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Authors: Robert Ward

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“Oh, God,” Charlotte Rae said. “Do we have to talk to the police? They are so dumb and slow. And you’re bleeding to death.”

Jack stood and felt the earth whirl a little beneath his feet. “I’m just fine,” he said. “No one could be finer than me.” With that he started to topple toward her, and Jefferson had to grab him by the shoulder.

“I’m taking you to the hospital now,” she said. She sounded almost motherly.

But the sirens had stopped now, and three black-suited Darth Vaderesque LAPD cops were walking toward them through the crowd.

“It’s L.A.’s finest come to arrest your attacker,” Jack said. He spat out a little more blood and felt weak in the arms. Maybe he had broken a rib after all, punctured a lung. It would be just his luck—get a break on a case and die coming out of the chute.

“What’s going on here, miss?” a big cop with a face like a Wendy Burger said.

“They have killed my dragon, that’s what’s going on,” the theater manager bleated.

“Now you’re bleeding on Sidney Poitier,” Calvin said.

“Shows I’m an equal opportunity bleeder,” Jack said.

“Somebody has to pay,” the manager said. “This is historic fucking dragon.”

“Watch your mouth in front of this here lady, sir, or I will bash in your teeth,” the cop said.

“My husband will take care of it, officer,” Charlotte Rae said. “This man saved me from that creep. My husband is Buddy Wingate, and he’ll want to give this man a reward.”

“You mean Buddy Wingate the Furniture King, from on the TV?” the cop said. He looked impressed, and Jack felt a measure of cool contempt for him.

“That’s him,” Charlotte Rae said. “Now I’m taking this man to the hospital.”

“There’s an ambulance on the way,” another cop said. “Meanwhile, somebody has to explicate all this stuff, as we got reports to make.”

Charlotte Rae laughed and turned her perfect lips to Jack’s ear.

“I love it when you talk to cops. They do dialogue.”

Jack smelled her perfume and felt a little weaker. She put her arm around his waist, and he leaned on her. He looked over at Jefferson then, and his partner shook his head.

“Too much,” he said. “Some day at the beach.” Jack managed to laugh at that too. Then he felt faint again and sat back down—right on the slain dragon’s head.

Read more of The Cactus Garden

Tyrus Books, a division of F+W Media, publishes crime and dark literary fiction—offering books from exciting new voices and established, well-loved authors. Centering on deeply provocative and universal human experiences, Tyrus Books is a leader in its genre.

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Published in Electronic Format by
TYRUS BOOKS
an imprint of F+W Media, Inc.
4700 East Galbraith Road
Cincinnati, Ohio 45236
www.tyrusbooks.com

Copyright © 1978 by Robert Ward

All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

This is a work of fiction.
Any similarities to people or places, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

eISBN 10: 1-4405-3391-1
eISBN 13: 978-1-4405-3391-4

“Mister Sandman,” copyright © 1954 by Edwin H. Morris & Co., a Division of MPL Communications,
Inc. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission.

This work has been previously published in print format by:
Rawson, Wade Publishers, Inc.
Print ISBN: 0-89256-064-9

BOOK: The Sandman
12.02Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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