From where she'd parked the car took China Blue just a ten minute wend, it could have been longer if she'd caught the eye of any of the kerb-crawlers, but she wanted to visit the lot where Carmen Jones had shot Bart Goldfinch, wanted to see what kind of tricks turned up there – was it ghoulish? certainly not goulash! she could find that anywhere in the city; the night was cold, but the adrenaline pumping through her veins kept her warm; just as she turned a corner under the flyover, she heard a voice she recognised: "hey China! girl, I ain't seen you here before!" it was Flora-Dora, an amusing friend – and, by the bye, a Glaciologist at Columbia U who's hooking was similarly vacational rather than vocational although at this point they each only know what is assumed in their identities – she usually saw in the bars round Times Square: "oh my God, Flora! how's you? it must be weeks . . . . ." and the other girl, fishing in her bag for a cigarette, pulled out two and gave one to China: "two months babe, my kid was sick and I took her to Georgia - she's fine now, stayin with my Mom, I just got back here this mornin and heard about Carmen - you know what she done?" – and China blew smoke that was snatched by the wind: "yeah, hun, I heard about it – I don't know her, but I felt kinda drawn to see where it happened," though there was no-one around yet, she lowered her voice: "did she really do for that guy?" and Flora glanced away, before turning her eyes back to China: "no, probably, maybe, I dunno, I never knew she had a heater, but some of these Miami types, you never know, but he was a scum-bag, liked to hurt the girls, likely deserved it anyway, whoever did for him, most likely one of the pimps felt he was discouragin business, ya know what I mean?" and China drew hard on her cigarette: "who runs girls round here? anyone I would know?" but Flora-Dora shook her head: "no babes, this ain't anyone's regular base, too far from the lights, just passin trade, though Carmen did okay with the Truckies – there's a couple warehouses on the next block where a lot of the long-haulers leave their rigs overnight, you know, they rive emty and move off in the mornin full, they're the main draw for workin girls hereabouts – money in their pockets and time to kill . . . . . oh fuck! what a word to use," and China took hold of Flora's free hand: "and that guy, whatsisname, was he a truckie?" and Flora grinned, suddenly, lighting up her face: "nah, he worked a jackhammer on Highway Maintenance, and it gave him a kinda permanent jerk," she feigned someone with the jitters, "he paid well, don't get me wrong, I did him once, but he liked to squeeze your throat when he was cummin, and with the jerks it left my neck bruised, an I don give that kinda indulgence to no-one, so he gave me an extra twenty, actin contrite-like , then punched me in the tit and walked away, laughin – I tell ya, if he tried that on Carmen, she'da seen red – after all, it coulda burst a fake boob! but I never knew if she had a shooter, maybe the pigs planted it on her, hell, fuck, they make an arrest, they make it stick, don't they?" and China nodded, glad to see that her friend's attitude was intact: "so, hun, how long you been comin here, you never mentioned it to me?" and Flora shrugged, "nothin reg'lar, maybe a coupla times a month, when needs must, but I'd never guess it was your kinda patch – you fancy some RT?" and China laughed: "hunny, I can get Rough Trade on Wall or Mad, don't have to be under the arches, you know that," which Flora readily agreed with – they both knew that men in suits with frat pins and fancy cars could still cut up rough once they had a girl alone with them: "nah! the RT round here, yeah they're truckies but they're workin stiffs, just guys makin a bean for their wife and kids and come by here for a quick R&R at the end of a long day sat on their asses haulin fuck-knows-what from fuck-knows-where in Idaho or Texas or Fornia – they just want some relief and their hands might be calloused but their cocks slide in and out as smoothly as any corporate lawyer's or investment banker's! hey, look up – here's a coupla robustious johns comin, mine's the tall skinny guy, you can do his buddy!" and with a wink to China, she sashayed towards the two guys in workmen's jeans, boots and lumberjack shirts, who broke off from their conversation to find themselves being given the once-over by a real sassy whore, and then like seeing double, suddenly – there were two! and two grins on the truckies' faces which told the girls they'd scored!