I kill that second somebody. I don't know the person who wants the killing done, and they don't know me. The guy who's getting whacked usually deserves it. He's hated by more than one person, believe me. I don't do domestic cases.

The process starts with the Sunday New York Times. That's all you need to know about that. Here's the key. A string of numbers, a code. Could be something like this: 61595115230. Translation: June 15, Interstate 95, exit 115, 2:30 in the afternoon. The sequence of numbers changes, of course, but the information always falls in that order. When you come off the exit, there's gonna be a fast food hamburger place on the right. There's gonna be a hamburger bag beside the telephone booth outside. There's gonna be a sum of money - standard rate up-front fee - a message, and a telephone number inside the bag. Sometimes the message has special directions, like "Make it matter." Or "Bonus-eligible." You'll also find the details for the hit, a photo, place of work, home address, and any additional info to make sure things go smoothly. The person who hires the hit never knows exactly when it's gonna be made. And the whack-ee of course never sees it coming - unless the contract calls for it.

Surprise, surprise.

At the end of the job, there's a second string of numbers and a second hamburger bag. This one holds cash money, I'm not saying how much but plenty.

That, roughly, is how it's done.

For obvious reasons, I'm a man who doesn't like winding up on the wrong end of surprises. I'm guessing you probably don't either. But there's always room for misdirection, miscalculation, misunderstanding. So to eliminate any chances for surprises, I'll go ahead and tell you how this one turns out. Listen up: This all ends with me getting arrested in New Orleans for running around drunk and naked with hundred dollar bills taped to my body. Not what I'd planned.

Surprise, surprise.