Longarm #431

Longarm #431 by Tabor Evans Read Free Book Online

Book: Longarm #431 by Tabor Evans Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tabor Evans
    â€œWe’re supposed to get identification before we pay out this much money, Mr. Long,” the clerk insisted.
    Longarm gave the dry-goods clerk, who doubled as telegraph agent, a dirty look. “Sonny, you’re the one that took my message down t’ send, asking for this money.”
    The truth was that he did indeed have the sort of identification that the young man was asking for, but it proved he was Deputy U.S. Marshal Custis Long. And wouldn’t town marshal Hughes be interested in that tidbit of information. Hughes would probably give the telegrapher a bonus for that.
    â€œAll right,” the clerk finally said. “But you will have to sign a statement testifying to your name.”
    â€œGet out your papers then. I’ll sign ’em.”
    Ten minutes later Longarm had his cash in hand. Billy Vail, bless his heart, had sent five hundred dollars instead of the four hundred that had been requested. And he did not even know why Longarm wanted that amount of cash. Now that, Longarm thought, was a splendid boss.
    From Sensabaugh’s he went back to the town marshal’s office and delivered five double eagles to the scumbag.
    â€œRemember,” Longarm cautioned him. “You get the other hundred after you put me an’ Al Gray together. An’ the sooner the better.”
    â€œI can’t introduce you to Mr. Gray until he gets here, Mr. Long. Surely you understand that. At the moment he is what you would call away on business.”
    â€œI understand business, Hughes. I got business o’ my own with Gray. Surely you understand that. Now if you’ll just give me a receipt for that money I just gave you.”
    Hughes gave him a stricken look, his eyes bulging and jaw dropping.
    Longarm roared with laughter. “Reckon I got you this time, didn’t I?”
    â€œI, uh, yes. You did, Mr. Long. Can I buy you a drink? To, um, celebrate our business deal?”
    â€œThanks, but I got something I need t’ do this afternoon,” Longarm said. Actually he just did not want to have anything to do more than was strictly necessary with the sleazy marshal. Certainly he did not want to drink with the man. “You’ll let me know when Gray gets back, right?”
    â€œImmediately,” Hughes promised.
    Longarm grunted a good-bye and got out of there. The very idea of having to drink with a man like Wilson Hughes made him angry.
    Spending some time with Melody Thompson, now that was a different notion altogether. He would have to see if she was free for a little playtime this afternoon.

Chapter 23
    â€œSorry, Mr. Long. Miss Thompson checked out this morning. And before you ask, she did not say where she would be going.”
    Longarm sighed, then thanked the hotel desk clerk.
    â€œI can get you another girl,” the clerk said, lowering his voice and glancing over his shoulder. “Just as good as Miss Thompson and not as expensive.”
    â€œNot as . . . expensive?” Longarm said, not taking the man’s meaning for a few seconds.
    The clerk in turn failed to appreciate the reason for Longarm’s confusion. “Only five dollars. Ten for all night,” he said. “And the girl I have in mind is really quite beautiful. I’m sure you would like her.” The man smiled. “Would you like for me to arrange for her to come to your room? You wouldn’t have to be seen in public with her, if that is what you are thinking.”
    â€œI, uh, no. I mean . . . I’ll let you know later if I want her. This girl you have in mind, would she, um, does she work for the same people as Miss Thompson?”
    â€œNo, sir. Miss Thompson doesn’t work for a house. She has a, uh, a special friend, as she puts it. A man, of course. But the two of them come and go. Her gentleman friend is away at the moment, which I know for a fact. Otherwise he would have been the one to arrange for you to have her

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