A Sucker Seduced - Part VII - A Craven Danger Mystery
“So, where are we goin’ now?” said Craven, as he and Miss Tanner climbed into the back of a checkered yellow taxi.
“To Bronxville,” said Miss Tanner. “To trap a couple of scoundrals at Mr. Worthington’s house.”
“I’m not gonna be climbin’ any stairs, am I?” said Craven. “Because I don’t think my knees are gonna do what I tell ‘em to do.”
“Oh, quit your complaining,” said Miss Tanner. ”The house has three floors, but there’s an elevator.”
“Well, listen to you,” said Craven. “Quit my complainin’? Now ya talkin’ like Betty.”
“You mean the one I saw you with this morning? She seemed kind of bossy. How long have you two been married?”
“No,” said Craven. ”We‘re not married. She‘s my secretary. And she’s a good kid, that Betty,”
“Woman,” said Miss Tanner. “Her kid days are long over, Mr. Danger. Didn’t you notice the bags under her eyes? A sure sign of early old age. How long have you two been together?”
“A little more than three years now,” Said Craven. “It somehow seems longer, though, why ya askin'?”
“You mean to tell me,” said Miss Tanner, “That you’ve been with this woman more than three years and she’s still only your secretary.”
“What are ya sayin’?” said Craven.
”That if she‘s not your girl by now,” said Miss tanner. “Then she‘ll never be.”
“Yeah?" said Craven. ”I know I‘m a mope, but I always thought she was sorta sweet on me.”
“Well, let me ask you,” said Miss Tanner. “Have you two ever been out to dinner?”
“Oh, sure,” said Craven. “Sometimes we go out and grab ourselves a coupla dogs from the grease wagon.”
“Hot dogs?” said Miss Tanner. “From a grease wagon? No, Mr. Danger. That’s not kind of dinner I'm talking about. If I had a handsome man like you, I’d want a cozy sit down dinner. A man and a woman sharing a meal. Nothing too fancy, mind you. But sitting at a real table. Maybe in little Italy. One of those romantic joints. No more than six tables. We'd sit in the corner by the window. It's got a checkered tablecloth and a lighted candle in an old wine bottle. There’s sawdust on the floor. An accordion player stops by our table and asks you what you’d like him to play for the lady. You say, ‘play something we can dance to. Something slow. He nods and starts playing O Sole Mio, as you reach for my hand. I accept it willingly, and we take to the floor, holding each other so tight that the other dinner patrons look on in envy. ‘Boy, look at those two lovebirds,’ you hear someone say, ‘Remember when we were that much in love, Leonard?’ Then the music stops, but you don’t notice until the waiter taps you on the shoulder to tell you our food is on the table.
“We sit, but we don’t eat too much. We just gaze into each others eyes, and all you want to do is kiss me. And I can’t wait for you to try. Then the waiter pours the wine and we both lift our glasses and drink a toast to what this night is sure to bring. ‘Waiter! More wine!’ you say.
“Then we share a taxi on the way home and you ask the driver to take it once around the park. And I sure don’t have too wait long for that first kiss. And, boy, is it sweet, warm and delicious, just like I hoped it would be. And we both melt to the floor because we’re so much in love we can hardly remember what planet we’re on.
”That‘s the kind of dinner I‘m talking about,” said Miss Tanner. ”How about it, Mr. Danger? You hungry yet?”
“Italian?" said Craven. “No. I’m sorry, Miss Tanner. Italian gives me gas. Could you make it, maybe, Chinese? I’d go crazy for some egg foo young right about now."
This is going to be a long day, thought Suzy Tanner. The things this girl will have do to hook a man with a license to kill.