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Stories from the Verse
Old Verses New
Chapter 58: Kondor 61
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He was going to need a hotel, and a restaurant, and a sporting goods store, and probably a department store or something like it. Kondor began circling out around the museum to see what he could find, what was on the block, across the streets, up the next roads all around. He had about two hours before he would have money, but at least he could know what he would be doing with it once it was his.
Two hours was not that long to search a major city, particularly on foot. Restaurants and cafes and sandwich shops were plentiful, and there were at least a few hotels, but although there were many stores none of the ones he saw quite fit what he sought. Still, he had the afternoon, and tomorrow at least, to look, and once he was settled in a hotel the desk clerk could probably help him find what he needed.
He had left the bank a bit before ten; shortly after noon he started back. There was a different girl at the information desk, but it occurred to him that Miss Julia Baker was probably out to lunch and not out of a job. He stepped up to the desk.
"Pardon me, miss," he said. "I believe Mr. Winslow is expecting me."
"Thank you sir. And you are?"
"Oh, yes, he did say to expect you. Right this way, please, sir."
She led him not to the office but to a secure room closer to the vault. "Mr. Winslow will be right with you, sir."
Kondor decided to make himself a bit more comfortable. He set down his duffel and his medical kit, took off his mace and his rifle, and removed his pack. Thus unburdened, he was able to sit back in the chair. It was to the eye at least a less comfortable chair than the one on which he had awkwardly perched in Pete Winslow's office, but he sat more comfortably here.
Mr. Winslow arrived almost immediately.
"Thank you for your patience, Mr. Kondor. I've had the coins you left weighed and assayed. They were very good quality, although not entirely pure; and the weight and purity varied from coin to coin, but I have a full report here."
Kondor took the pages Mr. Winslow offered, and skimmed through them briefly. "Yes, these look good. So how much is it total?"
Mr. Winslow recited a lot of numbers about weight, purity, price per ounce, but in the end produced a check in the amount of five thousand seven hundred and change; Kondor agreed that it was a satisfactory amount, provided there would be no problem cashing the check. Endorsing the check, he handed it back to the bank officer.
"Do you need to see some identification?" he asked.
"That would probably be a good idea," Mr. Winslow answered. "Obviously I know that you're the one who brought the gold, but the bank's records will have to show your name and if anyone asks I should have seen it."
Kondor produced his wallet and mused for a moment over its now worthless valuable documents. He pulled out his drivers license; it would be completely unfamiliar to anyone, but at least it had his picture and his signature.
It was clear that Mr. Winslow had no intention of questioning the paperwork. He handed back the card, and left the room with the check. He returned in a moment, and counted out the money on the table in front of Kondor. Kondor picked it up, and counted it again for himself.
"I'd like to stay somewhere within a few blocks of the museum, if possible," he said. "Is there a hotel close by which you would recommend?"
"The Hendrick on the next block is one of the finest in the city; we also recommend the Tobin across the street to our business customers–not as elegant but less expensive."
What the heck, Kondor thought. His almost six thousand in paper money wouldn't be worth more than fire starter in the next world; he might as well enjoy it in this one. The Hendrick sounded good. "Thank you," he said, shaking Mr. Winslow's hand. "If I need anything else, I will return." He found his way to the street and toward the hotel.
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with eight other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #94: Novel Meetings. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter. It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.
As to the old stories that have long been here: