Memoirs

Last Drinks by Andrew McGahan

By Andrew McGahan

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There was nothing on the walls. ’ ‘Well, yes, beer cans. ’ And that was all I could say. Gerry smoked on, thoughtful. ‘I’m sorry about your friend,’ he said finally. ’ ‘I don’t know. I don’t know if there’s anything I should do, or shouldn’t do. I don’t see if this is linked to me or not. ’ He shrugged. ‘I had Stanley Smith in here a minute ago. He doesn’t agree. ’ ‘You know what he’s like about that. ’ 48 ‘A little, but he’s still right about some things. Those times always had their ugly side, George.

I asked, quietly. ‘We don’t know. ’ 54 A smile. ‘We know. ’ And in the end, that was what I’d always hoped. But eventually the police ran out of questions, and let me go again. The town wasn’t so forgiving. Joan’s evidence had flashed around the community as fast as phones could be dialled. Highwood brooded on the news. For the next three days the weather remained cold and wet and people were stuck inside with nothing better to do than talk and wonder about the stranger in their midst. In the papers they read things about me that most had never heard before, or at least things they had long forgotten.

I was sick of the conversation. ‘There was nothing on the walls. ’ ‘Well, yes, beer cans. ’ And that was all I could say. Gerry smoked on, thoughtful. ‘I’m sorry about your friend,’ he said finally. ’ ‘I don’t know. I don’t know if there’s anything I should do, or shouldn’t do. I don’t see if this is linked to me or not. ’ He shrugged. ‘I had Stanley Smith in here a minute ago. He doesn’t agree. ’ ‘You know what he’s like about that. ’ 48 ‘A little, but he’s still right about some things. Those times always had their ugly side, George.

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