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Almost Like Christmas
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Format:ebook (Digital original) $0.99 $0.99 CAD
This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around December 6, 2016. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.
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Almost Like Christmas
The coffee was gone again. Mercer swore softly, tiredly, and carried the coffee pot to the basin. He moved slowly. His eyes were red and he ground them mercilessly with the heels of both hands while the percolator was filling. He needed a shave now, and the total relaxation of his heavy face gave him the hopeless, stupid, waxen look of a drunkard. Carter sat limply at the large pine table and watched him, scarcely seeing him in his own fatigue. It had been a long night, he was thinking, a fantastically wicked, confused, and diabolical night, and it was only just beginning.
He watched Mercer start back across the room and stop at the window to stare out glumly at the entrance to the hospital across the street. The chill fog outside had streaked the glass with drippings of mist that gleamed like cheap jewelry in the light from the naked yellow bulb in the room. The window was dirty, and each time that Carter's eyes fell on the coarse patterns of grime he was reminded of photographs of diseased tissue that he had seen a long time before in Life magazine. They had been drinking coffee for hours, and the warm odor was thick and stale in the air and made him nauseous.
"Is anybody out there?"
"A few men," Mercer replied, after a full minute had gone by. "Men from the railroad, probably."
He turned from the window and set the coffee pot on the electric burner. For several seconds there was a quiet fury of hissing and sputtering as the water on the outside of the can boiled off.
Only Henney was in the room with them now. Beeman and Whitcombe had gone to the hospital to wait for news of the Wilson boy. There were no prisoners in the jail downstairs, and there was little for Henney to do. There never was any real need for a night porter, but Henney was Mercer's cousin, a consumptive, simple-minded man with very weak eyes who could not hold down a job anyplace else, and Mercer maintained the sinecure for him. Henney was reading the newspaper. He had been reading the same eight pages all night. Suddenly he began humming aloud, unconscious of the annoyance he was creating.
Mercer stood it as long as he could, and then said:
"Henney, go down to the diner and get some chicken sandwiches. Don't let him put any butter on."
Henney came to his feet with a start and hurriedly folded the newspaper. "Sure, Jay, sure."
"Cigarettes," Carter said moodily.
- On Sale
- Dec 6, 2016
- Page Count
- 48 pages
- Mulholland Books