A Word to the Wiseguy - Part 11 - A Craven Danger Mystery
The girl in the fruit salad hat then held tight to her pineapple. It was the only thing that remained in her horn of plenty bonnet.
“Sir," said Emmanuel the Emancipator. “You don’t seem to know the first thing about playing Hide and Go Seek. The idea is to go some place where no one will find you. The farther away the better. Take a taxi if you have to.”
“You crackin’ wise?” said Boris. “You got me thinkin’ you’re triyin’ to get rid of me or somethin, see?”
“Not a chance,” said Emmanuel.
“‘Cause I practically invented that game, see? So don’t go sayin’ things you oughtn’t ta say, see? Elsewise it might just get ya into deep water. And I ain’t sayin’ that like it was a figure a speech or nothin’ see? ‘Cause I know an ocean what’s go your name on it, see? And it says, Emmanuel the Whatchamacallit. He took a long walk off a short pier and now he’s all wet. Hey, that’s pretty funny, see?”
“My body’s a quiver with amusement,” said Emmanuel. “But before we hurt ourselves with too much laughter, I want you to close your eyes and think of a proper hiding place. Perhaps a place you used to hide as a child. Think back, sir. Think back to those playful times in your life. You were playing Hide and Go Seek with friends and you were so giddy with excitement because you found that one place where no one would ever think of looking. Now, sir, on the count of three, you will have a picture perfect image in your mind. One. Two. Three! Now what do you see?”
“Not much,” said Boris. “It’s pretty dark in here."
“Feel your way around, sir,” said Emmanuel. “What do you come up with it?”
“Let’s see. I feel a spare tire,” said Boris. “I feel a fishin’ pole. And, ouch! That was a darn fishin’ hook! Now I feel a case of long neck bottles. That’s gotta be Knickerbocker beer. My daddy’s favorite. He always kept a case a beer in the trunk of his ‘32 Chevy Bel-Air, in case he got ever got thrown outta the house again. He wanted to have some good company. The kind that don’t talk back. At least not right away.”
“Excellent!” said Emmanuel. “What I want you to do is go home and get some sleep.”
“Oh, I ain’t got no home here, see?” said Boris. “I’m on vacation with my wife. She’s back at the Tropical Splendor sleepin’ Me? I’m what ya might call sleep walkin’, see? I do it all the time. Only I do know it, see?”
Well, this certainly makes things much easier, thought Emmanuel. The trunk of a car! Yes! I’ll have my little fun with the bullying pest and then we’ll see who’s all wet! Throw me off a pier, will he? We’ll just see who’s walking that pier in the morning!
"Now, sir,” said Emmanuel. “You go back to your lovely wife and get some sleep. You will wake up in the mornin’ about nine AM. When you see me parked outside your hotel in my yellow Mercedes convertible you will know it is time to play a game of Hide and Go Seek. Because you see, sir, I love to play the game myself and could learn much from a professional like you. And I just know you’re going to love my trunk.”
“Ya darn right, see?” said Boris. “Now your talkin’ wise. Only the good kind a wise that don’t get ya put in a pair a concrete swimmin’ trunks.”
“And then after our little game of Hide and Go Seek, you’re gonna go for a little walk on the pier. The sea water will do your hangover good.”
“But I ain’t got no hangover, see?” said Boris.
“Sir, I’m told you had four double Rum for you Life cocktails,” said Emmanuel. “Trust me on this. Now, close your eyes again. And when I clap my hands you will leave the theater and go back to your wife. And I look forward to seeing you in the morning. Good night, sir.”
When Emmanuel clapped his hands, Boris Buttinski opened his eyes and walked off the stage. Minus his pocket cash and watch. They, along with similar items of his stage mates, were in the possession of Emmanuel the Emancipator! Alias Long Fingererd Louie. Notorious hypnotist and pick pocket and, soon to be, kidnapper.
When Boris Buttinski woke the next morning, his wife, Judy, had already gone over to Betty Fletcher’s room for coffee, so Boris went out to get the lox and bagels. When he stepped outside the hotel the first thing Boris spotted was Emmanuel the Emacipator’s yellow Mercedes convertible. And Emmanuel had the trunk popped open.
”Anyone care for a little game of Hide and Go Seek?” said Emmanuel.
”Would I!” said Boris.
“Then hop in, Boris,” said Emmanuel. “No one will ever find you in here.”
“It looks a little tight,” said Boris.
“Oh, it’s plenty big,” said Emmanuel. “Here, let me help you in.”
With that, Emmanuel lifted Boris in his arms and folded him into the trunk like a garment bag.
Meanwhile, Betty Fletcher and Judy Jones were having coffee on Betty‘s terrace.
“Uh, oh!" said Betty. “I just seen a guy that looked a lot like Boris get put in a trunk!”
“What?” said Judy. “Are you kidding me?”
"We gotta go find Mr. Danger," said Betty. "And quick."