Mario shook his head. "I'm workin' and workin', man. Savin' my money to buy them a place. A nice house, with a big kitchen and a pool in the yard. They deserve that."
The idea blossomed. Priest suppressed his excitement and kept his voice casual, making idle conversation. "Yeah, a beautiful house for a beautiful family, right?"
"That's what I'm thinking."
The radio beeped again, and the truck began to shake. The noise was like rolling thunder, but more regular. It began on a profound bass note and slowly rose in pitch. After exactly fourteen seconds it stopped.
In the quiet that followed, Priest snapped his fingers. "Say, I got an idea...No, maybe not."
"I don't know if it would work."
"What, man, what?"
"I just thought, you know, your wife is so pretty and your kids are so cute, it's wrong you don't see them more often."
"That's your idea?"
"No. My idea is, I could drive the truck to New Mexico while you go visit them, that's all." It was important not to seem too keen, Priest told himself. "But I guess it wouldn't work out," he added in a who-gives-a-damn voice.
Excerpted from The Hammer of Eden by Ken Follett. Copyright© 1998 by Ken Follett. All rights reserved. Excerpted by permission of Crown, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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