I told everyone to lay low after the Roeper incident. Sammy asked around and it turned out that Roeper was playing it smart, telling everyone he got mugged by some big, black guy. Still, in case he started talking, I wanted everyone to play it cool; no selling for a while. We all went our separate ways briefly; Caroline and I went on a short road trip out west and Bill went to Montreal for a bit. Sammy stayed in the city, writing a novel, or something. The whole time, my mind was elsewhere; I was aching to get back to making money. Apparently, Sammy shared my feelings; he approached me soon after Caroline and I returned.
Laying low for Sammy may have proved to be quite beneficial, financially speaking. People kept asking him to sell to them while we were gone, but he kept telling them that we weren’t operating right now. Apparently, demand got so large that someone else was stepping up to the plate to provide for them. He was approached by a man who wanted to make a large buy from us, obviously to sell it at a marked up price to all the starving junkies.
Sammy and I sit in my idling car. No sound, besides the radio playing quietly. He looks at me, and I look ahead, watching the few people walking by while I consider what he just told me. I look at him, “So how much were they offering?”
He responds almost instantly, “Two million dollars.”
I look ahead again, wiping my mouth. We made a lot of money, but nothing like that. We sit in silence again. One deal would get us five-hundred thousand dollars a piece. I turn to him again, “And how much do we need to make?”
He pauses this time. “Five kilos,” he tells me.
I keep looking at him, thinking about what he just said. “That’s a lot,” I pause. “We need time. We don’t have supplies right now, and it’s going to take long enough to run around getting all that.”
He opens his mouth, but I interrupt him, “Not to mention the time it will take to actually produce that amount.”
I let him speak, “It’s possible; we can do it.”
“I agree,” I add, “It’s possible, but we just need time.”
I look ahead again. He watches me intently, waiting for me to say something else. “Man, I can’t even begin to appreciate how much time that will take,” I say. I look at him and raise my eyebrows, “Five kilos?”
He nods his head. “Getting the ingredients for five kilos’ worth is going to be a task on its own but, even after that,” I tell him, closing my eyes to do some mental math, “one batch takes us two or three hours to make. And how much does one batch make? Half, maybe two-thirds of an ounce, if we’re lucky. So, we’re going to make how many batches?”
“Around four-hundred,” he tells me.
I mouth the word ‘four-hundred,’ and I shake my head. I add, “Okay so, after we get all our shit in gear, it’s still going to take us a...Month, month and a half, to actually synthesize that amount.”
He nods. I look at him, not knowing what else to say at this point. Two million dollars was a lot of money; we could quit after this and never look back. We sit, listening to the radio without talking.
Our peace is suddenly ended by a gunshot, and my rear window shattering. Without thinking, I push the stick shift into first, pop the clutch, and floor it. I pull out quickly, but another shot sounds, my side mirror getting knocked off in the process. I look over at Sammy who appears to be scared out of his mind, but not wounded, and I yell, “Get down!”
He listens. I glance in the rear-view mirror and see a black car following. I fly around the next corner, nearly hitting a car waiting to turn left. I hit the gas and manoeuvre around another car in front of me. We gain a lot of ground, but I see the black car speeding around the same vehicle a ways behind me. “Hold on,” I say, as I run a red light, swerving through the traffic.
People honk at me, but slam on their brakes, narrowly missing a collision. Our friends stay behind, not opting to do the same stupid thing. I turn a left this time, cutting someone else off; he gives me the finger. I drive down this street a ways and, not seeing the black car behind us, pull into an alleyway. I slow down a bit, back into someone’s parking spot, and turn off the car.
I see him shaking in his seat. “Hey, Sammy, don’t worry,” I say in as calm a voice as I can muster. He looks at me, still shaking, and I continue, “We lost them. We’ll just stay here for a little while, and we’ll be safe.”
I roll down the window and pick up what remains of my side mirror, barely dangling to the side of my door. “Jesus,” I say, when I consider what just happened, letting the mirror pieces dangle once again.
I turn to look at the rear window, looking at Sammy in the process. I see that he’s calming down slightly, but still a bit shaky. What can you expect, though? I’m not surprised something like that rattled the guy. I’m more surprised that I’m taking it fairly well.
I look to him. “Sammy,” I say, and he looks back at me. “We need three months. Two months might do it, but I want to do it right. Tell him that.”
I continue staring at him, “And Sammy, remember; if anything looks bad...If he gives you any reason for us not to trust him, or even if you just get a funny feeling, we won’t go through with it. I’m leaving this one up to you.”
He looks a lot less shaken now. I hear the conviction in his voice, “You can count on me, Max.”