I rose in an exhausted stupor the following day. It had been very difficult the night before. It had taken four bhongs of marijuana to get any performance going at all. My throat was parched. I was having trouble seeing. The threat of homo demonstrations was coming through like a nightmare.
I drank a quart of grapefruit juice almost without stopping. I ate a package of Oreo cookies. I still felt terrible. I needed something to start me going.
It's kinda hard to feel like Gris' life is in danger if he's sitting around eating cookies.
He flips on the viewscreens to behold the "Raw terror!" of Krak and Heller having breakfast on the terrace. Heller jokes about Mister Calico being in the newspapers, while Krak continues to complain about the "black propaganda by deletion" in the printed media, which hasn't retracted any of the nasty things said about the Whiz Kid even though Krak and Heller have brute forced their way out of their legal problems. Heller remains disinterested. Pretty scary stuff.
Bang-Bang shows up with a stack of dictionaries, so they can look up and discover what F.F.B.O. stands for, because I guess Webster's is full of the initials of contemporary businesses and organizations? It's a useless gesture, though, because less than half a page after Bang-Bang arrives with them, Heller suddenly remembers something from the previous fall, when he visited Babe Corleone managing personnel at the docks.
"Who is that?" said the Countess.
"Babe Corleone is the head of the Corleone mob."
"Oh, Jettero," said the Countess Krak. "Another woman! I've got to get you off this planet before they eat you alive. Women are dangerous, Jettero. I know you don't believe me, but after all you have been through lately, I should think . . ."
Yeah. It's not the fact that Heller was working with the mob, it's that Heller was working with a woman, that gets Krak upset. Given Krak's peculiar notions of morality, this should come as no surprise.
Heller commands "All thrusts reverse!" and tries to explain that Babe's "Earth middle-aged" and like a mother to him, what with how she throws traditores into the river. He remembers one such Italian word for "traitor," a J. P. Flagrant, a former executive for F.F.B.O. If they can track him down, maybe he can explain what the initials stand for.
Bang-Bang calls up the New York Employment Office and learns that Flagrant got a job driving a garbage truck in Yonkers. So I guess anyone can call an Employment Office and ask for the work information of anyone else. Heller and Krak argue over whether they should take the Rolls-Royce or refurbished old taxi to Yonkers. And Gris is forced to lurch into action.
J.P. Flagrant, when they found him, would spill his guts. He would put them straight on to Madison and Madison would connect with me.
For them, fourteen miles there. Fifteen or twenty miles back to Madison's place. How much time would they consume?
I had had it!
If I hurried and luck was with me, I could escape.
I had an awful lot to get done FAST!
My time had run out forever in New York.
Which means, due to there being only two main locations on planet Earth this book is interested in, by default Gris will be returning to Turkey. Turkey, the land of imported belly dancers, kids surgically altered to look like 1930's Hollywood stars, expensive limos, abused house staff, a mobster hospital, another underaged and oversexed girl, and huge credit card bills.
I want to complain, but it makes perfect sense. Krak and Heller are making progress in their mission, so Gris will hide out in the Land the Plot Forgot.
Back to Part Fifty-Four, Chapter Six