Boldt by Ted Lewis Read Free Book Online

Book: Boldt by Ted Lewis Read Free Book Online
Authors: Ted Lewis
Tags: Crime Fiction
the door swings closed behind us.
    Now the first part of Clark’s is pretty much in keeping with the outside. It’s a small anteroom, as shabby as the front, and it smells of the three guys who are playing draw poker around a folding green baize table next to the entrance into the second part of Clark’s. The three players all know Murdock and me and we all know them. The game doesn’t pause just because we’ve come in, but one of the guys, a guy called Arthur Montgomery, says, “Hello, friends, how are things with you this afternoon?”
    Murdock says to me, “Is it afternoon, Roy?”
    â€œShucks, I don’t know, George,” I say to him. “We been working so hard this morning I’m damned if I know what time it is.”
    â€œWell,” Murdock says, “you can rely on Arthur. Christ, if Arthur tells us it’s afternoon, then, Christ, it must be because Arthur knows what time it is, don’t you Arthur?”
    Arthur says, “You two going in?”
    â€œNo, we’re not going in, Arthur,” I say to him. “We just dropped by to ask for the brand name of your deodorant.”
    â€œI don’t use one,” Arthur says.
    â€œYou don’t say?” Murdock says. “He doesn’t use a deodorant. How about that, Roy?”
    I shake my head in amazement and Arthur gets up, taking care to bring his cards with him. He goes over to the door and kicks it; the door opens slightly not revealing anything or
    anybody behind it, and Arthur says, “Two guys coming in. Cops.”
    The door doesn’t move for about a minute and then it’s pulled in a foot or so more, giving Murdock and me just enough room to go through one at a time. After the door’s closed behind us and the curtains beyond have been drawn, we’re inside of Clark’s and Clark’s, you have to admit, is quite something. Considering where it is and considering everything else.
    The whole point about Clark’s, which in a sense is in keeping with the unreality of its situation, is that there’s never been anybody called Clark that’s had anything to do with the place. As long as I’ve known it, it’s been run by a guy called Moses Shapiro and Moses himself adds to the unreality of the place, not only because of his personality, but because he doesn’t belong to anybody. Nobody owns him. Not one of the organizations has a piece of him, and that in itself makes Moses a pretty unusual character. But if it weren’t for that, that apart, Moses doesn’t need that kind of immunity to make him special. Moses is bigger than life in every way, apart from his size. He’s the toughest queen I ever met and could take on anything that happened to be pushed his way. I know professionals who’d never say a wrong word or ever put a foot wrong inside of Clark’s because of what Moses would be likely to do to them if their play didn’t happen to suit him. Moses, with his bald head glowing above his kaftan, his silky trousers and his furry slippers is able to take any six or seven guys apart without breaking sweat. His fat ringed fingers and the gross muscles on his arms and legs go to work as if that’s the only thing he was born to do which, of course, it isn’t: he was born to persecute everything that isn’t gay. Moses is one of those guys who isn’t satisfied with the guys he can make easily. He likes to bear down on the guys who aren’t gay, or at least don’t think they are. He likes to use his muscle—in fact, rape with a view to corruption is his bag, and as a rule, if Moses sets out to bear down, then whoever he’s bearing down on don’t stand a chance, no way. In fact, some of the guys Moses has had never walk back to the other side of the line. Of course, it’s not all muscle with Moses; he uses softeners a lot of the time, and two of those softeners are two sisters, real sisters, real

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