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By Donald E. Westlake

Attempting a world coverage rip-off in South the United States, a con artist unearths the natives below friendly

After greater than a decade of skipping out on their money owed, Lola and Barry owe some huge cash to the incorrect humans. to flee the mortgage sharks, Barry comes to a decision it’s time for certainly one of them to die—or a minimum of to faux to. because the venue for this coverage fraud, they opt for Lola’s domestic nation, Guerrera, the place loss of life certificate come reasonable and executive record-keeping is sketchy at top. there's just one challenge: l. a. familia.

After Barry’s “death,” Lola returns to the united states, leaving her husband within the fingers of her relatives as he starts to imagine her brother’s identification. however the South-American hospitality of Lola’s family quickly wears skinny as they become aware of that their lives may be more straightforward if Barry’s demise weren’t simply an act. Conning an assurance corporation is difficult sufficient, yet regardless of the rustic, nobody is extra harmful than the in-laws.

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Our lengthy cortege drove towards it at a stately funereal speed now not simply because we have been a funeral procession yet simply because we have been following a trees truck loaded some distance past capability with large mahogany logs, teetering a ways above the slat aspects of the truck physique. the motive force was once fortunate the car might stream in any respect below that weight, and while he obtained to a couple of the hills farther north, it looked as if it would me, he could come to a useless cease. conversing of useless stops, here’s the cemetery, with a wrought-iron archway front that includes the identify of where spelled out in spidery letters. Carlos and María were chatting cheerfully jointly at the means out from city, gossiping concerning the different mourners, yet now they fell silent as we handed less than this grim arch. It wasn’t a happy position. lots of the graves have been sunken; a few of the stones leaned this manner and that during exhaustion; such a lot of it was once weedy and scraggly. The occasional well-tended grave, with clean vegetation and glowing stone and thoroughly weeded neat rectangle of garden, used to be someway much more miserable than the remainder, since it stated that somebody who’s been left at the back of by means of a friend comes out the following forever, with not anything greater to do than flip a grave right into a backyard. It was once an previous graveyard, Sabanon being a really previous city, settled prior to 1700. The gravel roadway meandered previous graves old and sleek, and our gradual conga line the hearse deeper and deeper in. darkish eco-friendly jungle surrounded us, and simply while I had began to imagine we might by no means get anyplace we have been going and might develop into a loop, a circle following itself, out forward I observed anything shiny yellow and metal, and that i knew we have been virtually there. convinced. A backhoe, status beside the recent open gap within the flooring. as soon as, gravediggers might stand at that spot, leaning on their shovels as in Shakespeare’s day, yet at the present time it’s the backhoe, with one fats man in a filthy white T-shirt, a crimson bandanna round his neck, leaning opposed to the aspect of his computing device. each person stopped. Señor Ortiz’s males have been speedy out, encouraging the automobiles in the back of us to come back up alongside the grass to our left, so each person may get closer the grave, which used to be simply off the line to the ideal. I sat there looking at all of it, till María leaned ahead to faucet my shoulder and murmur, “Sorry, Ernesto, however the chauffeur opens the door. ” “Oh! in fact, sorry. ” the opposite chauffeurs have been already out and doing their responsibility, and now I popped out of the Buick and opened the rear door on my aspect, so María may well step out first, through Carlos. automobiles have been passing correct subsequent to us, being hustled alongside by means of Señor Ortiz’s busy and effective males. María and Carlos walked round me and headed alongside the line towards the hot grave, the place the priest now stood, conserving his black e-book, with red cinctures (for funerals) over his white surplice over his black cassock. He needed to be sizzling. the opposite chauffeurs, after unloading their cargoes, had gotten again in the back of their wheels, so I did an analogous. They stored their engines operating, although it looked as if it would me a quick getaway used to be no longer within the playing cards right here, so I did too.

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