Blonde Bait


4.00 · 1 ratings · Published: Dec 21st, 1959 {{ book.ratingTitle }}
A selection from the first chapter:

Telling Hal Anderson about Rose was a mistake. I knew it even as the words spilled out. But this was one time I couldn't keep my fool mouth shut. It was ten years since I had seen him, and I was still sore about the double-cross he'd pulled on me. So now I wanted to rub his nose in it, but good.

I was sitting in a little bar near the waterfront in Port-au-Prince, waiting while my boat, the Sea Princess, was taking on stores. I almost dropped my drink when the familiar, tall, white-uniformed figure appeared in front of me. "Mickey!" he shouted and began to pump my hand. "For a second I thought I was seeing things. Damn, boy, you haven't changed a bit. Still a tub of muscles, same old hat-even smell the same. Great to see you!"

"Sure. Sit down, Hal, and have a drink on me."

"You bet."

He sat down, first carefully creasing his drill trousers, and I ordered two more rums.

Hal grinned as he said, "Funny, we should be drinking together again, after all these years."

"Yeah," I said, wondering if I'd be as well off now if Hal was still my partner. Of course I wouldn't have Rose.

"What are you doing in Haiti, Mickey?"

"Man, you can see what I'm doing; drinking rum. Lazying around."

"You haven't changed."

"Nope. At least I haven't tried to. You have. Why the monkey suit?"

"I'm on the purser's staff of the 'American Spirit'."

He nodded at the liner down in the harbor.

"What do you do, hold hands with the seasick?"

"Cut it out, Mickey."

"I figured by this time you'd have long finished college, be a free wheeling executive."

"Stop it, Mickey," he said calmly. "I did go to college for two years. One summer I signed on as an A.B. I met a girl in Nice and married her on the next trip. Colette and I live in New York City, got us a house there, and two fine kids. She's something, a wonderful girl, an artist, and a ..."

"So you got hooked."

"You're nuts. I'm a very happy guy. What the hell have I to regret? I eat regularly, don't work hard, send my salary home, and see my family every five weeks. Like a honeymoon each time. It isn't a bad deal. My having been an ensign helps and some day I'll ..."

"Some day, will you ever be able to stop saying 'sir' to the clucks?"

He fanned his face with his hat and laughed. "My God, still the same old Mickey. Hell, sir is only a word. You used to ..."

"No, that was your department."

He finished his rum, then he said, "It wouldn't have worked, Mickey. Even with the new boat. I'm not made for that kind of life. You see I like having a wife, kids, a home, worrying and plugging for the future. I'm not built like a ..."

"A bum," I added. "Yeah, maybe that does take a kind of talent." I finished my drink, motioned for another round.

"Still have the Sea Princess?"

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