The Reapers by John Connolly

By John Connolly

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Cleaner than I am. No offense meant, but his clothes cost more than mine. ” “I know,” said Marley. He began to babble, but couldn’t stop himself. “I don’t notice it so much no more. My wife, she makes me take my clothes off in the garage before I come in the house. Have to shower straightaway. ” “Women,” said Angel. ” There was a brief silence. It was almost companionable, except that Jerry Marley’s desire for a cigarette had suddenly increased beyond the capacity of any mortal man to resist.

He looked up as the door opened and the visitor entered. The new arrival was of below-average height, and dressed in a navy peacoat buttoned to the neck, a pair of torn, faded jeans, and bright red sneakers. He had a three-day growth of beard, but wore it in a manner that suggested he always had a three-day growth of beard. It looked almost cultivated, in an untidy way. “Shabby” was the word that came to mind. ” asked the visitor. ” The man looked at the pen in his right hand as if almost surprised that there wasn’t a cigarette there.

He wrinkled his nose as the stink reached him. “Hard to believe,” said the visitor. “Ain’t it though. ” Jerry Marley looked momentarily puzzled, and then anger replaced puzzlement. He stood up. “You get the hell out of here before I call the cops. This is a business, dammit. ” “I don’t mean that in a bad way. It was one of the things I liked about him. ” “I don’t give a shit. Get out of here, you—” “Maybe I should introduce myself,” said the visitor. ” “I don’t give a good goddamn what—” Marley stopped talking as he realized that he did, in fact, give a good goddamn.

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