He looked very young, and in an odd way, innocent, a kind of unmarked look. He had long, light brown hair and a full beard; the hair, down on his shoulders in a smooth shining fall, did not make him look at all feminine. Medieval, rather Ivan decided. The clothes too; a kind of loose shirt that was almost a robe, over baggy, patched trousers, and desert boots. Salvation Army stuff, Ivan said to himself. And, with a slight touch of odd envy—he looks better than I do, in fifty-cent rags!
“Martin,” Ivan greeted him. “Come on it!” The man advanced slowly and paused, his eyes moving from one to another.
“Everything's cool,” he said in a curiously musical, resonant voice. But it was hard to tell if it was a statement or a question. He gestured. “Meet everybody. Martin Danton, guys. Eve, and that's Martha, Hugh, and Floyd. Everybody's in for a piece of the action. Ah . . . you've got it all with you?”
“It's all in the truck,” Danton said. “I came first, to see . . . if it's all right here. You understand.” He smiled. “Just a minute.” He turned back to the door and stepped outside; he uttered a low, sharp whistle. Two figures appeared and came down the dock, moving fast, their arms filled with something. In the dimness outside there was an exchange, and Danton came back in, his arms full of packets wrapped in brown paper.
“It's all here,” he said quietly. “Want to check it out}” The packages were put down on the rug. Floyd, his eyes o glittering, knelt over them, turning them over and poking into them; the others stayed calmly at the bar.
“Here's the rest of the bread, then,” said Ivan, putting an envelope swiftly into Danton's side pocket. “I trust you, Marty. We'll check the stuff out later, but I know it's all here. Hey, how about a drink? Maybe your friends in the car might like one?”
“I don't drink,” Danton said softly. “They don't either.”
“Maybe we could sort of sample some right now,” Eve suggested. Her wide eyes were studying Danton with a peculiarly intense look. Martha, next to her, was watching that look, and her expression was wary.
“No. Thank you, but it isn't our bag around here, Dan-ton said.
“Well . . .” Ivan said, a little uncertainly. Thank God the beard doesn't want to stick around, he thought. That Eve is starting the hot-pants routine, I can see it. “By the way, about the records, I think I could—”
“It's all right about the record,” Danton said, in the same calm, gentle voice. “I found out about the whole thing last week before we left, Ivan. I know you can't really manage it.”
Ivan stared at him, almost losing his cool.
“I would probably have done this anyway,” Danton went on, still calmly. “You didn't need to play that game. I'd really like to have records, but it's not that important.” He paused, and shook his head. “But I won't run any more trips for you, Ivan. I couldn't trust you.”
He smiled, and made a curiously ritualistic gesture with his right hand toward the whole group.
“Peace,” he said, and was gone. A moment later the bus roared into life outside.
Eve was the first to break the silence. She burst into a wild peal of laughter, almost hysterical.
“He found out!” she stuttered, rocking on her stool. “Oh, Ivan, he wasn't a sucker, was he?”
“Can't win them all,” Ivan said, shrugging. He glanced down at the pile on the floor. “He made the trip, anyway. We've got what we paid for.”
“Catch another hippie next time,” Floyd grunted from his kneeling position. He sniffed, and chuckled aloud. “Man, this is the best stuff I've seen in years! Hey, hey!”
“Let's divide,” Ivan proposed, and dropped to a sitting position next to Floyd.
“Okay. This, this, and these . . . your cut, hashish. And this . . . that's the mushroom stuff . . . psylocibin. And these are for me . . . and your bit, Martha, and Hugh . . . and the package here, that's for our lovely Eve, for letting us take care of the meet here.”