It was good to get back to the office after the hospital stay. Emma greeted me with a hug and a kiss. I let my hands slide down her back and over the very short, flowered dress she was wearing. As my hands glided over her buttocks, I noticed she wasn’t wearing any panties. I thought…now this is a gal who comes prepared! I love that in a woman. I patted her fanny and told her, “I love the dress, honey.” “I knew you would,” she said as a huge smile filled her pretty face. “But. I’ve got to get to those calls right now,” I said.
I listened to the supposed threatening call. I didn’t recognize the voice, although I did detect a slight accent that I could not identify. The caller said that if I knew what was good for me, I would back off the O’Halloran case as he presumed, I was getting a little closer than even I realized I was. I smiled at that one, but I have to admit- it scared me a little. I listened to it several times and then called the Mayor. “Hey Sam, I just found out a little while ago that you were in the hospital! “Who told you, Lee?” I asked. “Yes, as a matter of fact. By the time he informed me of the circumstances, you had already been released.” “Yeah, they let me go the following day.
When I got home, I noticed my car was missing. Guess where they found it?” I asked, but before he could answer, I blurted out, “the Bayview district!” “Ah, your old hood, eh?” said the Mayor. “Yeah, actually, off of Evans - near the Shipyard,” I replied. “Where both of our dads’ worked,” added the Mayor. “Yep.” “So, you tried to call me. What was it about?” I asked. “Well, it was partly about the incident at Chief O’Halloran’s and of course to see how you were faring,” said the Mayor. “I’m fine. I feel bummed about the Rambler,” I grumbled. “Yeah, I heard it was all shot up,” said the Mayor. “Yeah, you could say that. It looked like a sieve, plus whoever did it wasted a lot of ammo on my ‘old gal.’ It was sad to see, Hank.” “Well, it’s obvious someone doesn’t like you very much,” chuckled the Mayor. “Yeah, no shit, Sam Spade!” I said, a little annoyed. We said our goodbyes, and just as I hung up the phone, it began to ring.
“Sam, it’s Nikki.” “Yeah, Nikki, what can I do for you?” I thought that was a loaded question. What if she wanted to take another look at the houseboat? I needed to get into better shape to deal with that scenario. Maybe join a gym, start jogging, etc. I almost laughed out loud at the ridiculousness of it all. Then, I thought, it’s fucking true!
“Hello! Sam!” “Yeah, Nikki, excuse me. I’m just finishing up dealing with a new client,” a lie, of course. “Well: I’ve got some info I think you might be interested in,” she said. “Oh, yeah, well lay it on me, baby,” I said, trying to be cool. “I’ve got an informer in the Battaglia mob. He tells me some pretty pissed off soldiers (mob flunkies) blame Maggie O’Halloran for their boss’ death! Plus, they’re also linking you with the killing of Battaglia since you were there at the scene.”
“Hey, I was at the wrong place at the wrong time, that’s all. I didn’t see or hear shit! “I told my informant all that,” said Nikki. “What did he say?” I asked, a little pissed now, mixed with a bit of anxiety. “He just shrugged his shoulders,” she said. Could these knuckleheads be responsible for my car, I wondered. “Oh, Sam. By the way, have you read the paper this morning,” Nikki asked? “No, why?” I replied sarcastically. “Get the Call-Bulletin,” she said and hung up. Well, fuck, you, I thought. Maybe I wasn’t finished talking to you - bitch!
I held the phone in my hand, staring at it, thinking what the fuck. I’ve got the Battaglia mob thinking I have something to do with killing their asshole boss. I’ve got my once prized classic Nash Rambler all shot to shit. I’m no nearer to solving the Chief’s murder than I was at the beginning, and where the fuck are those photographs that everyone (including me) and their grandmother is so hot to see? I was just about to ask Emma to go get me the paper when the phone rang.
“Sam.” It was Nikki again. I thought she wants to apologize for hanging up on me. “Yeah, Nikki.” “The Auto Junker just found Maggie O’Halloran’s body in the trunk of your Rambler!”
(To be cont’d)