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Your mother must have hated you.”
“He had it changed a few years back, you see,” the detective
explained, “It’s hard to cash checks written out to the police
department when your name is Ned Hollander. And there have been
a lot of checks, haven’t there Ned?”
“I want my lawyer!” he cried.
“Oh, be quiet. You are a lawyer. Or you were. Have you told your
peons here why you lost your license?”
“Shut up, you! I’ll rip your tongue out!” he lunged for the
detective, but was restrained.
By now all of Partment’s tenants heard the hullabaloo and came
out into the lobby to see what was going on. Sad, bloodshot and
confused leftovers from the social banquet peered sheepishly at the
spectacle. They saw their rebel father beaten down by the society he
railed against. They saw blatant injustice. Those who weren’t
mentally stable at all merely saw someone they loved in distress. Curt
murmurs rose from the crowd, like “no” and “stop” and “hey” and
“Oh come now, give it a rest,” the detective said, “Your
benefactor here is far from bene.”
Partment’s uneasy denizens stood in mute silence, struggling to
apprehend the charges.
“Years ago your hero here lost his license to practice law.” Spada
put his hand on the old man’s shoulder. “He was screwing his
sixteen-year old client. Which leads me to ask: how many of you
vulnerable young lunatics is he presently taking advantage of?”
Thy all looked around at each other. No one said anything.
“None, you bastard,” Partment yelled, “Goddamn it, tell him!”
“None you bastard,” they all repeated in one way or another.
“You’ve trained your monkeys well, Ned,” Spada sighed, “But
we’re still going to try you in front of a proper jury.”
Partment was wailing now, squirming in pain. But this was an
unfamiliar sort of pain, one he did not welcome at all.
“But I didn’t have sex with her,” he wailed.
“I know your defense. Couldn’t get it up. However, an attempt is
still a crime.” The detective turned back to the residents. “This old
scumbag jumped bail and we lost track of him after the name change.
He seems to have declared open season on society. But now that
we’ve found him, we’re taking away his hunting license. The only
licenses left for him now are license plates. He’ll be making them in
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