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A novel in verse … and the writing thereof
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Laying the Plot

“I figure we’ve got one more week tops

before he does have dry gangrene.

Damn Morton. Doesn’t the man ever need

     a day off? Doesn’t he ever get sick?”

“Maybe we could arrange that,” I said.

She looked at me sideways. “Girl,” she said,

“sometimes I think I

underestimate you.”

I added quickly, “I meant the day off.”

I meant his getting sick.”

“What, do you want to

     poison him?”

“A little Demerol is hardly poison,” she said.

“Anyway, maybe we could just

get him drunk.”

“Why not add seduction

     to this pretty picture?” I asked, but she grimaced.

“Better you than me. Can you imagine his face:

     ‘Who put this nigger in my bed? Agh! Agh!’

     Oh, it’s almost worth it.

               But not quite.”

“Or we could switch the bodies,” I said.

Rose shook her head. “You are the goods.

     What’d’ya mean?”

“I’m not sure. But who would you want to look

     at Danny, if you had a choice?”

“Patterson,” she said. “He’s no ditherer.”

“No,” I agreed. “We’ll be lucky if he

waits for anaesthetic before

he hacks it off. And he

hates regulations.”

“But there’s no way—“

“Isn’t there? What time does Morton usually

     do his rounds?”

She snorted. “Ten or eleven. He likes his

     breakfast relaxed-like.”

“And Patterson?”

“Early. Seven, sometimes six. The poor patients are hardly

     awake sometimes. I think I begin to—oh, Linda my girl,

     but you’re a clever one.”

And when this was done, I thought,

     surely there would be some peace.

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