Rich and Famous

Rich and Famous by James Lincoln Collier Page A

Book: Rich and Famous by James Lincoln Collier Read Free Book Online
Authors: James Lincoln Collier
hens to roost every night to earn money for your first guitar.”
    I began to giggle.
    â€œDon’t giggle,” the skinny one said. “This is serious. I get paid twenty-two thousand dollars a year to do this. All right, what about a family? You need a family. What’s your mother like?”
    â€œShe’s dead. She died a long time ago.”
    â€œShe won’t work out, then, will she?” the round one said. “What about your old man? Maybe if he was dead too, we could sell you as an orphan—that’s always good for a tug at the heart strings. Growing up with your mean aunt who took away your guitar so you had to sneak out into the woodshed and practice at night.”
    â€œGeorge Stable, The Orphan Next Door doesn’t sing,” the skinny one said.
    â€œAnyway, my father’s alive,” I said.
    â€œToo bad,” the round one said. “That eliminates the orphan bit, anyway. What’s he do, your old man?”
    â€œHe’s a comic strip artist. He draws Frankens-Teen.”
    â€œToo sophisticated,” the skinny one said, worriedly. “We can’t possibly have that. He’d better be a dentist.”
    â€œDentists make too much dough,” the round one said. “How about he’s a street cleaner? Do they have street cleaners up there in Pawling?”
    â€œI don’t think so,” I said.
    â€œThey must have street cleaners,” the skinny one said. “Otherwise how do they keep the streets clean?”
    â€œCome on, dummy,” the round one said. “The Boy Scouts clean it up. Right, George?”
    â€œI don’t really know,” I said. “I guess they don’t throw so much stuff around as we do here in New York.”
    â€œThat’s a fair bet,” the skinny one said.
    â€œBoy Scouts,” the round one said. “Hmm. Maybe his old man is the Pawling scoutmaster.”
    â€œThat’s fairly tasty,” the skinny one said. “Let’s put some butter on it.”
    â€œWon’t the real scoutmaster get sore?” I asked.
    â€œNaw,” the round one said. “We give him an autographed record if he promises to keep his mouth shut.”
    That was the way it went. In the end they made Pop a carpenter, because carpenters reflect the sturdy, independent qualities for which country people are famous. They gave me a regular mother, and invented a whole lot of stuff about pitching hay and roasting apples. By the end of it I wasn’t George Stable anymore, I was somebody else. So was Pop: I wondered what he was going to say about being a carpenter in Pawling.
    The publicity conferences were only a part of it. There were conferences on my clothes and conferences on whether I ought to work in night clubs or just in concerts and conferences on how the records would be promoted and a lot of other things. Superman was at a lot of these conferences, and a couple of times he brought up about that chat we were supposed to have over at his apartment.
    I kept stalling. I didn’t have any reason for stalling; I mean he wasn’t going to hurt me or anything. I just didn’t like being around him too much, with his blue egg-eyes always staring and those huge strong arms and shoulders he got from walking on crutches all his life. But it was hard to keep stalling. And one day, as we were coming out of a conference he said, “Hey, Georgie, what about dropping by my place tomorrow afternoon around six?”
    I blushed. “Gee, I can’t Superman,” I said. “Uncle Ned is taking us all to a drive-in that night.”
    â€œOkay,” he said. He stared at me with those blue egg-eyes. “What about next week?”
    There wasn’t much of a way to get out of it. “Well, I guess that would be all right,” I said. “Only I have to check with Uncle Ned first.”
    â€œIt’s a deal, then,” he said. As far as I was concerned, though, it

Similar Books

Satan's Bushel

Garet Garrett

Virtually Real

D. S. Whitfield

Just Me

L.A. Fiore

Wynter's Captive

Milly Taiden

A Surprise for Lily

Mary Ann Kinsinger