Warren Murphy: Mugger Blood

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  • Название:
    Mugger Blood
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    Детективная фантастика / на английском языке
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    Английский
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Mugger Blood: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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Word on the streets is don't mess with the Lords. The Saxon Lords kill for cigarette money and rule the New York ghettos with fear. Even the cops stay off their turf. But one man can't stay away when he reads about the brutal beating of an old woman in broad daylight. Remo Williams, the Destroyer, goes hunting for punks. Stalking the slums with Chiun, master Sinanju assassin, Remo starts his own program of urban renewal. The Big Apple will never be the same.

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***********************************************

* Title : #030 : MUGGER BLOOD *

* Series : The Destroyer *

* Author(s) : Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir *

* Location : Gillian Archives *

***********************************************

CHAPTER ONE

At first she thought she was back in Nazi Germany. A ringing black starshine of pain was at her left eye where the boy had stuck the ice pick. She could not see left anymore. She remembered the Gestapo. But this could not be the Gestapo. The Gestapo had clean fingernails and asked clear questions and let you know that if you told them what they wanted, they would stop the pain.

The Gestapo wanted to know where Gerd was and she did not know where Gerd was. She kept saying it. But these tormenters kept saying "tawk Murican." They meant talk American.

They smelled different, these boys. You could smell them. She had told this to Mrs. Rosenbloom at the high school auditorium where the New York City Police Department had sent over someone for a morning talk. It was safe sometimes in the morning.

The police, who thought they should get more money from a near-bankrupt city, were now teaching the elderly how to get mugged. You didn't resist, they told you. You gave up your purse. There was a police lieutenant showing how to loosely fasten the straps so that the mugger would not think you were trying to hold onto your purse.

"I can smell them too," Mrs. Rosenbloom had said that morning. But she cautioned Mrs. Mueller not to mention anything. "They'll say that's racist and it is bad. You're not allowed to be racist in this country."

Mrs. Mueller nodded. She did not want to be a racist because that was a bad thing. The Nazis were that way and they were bad. She had seen what they had done and as a good Christian she could not support them. Nor could her husband Gerd.

They had wanted to reach Gerd. But Gerd was dead. A long time ago, Gerd was dead. Mrs. Mueller felt a kick in her chest. The Nazis were gone. These were blacks.

She wanted to beg the black boys not to kick her anymore. Not in the breasts. Was that what was taught in the auditorium by the New York City police? She tried to remember. Her hands were tied behind her with the electric cord. No. The police did not tell you what to do when they tied you up and put out your eye with an ice pick.

The New York City police told you how to get mugged. They never gave old people lectures on how to get killed. Maybe if they got more money, they would teach you how to be murdered as well as mugged. Mrs. Mueller thought these things in a pain-crazed mind that blended Nazi Germany and her slum apartment.

She wanted to tell the laughing black boys to kick her somewhere else. Not in the breasts because that hurt too much. Would it be racist to ask blacks to kick you somewhere else? She did not want to be a racist. She saw what racism had done.

But Jews never beat her up. You never had to fear for your life in a Jewish neighborhood. This had been a Jewish neighborhood when she and Gerd had moved in. They were German and thought there might be some trouble because of what the Nazis had done. There was no trouble. There was no trouble with the Irish who had lived two blocks over. Or the Poles. Or the Italians on the other side of the Grand Concourse.

But then a law was passed. And. the law said it was bad to keep people out of neighborhoods. Black people. And everyone was to be taught to do the right thing. This was America. Everyone had to do the right thing.

A woman had come to talk. She taught at a university. She had told everyone in the community center about George Washington Carver, a black man, and all the other nice black people and how good blacks were and how bad people who hated them were and it was a bad thing to hate blacks. Gerd, who was alive then, had translated for Mrs. Mueller. He was so smart. He knew so much and learned so quickly. He had been an engineer. If he were alive, maybe he could make the boys understand not to kick her in the breasts but somewhere else. No, they didn't want anything. They were just having fun with her old body.

The woman who had told everyone how nice blacks were, was the woman from the university. It was a progressive and good thing to welcome blacks to the neighborhood. The whites and blacks were all going to be culturally enriched. When the blacks started moving in and you could not walk the streets at night anymore, the people from the university who said how nice it was to live with blacks did not come around. At first, they did not come around at night. Then when more blacks moved in, they did not come around during the day either. They went off somewhere else, Gerd said, to tell other people how nice it was to live with blacks.

They never came to Walton Avenue anymore to tell people how culturally enriched they were to have blacks around them because now it was almost all blacks.

The ones who had money could run. But Gerd did not have enough money anymore and they did not want to bother their daughter who had come to them late in life. Born in America she was. So pretty. She could speak English so well. Maybe she could ask these boys not to kick her mother in the breasts where it hurt so much. Would that be racist? She didn't want to be. a racist. That was a bad thing. But she didn't want to be kicked in the breasts.

She wished the black policeman were here. He would make them stop. There were nice blacks. But you were not allowed to say there were nice blacks, because that would mean there were blacks who weren't nice. And that would be racist.

It used to be such a nice neighborhood where you could walk out in the street. Now you trembled when you had to walk past a window that was not boarded up.

She felt the warm blood of her ripped breast come down her belly and she tasted the blood come up her throat and she moaned and heard them laugh at her frail struggle to live. She felt as if her back had nails in it. Time had passed. There was no one kicking or stabbing her anymore and that meant they might be gone.

But what did they want? They must have gotten it but there was nothing left in the apartment to steal. There wasn't even a television set any more. You couldn't keep a television set because they would find out and steal it. No white person in the neighborhood-there were three left-had televisions anymore.

Maybe they had stolen Gerd's silly machine that he had brought with him from Germany. Maybe that was it. What else could they have come for? They said Heil Hitler a lot, these young black boys. They must have thought she was Jewish. Blacks liked to say that to Jews. Mrs. Rosenbloom said once they would come to Jewish funerals to say that and laugh.

They did not know Hitler. Hitler thought blacks were monkeys. Didn't they read? He did not think they were dangerous either, just funny monkeys.

When she was young it was her responsibility to learn how to read in school. Now that she was old, the smart people from the university who did not come around anymore said she was still responsible for other people reading. Somehow she was responsible because they could not learn to read or write.

But she could understand that. She had trouble herself learning English and Gerd always had to translate for her. Maybe these blacks spoke another language well and, like she did, they just had trouble with English. Did they speak African?

She could not feel her arms anymore and the left side of her head was numbed from pain in a faraway place and she knew she was dying, tied here to her bed. She could not see from her right eye whether it was dark yet because you had to board up your windows if you wanted to walk from room to room. Otherwise you had to crawl below the level of the windowsill so they would not see you. Mrs. Rosenbloom could remember when old people would sit in the sun in the park and young boys and girls would actually help you across a street.

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