TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT
'Leave my buddy alone/ he said thickly, 'What's
the matter? Don't you think I can take it?'
'You can take it, Joey/ the man who had been
hammering him said. 'Listen/ to the sheriff, 'could
you let me take a buck?'
'No/ said the sheriff.
'Go to hell then.' He turned to Richard Gordon,
'What about it, pal?'
Til buy you a drink/ said Gordon.
'Come on/ said the Vet, and took hold of Gordon's
Til be by later/ the sheriff said,
'Good. I'll be waiting for you.'
As they edged in toward the end of the bar, the
red-headed, freckle-faced man with the bloody ear
and face gripped Gordon by the arm.
'My old buddy/ he said.
'He's all right/ the other Vet said, 'He can take
CI can take it, see?' the bloody-faced one said.
That's where I got it on them/
'But you can't hand it out/ someone said. 'Cut
out the shoving/
'Let us in/ the bloody^faced one said. 'Let in me
and my old buddy.9 He whispered into Richard
Gordon's ear, *I don't have to hand it out. I can
take it, see?9
'Listen/ the other Vet said as they finally reached
the beer-wet bar, 'You ought to have seen him at
noon at the commissary at Camp Five. I had him