I Am Not the Fine Man You Take Me For

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Al Lowe: B | Grade It Now!
I Am Not the Fine Man You Take Me For
Al says he sent Adams off, yes, but thought he'd be back in time for all the killing to go down. "So it wasn't like a decision you made," he asks, "to have the murders while I was signing the papers?" Al rolls his eyes, hard, at all this ridiculousness. Sometimes Al has to wonder, you know, if his are affected by the menstrual cycles of the Gem women, or something. They are about the PMSiest bunch of men I have ever seen. "You've no idea," Al barks, over it, "how fuckin' badly you're boring me." They are interrupted when Dan comes in to tell Al about Turner. He grabs up his teacup and heads for the door, being sure to stop and give Adams a personal invitation. "Won't you see with me what this might portend?" he asks, pretending to show patience. At the bar, Johnny's feeling his oats. "Drink?" he asks the Captain with not a little smartass in his voice. "Or won't you be stayin'?" Turner is, as ever, completely silent. "Ask the fella who made them Xs," Al says, "if he hires out for portraits." Turner hands over the envelope and walks out. Al takes only a moment to open the new letter and give it a glance. He, too, heads straight for the door. "What's Al doin'?" Johnny asks, worried, as he, Johnny and Adams follow along in single file. "Like I fuckin' know," Dan says. Bringing up the rear, Adams sighs. "If he was trailing water," he says, "we might get took for ducklings."

They follow him out to the thoroughfare where he stops to watch some, er, remodeling being done to the upper level of the Grand Central. Hearst is banging a hole though the outer wall. Al watches, handing the note over to Dan. It's an invitation to come watch the speeches with Hearst on his new veranda, which he is apparently building as they speak. From his shop, Merrick rushes up to Al asking what in the world is going on. "And I inquire," he says, more quietly, "about more than that hole." Al squints at him and follows him back into his shop. I like Al and Merrick together. Who knows why Al puts up with him, but he seems to respect the newspaper man above and beyond his usefulness to Al's schemes. Merrick is pissed that no one is explaining anything to him. He knows someone got shot at the Gem yesterday and wants to hear what happened and why the speeches have been delayed. Al gives him the brush, mostly for his own good, and tells him that the speeches are back on for that night.

Bullock stands in the doorway of Charlie's mailhouse. "Will you mind, Charlie," he asks, "not being noted tonight from the hustings?" Charlie doesn't even hesitate: "[It would] be a godsend," he says. Bullock explains that Mrs. Ellsworth is not well. "If, while I'm on that Goddamn platform, you could station outside her place..." he says. Charlie: "Sure I could." Charlie says he's glad to do it, and asks if Doc's seeing to her. Bullock nods. "In good hands then," Charlie says. Bullock gets a sad look. "And Mrs. Bullock," he says, "sees to Sophia." They smile for a moment about Sophia, and how she thrives now that she has started school. "Sweet as before," Charlie says, "though notably more outgoing." Aw. Bullock gets up to leave, telling him that Trixie will come out of the house at some point to give him the pertinent info on Alma's condition. They have a few awkward pauses. Maybe Bullock wants to confide in him about the baby, maybe he wants to break down, maybe he wants to thank him. He can't, of course, do any of that and Charlie knows it, so Charlie just shrugs. "Fuckin' mail, huh?" he says, and gives Bullock his leave.

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