“No, they don’t.”
“Well, let’s talk about it.”
“You’ll come to no harm if you talk, or I’ll call in some friends.”
“No. I’m on my own. I don’t want to do that. I’m going to try to get back to New Orleans.”
“Oh, that’s very easy for you. I understand. I know you’re right. You’re not afraid to speak up about your condition. But let me tell you something. This way, no-one’s going to guess my name.”
“Jack, my name.”
“Good. Then I’ll give you the business. I won’t go out there until I’ve looked the other one over as well, but I’ll see to it, won’t I?”
“Well, I’ll try to get back as soon as I possibly can. I’ll try to get home in time to see my wife, too. You know she can’t read, and I’m afraid she won’t stand the sight of you when she comes out of this place.”
That seemed like a good and sensible solution.
Now I had heard the people outside talking of their own difficulties. They said it would be no good for anyone to stay here, because they had no money.
“I know. I get along fine. Here you have everything. I’ll get another place in New Orleans if I can get any cash for anything.”
The people didn’t like to move around. At least to them, the whole country sounded like the Old World, but here there was no lawlessness.
In truth, the thing was a lot easier than I expected at all to get back. The people in the city had an air of great power, and I soon came to understand why they would go to such lengths to get the man back.
I was glad to see that Jack’s situation here didn’t look hopeless. They didn’t want him to get lost in the big city, but the idea of a city on the Mississippi with a big river, one-and-a-half world-wide, seemed perfectly realistic.
There were no bad signs. The streets were full of people, and there were no criminals, except a few people with guns or stolen merchandise, and there wasn’t a single accident. The only problem was that Jack didn’t have the money for
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