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On the Yard (New York Review Books Classics) by Braly Malcolm

On the Yard (New York Review Books Classics) by Braly Malcolm

Author:Braly, Malcolm [Braly, Malcolm]
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9781590176108
Publisher: Random House Inc Clients
Published: 2012-06-13T05:00:00+00:00


At breakfast Manning asked, “Are you sure you’re all right?”

“I may hit the sick line. In case they check me into the hospital, there’s something I’d like you to do for me.”

“Of course.”

“Those four packs of Camels on the shelf, see that Redman in the library gets them, will you? They’re his.”

“Do you think they’ll put you to bed?”

“I don’t know.”

During the night he had resolved to attack Gasolino as soon as he could find him rather than leave the initiative in the hands of the other man. The chances were that Gasolino had left his shank stashed somewhere in the industrial alley when he heard the Eye was working, and if this were the case he wouldn’t be able to pick it up until after the gate was open. Juleson knew this for his best chance. Even without his knife Gasolino wasn’t negligible, but neither was he deadly.

Acting on this plan Juleson separated himself from Manning as soon as they left the mess hall and began to comb the yard looking for Gasolino. The men were gathering into social groups, large and small, some stationary, some walking the asphalt. The long wait in the morning was the time to take care of personal business, keep contacts, exchange prison rumors, and tell the lies you had imagined the night before.

The sky was clear for the first time in a week, but it was still cold this early in the morning. A gun bull with his coat collar turned up stood the rail that ran along the top of the east block. He was hugging his rifle to his chest and his breath came in white plumes. Another gun bull paced the top of the north block. Juleson no longer saw these armed guards as anything more than familiar details. He looked for Oberholster, but he wasn’t on the yard yet. He saw Lester Moon waiting at the place where Oberholster always stood. Their eyes met, and Red smiled. Suddenly, as if Red’s smile were a match tossed in kerosene, Juleson was angry. All right, all right, he thought, turning on another tack, where was that ape?

Juleson passed along the domino tables, already filling for the day’s action, and skirted a group of hobby workers burdened with their products like old-fashioned peddlers. Another group of men were reliving the football game they had won Saturday in the lower yard. Ten Negroes with shaven heads performed calisthenics. They called themselves Simbas.

Then he saw Gasolino. He was standing on the bench that ran alongside the north block, leaning back against the concrete wall. Another man was standing on the bench beside him and a third stood below them. Despite the cold Gasolino wasn’t wearing a jacket. His chambray shirt was starched and pressed. His jeans had been bleached to a pale blue. He wore a thin black belt fastened with a silver buckle, inset with abalone shell. His pants were rolled up to reveal white gym socks and black loafers. The two men with him were also bonerooed.



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