A Sucker Seduced - Part VIII - A Craven Danger Mystery
Sidney Green sat in the Worthington kitchen enjoying his inflated donut and coffee.
I’m glad I got Miss Fletcher to change her mind about lettin’ me take her somewheres. It don’t matter to me that she ain’t got no money to pay. I’d do it just for the simulatin’ conversation. And if Mr. Danger’s detective business ever takes off, maybe I’ll have me a chauffer’s job. Boy, wouldn’t that be class? Runnin’ all over town in a black sedan. Screechin’ tires, dodgin’ bullets, crashin’ through roadblocks and racin’ along the train tracks in pursuit of a damsel in a dress! It sure would beat pickin’ up drunks and grumps all day long. I was meant for much bigger things. And I would just love me one of them chauffer’s hats. That would be class with a capital K. Yeah, I think I’m stickin’ close to these two for a while.
And when we last saw Mr. Worthington, he had plunged down the elevator shaft. All two feet of it. There he sat, in his wheelchair, pondering, with much amusement, his last days.
“Mr. Worthington, sir?” said Randolph through the elevator door. “Can you hear me?”
“Yes, Randolph,” said Mr. Worthington. “And thanks for the tea.”
“You’re welcome, sir,” said Randolph.
“You know, Randolph,” said Mr. Worthington. “If this elevator ever decided to cave in on my head, my grandson would get his inheritance and Miss Tanner would be left out in the cold.”
“Oh,” said Randolph. “I trust Miss Tanner would fare well out in the cold. A wolf in foxy clothing always does.”
“I’m well aware she’s after my money, Randolph,” said Mr. Worthington. “But half the fun is watching her keep George and Helen from putting me in my coffin. And do see that I get a proper coffin, Randolph. If I left it up to this lot, I’d get folded into a burlap sack and left on the curb.
“But what fun it will be when I change my will to suit Miss Tanner. Then it will be her turn to try and shuffle off my amused mortal coil, and I can watch as George and Helen try to stop her from doing me in. And when I put my will back in George and Helen’s court, on and on the volley will go. Oh, Randolph! What I won’t do for a little amusement.”
“You could,” said Randolph, “divide the will evenly amongst George, Helen, Miss Tanner and the entire household staff. Then we could all run about the estate trying to kill you and each other. A regular drawing room comedy, sir. You may even die laughing.”
“Ah, Randolph,” said Mr. Worthington. “Wouldn’t that be a great ending to all the madness?”
“Something to think about, sir,” said Randolph. “But at the moment you have the lovely Miss Fletcher waiting to have a few words with you. I’m going to push the elevator button now, Mr. Worthington, and hope for the best.”
When the elevator door opened, Randolph grabbed at the handles of the wheelchair and pulled Mr. Worthington to safety.
“Please, sir,” said Randolph, “In the future, I’d advise against the elevator. It needs the service of a repairman. Meanwhile, I’ll carry you. But we need to hurry, sir. Miss Fletcher must be growing impatient.”
“Very, well,” said Mr. Worthington. “We don’t want to keep Miss Fletcher waiting. I’m getting goose flesh just thinking about her.”
“Do make an effort, sir, to contain your goose flesh in the presence of the lady. I fear she will not be as enthusiastic as your Miss Tanner at the sight of master’s, um, goosey flesh.”
When the cab carrying Craven Danger and Suzy Tanner pulled up behind the taxi parked outside the Worthington estate, Craven read the hand-painted inscription on the back of the trunk.
‘The hack with a knack for keepin’ you on track’
Now what in heck is Sidney doin’ here? thought Craven. I told that Betty to stay outta this. I’m the detective around here! Boy, If I ever get around to payin’ that woman we’re gonna have a serious talk come raise time.
“Comin’ sweety?” said Miss Tanner.
“Sweety?” said Craven. “What gives here?”
“Oh, I didn’t mean anything by it,” said Miss Tanner. “But if you play it right, there’s a small fortune it it for you. And legal, too.”
“I’d be happy with a just a fist full of Ben Franklin‘s and a thank you. That and a fancy bottle of scotch. Just to look at, mind ya. I don‘t touch the stuff no more. Betty sees to that. But not drinkin’ a good bottle of scotch suits me just fine.”
“Then let me be the one to make you happy, Mr. Danger," said Miss Tanner. “You do have bullets in that big gun of yours?”
“Bullets?” said Craven.
When George and Helen Morgan peeked out through the blinds in Mr. Worthington’s upstairs bedroom window and saw Miss Tanner, and a man with a gun, walking across the lawn, they panicked and made a run for it. Forgetting the sack of bowling balls they had only just rigged over dear Mr. Worthington's bedroom door.
The ensuing noise from above caused Betty Fletcher to look up from her cup of tea.
"Now that’s rich," said Betty. "A bowlin’ alley in your own house. Who’d a thought?"