Main > Series > Chapters > Fame Book 1 > Chapter 11
The cop was six feet four and pot-bellied, but even so his uniform looked
as if it had been handed down to him by an older brother who had quit the
force ten years before. He spent a good five seconds contemplating the
lanky black teenager who had just passed him going in the opposite direction
wearing drum-majorette shoes and carrying a cello, and then he called out,
Leroy paused, and then turned to look back. 'Me?'
The cop nodded. 'Where you going with the big fiddle?'
Leroy looked down at the cello, thinking, and then with his most winning
smile he looked back to the cop. 'I'm on my way to my cello lesson,' he
The cop walked over, and stood facing Leroy. 'Son,' he said, 'I'll tell
you what. You play me a song on that thing, and I'll apologise for having
any doubts as to how you come by it. Okay?'
Leroy's smile wavered for an instant, but he wasn't one to throw in
the towel so easily. 'Okay,' he said. 'What do you want to hear?'
'Oh,' the cop said, 'I don't know. How about Flow Gently, Sweet Afton?'
'I don't know it.'
Leroy started to shake his head, but the cop was quick.
The cop rocked confidently back and forth on his crepe soles as Leroy
began looking around, apparently searching for something. Like a back door
that would offer him a fast exit from the street.
'Lose something?' the cop said.
'Music chair,' Leroy explained. 'You can't play these things standing
up. You have to sit.'
The cop pointed to the nearest fire hydrant. 'How about that?' he said.
'Looks about the right height.'
Leroy walked over to the fire hydrant, and wouldn't you know it, the
damned thing was the right height. He took the bow in his right hand, assumed
the position, and stroked a string. Wrong pitch. He tightened up a little,
tried again. Leroy had now reached the limit of his practical orchestral
knowledge. Why couldn't Julie Miller have played the harmonica? Leroy could
just about limp his way through Orange Blossom Special on the harmonica.
The cop was waiting. From Leroy's position he looked more like ten feet
tall than six.
'Well?' the cop said.
Leroy looked up, in innocence. 'You're not talking about the white Happy
Birthday, are you?'
There had been a time when Leroy had been no stranger to the back seat
of a NYPD blue-and-white. Five minutes later, he was given the chance to
No copyright infringement intended. For entertainment