A Touch of Lavender - Part 4 - A Craven Danger Mystery
“Hop in, Mr. Danger,” said Sidney Green. “Grand Central Station here we come. You goin’ on a little trip? Helluva time to be goin’ anywhere’s. Rainin’ pins and needles out there.”
“No, Sidney,” said Craven. “I’m just meetin’ a lady about a case.”
“You don’t say,” said Sidney. “And Betty let you out all by your lonesome?”
“Are you kiddin’, Sidney? I just left her upstairs, but right now she’s probably runnin’ across the roof tops and will be at Grand Central Station before you pull away from the curb. She’ll get a good look at this lady with the lavender lipstick. Decide in two shakes of a whatchamacallit, if this dame is on the level or if she needs to be taken to the mat for a ten count. Then she’ll be back to the office before you turn your first corner. And when I get to Grand Central I’ll either be meetin’ a hot petootie with lavender lipstick, or I’ll be scratching my head and wondering why I even bother gettin’ out of bed in the mornin’.”
“Dames,” said Sidney. “I’m glad I’m single, Mr. Danger. Not that I had much say in the matter. It was kinda forced on me. But I like it just the same.”
“Well, I’m single too,” said Craven.
“Oh, yeah?” said Sidney. “How do ya figure?”
“How do I figure?” said Craven. “I figure I ain’t wearin’ a ring. That’s how I figure. And I ain’t had something soft in my arms since I was on the hootch and woke up at Lou’s Joint, dancin’ with my own overcoat. And that was two years ago. September 17, 1943. That’s how I figure.”
“All I know is,” said Sidney, “that once you got a Betty in your life, the single life’s over. If I was you, Mr. Danger, I’d let that girl make an honest man out of a lump of old cheese.”
“A lump of old cheese?”
“Yeah,” said Sidney. “Old and stale and left in the back of the ice box to shrivel up and die a sad death with the liverwurst.”
“Liverwurst?” said Craven. “I was hopin’ to die with somethin’ a little more curvy.”
“Curvy?” said Sidney. “Betty’s got more curves then the Taconic state parkway.”
“Hey!” said Craven. “That’s my secetary you’re talkin’ about.”
“No offense,” said Sidney. “Betty’s a swell kid. I was just given ya a little encouragement, was all.”
“All right, then,” said Craven. “I guess I need all the help I can get. Just not now, Sidney. I got me a case ta figure out. Only I ain’t got the figures, yet.”
“Well,” said Sidney. “You’re about ta find out, Mr. Danger. Grand Central Station at your service.”
“Wish me luck, Sidney,” said Craven. “And swing around in about a half hour. I don’t see it bein’ more than that. Unless there’s poison in them lavender lips and she decides to lay one on me.”
“You been readin’ too many of them Detective magazines, Mr. Danger,” said Sidney. “And I wouldn’t go smoochin’ no strange dames, neither. To me, lavender lips spells trouble. I don’t care how good she smells. But you’re the detective. I’m sure you’ll see through her smelly ways.”
Craven Danger entered Grand Central Station at the 42nd street entrance. The first thing he spotted at the Information booth was the wheelchair. And in the wheelchair was a woman dressed in black and wearing a mourning veil.
Then he saw her, standing behind the lady in mourning, lavender lips and all.
I’m in so much trouble, thought Craven. Maybe I shoulda brought Betty after all.