read by Shawn Robertson
I was peacefully quaffing a jorum of scotch broth when Cleve Sistern elbowed his way onto the bar next to me, yammered, “Hey, how’s my favorite redheaded accounting dick?”
I hung the frosty focus on his porcine features. Added, “Go climb your thumb.”
He persisted. “Got a job for you, Acton. Need you to check up on things at the grain elevator. Somethin’ fishy’s goin’ on out there.”
The barkeep drifted down, looked at Sistern. Sistern looked at me; the gink’s cheap that way, and all others. The barkeep gave it up, drifted away.
“One day’s work,” Sistern started in again. “I’ll pay ya.” He dug a paw into his flannel legwraps and pulled out a terminally shy wallet, opened it up with a rusty groan. Then he placed a crisp, never-been-used twenty dollar bill down on the bar with all the solemnity of a soldier being laid to rest.