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THE BITTERS WITH THE SWEET
One night one of these riff-raff got to acting rowdy and Ferd called him. The fellow then used some bad language. Ferd slapped him. Then he sat down at the piano and began to play and the fellow slipped up behind him and stabbed him. Stabbed him the first time in the head and, when Ferd turned, he stabbed him just above the heart. Then Ferd grabbed him and they went down.
I was back of the bar mixing a Pink Lady when 1 heard the scuffle. When I come out from behind the bar 1 couldn't hardly tell which was which, thev were so covered with blood. The blood was just gushing out of Ferd like out of a stuck beef, I took a heavy glass ashtray and I struck this young man just as hard as I could in the head. Then we pulled Ferd away— Ferd was on top by then—and Ferd grabbed an iron pipe and was going to Mil him, but Cordelia grabbed Ferd and the fellow got away.
Some of these Polock cops they have in Washington came in and we took Ferd to the hospital. 1 hate that town, everything about it—the way they treated Ferd in the hospital. Took him in there and laid him right under an electric fan and put some ice water packs on the wound. Said that would clog the blood. I think right there was where he got his bad heart and the asthma—right there in that lousy Washington hospital.
And, you know, that boy that had stabbed Ferd only got thirty days! Cordelia wouldn't prefer charges against him.
It wasn't but a few weeks till that same boy came back up in the place again and started hanging around, full of that cheap wine they call "sneaky pete." Ferd talked to Cordelia but she said she couldn't do nothing against the child of a schoolmate of hers.
I began to talk to him. I told him, "The Jungle Inn is going to be your coffin. You've got to get out of here. They're going to kill you/*
He had some big plans for Christmas, to bring in a bunch of new acts from New York, but I talked him out of it this