Albie Rose (From Dog On It – Necessary Background)
Albie Rose lived in the biggest house I’d ever seen, more like a palace, surrounded by high walls. A guy with big shoulders and a gun on his hip led us across vast green lawns to a huge swimming pool. On a deck chair by the pool lay a fat old man in a tiny bathing suit. His skin was oiled and deeply tanned, just about the color and texture of a turkey Leda had left too long in the oven one Thanksgiving. I tried not to look.
“Mr. Rose?” said the guy with the gun.
The old man opened his eyes, hard eyes I didn’t like at all. “You Bernie Little?” he said.
Albie Rose waved the guy with the gun away. He strolled to the end of the pool and stood by the diving board, probably way too hot in his all-black outfit. I was pretty hot myself; the pool looked inviting.
“Did some checking up,” Albie Rose said, still flat on his back. “You have an interesting reputation.”
Bernie nodded again.
Albie Rose glanced over at me. “Not one of those trained attack dogs, is it?”
“Not trained, no,” said Bernie.
An it? I was an it? I moved a little closer to poolside.
“I don’t like violence,” Albie Rose said.
“Me either, Mr. Rose,” said Bernie.
“Call me Albie. Only my wives called me Mr. Rose. But as for violence, sometimes there’s no other way – am I right, Foster?”
“Yes, sir,” said the man with the gun.
“I’m sure this isn’t one of those times,” Bernie said.
“Take a seat,” said Albie.
Bernie pulled up another deck chair, sat on the end. “I understand you’re a kind of financier.”
“Not kind of,” Albie said. “How much are you looking for?”
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