Smiley Watson picks up the ringing phone. “Al, I can’t talk now.” Smiley says, glancing at the three thugs standing over him.
“I did look into it. There’s nothing there.”
“Because I’m just a stringer. I’m not a detective like Alexander Pope with a fancy office on top of the Landry building. If there’s no story, there’s no story.” Smiley hangs up.
The center thug puts two hundred dollar bills on the desk and the three of them leave.
Smiley takes the bills thinking that spending a couple weeks in Springfield might be a good idea.