"They said you were an okay guy, that you might knock me around a little, but I only had to say I was a gofer and give you the name of the Rossi brothers and you would let me go! You're going to let me go now, aren't you?"Reading that, Parker fans will no doubt find themselves thinking of a scene from Butcher's Moon. As Parker strides through the middle of a gang war he's fomented, he confronts a low-level gangster who pleads for mercy:
Terrier drew back a little on his seat and stopped pressing the barrel of the HK4 against the throat of the young man. The latter tearfully rubbed his neck.
"Oh! Thank you, thank you!"
"Take this message to Cox," said Terrier as he put a slug into his heart.
"I'm only the messenger!"As Timothy Peltason points out in his excellent essay on the Parker books in the current issue of the Yale Review, Parker isn't generally one for snappy lines. Talking is generally a waste of time, and never more so than when you're about to shoot somebody. But at that moment in Butcher's Moon, he (or his creator) can't resist--and, slightly out of character though it may be, it has become one of Parker's signature moments. It's fun to see it echoed--most likely unknowingly--by Manchette.
"Now you're the message," Parker told him, and shot him.