The sidewalk was as soft as a good bed. Malone lay curled on it, thinking
about nothing at all. He was drifting off into a wonderful dream, and he
didn't want to interrupt it. There was this girl, a beautiful girl, more
wonderful than anything he had ever imagined, with big blue eyes and
long blonde hair and a figure that made the average pin-up girl look like
a man. And she had her soft white hand on his arm, and she was look-
ing, up at him with trust and devotion and even adoration in her eyes,
and her voice was the softest possible whisper of innocence and promise.
"I'd love to go up to your apartment with you, Mr. Malone," she said.
Malone smiled back at her, gently but with complete confidence. "Call
me Ken," he said, noticing that he was seven feet tall and superbly
muscled. He put his free hand on the girl's warm, soft shoulder and she
wriggled with delight.
"All rightÑKen," she said. "You know, I've never met anyone like you
before. I mean, you're so wonderful and everything."
Malone chuckled modestly, realizing, in passing, how full and rich his
voice had become. He felt a weight pressing over his heart, and knew
that it was his wallet, stuffed to bursting with thousand-dollar bills.
But was this a time to think of money?
No, Malone told himself. This was the time for adventure, for ro-
mance, for love. He looked down at the girl and put his arm around her
waist. She snuggled closer.
He led her easily down the long wide street to his car at the end of the
block. It stood in godlike solitude, a beautiful red Cadillac capable of go-
ing a hundred and ten miles an hour in any gear, equipped with fully
automatic steering and braking, and with a stereophonic radio, a hi-fi
and a 3-D set installed in both front and back seats. It was a 1972 job, but
he meant to trade it in on something even better when the 1973 models
came out. In the meantime, he decided, it would do.
He handed the girl in, went round to the other side and slid in under
the wheel. There was soft music playing somewhere, and a magnificent
sunset appeared ahead of them as Malone pushed a button on the