A Walk Down the Aisle - Part 5 - A Craven Danger Mystery
The back of Sidney’s cab was silent as he made his way through Central Park.
Without a word, Sidney passed a Thermos of coffee and two Paper cups back to Betty.
“Thanks,” said Betty.
“It’s OK,” said Sidney.
Jeffrey Drucker slouched in his seat as Betty handed him a cup of coffee.
“So,” said Betty, “what was ya doin’ on the ledge? You a cat burglar?”
“More snake than cat, I’m afraid,” said Jeffrey.
“I get ya,” said Betty.
”I‘m sorry you had to see me like that,” said Jeffrey. ”I must look pretty silly in this top coat, with no pants or shoes.”
”You always was a charmer,” said Betty. ”but ya oughta try workin‘ ya charms on people that are a little less married. Ya might live longer that way. The pavememts no way ta go. I had a cat went that way once. Splat! No nine lives for that kitty cat. Not even close.”
”Battle scars run deep, Betty,” said Jeffrey. ”It‘ll take time to get over the last couple of years. And I don‘t like to sit still long enough to think about it. So I bounce from one thing to the next. Hoping I dont‘t get asked too many questions.”
”I got a question for ya,” said Betty. ”How come ya never said goodbye?”
”I did,” said Jeffrey. ”It was in that goodnight kiss we had. I was busting to tell you about the army, but I was afraid you‘d try to talk me out of it. So I didn’t tell anyone. Not even my folks.”
“That was some kiss," said Betty. “And I won’t say I didn’t cry a little when ya didn’t come back. And I won’t say I did neither. But I got me a new fella now and I don’t plan on lettin’ him get away. He’s 4-F on account of his fallen arches, so I know he can’t run too far. Or fast. At least not to the Army.”
“Your Mr. Danger seems like a pretty nice fellow,” said Jeffrey. “I didn’t mean to spoil your wedding plans. I was just passing through.”
“I gotta tell ya,” said Betty, “He scared me with all that, ‘ya do as I say,’ business. But that was just his nerves talkin’ out a turn. Ya kinda rattled him a little by the way ya looked at me when ya came through that window. It was like I was ya long lost love and ya found me at last. That look didn’t go over too good with Mr. Danger. Besides, gettin’ married was more my plan than his. I kinda laid it on him sudden like. But that’s me. Pounce first, ask questions later. Just like my kitty cat. And I told ya what happened ta him.”
“I’ll try to be more careful,” said Jeffrey. “I hear those California ledges are a little warmer and a lot closer to the ground.”
“I’d stay away from ledges if I was you,” said Betty. “Keep ya feet on the ground and ya head up high like ya owned the joint, and ya’ll get along just fine. That’s what my ma always told me.”
“I’ll keep that in mind,” said Jeffrey. “Now would you mind dropping me off at the YMCA on 86th street? I have to get my things. it’s a long train ride to California.”
“Hey, Sidney,” said Betty. “The YMCA on 86th. Then back to the office. If it ain’t too late, I gotta marry a fella.”
In the front seat, FDR lapped up the cup of coffee he cradled between his paws.
“How’s it, boy?” said Sidney. “I made it just the way you like it. Plenty of cream and a pinch of sugar.”
FDR looked up and poked his nose into Sidney’s shirt pocket for a stick of beef jerky.
“Smart boy,” said Sidney. “We all shoulda been born dogs.”