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Consider Yourself Dead

As Frost was urgently looking for money, he expressed interest.

Again she regarded him. If he hadn’t been sure that she would cost him the whole of his payroll to haul her into bed, he would have taken a very serious interest in her, but he knew a doll of her class was way out of his money bracket.

‘What’s your line?’ she asked.
‘The same as yours – the fast buck.’
‘Apart from your looks, what’s your talent?’
Frost frowned. What was his talent? This was something he hadn’t thought about before. He was now thirty-two years of age. For the past twelve years he had scratched up a living, always on the lookout for the big money, but up to now, never finding it. Right now he was unemployed. He was in New York, hoping to find an opportunity that paid well without too much sweat.

‘Security,’ he said. ‘Using my muscles. The last job I had was riding a truck as a guard. I goosed the old man’s secretary, and got the gate.’ He grinned at her. ‘Right now, I’m looking
for something.’

‘With your looks and build,’ she said, ‘you could get yourself a rich old woman in Paradise City who would pour bread into your lap.’

Frost grimaced. He said rich old women weren’t his thing. She flicked her fingers at the waiter and ordered another dry martini. Frost still nursed his Scotch, but he did make motions of reaching for his wallet when her drink came, but she shook her head.

‘I run an account here.’ She accepted the cigarette he offered, then said, ‘If you really are after the fast buck, here’s what you do. Go to Paradise City. Contact Joe Solomon.

You’ll find him in the book. He handles all us folk who are after the fast buck. Tell him you are a friend of mine, and I’ll hate him if he doesn’t fix something for you. I’m Marcia Goolden.’ She looked across the barroom and heaved a sigh.

‘Here’s my freak. Call Joe.’ She gave Frost a sexy smile. ‘See you in Paradise City. You and I could have fun together. Joe’ll tell you where to find me.’ She finished her drink at a gulp, slid off her stool and walked over to a fat, balding man who was staring around like a fugitive from a chain gang. She hooked her arm in his and led him out into the hot, humid sunshine.

Frost had been in New York for five days. He had been offered a job here and there, but the money didn’t interest him.

He thought about what Marcia had said.

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