This Chapter is dedicated to Jim Flynn
The entire mess of paperwork that transferred the GTO to Slate and the 1969 Volkswagen bug to me took almost an hour. The Volkswagen was brought out from the back of the dealership and parked for me to drive. The GTO had disappeared and I somehow knew that I was never again to see it on this planet. The Volkswagen was slow in acceleration. It was also slow in top speed, hitting only eighty-one miles per hour on the freeway, as I took the thing home. I also realized that the car was fun to drive. Shifting up through the gears, not worrying about the revolutions of the engine because the instrument panel of the car had no tachometer. I had the temporary base pass that was good for a few more days and I was happy that I hadn’t bothered to get a permanent sticker or I’d be doing that all over again because of changing cars. The speed limit on the freeway was seventy and the Volks could do eighty-one, which was close enough. No problem, the way I saw it.
The furniture was stunning. The Volkswagen was pretty terrific too, for what it was. There was no question that Bart Abrate knew his business and Slate had come through pretty well at the dealership too. My wife was overjoyed and Julie always happy about everything. The only real problem I had, other than a severe shortage of money, was the Marine Corps. The look in Major Stewart’s eyes had not been missed by me. It was a look from the past. It was a look from Sugar Daddy or Jurgens back in the valley. It was a look of death.