A Touch of Lavender - Part 2 - A Craven Danger Mystery
Betty Fletcher tried to shake Craven Danger awake. But he was having none of it. So she grabbed a blanket and pillow from the coat closet and made him comfortable on the office sofa.
Then she read the note again. Taking extra care to smell its sweet lavender scent.
Sleeping on the sofa was nothing new to Craven Danger. He had moved into the office after losing his furnished apartment.
“I hate to do this to you, Mr. Danger,” said his landlady. “But you haven’t paid me rent in four months. I can’t afford to live on promises. Besides, we got servicemen coming home from the war. Many of these boys have no place to stay. Only this morning I had two soldiers come to me looking for a room to rent. I even had them in for tea and toast. I felt so bad. These fellas don’t even have a job yet, you see.
“These poor fighting boys come home with a little money in their pockets that’ll be gone in no time, on booze and such, if they don’t get themselves situated real soon. So you see, Mr. Fletcher, I’m not playing the Big Bad Wolf here. It’s my duty to help these boys.
“You said you had family in Brooklyn. I’m sure they’d take you in. And what about that secretary of yours? I know your business hasnt’ been to good. But you’re not hurting like some of these young men. You do understand? Don’t you, Mr. Danger?”
Craven Danger understood plenty. And he quit the apartment without complaint.
“I’ll be livin’ at the office for a time, Betty,” he said. “Until I get tossed outta there, too. Then I can live in the park with the squirrels and the nuts.”
“Ah,” said Betty. “It won’t be so bad, Mr. Danger. Think how much quicker you’d get to work in the mornin’. All ya gotta do is fall off the sofa and there ya are. I’ll even bring ya breakast. Just like ya like it. Adam and Eve on a raft. Ketchup on the side. A cuppa Joe, sweet, with a squirt a cream. And if ya lucky, I’ll throw in a cruller so you can dunk ya brains out.”
“Gee, thanks, Betty,” said Craven. “Maybe it won’t be so bad after all.”
That was a week ago. So, now, as Craven Danger lay in a sleeping pill coma, Betty sat at her desk and reread the note.
Dear Mr. Danger,
I am in desperate situation. If you are a man of any compassion you will help me. Otherwise I’ll be dead by weeks end. Meet me at the information booth at Grand Central Station. Eight AM tomorrow morning. And come alone. I’ll be the one in the wheelchair. Till tomorrow, then.
“Mr. Danger,” said Betty. “Wake up. I think we have ourselves another case.”