They arrived as dusk was forming and looked at the map. “Okay, so here’s where we are and we want to be closer to the walkways with the hedgerows and bushes.” Nodge led the way.
The turn of the century gas lights came on as darkness was winning over the fading sunlight. “Here’s a lonesome park bench. Who’s first?”
“I am.” Blodgett took out his pint of scotch whiskey.
“Remember, you just sip the stuff. We don’t get drunk. If you have to call for help you automatically lose.” Haynes looked across to the thick hedgerow and irregular thick leafy bushes. “We’ll be over there. You won’t be able to see us but we’ll keep you under observation at all times.”
Blodgett sat under the low lamp light with his arm over the back of the park bench. When passersby came near he would feign sleep. One older gentleman came over to him.
“Excuse me marine. You shouldn’t fall asleep here. The cops or a mugger will get on your case. You could be robbed.”
Blodgett opened his eyes. “How often do the cops come by?”
“Not often. But the muggers could come upon you quick like. They usually pass you by once, turn back and either whack you in the head or hold you up at knife point. There are more of them than cops.”
“Thanks for the information. I’ll be all right.” Blodgett smiled as the old man departed.
Twenty-minutes later a man came walking toward the bench. He wore a hoody sweatshirt enshrouding his face. His hands were in his pockets. He walked slowly by the sleeping marine looking sideways at him and kept going.
Five-minutes later he came back and stopped in front of Blodgett. He looked up and down the walkway and took out a snub-nosed revolver. “Hey. Hey you–marine. Wake up.” He kicked Blodgett on his calf with his dirty sneaker.
Blodgett responded with slow drowsy words, “Wha…what do you want?”
“Just the money in your wallet man. You can keep the wallet and your life. Be quick about it. He kicked Blodgett on the calf again.
The kick was a mistake. Blodgett grabbed the mugger’s leg and stood up causing the man to fall on his back. Blodgett snatched the gun from his hand and wacked him across the face with it. The man’s broken nose bled profusely.
“You like to kick do you? Well here’s one for you.” Blodgett connected a swift hard blow to the mugger’s chest with his right foot and could feel the crack of at least two ribs.
“Ow. My nose you broke my nose. He got up holding both hands to the bright red bloody face. “My chest hurts. You have to take me to the hospital.”
“If you don’t get out of here right now, I’ll send you to the hospital in an ambulance unconscious.” Blodgett grabbed him by his front collar maintaining distance from any blood spatter. He pushed him away and laughed at the mugger’s unsteady running gait.
Haynes and Nodge emerged from the bushes.
“Well done marine. It’s my turn now. Give me the bottle of booze.” Nodge reached for the pint of scotch.
“It’s kind of bloody. I made the mistake of grabbing the front of his sweatshirt after I broke his nose. Who has the towel and what do I do with the gun?”
Haynes handed him a towel they had brought along with some first aid items. “Wipe the gun down and ditch it in the bushes after chucking the cartridges. You can go to jail in New York for having one of those regardless of the circumstances.”
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