Hit Man (Keller)
Keller is your basic urban Lonely Guy.He makes a decent wage, lives in a nice apartment.Works the crossword puzzle. Watches a little TV. Until the phone rings and he packs a suitcase, gets on a plane, flies halfway across the country...and kills somebody. It's a living. But is it a life? Keller's not sure. He goes to a shrink, but it doesn't work out the way he planned. He gets a dog, he gets a girlfriend. He gets along.
to American Express. He finished packing and was almost out the door when his eye caught the paperback western. Take it along? Leave it for the maid? What? He picked it up, read the cover line, sighed. Was this what Randolph Scott would do? Or John Wayne, or Clint Eastwood? How about Jack Elam? No, of course not. Because then there’d be no movie. A man rides into town, starts to have a look at the situation, meets a woman, gets it on with her, then just backs out and rides off? You put something
the man’s advice. Then he happened to learn that the Cuban not only shunned the higher floors of hotels but also refused to enter an elevator or fly in an airplane. What had looked like tradecraft now appeared to be nothing more than phobia. It struck Keller that he had never in his life had to leave a hotel room, or any other sort of room, by the window. This was not to say that it would never happen, but he’d decided it was a risk he was pre- H I T M A N 41 pared to run. He liked high
but— ‘‘Hey, that’s all right, Bart,’’ Keller said. ‘‘A man can’t keep it all locked up inside.’’ ‘‘Calling me Bart, I appreciate that. I truly do. Even Lyman calls me Hobie and he’s the best friend any man ever had. Hell, he can’t help it. Everybody calls me Hobie sooner or later.’’ ‘‘Well,’’ Keller said. ‘‘I’ll hold out as long as I can.’’ Alone, Keller reviewed his options. He could kill Lyman Crowder. He’d be keeping it simple, carrying out the mission as it had been given to him. And it would
magnificent woman with a great mane of hair and eyes that flashed in the moonlight. She extended a hand and Keller leaped up on the horse and rode behind her. She was naked. So was Keller, although he had somehow failed to notice this before. 50 L A W R E N C E B L O C K They fell in love. Wordless, they told each other everything, knew one another like twin souls. And then, gazing into her eyes, Keller realized who she was. She was Edith Bodine, and she was dead, he’d killed her earlier
sad for you.’’ ‘‘Sadder still for the dog. His name was Soldier. Is Soldier, unless she’s gone and changed it.’’ ‘‘This fellow’s name is Nelson. That’s his call name. Of course the name on his papers is a real mouthful.’’ ‘‘Do you show him?’’ ‘‘He’s seen it all,’’ she said. ‘‘You can’t show him a thing.’’ ‘‘I went down to the Village last week,’’ Keller said, ‘‘and the damnedest thing happened. I met a woman in the park.’’ ‘‘Is that the damnedest thing?’’ ‘‘Well, it’s unusual for me. I meet women