A Sucker Seduced - A Craven Danger Mystery
“Good mornin’!” said Betty Fletcher into the receiver. "Craven Danger, private detective. Betty speaking. How may I help ya.”
“Good morning, Betty,” said the voice. “My name is George Morgan. And I was looking to hire the services of Mr. Danger.”
“Wouldn’t that be swell,” said Betty. “And what is it Mr. Danger would have to be detectin’?”
“We suspect that our grandfather, the financier, Jonathan T. Worthington, is being seduced out of a ton of money by a no-good harlot by the name of Suzy Tanner.”
“Tell me more about this Suzy dame,” said Betty. “Like, how much of a looker is she?”
“I don’t see why you need to know that,” said Mr. Morgan. “But if you must know, she looks a bit like Lauren Bacall.”
“Oh, I just love her in that movie!” said Betty.
“What movie?” said Mr. Morgan.
“To Have and Have Not. When Bacall says to Bogey, in that sultry voice of hers, ‘You know you don't have to act with me, Steve. You don't have to say anything, and you don't have to do anything. Not a thing.’”
“Young lady,” said Mr. Morgan. “I didn’t call you to discuss movies. I--”
“I wasn’t finished yet," said Betty. “Then she says, ‘Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and... blow.’ I tell ya Mr. Morgan, that just about did it for me. Every once in a while I lay that line on Mr. Danger. But he just cocks his head like a dumb pigeon and says something like, ‘Why should I have to whistle when we got an intercom?’ A genuine Mr. Romantic, he is. He ain’t seen the movie yet, so he has no idea I lifted those lines.”
“That’s all very well, young lady,” said Mr. Morgan. “But back to my grandfather. I need to know if Mr. Danger will be available tomorrow to start trailing Suzy Tanner. I want Mr. Danger on Miss Tanners tail twenty four hours a day for as long as it takes him to catch that scantily clad, alcoholic seductress with her slinky smooth hands in my grandfather’s pockets!”
”Hmm, I see," said Betty. “And how scantily clad are you talkin‘, Mr. Morgan?”
”Oh, lord!” said Mr. Morgan. ”That hussy‘s hangin‘ out all over the place. I don’t even think the woman owns a brassiere! And the scotch running through her veins is 120 proof. She could breathe fire in a circus side-show if she had a mind to! I don’t imagine this would be an easy case for just any man. That woman could seduce the pants off a man before he had the chance to say, ‘Fine, thanks, miss. And how are you?‘“
“Did you say startin’ tomorrow?” said Betty.
“Yes,” said Mr. Morgan. “Why? Is this a problem?”
“Unfortunately, yes,” said Betty. “I’ve just been going over Mr. Danger’s calendar and it appears he’ll be in Hawaii tomorrow. On his honeymoon. I don’t know how I missed that one. But it was nice talkin’ to ya, Mr. Morgan. And good luck catchin’ that Jezebel!”
Betty Fletcher hung up the phone and sat back in her chair. I‘m goin' ta hell in a flamin' wheel barrow, she thought to herself.
“Betty?" said Craven Danger over the intercom.
“Who was that on the phone?”
“Wrong number, Mr. Danger.” said Betty.
“Well,” said Craven. “How about us goin’ for a walk in Central Park? Those walks are doin’ me a lot of good.”
“‘I'm hard to get, Steve,'” said Betty. “‘All you have to do is ask me.’”
“Steve?” said Craven. “Who’s this Steve?”
I gotta stay away from the movies, thought Betty. And start comin’ up with my own stuff.
“Never you mind,” said Betty. “I was just thinkin’ out loud.”
“Excuse me,” said a sultry voice from behind. “But could you tell me where I could find Mr. Craven Danger?”
“Who’s askin’?’ said Betty.
“Sorry to sneak up on you like that,” she said. “But my name is Suzy Tanner. I saw Mr. Danger’s ad in the paper, but I’m not sure of the address. I’m in need a good, experienced private eye. One who's not afraid to crawl in the mud with me and get a little, uh, dirty.”
“Well, today must be your lucky day, little lady," said Craven. "‘Cause I’m Draven Canger. Have mercy on those who try to run, from the man who carries the biggest gun. Now, what can I do for you? Besides everything?”
Draven Canger? thought Betty. Oh, brother, This is gonna be a long night. Unless I kill him first. Look at him. He's gonna melt into his own shoes. Good. Maybe than I can carry him back home.