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Hank Janson


Gaywood Press 1952
Jacket design Heade

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IT WAS a heavy iron door and it clanged echoingly as it swung open. Their shadows, thrown against the wall by the dim light, loomed immense, cautious and watchful. There were three of them, two in uniform and a third man 1 hadn't seen before. He was heavily built, merging into fatness and the fleshiness of his face beneath the grey fedora was emphasised by the heavy shadows thrown by that single dim roof light. Apprehensively I swung my feet off the bunk, slid along it until my shoulders pressed against the wall. That was as far as I could get from them. The fat guy stared at me for a long while, said nothing. The two uniformed guys stood shoulder to shoulder behind him, watched expression! essly. I felt sick inside, instinctively raised my hands to protect my face and the clink of the steel chain that linked my hands together made me feel even sicker. That fat guy kept on staring at me. It was like he was trying to beat me with his eyes. And as he stared he fumbled in his pocket for a toothpick, carefully gouged a fragment of food from between his back teeth, spat it out thoughtfully.

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