Wettermark by Elliott Chaze
When he awoke it was well into the middle of the morning. He had a sense of well-being and of accomplishment, but there was nothing gaudy about the feeling, it was a matter-of-face, strictly cold-turkey. He knew now in detail many of the things he would do and how they must be done. The robbery itself would be rather simple as long as the element of surprise lay in his favor. He was convinced, on the basis of what he had learned in reporting the Catherine robbery, that people at banks were not desperately determined to hang onto the money that belonged to the bank. The money was insured and impersonal. The threat of death was personal. You looked into the eyes of a bandit and you said to yourself that it was more important to be alive to eat supper tonight than it was to be praised by a Cooley or a Longfellow. No matter how high and green the money was stacked, it was not nearly so significant as breathing in the good air and breathing out the bad air and going home and sitting down and eating supper. It seemed as if a long time ago it was different, that people used to fling themselves around and scream and do insanely heroic things trying to save the bank’s money. That was before the anti-hero business and non-musical musician and the non-love affair and the psychedelic air-screwing dancing and the talk about the nitty-gritty and about God being dead; although it was fairly certain that, dead or alive, God was dimly if at all interested in the endless transfer of the small scraps of paper called money. Barring a bad break, the actual robbery should be less than complicated; but the getaway was something else and a robbery was no better than the getaway. The first five minutes after the holdup would be most critical.
The Wettermark by Elliott Chaze was published in 1969; however, I’m just getting around to even hearing about Chaze. According to the book jacket, Elliott Chaze was a Mississippi newspaperman, novelist and World War II paratrooper.