The Very Black
The Doll's father was there already behind his desk, studying something as I came in. He looked up, smiled, said, "Hi, guy."
I flipped a finger at him. I wondered if the Doll had told him about last night.
"Wife and I were going to suggest a snack when we got home last night but you had already gone, and Marge was in bed."
I didn't look at him. "Left early, Pop. Growing boy."
"Yeah. You look lousy, guy."
I put my teeth together. I still didn't look at him. "These nights," I said vaguely.
I could feel something in his voice. I took a breath and put my eyes on his. He said, "I'm a hell of an old duck."
"Not so old, Pop."
"Sure I am. But not too old to remember back to the days when I wasn't too old." There was a grave look in his eyes.
I didn't have to answer that. The door banged open and Melrose, the LC, came in. He jerked a look at both of us, butted a cigarette he'd just lit--lighted anoth