Reading: Millard Kaufman

Real estate and murder in L.A. The narrator hires Scrap Iron and his boat to sail to a Mexican island of dubious activities.

“Oh, I like wimmen,” he said vaguely.
“At a distance?”
“No, I like . . . .” he frowned, and the big busted nose on his wrinkled face twitched like the flaring nostrils of a horse. “What I like,” he went on gravely, ” is to smell ’em. Never knew a girl to smell bad in my life. If you just smell ’em,” Scrap Iron said, “they don’t expect nothing from you. Most times they don’t even know they’re being smelt.”
“What happens if it kind of dawns on them?”
“You got to be careful,” he said. “They could raise a stink – wimmen are funny — and you could get your tee-tee throwed in jail.”
“Just for smelling?”
He nodded sagely.

MISADVENTURE, Millard Kaufman, p. 100.

Kaufman, who had a long career as a screenwriter, died at age 92 in 2009, before Misadventure, only his second novel, was published by McSweeney’s.


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