Chapter 39

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Ten Years Ago (Part 4)

"Oh shit," Manty squealed as the police prowl car followed, lights flashing. "What should I do?"

If they had taken his SUV and if he were driving, Howie Boy figured he would make a break for it and try to outrun the cop. With Manty being such a pussy and in his little four-cylinder sedan, they didn't stand a chance. "Only one thing to do. Pull over. You probably just have a taillight out or something."

Manty used his turn signal and drifted to the side of the road. Instead of pulling in behind them, the cop sped by.

Howie Boy laughed and sputtered, "He wasn't after us. What a rush!"

Manty gripped the steering wheel, breathing heavily. "I'm glad you enjoyed that. I damn near had a coronary."

"Nothing to worry about, he wasn't after us. Keep driving, I'll tell you when to exit."

They drove on. Manty's non-stop complaining grated on Howie Boy's nerves.

"With this amount of cash missing, the police are going to pull out all the stops," Manty argued. "They'll keep investigating until they find us. We might not be on video, but someone will remember something. Maybe the guys in lost-and-found will think we acted suspiciously, or maybe the security guard with the carrier of coffee will recall us lurking over his shoulder—"

"—Maybe the sky will fall," Howie Boy interrupted. "Look, there are no worries. We got away with it. Besides, what if someone does remember us? What are the cops going to be able to do with that information? There are thousands of guys who look like us who attended that show."

Manty said nothing for a long time. Howie Boy also kept quiet until they reached their exit. "Get off here at Millerstown. Turn right at the stop sign, then left when we get to the square in town."

After they executed the two turns and crossed the Juniata River, Howie Boy thought Manty had finally calmed down. They drove on for a while until the nerd opened his mouth again.

With only one hand on the wheel, Manty gestured with his other hand. "You know what I don't understand? Your family is wealthy. You have all the money in the world. What does this cash mean to you? Why are you insisting on taking such a risk in keeping it?"

An interesting question. For once, Howie Boy didn't feel irritated Manty had asked and actually wanted to explain. "You're right. It really isn't about the money. It's about the thrill of having done something so epic. Don't you feel alive right now? No drug high can compare to this."

"Right, we won't feel so alive when we get caught."

Howie Boy laughed. "There you go again. We aren't going to get caught. Think about it. With this cash, you'll be able to pay off all your student loans. The convention center just provided you with a free college education. You should be happy."

A few beats later, Manty spoke up. "Are you really going to let me keep half?"

"Of course. We're equal partners."

"And you don't care what I do with my half?"

"Why should I?"

Manty made a sudden hard left onto a side road almost crashing into a kid's school bus shelter. Howie Boy was thrown against the passenger door. "What the hell are you doing? I didn't tell you to turn here."

"I'm looking for a driveway or a turn around."

"What for?"

"I'm taking my half back."

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