Running a little late today, but don’t worry. I got your Mammon. Chapter 32 is up. Looks like what, maybe two more weeks until I wrap this puppy up? If you need to catch up, you can download the shebang right here. Catch you tomorrow, Mammonites!
“I had, of course, been warned about you Americans and your manners,” said Foucalt. He was sitting at the table in the small kitchen of his condo on Sheridan Road with Hardin and Wilson.
“Manners?” Hardin said.
“I commit my nation to assist in your scheme . . .”
“Scheme sounds so sinister,” said Wilson. “How about endeavor?”
Foucalt smiled. “Of course, endeavor. Anyway, I commit my nation to this course of action, I open my home to you, and you repay me by carjacking a mob boss and roping me into this mess.”
“Roping,” said Hardin. “Look at you, a year in America and you go all cowboy on us.”
“I have seen all the movies,” said Foucalt. “Yipee-ki-aye, mother fucker.”
“That wasn’t a cowboy,” said Wilson. “That was Bruce Willis. Die Hard.”
“But a cowboy allusion, no?” said Foucalt.
“Yeah, OK,” she said. “A cowboy allusion. I forgot. Cultural Attache.”
“Mais oui.,” said Foucalt.
Hardin and Foucalt went back and forth for a bit in French.
“What was that all about?” asked Wilson.
“I told him to go fuck himself,” said Hardin.
“And I told him I would, with the same prick I used on his mother,” said Foucalt.
“And I told him if he went anywhere near my mother with the prick he’d been dipping in goats, I’d cut it off,” said Hardin.
“And I told him that I wouldn’t have to fuck the goats if he hadn’t given all the girls the clap,” said Foucalt.
“Goddamn teenagers,” said Wilson. “You get two guys together, let ‘em shoot their guns and their brains turn to shit. It’s gotta be morning in France by now. Can we call Fouche yet? I want to get to bed.”
“Bed sounds like a good idea,” said Hardin, little lascivious edge to his voice.
“You’re sleeping with the goats tonight, big boy.”
A small line of blood ran down the boy’s forehead, veering left at the bridge of his nose, dripping from the jaw line onto the pajama top. Husam al Din tried to place the character on the shirt. Iron Man, that was it. The movie was being heavily promoted. Al Din waited for the woman to stop struggling against the duct tape that held her to the chair, to stop trying to scream through the gag. The girl’s eyes were still open, but she was not moving. Shock, probably. He saw all the resistance go out of the man’s face. Always start with the boy, al Din had learned. Men had this strange willingness to sacrifice their sons. So he always preserved the illusion that they could save their daughters.
“Completely unnecessary,” said al Din. “And now you have killed your son. Are you ready to answer my questions? If not, do I shot your wife or your daughter next? Really, no one else has to die.”
The coverage of the shootings on Lake Shore Drive had been thorough. He only had to wait a short time before one of the stations identified that other man standing next to Corsco in the aerial shot of the limousine. Ringwald, Corsco’s attorney. Corsco would be problematic, would probably have considerable security, especially after the day’s events. Al Din had guessed that his lawyer would be less secure. He had been right. The house on the large lot in Highland Park had very good locks and one of the better electronic home protection systems, but the large lot meant that no one could see al Din from the street. And, with time, locks and electric systems are meaningless. The large lot also meant the neighbors would not hear what happened in the house.
“You are Mr. Corsco’s attorney?”
“Yes,” Ringwald said.
“What is his business with Nick Hardin?”
“Hardin used to work in Africa. They had that big charity thing there for Darfur a little over a year ago?”
“I remember,” said al Din.
“He was the guy that punched Shamus Fenn in the face. Fenn knows Corsco pretty well. I guess the whole thing eating at him. He came to Tony to put a hit out on Fenn.”
“Shamus Fenn, the movie actor?” al Din asked.
“Yes,” said Ringwald.
“And he wanted Hardin killed because Hardin hit him in the nose?”
“I guess he felt like it screwed up his career,” said Ringwald.
“It has nothing to do with the diamonds?”
“What diamonds?” Ringwald asked. The man would not lie now.
“What about Hernandez?”
“Hardin killed his brother. Years ago. It’s why he left the country. I don’t know why he came back, but Hernandez heard about it. He wanted Tony to cooperate in tracking him down. Which was fine with us. I mean, it doesn’t matter how Hardin dies, we would have got paid either way.”
“You said would have got paid. Because this Fenn overdosed on drugs, he can no longer pay you?”
“Fenn fucked up, went on TV, drew some attention to himself, this whole thing with him and Hardin. The police were talking to him, he was getting nervous. Tony took care of that, cutting his losses.”
Cutting his loses. Al Din liked that phrase. He would have to remember it. And there was nothing more to learn here. It was time to cut his losses.
He shot the woman first. She was an innocent, there was no reason she should have to watch her daughter die. The girl gave no sign she even noticed. Al Din shot her next.
Ringwald was straining against his bonds now, starting to scream. But not for long.