Reckless Endangerment by Robert Tanenbaum

Reckless Endangerment by Robert Tanenbaum

Author:Robert Tanenbaum
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Open Road Integrated Media LLC
Published: 2010-06-14T16:00:00+00:00


ELEVEN

He had never been shot before, shot at plenty of times, but always before this the bullets had gone wide, diverted by the miraculous protection of the saints, and it was this demonstration of his vulnerability rather than the wound itself that wrapped a chilling hand around the heart of El Chivato. Of course, it still hurt a great deal, but he was actually glad of the pain, since it served both to remind him of his recent stupidity and as a warning that he must not overstay his time.

There was an employees’ washroom at the back of the warehouse that had cold water running in it, and here he washed off the spattered blood from his job on the Arab, and also washed, as best he could, the bullet wound, which was a long, deep groove in his left side, right above the hip bone. He cut a clean strip from the old-fashioned roller towel in the washroom to make a bandage, which he wrapped tightly around his waist, like a cummerbund.

Nude but for this binding, he went to inspect the crates the Arab had mentioned. One of them had already been opened, and the top layer of excelsior and ceramic parts had been removed and set aside. El Chivato rummaged through the contents for a good while, selecting some items and placing them on a tarp. His weapons had been taken from him by the Arabs, and here was a new supply, and of a better sort as well. He was used to this manner of providence, and he thought it was possible that the protectors had not entirely deserted him: the wound was a warning, then, and not abandonment.

When he had laid out as much as he thought he could conveniently carry, he wrapped up the tarp, slung it over his shoulder and brought it out to the loading dock, where he placed it next to the LTD. Then he got dressed, took the car keys and the two pistols from the dead Arabs, distributed the various items from the crates in appropriate places, and drove off.

Chouza Khalid said, “Perhaps the little thing was tougher than he looked. I can’t think of anything else that would be taking them so long.”

The man known as Ibn-Salemeh did not look away from his television, which was playing a rerun of I Dream of Jeannie. He said, “Perhaps they discovered another spy. You should go and check. In fact, you should have interrogated him yourself.”

“I was preparing for tonight,” said Khalid, trying to keep the resentment out of his voice. “As it is, if they don’t show up soon, we will have to call it off.”

“We will not call it off. This is interesting, here, I’ve noticed on many of these programs: the man is a moron and the woman is the clever one. Even without magical powers. And this one is especially blatant. We have the familiar orientalism: the submissive woman, the harem pants, the little waistcoat with sequins, but in fact she is entirely in control.



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