"let's get this lead out of your guts first - then we'll decide what to do about al. ain't that right, doc? "
jenny turned her blonde head away, so that she wouldn't be blowing smoke right into dave's blasted body.
she formed two perfectly round smoke rings which drifted across doc wilson's little office and into his front parlor, and fixed the doctor with her cold green eyes.
but he ignored her and kept on probing dave's stomach.
"kind of flabby aren't you, dave? i thought you desperadoes kept in a little better shape." he looked up quickly at dave. "just kidding."
"i don't get it, doc. i just don't get it. me and al - we were partners for years - since we were kids. why would he just turn on me all of a sudden, just like that?"
"hold still. don't excite yourself. still - still - perfectly still. well, there are usually one of two reasons or both. the first of course is money."
"but the deal was a bust. there wasn't any money. we were just trying to get away."
"take a breath. hold it. all right. maybe he was mad about the deal not going down. maybe he blamed you."
"nah. it wasn't my fault."
"was it his? maybe he figured you'd get mad so he got his lick in first."
"it wasn't anybody's fault. it was just bad luck."
"there. i think i got it all."
"you think?" jenny interrupted. "did you get it all or didn't you?"
the doctor gave her an annoyed glance. "i got it all."
"then why did you say 'i think'?"
"it was just a manner of speaking. hold this on the wound," he told dave, " while i unwind this bandage." he took a long roll of white bandage out of a drawer under the table dave was sitting on. he began to wind it around dave's body below the gunshot wound just below his heart.
"as i was saying before i was so politely interrupted, there are two reasons for even the tightest partnerships to break up. money of course - " the doc looked over at jenny. "and dames."
"why you cheap gin-soaked back alley butcher, how dare you insult me -"
"easy baby, easy." dave laughed. "doc, consider the specific situation. jenny is here, ain't she? she's not with al. and she brought me here. she dragged my bleeding carcass away with her brute strength -" he grabbed her arm and squeezed her bicep - "strong, ain't she?"
"i'm strong for you. baby."
"very touching," doc observed. "of course, what could i have been thinking? here, let go."
he slapped a pad right right over the bullet hole as dave flinched, then continued winding the bandage above it. "all set. now, you just have to rest up."
"can i light up a smoke now?"
"sure, why not?"
dave fished in his pockets. "looks like i lost my smokes in all the fracas."
"you can have one of mine," jenny told him.
"they got filters. doc, can i bother you for a smoke?"
"i smoke cigars. parodis. you want one?"
"i guess they will have to do. thanks."
"hold on, i'll go get one."
jenny scowled at doc wilson's back as he left the room. "can we trust this cheap chiseler?" she asked loud enough for him to hear.
"relax, will you? being trusted is doc's stock in trade. he's not going to win the nobel prize for medicine. are you, doc?" dave called after him.
"did you hear the way he insulted me?"
"he was making a general statement about human females. don't be so sensitive."
"i'm a human female, ain't i?"
the doctor returned with a red and green pack of parodis he had taken from his jacket hanging in the front hall.
he extracted one of the crooked little cigars from the pack and gave it to dave, then lit it for him with a wooden match he struck across the sole of his scuffed brown shoe.
"no, if doc was a better doctor he'd be treating four star generals for indigestion at walter reed hospital, not stitching up the likes of us." dave blew some of the vile smoke into the air. "this is awful."
"you sure you don't want one of mine?" jenny asked.
"jeez, i just might."
the doctor cleared his throat. "well, dave, after you've finished - enjoying your smoke, we can settle up and you can be on your way."
"what? what are you talking about? we're going to hole up here." dave laughed and waved the parodi in the air. "have you gone out of the hole up business? that's the biggest part of your trade."
"what about her?"
"i don't know, what about her? haven't you ever holed up two people at once before? why, just last year -"
"come on, you know what i'm talking about. i don't trust her. i don't trust her not to shoot me when we both fall asleep. i just have a bad feeling about her."
"please. i know we're all under some stress here and harsh words have been spoken, but let's act like adults. and what about your fee?"
the doc held up his hand. "dave, there will be no payment. we've known each other for a long time and i hope we can do business again in the future. but i just don't trust this bitch."
he leaned forward and in a stage whisper intoned - "are you sure she's not in it with al?" he straightened up. "she can drive, you can walk, those aren't problems. you'll have to go."
"but i've got the police of six states after me."
"i'm sorry, dave."
"this is totally ridiculous."
"can you guarantee she won't shoot me or both of us?"
"yeah. yeah, i can guarantee it." dave reached behind his back and pulled a pistol from his waistband. jenny laughed. dave quickly checked the safety, released it, and shot jenny in the head.
"henry! what's going on down there?"
"nothing dear, go back to sleep."