Gabby thought for a moment.  His incarnadined face got even redder. “He was her half brother.  What’s that got to do with any of this anyway?  I’m a Cuban with an Italian name; a masculine name.  Didn’t I tell you to do the micro-osmolalities?”

Grollman decided to go along with the command rather than face two years of oscillating between standing in the lab and avoiding Mabel Stuart’s restaurant.

“How do I do ‘em?”

“I told you.  Harvey will teach you.”

Harvey showed no sign of taking his face away from the microscope or removing the cigarette from his mouth.


“Before the Messiah returns.”  He started fiddling with his disarrayed shirt.

He was about to declare that there could be no second coming without a first arrival, but Gabby was too occupied with his chemise.  He walked over to the nimbus that surrounded Harvey.  He stood over him expecting a reaction.  Getting none, he blew hard on the circle of smoke.

“You in there?”