“Two million. Five hundred thousand up front, the rest after.”
Billy’s whistle isn’t part of the act, which he doesn’t think of as an act but his dumb self, the one he shows to guys like Nick and Frank and Paulie. It’s like a seatbelt. You don’t use it because you expect to be in a crash, but you never know who you might meet coming over a hill on your side of the road. This is also true on the road of life, where people veer all over the place and drive the wrong way on the turnpike.
“Why so much?” The most he’s ever gotten on a contract was seventy K. “It’s not a politician, is it? Because I don’t do that.”
“Not even close.”
“Is it a bad person?”
Nick laughs, shakes his head, and looks at Billy with real affection. “Always the same question with you.”
The dumb self might be a shuck, but this is true: he only does bad people. It’s how he sleeps at night. It goes without saying that he has made a living working for bad people, yes, but Billy doesn’t see this as a moral conundrum. He has no problem with bad people paying to have other bad people killed. He basically sees himself as a garbageman with a gun.
“This is a very bad person.”