Don wasn’t pleased with the idea of storing BJ in his apartment, but he was pleased with the opportunity to show off a little. He left Moira, Mike, and me crowded in his entryway while he dug around in one of his many piles of stuff. He finally found what he wanted and slapped it on BJ. Don spun BJ, he jerked BJ, he put his knee in BJ’s back. He snapped and buckled and tugged. Then he looked at us expectantly.
“That is a wonderful straitjacket, Don,” I said. “Is it an antique?”
“Could be, could be,” Don said. “Hard to tell. It’s a good design. These haven’t changed much since Houdini started wiggling out of them. Got it from an old magician, in fact. Maybe Houdini escaped from this very one.” He slapped BJ on the back, and BJ moaned pitifully. “Say, that little dog looks like she’s going to crap. Don’t let her crap in here, again.”
I dutifully picked up Bethel, who had, in fact, been preparing to crap. She wiggled a little, then resigned herself to waiting.
“You don’t think BJ can escape from it, do you?,” Moira got us back on subject track.
“Nah, nah. Houdini could dislocate both shoulders,” Don eyed BJ, as if to gauge BJ’s dislocatability. “Help me get him in the john. I’m afraid he’ll flail around and knock stuff over, if we leave him out here.”
Mike and Moira helped Don drag BJ into the bathroom. There were piles of books and magazines in there too, but they must not have been important or organized. After a few seconds of deciding where BJ would be the least comfortable, they laid him down in the bathtub. BJ groaned pitifully.
“I shit at 9:00am,” Don informed him. “See you then.” The last thing we saw as Don closed the door was BJ’s desperate and horrified face.
“We are beat, Don,” I said, “but do you have any news to share before we go to bed?”
We followed Don back to the living room. “Some people raised some hell at the Burning Pit tonight. I assume that was you,” he said. We tried to look innocent. With our machine guns.
“Britain is still pissed. They are giving the US twenty-four hours to return the little princes. I get the impression that Di is optional, but they’d like to get her so the rest of the world doesn’t consider them to be total bastards. Other countries might not give us twenty-four hours.”
“What the hell are they going to do?,” Moira asked. “Nuke us?”
“Nah,” Don said. “They are going to cut us off, trade-wise. No more oil, no more food, no more cheap shit from China for Walmart to sell. Everybody in the midwest is going to crap their pants. Speaking of, I need to eat breakfast. Gotta be ready for 9:00am.” He grinned his nicotine grin at us.
“One more thing, Don,” Mike said. “How much news are you getting from the rest of the city?”
“Less and less every hour,” Don said. “Hams are disappearing faster than donuts in a police station. Downtown is worse than uptown. That fucking huge mama bird is way uptown, but they are hanging on better. The big bird never left Washington Heights, but there aren’t as many smaller birds, because it eats them. People aren’t rioting as bad. It’s starting to sound like the new hot neighborhood.”
Don’s report gave me reason to smirk at Moira, who rolled her eyes. “We need to get some sleep, Don,” I said. “Thanks for everything. It’s nice to have a link to the outside world.”
“I knew The Day Of The Ham would come,” Don said, as he walked us to the door. “It was only a matter of time.”
Kat and Kate were sitting on their bikes out in the hall. Jill and Lexington had stayed with them. We joined the group and headed for Mike’s apartment. I wondered if we could really trust Kat and Kate while we slept. We were way too tired to take turns sitting guard. But, they had rescued us from the park. That had to count for something. I hoped that the biggest problem we were going to have for the night was who was going to sleep where.