"You know why they call him 'Savage'?" the Boss asked, puffing his fat cigar.

I shook my head.

"I'll tell you a story. Used to have this cabin in the North Woods. Beautiful place, all hardwood, bearskin rugs, bearskins on the walls. One day, middle of winter, two feet of snow on the ground, I find Savage there banging my daughter. So I have my two biggest, toughest guys -- Joe Park and Ramon Tunizzi -- take him outside. There's a cliff fifty yards past the house, a long drop. I tell them, 'work this guy over good, then toss him.' And remember, Savage ain't a big guy, maybe five-five, skinny like a crazy crackhead. So out they go, my guys in their winter coats, dragging Savage, stark naked. Soon, we heard screams, figured it was them beating on the bastard. Last time anybody saw those two alive."

"Savage killed them? Took their clothes?"

The Boss steeled me in a grim look. "No. He didn't take a shred of clothing. We found both of their bodies the next day, half a mile into the woods. Savage cut Park open, used him as a sleeping bag. He ate Tunizzi's liver for breakfast, and walked off into that frozen forest as naked as when they dragged him from my cabin. The trail of blood only went so far, stopped for no reason. Then we heard him. Laughter in the distance, couldn't tell which way." The Boss shuddered. "I never want to hear that again. I sold the place."

"And your daughter?"

"He got her pregnant. I wanted her to get rid of it, but she ran away."

"You want me to kill Savage Durand."

The boss nodded. "Find him. Kill him. One million dollars."

We shook on it.


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