Ahead I see a little green sign; Gunn’s. Yes, that’s where I’m going. One thing I haven’t forgotten; I need a hit. I peer in my jacket and see money. Vincenzo must have given me the advance right out of the cashbox. Later, I’ll count it.
I go into Gunn’s, a seedy place that caters to seedy people whom I would never admit to The Topaz. I go to the third booth from the left. Here, a rumpled fellow in a patched brown raincoat is facing the gristly mess Tommy calls Shepherd’s Pie. By his plate is a notepad. He looks up at me; “Well, hello!”
I shiver and draw a ragged breath; God I need a hit. But this is the wrong kind of guy. Then I remember it’s the third booth from the right, and go over there. That fellow is working a crossword and chewing a toothpick. He hands me the toothpick and says “25.” He puts his menu in the window and goes back to his puzzle.
I carry the toothpick outside. These transactions always seem to involve saliva. After a few minutes, cab number 25 rolls up to the curb.