Mr. Glass could spot something valuable after going unnoticed by most people. He was a connoisseur of paintings, antiques, treasure maps, jewelry, and talented individuals. Usually, he knew what to say to get what he wanted and right now he was threating the bank teller with a bomb. She might’ve thought he was senile, but she believed him when he shoved a note in her direction that said “Fill a bag with small bills or I will blow up your bank.” Glass didn’t need the money. Robbery was like a twitch of his personality. He needed to exercise his antisocial nature in the way a Lion needs to kill a gazelle to know it is still a lion. Most criminals don’t notice small details when the thrill of adrenaline goes to their heads, but everything always came into sharper focus for Glass. He saw the gold dust leaking from the prospector’s bag and knew that robbing a bank was not the right financial investment today. The market had shifted and gold was now the thing to steal.

Mr. Glass quickly reached across the counter to crumple up his note while the bank manager stepped over to the shaking teller to figure out what was going on.

“He says he has a bomb,” said the 18-year-old teller.

“Oh, I didn’t mean to startle you,” Glass said. “I would like to take out a savings bond. Perhaps you misunderstood me.”

“You’ll have to excuse her sir; Jessica is a bit excitable. She takes care of her grandmother in the off hours and I know they watch too much TV. Bank robbery is on her brain.”

“Quite all right. Quite all right,” said Mr. Glass. “Can I fill out my paperwork with you? I don’t want to be arrested; you know.”

Glass sat down with the bank manager and began to ask those questions that only the most annoying customers ask. Soon their conversation shifted into the hypothetical and the theoretical. For the bank manager who was used to telling others what to do all day, this type of questioning was unbearable. He was not used to doing social grunt work and soon he tried to think of excuses to get out of there.

Glass pretended not to notice. He took sadistic pleasure in torturing the self-important, but now he was running out of patronizing questions to ask. Not a moment too soon, the old prospector left the safety deposit room and walked out of the bank.

“Thank you for your time, but I won’t be taking out an account here. I prefer to guard my own money; keep it in a mattress if you know what I mean?”

The manager looked at Glass as if he had committed a crime and Glass left the bewildered banker to followed the old prospector.

He kept Frank within eyesight, knowing that gold does not come in bags unless it is found in the earth. He hoped the old prospector would take him straight to the source.

Instead, Frank led him to a used car lot full of weeds, old tires, and rusted heaps. The ranch sign above the dirt lot said Pete’s Antique Automobiles.

One thought on “Part III: What Mr. Glass Saw

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