turquoise background, tucked in. Faded blue jeans, thick belt with a longhorn steerâs head on the buckle. His black hair, almost laughably to Davidâs mind, was swept back in a classic âduckâs ass.â Toby also sported a wisp of a mustache and goateeâhalfhearted attempts, more negligence than purpose. He had handsome features. Three times in quick succession, a twitch at the edge of his mouth betrayed his nervousness. He stared at the floor.
âLook at you, Tobias,â William said. âThe time you spent in London with your cousin last year turned you into a thug of some sort. You used to have a nice look about you. Do you still even admit youâre from Parrsboro? You turned into
James Dean. The American movie star who always whined and complained, lifeâs such a bad deal.â
âIâm apologizing to you, Mr. Field. Before they take me to jail.â
âYou like the idea of being dragged off in handcuffs, donât you?â William sighed. âWhatâs playing at the drive-in these days?â
Tobyâs entire countenance shifted with this change in subject; he straightened right up. âWeâve got a movie called
,â he said. âIt was playing in Halifax some months ago, then it ended up on the drive-in circuit. Since the Starlightâs the only drive-in in Nova Scotia, we got it.â
âWhatâs it about?â William said.
âBasically, itâs about a guy who canât stop robbing jewelry stores. He canât seem to help himself. Or, itâs more like he helps himself to things he shouldnât, I guess.â
âDaring daylight robberies?â
âBoth night and day, I think. I canât tell you the whole plot, Mr. Field, beginning to end, because Iâm occupied at the concession. I miss a lot of the movie.â
âIs that where you got your big idea, Toby, from this movie? The big idea to break into my house?â
âDifficult to feel inspired from your own resources these days? Your most exciting ideas coming from the movies?â
âI donât know, Mr. Field,â Toby said, looking off at the wall.
âI want to see this movie,â William said. âIf you take me to see itâtonightânowâget me in free of charge, Iâll pretend this botched little robbery of yours never took place. Except youâll have to pay for the window you broke.â
âYouâve got a deal, Mr. Field.â
âOh, donât I love a solemn pact,â William said, rubbing his hands together gleefully. He looked at the bedside clock. âItâs eight twenty-five. We have to factor in the drive to Truro. What timeâs the movie start?â
âThereâs coming attractions and such,â Toby said. âThe movieâs supposed to start at nine, but itâs usually late. I donât run the projector, though.â
âI take it you werenât on concession duty tonight.â
âLook, Mr. Field. Iâm in over my head with some debts, you know? I wasnât thinking clearly. I was going to grab what I could, try to pawn it down in Halifax.â
âDidnât you hear my opera? Didnât you figure me to be home?â
âI thought the record might drown out hearing me. I was only going to take a few items. I didnât even know what. I didnât think it through, Mr. Field. I was just driving by.â
âLame,â David said.
âWould you prefer heâd thought about it ahead of time,
David?â William said. âPremeditated robbery of the house of someoneâs known him since he was born?â
âThatâs not what I meant,â David said.
âGive me five minutes to get ready,â William said. âI need to get out of this goddamned house, Toby, so I guess I should thank you for the opportunity.â
David and Toby went out onto the porch.