By John D. MacDonald
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He had deducted probable taxes, the cost of the big house, probable living expenses. Hedges estimated that the old man must have somewhere between one million three and one million five squirreled away in the big safe, all in cash. Hedges had investigated carefully to be certain Tomlin had not re-invested the money. Tomlin was coldly polite to the people he came in contact with. The car Addams drove was a black pre-war Packard, polished to a high luster. It was the same car he had used in the last few years before his retirement from the practice of general medicine.
There's no law that says you have to keep money in a bank. There's no law that says you can't turn your home into a vault and guard it. He lost money twenty years ago when the bank closed. He decided he wouldn't lose it that way again. And remember, Lennie, there's a lot of people around here who were treated by him when he was still practicing. He has quite a backlog of good will. Suppose you did get him put away. There'd be talk. " "It's realistic. What good is it to him? We've been living over our heads for years.
He knew he could not turn them away without seeing them. But he could certainly turn them away after token greetings. Annoyed, he told Arnold to show them in. He stood up, his back to the fire, and waited for them. Arnold ushered the young couple in. They looked ill at ease. The young man came forward with forced joviality, hand extended. "I'm Joe Preston, Doc. " Tomlin took the hand and released it quickly. " He did not like the look of Preston. He had a weak, narrow face. His sideburns were long and the dark hair was long above his ears, combed heavily back.