Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Phony Loot" by Anonymous

Phony Loot

Andy Bunce went to the cash drawer and began counting the money. Harry Weller, the cashier, grabbed the money out of Bunce's hands and said, with thin-lipped sarcasim, "The company certainly ought to feel gratified to have so many cashiers."

Andy Bunce's face reddened and he flashed Weller a look of calculated scorn.

"What's the matter with me counting up the cash?" he asked.

"While you're a clerk you do as I tell you," Weller snapped.

Andy returned to his bookkeeping and didn't see the door open as six men entered. Each one carried a brief case and they appeared to be auditors. Their leader walked over toward the cashier's cage while the others went casually toward the compartment that held the account books and began taking them out and placing them on the long table.

Weller raised his eyes and met those of the auditor who was staring beadily at him. Weller's hand slid slowly toward the customer's ledger, but stopped against the desk top. Then he turned his hand upward and began to rub the palm with his finger nails as if it might be itching.

With swift, efficient movement, the man turned from an auditor into a gunman, as he drew an automatic from his coat pocket.

"Get your hands up," he said evenly in a well modulated voice. The five others covered the rest of the office as the clerks turned from their work and raised their hands.

Andy stepped back to the center of the cage beside Weller. The gunman reached beneath the counter, took the bundles of currency of the Merton Company payroll and passed them to another well groomed gunman, who stuffed them into his brief case.

Weller's eyes shifted from the gunman toward the safe. The gunman walked to the cage door and entered.

"Open the safe," the gunman commanded.

Weller turned nervously to the safe and began fumbling with the combination. His fingers shook as he turned the dial right, then left and again right. Finally he turned down the handle and pulled open the door. Then he rose to his feet and stepped aside.

The thug approached the safe, began to open drawers and compartments. "Checks! Where's the rest of the cash?"

Weller's voice shook as he replied. "There's no more cash in the house."

The gunman stuffed the checks into his pocket and turned to leave.

Andy had moved cautiously toward the table near the cage. He kept his left hand raised and moved his right downward to the table. His fingers closed on a paper weight and he raised his arm swiftly in a pitch that landed the paper weight smack against the thug's temple.

As the gang leader dropped, bedlam broke loose in a blast of gunfire. Andy swept his hand down and snatched the automatic from the gang leader and came up shooting. He saw one man drop with blood on his shirt front. It was the man backing up the leader outside the cage. The three others sprang for the door, blazing toward Andy. He cried out sharply as a slug ripped into his shoulder.

Andy's shoulder burned, but he managed to stand the table on edge, to get behind it. The three jammed at the entrance, trying to escape at once. Andy let them have it and they went down in a squirming heap.

As he turned, he saw the thug he had struck with the paper weight had risen and was running for the exit. He took aim, but suddenly saw that Weller had grabbed a gun.

"Drop it, Weller!" Andy shouted.

Weller turned on him. Andy pulled the trigger and Weller's gun fell from his hand. Andy fired again, caught the last escaping thug.

Andy said: "You knew the payroll was accounted for, Weller, but taking those checks would have made up for a lot of your shortages."

"It's a lie!" growled Weller, but he didn't look Andy in the eye.

Andy Bunce went on. "The real auditors will determine that. I saw you tip the thug off to open the safe, but the real reason I knew you were short was that I had found it out before you kicked me off the books. I was going to report you, anyway."

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