down and I was hitting him on the head with a
bottle. Just like playing on a drum. I bet I hit him
'More/ said the bloody-faced one.
'It didn't make no impression on him.'
'I can take it,' said the other. He whispered in
Richard Gordon's ear, It's a secret'.
Richard Gordon handed over two of the three
beers the white-jacketed, big bellied nigger bar-
tender drew and pushed toward him.
'What's a secret?' he asked.
'Me,' said the bloody-faced one. 'My secret.'
'He's got a secret,' the other Vet said. 'He isn't
'Want to hear it?' the bloody-faced one said in
Richard Gordon's ear.
'It don't hurt.'
The other nodded. 'Tell him the worst of it.'
The red-headed one put his bloody lips almost to
'Sometimes it feels good,' he said. 'How do you
feel about that?'
At Gordon's elbow was a tall, thin man with a
scar that ran from one corner of his eye.down over
his chin. He looked down at the red-headed one
'First it was an art,* he said. 'Then it became a
pleasure. If things made me sick you'd make me