A Sucker Seduced - Part III - A Craven Danger Mystery
Craven Danger sat breathless on the sofa, waiting for Suzy Tanner to return from an adjoining room.
Miss Tanner had led the way up the seven flights of stairs to her Chelsea apartment. Craven had followed, breathless and wheezing, every step of the way.
“This thing you need to show me,” said Craven. “Are you sure it isn’t something you could show me out the window?”
“I’m afraid not, Mr. Danger,” said Suzy. “You see, I want you to have a real close look at it.”
“I see,” said Craven. “Well, is there, by any chance, an oxygen tank on any one of these seven floors, where a fella might, how should I put it, revive a collapsed lung?”
“Not to fear, Mr. Danger,” said Suzy. “I was a top-notch nurse in the war. If I learned anything, it’s how to revive a man after everyone else had given him up for dead.”
Craven found little comfort in those words and followed in silence for the remainder of their climb.
Not an hour before, Craven had been approached in front of his building by Miss Tanner, in the hopes that he would help her trap the couple who’d been trying to get her fired from the employ of the famed financier, Jonathan T. Worthington.
“I believe it to be the work of his deadbeat gambling grandson, George Morgan and his wife Helen. You see, Mr. Danger, I’m Mr. Worthington’s reason for living, without me he’d have died of loneliness years ago. Bless his ninety year-old heart. And those two have been hanging around his nest like two vultures waiting for that last gasp before they pounce and rip into his filthy rich carcass. They make me sick!
“But I need you to come back to my apartment, Mr. Danger. I have something I need to show you. It won’t take long. And I’ll have you back to your wife in no time.”
“Hey!” said Betty. “What’s this wife business. Is there somethin’ you ain’t tellin’ me, Mr. big shot detective all of a sudden?”
“I think she means you, Betty,” said Craven.
“Oh,” said Betty. “And why can’t I come with ya?”
“Because, if I’m being followed,” said Miss Tanner. “I don’t need to have anymore people involved than necessary. The less blood on my hands the better. Mr. Danger, here, I’m sure, is used to getting shot at, and or, thrown down flights of stairs as he nurses his stab wounds while wrestling his way out of the arms of some big angry gorilla who‘s trying to toss him, head first, into an industrial trash compactor.”
“Can’t you just tell me what it is you want me to see?” said Craven. “I’d take your word for it.”
“Are you the ‘man who carries the biggest gun’ or not?” said Miss Tanner.
“Yes, I am.” said Craven. "Well, actually, it's more load than it is big."
“Let’s go, Mr. Danger,” said Miss Tanner. “We’re wasting time.”
Craven Danger sat relaxed on the sofa as his breathing returned to normal. Though he was in doubt about his ability to ever walk again. His legs were still wobbling when Miss Tanner returned from the other room.
“A movie projector?” said Craven.
“Yes,” said Miss Tanner. “I have something interesting I need to show you.”
”It‘s not gonna make me blush, is it?” said Craven. ”’Cause after that climb up the stairs, I don‘t think I could take any more excitement. Anything more risque than a maiden aunt’s milky white ankle would just about kill me.”
”Relax, Mr. Danger,” said Miss Tanner. ”It‘s not that kind of movie.”
”My blood pressure thanks you,” said Craven.
“I’m pretty sure I’m being set up by his grandson and his wife,” said Miss Tanner. “They want to see Mr. Worthington dead and have me held responsible. But those two are dumber than a sack of wet noodles, so I’ve been able to foil their efforts up until now. But I’m getting tired of the game Mr. Danger. That’s what I sought your help.”
After Miss Tanner dimmed the lights and set the projector into motion, Craven Danger sat mesmerized as he watched two masked intruders enter the bedroom.
As an aged figure lay sleeping, the duo creep along and stumble over a bear-skin rug. When they are done chiding one another in pantomime, and after placing a suspicious powder in a glass of water on the night table, one of the intruders produces a sexy negligee and, while attempting to spray it with a bottle of perfume, is unaware that the nozzle is facing in the wrong direction, which leads to a coughing fit of said intruder, causing more chiding in pantomime. Which, in return results in the cohort taking a poke at the perfume sprayer, which causes them to stumble, once again, onto the bear skin rug. This time getting their tangled arms caught in the dead bears once powerful jaws. This results in the intruders frantically rolling about the room in an effort to set free the bear.
“Like I said, Mr. Danger,” said Miss Tanner. “Dumber than a sack of wet noodles.”