He walked through the St. Louis airport amused at his memory of leaving it. He found a uniform official and asked where he might find Alvin. The man began to laugh at his answer seconds before he delivered it.
" Las Vegas, Mr. Cagle," spinning his finger around his temple in the age-old gesture of craziness. "Money makes the wheels go 'round."
"All or nothing, eh?" Jack said.
"If he comes back, tell him I said hello and goodbye."
"He'll be back."
Jack moved off to the departure gate.
On the plane, he sat in a window seat aware of how tired he was. He stared at the action on the tarmac thinking of all that had happened since the last time. "Hortense Foxx," he spoke her name to brighten his mood. He had made his peace at leaving her after lovemaking, but when he got on the plane, the peace dissolved in a heart-stabbing loneliness fed by too much confusion.
He turned to see an old man take the seat beside him, small and wiry, horn-rimmed glasses prominent on his lean, lined face. The man nodded politely, indicating no sign of recognition. Jack nodded back, hoping that would be the end of it. He had no wish to talk to anyone.
He turned back to the window, watched the plane climb into a soupy cloud and then bank, and the whole world seemed to disappear. He shut his eyes and gave way to the memory of his last five dollar gesture to Cyrus, suddenly aware of how pathetic it was, embarrassing