“Tell me what you see,” he crowed. “Tell me what is before your very eyes.”
“A tiger,” said Rob. He let his mouth drop open. He tried to look excited and amazed.
“Damn straight,” said Beauchamp. “King of the jungle. And he’s all mine.”
“Wow,” said Rob. “You own him?”
“That’s right,” said Beauchamp. “Fellow I know owed me some money. Paid me with a tiger. That’s the way real men do business. In tigers. He come complete with the cage.” The toothpick in the side of his mouth danced up and down; Beauchamp put a finger up to steady it into silence.
“What are you going to do with him?” Rob asked.
“I’m studying my options. I figure I could set him up out front of the Kentucky Star, have him draw me some more business into the motel.”
The tiger stood and stared at Beauchamp. Beauchamp looked away from him. He tapped his thick fingers on the steering wheel.
“I also might just kill him,” Beauchamp said, “and skin him and make me a tiger coat.”