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Full text of "To Have And Have Not"

TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT
I was thinking three weeks was a long time to let
him go, but if he was good for it what difference was
there? He should have paid every week anyway.
But I've let them run a month and got the money, It
was my fault but I was glad to see it run at first* It
was only the last few days he made me nervous but I
didn't want to say anything for fear of getting him
plugged at me. If he was good for it, the longer he
went the better.
'Have a bottle of beer?' he asked me, opening the
box.
'No, thanks/
Just then this nigger we had getting bait comes
down the dock and I told Eddy to get ready to cast
her off.
The nigger came on board with the bait and we
cast off and started out of the harbour, the nigger
fixing on a couple of mackerel; passing the hook
through their mouth, out the gills, slitting the side
and then putting the hook through the other side
and out, tying the mouth shut on the wire leader
and tying the hook good so it couldn't slip and so the
bait would troll smooth without spinning,
He's a real black nigger, smart and gloomy, with
blue voodoo beads around his neck under his shirt,
and an old straw hat. What he liked to do on board
was sleep and read the papers. But he put on a nice
bait and he was fast.
'Can't you put on a bait like that, captain?' John-
son asked me.
16