A  James Rudolph Novel


Truth was, though, Henry was a whole lot like Dad Purvis. Handsome as sin, six-four on a lean, mean frame and a problem with alcohol. But Henry was smart enough to get into AA after he stopped for a few beers one time, outside of Modesto. The beers grew into pitchers, pool and some foxy ladies, and by the time Henry staggered back to his rig, the soup had firmed up and they had to dump the whole ball into the Sacramento River.

So here’s Henry now, at 24, wrestling his cement truck north on Interstate 95, happy with his job and with Sarah, the love of his life - until she disappears. With no one to turn to, Henry rousts out Dad, sleeping off a drunk in a run-down motel out on the highway…

Henry whirls toward him. “They’re gonna kill her Dad! And the kid too.

“Jesus, Henry! Ain’t seen you in two years and suddenly yer at my door yelling about I don’t know what.” Dad splashing whisky into his coffee.


Henry finds Dad near the end of his long journey of alcohol abuse, living in a run down motel out on the highway. After a fractious reunion of sorts, the two set out to find Sarah and try to make things right. And the road leads to Vegas…

“You’re gonna get us all killed. They’re gonna see us! They watch everything from those eyeballs!”

"Aw, they don’t kill red-necks hitting on their purty dealers.” Dad grinning at Sarah. Sarah grinning back. “So that’s Teddy’s accountant. Some smart cookie. Perfectly hid right out there in plain sight. Hell, I’m gonna play…”


Dieter Schreiber ran the Double D Corral out on the highway for a lot of years. His old lady Barb schlepped pitchers and swamped out, and Sarah grew up in that old Airstream out back. Her Mom told her that her real dad died up on the Flaming Gorge pour right after she was born. Barb thought old Dieter might be security for a single mom with a wild kid, so she married him, dragged him home drunk every night after they closed up, and he’d stumble into the trailer and start beating on her. But then he started coming after Sarah and she told Barb. Really bad move for old Dieter…

“…remember I told you I went to Planned Parenthood? Well I did, but I couldn’t do it. And there is something else you have to know, Henry. Barb told me once when she was drunk that Dad Purvis is my real Father. Guess that makes you my half-brother. Maybe that’s why I love you so much. Maybe that’s why I have to say goodbye.”



Seemed like a whole different world when Solly G waltzed into the ten-wide last summer. Uncle Teddy made him a wise-guy even before he pitched the North Sacramento yard.

 “Ya’s guys come on up this weekend. See Liza, and the big magic show at the Luxor. Come on. On me. Take a break ovuh heah…”

…after Solly G gave them the tour he left them in their ratty, but fully comped suite overlooking the pool. By midnight, Teddy was at the bar, drunk, and twenty Gs down. Solly G sidling up. “Listen. I gotta little deal you might go for.” Teddy grim, knows what’s coming. “I own this yard out in North Sacramento, on the Rimrock highway...”

“I know it. Low grade. Mostly industrial foundation.” Teddy shoots his Black Jack.

“So maybe you come up take a look at my soup. And hey.” Solly G flashing Teddy’s markers, ripping them up. “Weekend’s on me.” Back into the casino. Bling swinging.