Text Box: The books of Russell H. Greenan

The details “grisly”, the people “lunatic”, the results, “magnetic”.

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The Bric-a-Brac Man


© 1976 Russell H. Greenan


Random House USA/Canada 1976     

Jacket design: Stan Zagorowski


ISBN 0-394-40829-2


From  The Bric-A-Brac Man


Surprised by the sudden question, I said, “Me? Oh, I’m Arnold Hopkins.”

                 “Hello, I am the Devil—Feliz Merendaro, as I sometimes call myself. You come to see me for what purpose exactly?”

                 “I...I’m an antique dealer, and Mr. Hogan Guilfoyle is a good friend of mine,” I declared, a trifle embarrassed. “He told me you give deserving people financial assistance... if they will sign a contract with you. My situation is desperate. Unless I can raise five thousand dollars in the next few days, my business will go into receivership, and that will mean the loss of everything I hold dear. My life will be ruined beyond repair.”

                 “Oh yes?” murmured the Devil, running his fingers over his dark, shiny hair, which was brushed so flat on his head that it looked like a black vinyl skullcap. Next he drew a pair of silver-framed spectacles from his breast pocket, placed them on his button nose, and for a long while, regarded me in silence. Then, without warning and at the top of his lungs, he shouted, “Xochimilco! Hi, Xochimilco! Hi! Hi! Drinks. Bring drinks. Two Scotch and sodas, with ice included. And hurry, you slothful bastard.” Turning to me again, he inquired courteously, “You like Scotch and soda? Splendid. Sit, why don’t you?”

                 My ears still ringing from his maniacal outburst, I resumed sitting in the soup-ladle chair. Was this crackpot capable of violence? I wondered.