I soon discovered that the Vulture had been recruited as a delivery boy. He was dispensing the goods and rather efficiently to Kim’s clients.
I needed to get out ahead of him if I wanted to witness a transaction, so when the Vulture left Market St. to go down fifth, I moved on down Market and went into a t-shirt shop that Two Fingers had solicited when I had been tailing him. I cruised down one of the aisles to the rear of the store near a set of stairs and parked myself behind a rack of Giant’s pullovers. I pretended to browse with interest through the shirts.
The Vulture strolled in a few minutes later and set his backpack on the floor near the counter. The clerk reached in and extracted an oblong package. It was wrapped in brown paper from a grocery bag with a note taped to it. The clerk removed the note and seemed satisfied. The Vulture picked up the pack and exited the store. No money was exchanged, no conversation, simple. Two Fingers was smarter than he looked, he was running a pay in advance for your poison racket. Efficient.
I had learned quite enough to satisfy my curiosity about the kid, so I let the Vulture walk. I moseyed up to the clerk and put a big smile on my face.
“You interested in an extended stay in an government sponsored apartment?”
He looked at me with a frown, “Hah?”
“San Quentin?” I said.
I watched hin slowly connect the dots. His face reddened and he looked away in an attempt to escape.
“That kid,” I told him, “is of personal interest to me. He’s only guilty because you are guilty. Without your guilt he would be innocent.”
Again that frown of puzzlement. “You a cop?” he asked.
“Everybody is,” I said and walked out.
Note: I had to drop this series for a week due to surgery, but I am back to battery and hope to post future installments regularly on Mondays.
Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®