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Three for the Money
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ISBN-10: 1-55404-289-5
ISBN-13: 
Genre: Science Fiction/Fiction/Adventure
eBook Length: 179 Pages
Published: September 2005
OUT OF PRINT

From inside the flap

Since their introduction in Medics Wild!, the zany Williard brothers? adventures have become increasingly science fictionish in nature, involving a real dinosaur in the Congo one time and factual evidence of Bigfoot (or more likely an alien) the next, but this escapade tops even those past exploits for strangeness. THREE FOR THE MONEY takes place after the turn of the century when the Williard brothers of Vietnam war fame are beginning to show their age, but aren?t ready to slow down yet. They are headed into their wildest adventure yet, involving a treasure worth far more than their inherited billions even if they can collect the money, which becomes increasingly doubtful, because others want it, too. Their attempt to find the money and the baffling object that may be the real prize will set the stage for their antics to last for many, many years to come. Of course first they have to defeat the mysterious Mister H and his beautiful assistant, the CIA, the FBI, and the Mexican army, then find the money, collect the unknown prize and escape with their lives. That’s a tall order for anyone--except the Williard brothers, the most amazing trio to appear in fiction since The Three Musketeers!

Three for the Money (Excerpt)


CHAPTER ONE

Inside Dallas? Wellman General Hospital, James Williard sat in his spacious, well-equipped hospital administrator’s office with his feet propped on the edge of his spacious, well-equipped desk, talking to his spacious, well-equipped secretary. "Miss Secretary," he asked, "how much longer do you think I?m going to last here?"

"About two days past the time I file a grievance against you for patting me on the fanny again," Darlene Taylor answered, trying not to smile.

Williard stared at the cowboy boots on his crossed feet. They were black, with the talons of an eagle showing on the sides. "You wouldn?t do that to me, would you?"

"No, but there are others who would. And have."

A slow smile of amusement crept over Williard’s face. "Don?t tell me. Old lady Higgins. Right?"

"Right. Whatever made you do that? You know she doesn?t like men."

"That’s how come. I figured patting her on the ass would give her a thrill."

"You?re hopeless."

"Hey, this hospital has never been run better, despite the fucking government doing everything it can to get us to play grabass with them."

Darlene looked at her boss with an expression she thought passed him by. It said volumes about her desires, if only he would listen. She liked the way he looked, with his mustache and dark hair, but what she really liked was that he was an anomaly, a throwback to the time her mother always went on about, when women were harassed and talked down to a dozen times a day, at least according to her. Somehow, though, Williard’s remarks and actions never offended her. He had an attitude all right, but she liked it in him. For one thing, she knew that deep down, he really respected women, even without the modern touchy-feely nonsense so popular lately. And his remarks were always cadged with a little-boy grin which said he wasn?t serious?most of the time.

"What’s on your mind, sweet thing?" Williard asked, catching Darlene’s expression. He pulled out a pack of Winstons and shook a cigarette halfway out of the pack and held it toward her.

"No. Oh hell, give me one. They?re going to kill us both." Darlene glanced toward the closed office door as if the nicotine police might burst through the instant she lit up. Smoking was no longer allowed in their hospital, courtesy of the new board of directors. The new board had taken over shortly after old Don Falino’s death. Falino was the retired Godfather of New York’s most powerful, respected?and feared?crime families. While he was still alive, he had reached his tentacles all the way to Dallas and had Williard promoted from Laboratory Director to Hospital Administrator in return for the Williard brothers not feeding him to his own pet shark. That move had kept some noses out of joint in the Dallas medical community for over ten years now.

"That reminds me of the time that Mafia Underboss was going to kill me," Williard remarked, raising his gaze toward the ceiling.

"Really?" Since Darlene had come to work at Wellman Hospital the year before as administrative assistant to Williard, the hospital administrator, she had heard a few vague rumors that the hospital was Mafia controlled or Williard was, or both.

"Yeah."

"What happened?"

"Me and my brothers fed him to the Don’s pet shark." Williard grinned infectiously, showing an even row of white teeth set in a face that still held its even-featured good looks, despite the graying hair and crow’s feet at the corners of his eyes.

"You?re always talking about your brothers. When am I going to see one of them?" Darlene figured if she couldn?t corral Williard, one of his brothers might do.

"Look at me and you?ve seen us all. We look alike, right down to the mustache."

Darlene glanced at the door again and took a puff from her cigarette. "Really? Are you triplets?"

"Naw, but most folks can?t tell the difference."

"Well, I?d still like to meet one of them."

Williard’s grin disappeared. "You might see ol? Jumpin? Jase here before long. He’s supposed to come by after he leaves Florida."

"What was he doing in Florida?"

"Checking on our little brother, Jerry. Neither of us have heard from him in a while."

"You look worried," Darlene suggested.

Williard shrugged. "Ah, it’s not like he can?t take care of himself. He’s probably just run off to Reno or Atlantic City and is busy gambling away all that money the Godfather gave him."

Darlene bit. "What did he give him the money for?"

"Same as me and Jase. To keep us from feeding him to his shark. Of course, Jerry married the Don’s daughter. That probably helped some."

Darlene never knew when Williard was kidding. She changed the subject. "The grapevine says Terry left you again." She was halfway hoping the rumor was true. The last time his live-in girlfriend had moved out, Williard had moved her in for a few days.

"You?re one rumor behind. Right now, she’s just threatening to leave." Williard winked, making him look much younger than his years. "Besides, it’s Jerry that got left. Him and Tina have been separated for a year but she won?t divorce him; she’s Catholic and doesn?t believe in it."

"Too bad."

"What’s bad about it? If Terry was gone, I wouldn?t be wanting to fix you up with Jason. I?d want you myself."

"Don?t do me any favors." This was the first Darlene had heard of being fixed up with his brother, even though she was curious about them?and wasn?t adverse to the idea.

"Don?t worry. You?ll like him. He’s not shy like I am."

"Hah!"

"And he?ll like you, too." Williard gave Darlene a frank appraisal, from tumbling blond hair and Nordic features, to full bust and slender legs.

"How can you be so sure?"

"Easy. I like you. If I do, he will."

Darlene moved over close to Williard. She bumped his legs with her hip, knocking them off the desk. As Williard’s chair tipped forward, she plopped herself down into his lap and put her arms around his neck, intending to tease him a bit to counter her falling for the shark nonsense.

Before Williard could remove her arms and unseat her, there came a knock at the door to his office, followed immediately by the door opening. Darlene’s prominent bust was right at eye level and kept him from seeing who it was that entered.

"Uh-oh," Darlene said, hastily trying to untangle herself.

The door closed.

Williard swiveled the chair around with Darlene still in his lap, but it was too late to see who had barged in. "Who busted in here without knocking, sweetie?"

"Ms. Higgins."

"Uh, oh."

"Yeah. Sorry, boss."

"Ah, what the hell, if I was perfect, I woulda been a preacher. As it is, let’s go get a drink. I don?t feel like fooling with budgets and I especially don?t feel like fooling with affirmative action no more today. Besides, the board is going to fire me anyway." Williard and his brothers could speak perfectly good English, but lapsed into Redneck on frequent occasions, a reflection of their upbringing.

"You want me to meet you somewhere after five?"

Williard glanced at his watch. "Nah. Let’s go now. It’s close enough." His watch read three fifteen p.m.

"Who’s going to take care of the office if we?re both gone?"

"Let Higgins do it, she’s so damn curious about what goes on in here."

"Uh, actually, I think you had an appointment with her."

"I did? What for?"

"She wants you to hire more blacks."

"I already hired every one I can understand. I got a rule: if I don?t know what you?re saying when you talk to me, I don?t hire you. And I ain?t gonna learn Ebonics at my age, I don?t give a fuck what Los Angeles does. Come on, let’s get out of here." Williard plucked his jacket from the coatrack, being careful of the handgun in the inside pocket, and urged Darlene along. As they walked down the short hallway leading to the executive exit, the short dumpy figure of Ms. Higgins peeked at their retreating backs from around the corner at the other end of the hallway, a little supercilious smile pasted onto her face.


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