How many times did that particular crew have at him? I don't know. I think Rooster lost his taste fairly early on-being in nose splints for a month can do
that to a fellow-and Bogs Diamond left off that summer, all at once. That was a strange thing. Bogs was found in his cell, badly beaten, one morning in early June, when he didn't show up in the breakfast nose-count. He wouldn't say who had done it, or how they had gotten to him, but being in my business, I know that a screw can be bribed to do almost anything except get a gun for an inmate. They didn't make big salaries then, and they don't now. And in those days there was no electronic locking system, no closed-circuit TV, no master-switches hitch controlled whole areas of the prison. Back in 1948, each cellblock had its own turnkey. A guard could have been bribed real easy to let someone-maybe two or three someones-into the block, and, yes, even into Diamond's cell.
Of course a job like that would have cost a lot of money. Not by outside standards, no. Prison economics are on a smaller scale. When you've been in here awhile, a dollar bill in your hand looks like a twenty did outside. My guess is that, if Bogs was done, it cost someone a serious piece of change-fifteen bucks, we'll say, for the turnkey, and two or three apiece for each of the lump-up guys.
I'm not saying it was Andy Dufresne, but I do know that he brought in five hundred dollars when he came, and he was a banker in the straight world-a man
who understands better than the rest of us the ways in which money can become
And I know this: after the beating-the three broken ribs, the hemorrhaged eye,
the sprained back, and the dislocated hip-Bogs Diamond left Andy alone. In fact,
after that he left everyone pretty much alone. He got to be like a high wind in
the summertime, all bluster and no bite. You could say, in fact, that he turned
into a "weak sister."
That was the end of Bogs Diamond, a man who might eventually have killed Andy if Andy hadn't taken steps to prevent it (if it was him who took the steps). But it wasn't the end of Andy's trouble with the sisters. There was a little hiatus, and then it began again, although not so hard or so often. Jackals like easy prey, and there were easier pickings around than Andy Dufresne.
He always fought them, that's what I remember. He knew, I guess, that if you let them have at you even once without fighting, it got that much easier to let them have their way without fighting next time. So Andy would turn up with bruises on his face every once in awhile, and there was the matter of the two broken fingers six or eight months after Diamond's beating. Oh yes-and sometime in late 1949, the man landed in the infirmary with a broken cheekbone that was probably the result of someone swinging a nice chunk of pipe with the business-end wrapped in flannel. He always fought back, and as a result, he did his time in solitary. But I don't think solitary was the hardship for Andy that it was for some men. He got along with himself.
The sisters was something he adjusted himself to-and then, in 1950, it stopped
almost completely. That is a part of my story that I'll get to in due time.
In the fall of 1948, Andy met me one morning in the exercise yard and asked me
if I could get him half a dozen rock-blankets.
"What the hell are those?" I asked.
He told me that was just what rockhounds called them; they were polishing cloths about the size of dishtowels. They were heavily padded, with a smooth side and a rough side-the smooth side like fine-grained sandpaper, the rough side almost as abrasive as industrial steel wool (Andy also kept a box of that in his cell, although he didn't get it from me-I imagine he kited it from the prison laundry).
I told him I thought we could do business on those, and I ended up getting them from the very same rock-and-gem shop where I'd arranged to get the rock-hammer. This time I charged Andy my usual ten per cent and not a penny more. I didn't see anything lethal or even dangerous in a dozen 7" x 7" squares of padded cloth. Rock-blankets, indeed.
It was about five months later that Andy asked if I could get him Rita Hayworth.
That conversation took place in the auditorium, during a movie-show. Nowadays we get the movie-shows once or twice a week, but back then the shows were a monthly event. Usually the movies we got had a morally uplifting message to them, and this one, The Lost Weekend, was no different. The moral was that it's dangerous to drink. It was a moral we could take some comfort in.
Andy maneuvered to get next to me, and about halfway through the show he leaned a little closer and asked if I could get him Rita Hayworth. I'll tell you the
truth, it kind of tickled me. He was usually cool, calm, and collected, but that night he was jumpy as hell, almost embarrassed, as if he was asking me to get him a load of Trojans or one of those sheepskin-lined gadgets that are supposed to "enhance your solitary pleasure," as the magazines put it. He seemed overcharged, a man on the verge of blowing his radiator.
"I can get her," I said. "No sweat, calm down. You want the big one or the
little one?" At that time Rita was my best girl (a few years before it had been Betty Grable) and she came in two sizes. For a buck you could get the little Rita. For two-fifty you could have the big Rita, four feet high and all woman.
"The big one," he said, not looking at me. I tell you, he was a hot sketch that
night. **He was blushing just like a kid trying to get into a kootch show with his big brother's draft-card. "Can you do it?"**
"Take it easy, sure I can. Does a bear shit in the woods?" The audience was applauding and catcalling as the bugs came out of the walls to get Ray Milland, who was having a bad case of the DT's
"A week. Maybe less." “一周。或更快些。”
"Okay. " But he sounded disappointed, as if he had been hoping had one stuffed down my pants right then. "How much?"
I quoted him the wholesale price. I could afford to give him this one at cost; he'd been a good customer, what with his rock-hammer and his rock-blankets. Furthermore, he'd been a good boy-o more than one night when he was having his problems with Bogs Rooster, and the rest, I wondered how long it would be before he used the rock-hammer to crack someone's head open.
Posters are a big part of my business, just behind the booze and, cigarettes,
usually half a step ahead of the reefer. In the sixties the business exploded in every direction, with a lot of people wanting funky hang-ups like Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, that Easy Rider poster. But mostly it's girls; one pin-up queen after another.
A few days after Andy spoke to me, a laundry driver I did business with back
then brought in better than sixty posters, most of them Rita Hayworths. You may
even remember the picture; sure do. Rita is dressed-sort of-in a bathing suit,
one hand behind her head, her eyes half-closed, those full, sulky red lips
parted. They called it Rita Hayworth, but they might as well have called it
Woman in Heat.
The prison administration knows about the black market, in case you were
wondering. Sure they do. They probably know almost much about my business as I
do myself. They live with it because they know that a prison is like a big
pressure-cooker, and there has to be vents somewhere to let off steam. They make the occasion; bust, and I've done time in solitary a time or three over the year but when it's something like posters, they wink. Live and let live。 And when a big Rita Hayworth went up in some fishie's cell, the assumption was that it came in the mail from a friend or a relative. Of course all the care-packages from friends and relatives are opened and the contents inventoried, but who goes back and rechecks the inventory sheets for something as harmless as a Rita Hayworth or Ava Gardner pin-up? When you're in a pressurecooker you learn to live and let live or somebody will carve you a brand-new mouth just above the Adam's apple. You learn to make allowances.
It was Ernie again who took the poster up to Andy's cell, 14, from my own, 6.
And it was Ernie who brought back the note, written in Andy's careful hand, just one word: "Thanks."
A little while later, as they filed us out for morning chow, I glanced into his
cell and saw Rita over his bunk in all her swimsuited glory, one hand behind her head, her eyes half-closed, those soft, satiny lips parted. It was over his bunk where he could look at her nights, after lights-out, in the glow of the arc sodiums in the exercise yard.
But in the bright morning sunlight, there were dark slashes across her face-the
shadow of the bars on his single slit window.
（to be continued ）
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