The Red-Hot Yellow Bugatti by Duane Lindsay is the second in a series of the Leroy/Kate Love stories. Kate, a grifter with the heart of gold, tries to convince Leroy that you cannot, and should not even try, to cheat an honest person. Leroy not only disagrees with Kate but is willing to show her where she is wrong. A lot of Kate’s frustration results from the four years since their “battleship” scam. The money from that had only lasted two years and the pair of them had lived on a series of low payouts from short cons. Kate wanted Leroy to come up with a long-term con with high payout so the pair could continue their premature retirement.
Kate found a mark. A college kid who drove a yellow Bugatti to impress the ladies by offering them a ride in the snazzy sports car. The offered ride was parlayed to later dates, dinners in expensive clubs, eventual carnal fun, and abandonment. For Kate, the mark was not Buzz, he was just a rich kid. But Buzz had a rich father. Kate entered the university as a student and began the seduction of Buzz. Nothing would ever happen, of course, but Buzz would hear of Kate’s father, an impoverished inventor who needed seed money to push his ideas forward to a solution practical for markets. Kate felt no remorse. Buzz was worthy of punishment. If scamming Buzz out of cash would incur the wrath of his father, it was an ethical action. Scores of ladies would remain “intact.”
Kate did most of the work on this scam alone. She had no idea what Leroy was off doing. But it took time, several weeks, to affect the faux seduction of Buzz. The big night arrived. Kate (using the name Doris) accompanied Buzz and his father to her father’s lab where Kate/Doris’s father would demonstrate the proposed invention. Buzz was excited and confident. He had seen the machine demonstrated and once his father saw it, Buzz could work on his true goal … Doris. Kate/Doris was anxious; she didn’t know how the father would react. The father seemed skeptical.
The machine performed, the father handed the money to Kate and then laughed as he took it back. The father had denounced the entire scheme as a well-known fraud.
Then Leroy appeared. Oops! This very short story has a very clever and twisted ending. I gave it five Amazon stars for its period language use. “He looks, he knows, like the cat’s meow.” (Kindle locations 118-119). Who talks like that anymore? This short story is available on Amazon for USD 0.99 or free on Kindle Unlimited.