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“What’s up, Doc?”

“Huh?” He sensed a put-on but couldn’t identify it, so he marshaled his troops and continued: “Whattabout this new crap? What I mean is it gonna take longer?”

We kept walking. “I hope not.”

“I don’t care.” Left behind, he trotted after us. “I mean, yer payin’ by the day.”

“Yes?”

When I declined his serve, he was forced to grope after his own thought. A pause, then, “Well, I gotta know. I mean, what if somebody wants the motel?”

“For what, a lepers’ convention?”

“Huh?”

Diane shot me a warning look and asked in a reasonable tone, “What’s the problem, Pits?”

He addressed me as if she didn’t exist: “We got books ta keep: motel, coffee shop, extras, drivers, scooters - the whole shot.”

“What do the bikes rent for?”

“Depends.” But he looked as if he didn’t know.

“I mean, one motorcycle for one day. How much?”

“Well... Molly writes it up, y’know. I leave it to her; she’s my ol’ lady. I mean like I manage.”

I said, “Just barely.”

Another dirty look from Diane, then she tried again with Pits: “We’ll wrap the exteriors first. That way, we don’t have to keep renting the bikes.”

“No way; it’s a package deal.” Again, he looked only at me.

“What kind of package deal?”

“Everything’s for the whole...” the term eluded him “...thing.”

“The duration of the shoot?”

“Duration, yeah. That’s the deal.”

“Who made the deal?”

“Greystoke guy.” Thoughts appeared on Caudle’s face like light bulbs in cartoons: “Hey: you talk to him, right?”

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