ” “That’s not anything to do with us,” Cory informed him. “Come on, Cal. Tom, I’m sorry we busted in on you. ” “Anytime,” Lindahl acknowledged, even though he sounded indignant. “Just knock first. ” “We will. Come on, Cal. Sorry if we disenchanted you, Ed. ” “You didn’t,” Parker stated. “Well . . . ” Cory herded Cal to the door and out, Cal desirous to yap on approximately anything or different, Cory pushing him out with nods and hand gestures, the 2 eventually outdoors, Cory ultimate the door with no on reflection.

A number of miles farther on, having thought of it a few extra, he nodded and informed the radio, “And see you later cash, too. ” that may be Nick’s in simple terms bargaining chip, wouldn’t it? After Syracuse, McWhitney became south, conserving to smaller roads simply because they have been much less sponsored up, yet nonetheless making gradual development. He eventually gave up and located a hotel outdoor Binghamton, then early Sunday morning received up right into a still-police-infested international and made his means southeast towards ny, the place his domestic used to be and the place the small bar he owned was once and the place he had an appointment bobbing up with a girl named Sharon.

It was once a hoarse whisper, nearly a choked scream. “As quickly as Fred drives off, you filter out! ” “No,” Parker acknowledged. “What? ” Lindahl couldn’t think it. “You can’t remain the following, you’re a fugitive! ” “We’ve obtained our agreement,” Parker informed him. “We’ll keep on with it. ” “We won't! no longer for one more moment. ” Parker regarded from the bed room doorway out throughout the entrance window. “Fred simply drove off,” he stated. “What are you going to do, holler? At that vacant residence up there? Are you going to attempt to take down one rifle and never ?

The blood from the outlet in his again bubbled much less, and pulsed to an finish as Thiemann arrived, panting as if he’d run a mile. He stared on the guy at the flooring as carefully as though he’d simply given him beginning. His voice hoarse, he stated, “Which one is he? ” “Neither,” Parker stated. Lindahl got here to hitch them, from farther to the left. “How is he? ” “Dead,” Parker acknowledged. Thiemann used to be attempting to get the artist’s drawings out of his pocket with no letting move of his rifle. “Damn,” he acknowledged. “Damn! Tom, carry this a sec.

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