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Raising Money
About the Author: R.T. Lawton has over 160 short stories in various anthologies and other publications, to include 49 sold to Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. He currently has nine short story collections in paperback and e-format on Amazon.

Danny and his minor league partner in crime, Jackson, were sitting in a dark booth by the front window where they could see people passing by on the sidewalk. This Irish pub wasn’t their usual bar, but circumstances weren’t entirely safe for them to go back to their old one for a while, not after the results of their last scam.

“We’ve got a little over two hundred left,” said Danny. “I think we ought to invest it in our next job.”

Jackson looked up from his draft beer.

“You the idea man. What you thinking this time?”

“Well, it’s like this. I been reading this book written by Chester Himes.”

“Who’s he?”

“A guy who did time in Ohio for bank robbery.”

Jackson cocked his left eyebrow.

“Bank robberies are a little dicey for us, don’tcha think? We don’t exactly have that kind of experience. And, if Chester ended up in prison, I’d say his bank plan didn’t work out very well for him.”

“Bank robbery has nothing to do with this.”

“Tell that to Chester, he’s the one doing time.”

Danny went quiet and just stared at his partner.

After a moment, Jackson finally broke the silence.

“Okay, so what’s the name of the book?”

For Love of Imabelle.

Jackson shook his head.

“No wonder he went to prison. He was writing romances instead of being serious about his bank plans.”

Danny felt a headache coming on.

“It’s not a romance, it’s about a bunch of conmen and their scams.”

“The title sounds like a romance.”

“Okay, okay, so the main character in the book needs lots of money to impress his girl. That’s why he falls for the scam. That and being too straight in life to see what’s coming.”

“What’s the scam called?”

“Raising money.”

“You mean like raising funds for a fake charity and then we pay ourselves all the money in salaries?”

Danny leaned forward and lowered his voice.

“No, I mean we take a one-dollar bill and raise it to a ten. And then, we take a ten-dollar bill and raise it to a hundred. That kind of stuff.”

Now Jackson leaned forward and also dropped his voice.

“How the hell we do that?”

“Don’t sweat it. I’ll explain later how all this works. But first we need to find us a mark with money, somebody dumb enough to believe we can change the numbers printed on dollar bills.”

“If I knew somebody that dumb with lots of cash,” said Jackson, “I’d already have his money and we wouldn’t be talking here now. “

“We also need a big guy who looks intimidating,” Danny continued, trying to get Jackson back on track. “Any ideas?”

Jackson sipped his beer while he thought about a good candidate.

“I guess we can always use Moose. He’s big and he intimidates me when he gets riled about something. He is also not too smart on his own, which might be to our advantage.”

Danny reflected on Moose’s good and bad points for a moment.

“Sure, Moose will do fine.”

“What part you and I have?”

“You’re going to be the professor who developed this wonderful new process of getting rich, and I’m your assistant.”

Jackson grinned ear to ear.

“My daddy said I’d never amount to much and here I’m gonna be a professor already.”

“Don’t let it go to your head.”

“What am I a professor of?”


“What’s that?”

This story appears in our MAY 2023 Issue
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