“Here?” replied black Milton. “Nothing. Do you like ribs?”
Grollman didn’t know, but not wanting to admit it he said yes.
“Good, let’s go to Mabel’s.”
“Not Mabel Stuart?”
“I thought you were new around here. How’d you know about Mabel’s?”
Though filled with panic, he tried to appear nonchalant. “She famous in Chicago. Maybe we can go some other time. I need to be back in the lab in a few minutes.”
There was no escape; the lab and his place in it would have to be fixed. So he went back.
Gabby was still pacing, his right hand thrust into his partially unbuttoned shirt. Grollman thought that preemptive attack would get him the farthest.
“Why do you have a girl’s name?”
Gabby stopped as if he had been give an ice water enema. Then he turned and started to make a sweeping gesture with his right hand, but stuck as it was in his shirt he tore off its buttoned buttons and wrenched his shirt tails free from his pants; they flapped once and died by his side.
“Gabriele is masculine in Italian,”
“But you’re not Italian.” Grollman guessed that Gabby was Spanish or a derivative.
“Of course not. I’m Cuban.”
“So why do you have a girl’s name?”
“My uncle was Italian.”
“On which side?”
“Doesn’t that make her Italian too?” Grollman was delighted with the way the conversation was going.