In Milton Lumky Territory (GollanczF.)

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9780575074651: In Milton Lumky Territory (GollanczF.)

Bruce Stevens is a young buyer for a big discount house when he meets the recently divorced Susan Faine. She suggests that he might like to manage her ailing typewriter store and he leaps at the suggestion. Then he realizes that Susan was his teacher when he was in fifth grade. In spite of that, they are married within days. And then the odd compulsions and instabilities start to interfere with their plans. Milton Lumky, the paper salesman in whose area they live, is uneasy about their future ...

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About the Author:

Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) was born in Chicago but lived in California for most of his life. He went to college at Berkeley for a year, ran a record store and had his own classical-music show on a local radio station. He published his first short story, 'Beyond Lies the Wub' in 1952. Among his many fine novels are The Man in the High Castle, Time Out of Joint, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter 1
At sunset, acrid-smelling air from the lake puffed along the empty streets of Montario, Idaho. With the air appeared clouds of sharp-winged yellow flies; they smashed against the windshields of cars in motion. The drivers strove to clear them away with their wipers. As the street lights lit up Hill Street, stores began to close until only the drugstores—one at each end of town—remained open. The Luxor movie theater did not open until six-thirty. The several cafes did not count as parts of the town; open or shut, they belonged to the highway, US 95, which made use of Hill Street.
Hooting and clacking and sliding along the northernmost of fourteen parallel tracks, the Union Pacific sleeper appeared, passing from Portland to Boise. It did not stop, but at the Hill Street crossing it slowed until the mail car appeared to be a dingy-green metal building among the brick warehouses along the track, scarcely in motion, with its doors open and two trainmen in striped suits hanging out with their hands dangling down. A middle-aged woman, wrapped up in quilted wool to keep warm, stepped forward at the sidewalk and deftly handed several letters up to one of the trainmen.
The wig-wag signal bonged and the red light flashed for a considerable period after the last car of the train had gone off out of sight.
At the lunch counter in his drugstore, Mr. Hagopian ate a small fried hamburger steak and canned string beans while he read a copy of Confidential taken from the rack by the front door. Now, at six, no customers bothered him. He sat so that he could see the street outside. If anyone came along he intended to stop eating and wipe his mouth and hands with a paper napkin.
Far off, running and whirling about to run backwards with his head up, came a boy wearing a Davy Crockett cap with tail. The boy circled his way across the street, and Mr. Hagopian realized that he was coming into the drugstore.
The boy, hands in his pockets, his motions stiff and jerky, stepped into the store and to the candy bars all intermingled under the sign, 3 for 25¢. Mr. Hagopian continued eating and reading. The boy at last picked out a box of Milk Duds, a package of M & M chocolates, and a Hershey bar.
“Fred,” Mr. Hagopian called.
His son Fred pushed the curtains aside, from the back room, and came out to wait on the boy.
At seven o’clock Mr. Hagopian said to his son Fred, “You might as well go on home. There won’t be enough more tonight to make it worth both our time.” He felt irritable, thinking about it. “Nobody of consequence is going to show up and buy anything the rest of tonight.”
“I’ll stick around awhile longer,” Fred said. “I don’t have anything to do anyhow.”
The telephone rang. It was Mrs. de Rouge, on Pine Street, wanting a prescription filled and delivered. Mr. Hagopian got out the book, and when he looked up the number he found that it was for Mrs. de Rouge’s pain pills. So he told her that Fred would bring them by eight o’clock.
While he was making up the pills—capsules of codeine—the door of the drugstore opened and a young man, well-dressed in a single-breasted suit and tie, stepped in. He had a sandy, bony nose and short-cropped hair; by that, Mr. Hagopian recognized him, and also by his smile. He had good, strong white teeth.
“Can I help you, sir?” Fred said.
“Just looking right now,” the man said. Hands in his pockets he moved over to the magazine racks.
I wonder why he hasn’t been in here for a while, Mr. Hagopian thought to himself. He used to come in here all the time. Since he was a kid. Has he been taking his business up to Wickley’s? At that, the old man felt growing indignation. He finished up Mrs. de Rouge’s pills, dropped them into a bottle, and walked to the counter.
The young man, Skip Stevens, had brought a copy of Life up to Fred, and was rummaging in his trouser pocket for change.
“Anything else, sir?” Fred said.
Mr. Hagopian started to speak to Skip Stevens, but at that moment Skip leaned toward Fred and said in a low voice, “Yes, I wanted to pick up a package of Trojans.” So Mr. Hagopian delicately turned away and busied himself until Fred had wrapped the package of contraceptives and rung up the sale on the register.
“Thank you, sir,” Fred said, in the business-like tone he always took when somebody bought contraceptives. As he left the counter he winked at his father.
His magazine under his arm, Skip started toward the door, very slowly, eyeing the magazines and shelves to show that he did not feel intimidated. Mr. Hagopian caught up with him and said, “Long time no see.” His indignation made his voice rattle. “I hope you and your family have been well.”
“Everybody’s fine,” Skip said. “I haven’t seen them for a couple of months. I’m living down in Reno. I have a job there.”
“Oh,” Mr. Hagopian said, not believing him. “I see.”
Fred tilted his head, listening.
“You remember Skip Stevens,” Mr. Hagopian said to his son.
“Oh yeah,” Fred said. “I didn’t recognize you.” He nodded at Skip. “Haven’t seen you in months.”
“I’m located down in Reno now,” Skip explained. “This is the first time I’ve been up here to Montario since April.”
“I wondered why we hadn’t seen you,” Fred said.
Mr. Hagopian asked Skip, “Your brother still off back east at school?”
“No,” Skip said. “He’s out of school now, and married.”
This boy isn’t living down in Reno, Mr. Hagopian thought. He’s just ashamed to admit why he hasn’t been in. Skip shifted about from one foot to the other, obviously ill-at-ease. He obviously wanted to leave.
“What line of work are you in?” Fred said.
Skip said, “I’m a buyer.”
“What kind of buyer?”
“For C.B.B.,” he said.
“Television?” Mr. Hagopian said.
“For Consumers’ Buying Bureau,” Skip said.
“What’s that?”
Skip said, “Something like a department store. It’s a new place down on Highway 40, between Reno and Sparks.”
With a strange look on his face, Fred said, “I know what that is. Some guy was up here telling me about it.” To his father, he said, “It’s one of those discount houses.”
At first, the old man did not understand. And then he remembered what he had heard about discount houses. “Do you want to drive the retailers out of business?” he said loudly to Skip.
Skip, turning red, said, “It’s no different from a supermarket. It buys in volume and passes the savings on to the consumer. That’s how Henry Ford operated, producing in volume.”
“It’s not the American way,” Mr. Hagopian said.
“Sure it is,” Skip said. “It means a higher standard of living because it eliminates overhead and the middleman’s costs.”
Mr. Hagopian returned to the counter. To his son he said, “Mrs. de Rouge wants some more pain pills.” He held out the bottl

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Descripción Orion Publishing Co, United Kingdom, 2005. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: N/A. Brand New Book. Bruce Stevens is a young buyer for a big discount house when he meets the recently divorced Susan Faine. She suggests that he might like to manage her ailing typewriter store and he leaps at the suggestion. Then he realizes that Susan was his teacher when he was in fifth grade. In spite of that, they are married within days. And then the odd compulsions and instabilities start to interfere with their plans. Milton Lumky, the paper salesman in whose area they live, is uneasy about their future . Nº de ref. de la librería AA29780575074651

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Descripción Orion Publishing Co, United Kingdom, 2005. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: N/A. Brand New Book. Bruce Stevens is a young buyer for a big discount house when he meets the recently divorced Susan Faine. She suggests that he might like to manage her ailing typewriter store and he leaps at the suggestion. Then he realizes that Susan was his teacher when he was in fifth grade. In spite of that, they are married within days. And then the odd compulsions and instabilities start to interfere with their plans. Milton Lumky, the paper salesman in whose area they live, is uneasy about their future . Nº de ref. de la librería AA29780575074651

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