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When the last honest citizen of Poisonville was murdered, the Continental Op stayed on to punish the guilty--even if that meant taking on an entire town. Red Harvest is more than a superb crime novel: it is a classic exploration of corruption and violence in the American grain.
plunged in with the door. Across the street a dozen guns emptied themselves. Glass shot from door and windows tinkled around us. Somebody tripped me. Fear gave me three brains and half a dozen eyes. I was in a tough spot. Noonan had slipped me a pretty dose. These birds couldn’t help thinking I was playing his game. I tumbled down, twisting around to face the door. My gun was in my hand by the time I hit the floor. Across the street, burly Nick had stepped out of a doorway to pump slugs at us
all the time. Four men said so. As I remember it, they said it openly and often, long before anybody asked them. There were other men in the bar who didn’t remember whether Max had been there or not, but those four remembered. They’d remember anything Max wanted remembered.” Her eyes got large and then narrowed to black-fringed slits. She leaned toward me, upsetting her glass with an elbow. “Peak Murry was one of the four. He and Max are on the outs now. Peak might tell it straight now. He’s
down, kicked him, and told one of the coppers to take him away. Somebody called Noonan on the phone. I slipped out without saying, “Good-night,” and walked back to the hotel. Off to the north some guns popped. A group of three men passed me, shifty-eyed, walking pigeon-toed. A little farther along, another man moved all the way over to the curb to give me plenty of room to pass. I didn’t know him and didn’t suppose he knew me. A lone shot sounded not far away. As I reached the hotel, a
we’re tangling, them bums will eat us up.” I said I had been thinking the same thing. He went on: “Whisper’ll listen to you. Find him, will you? Put it to him. Here’s the proposish: he means to get me for knocking off Jerry Hooper, and I mean to get him first. Let’s forget that for a couple of days. Nobody won’t have to trust nobody else. Whisper don’t ever show in any of his jobs anyways. He just sends the boys. I’ll do the same this time. We’ll just put the mobs together to swing the caper.
it.” “Yeah? And where does she live?” “1232 Hurricane Street.” I said: “Well, well!” and, “See you tonight,” and went away. My next stop was in the office of the chief of police, in the City Hall. Noonan, the chief, was a fat man with twinkling greenish eyes set in a round jovial face. When I told him what I was doing in his city he seemed glad of it. He gave me a hand-shake, a cigar and a chair. “Now,” he said when we were settled, “tell me who turned the trick.” “The secret’s safe with