A Word to the Wiseguy - Part 7 - A Craven Danger Mystery
Craven Danger hopped into the backseat of Sidney Green’s taxi, and squeezed in between Betty and Judy, neither of whom would give up their window seat.
“We get car sick,” said Betty.
"But I hate the middle seat," said Craven.
”Then why don‘t ya sit up front with Sidney and FDR?”
”No deal,” said Sidney. ”FDR gets car sick, too. He needs the window.”
The old German Shepherd licked at Sidney‘s grizzled face and poked his head back out the passenger side window.
“By the way," said Sidney, “ain’t nobody gonna say hello? I didn’t come all this way ta get cold-shouldered. I can get plenty a that in New York any day of the week.”
“Just keep followin’ that police car, Sidney,” said Betty. “And it’s good ta see ya. I’m glad ya come.”
“How did Sidney figure in ta all a this?” said Craven.
“I figure Sidney could use a vacation same as everyone else,” said Betty. “So I invited him along. Only he’s afraid a flyin’, so he drove the whole way from New York.”
“And where’s he plannin’ on sleepin’?” said Craven. ”’Cause the only thing I’m sharin’ a bed with is my dreams.”
“I’m sleepin’ right where ya sittin’” said Sidney. “I’m a budget a sorts. Owing to the fact that I ain’t got much of a budget to begin with. And how come ya always talk ta me through Betty? She ain‘t my secretary, ya know.”
”Well, sometimes I don‘t know it,” said Craven. ”The way ya two are always goin‘ off and leavin‘ me ta fend for myself.”
”We don‘t mean nothin‘ by it, Mr. Danger,” said Betty. ”Just a couple a girls gettin‘ together for a coffee and a chat in the mornin‘.”
“How’s that?” said Sidney.
“All’s I mean is you know how ta talk to a girl like a girl would,” said Betty. ”You‘re a good pal to a lady.”
”I getcha,” said Sidney. ”Well, I come from a long line a girls, ya know. My pa was always pushin‘ for a boy, but I didn’t come along till eight girls later. That’s when they decided on separate beds and no alcohol in the house. They even shook hands on it.”
“Can we please get back to Boris?” said Judy.
”Sorry, sis," said Betty.
“Last I saw of him,” said Judy, “We was spoonin’ in bed and he was giving me no signs of wanting to cause anyone to toss him in the trunk of a car. Unless those drama critics followed us down to Miami. They’re a pretty rough crowd in New York.”
“This ain’t no time ta be jokin’,” said Betty.
“Who’s joking?" said Judy. “Have you seen Meet Boris Buttinski?” said Judy. “The show should have closed in his head when it was only a thought.”
“Ain’t ya bein’ a little rough on the guy?” said Betty.
“You only hurt the one you love,” said Judy. “A cliche, I know. But I couldn’t put it any better. And now I feel bad for sending the poor guy out for bagels this morning. Are you sure it was Boris you saw?”
“Ain’t no doubt in my mind,” said Betty. “And what I saw was Boris Jones gettin’ tossed in the trunk a that car. And the thrower didn’t look like he was packin’ for the beach, neither. In fact, he was wearin‘ a black top hat and a purple cape. And if I ain’t mistaken, he was wearin’ white gloves.”
“Are ya sure you ain’t drunk, Betty?” said Craven. “I wouldn’t hold it against ya if ya was, bein’ on vacation and all. I used ta see lots a strange things when I was drinkin’. Flyin’ cats and dancin’ mice mostly. So don’t feel bad if ya got tanked up and thought ya saw some guy in a purple cape puttin’ a little guy in a trunk. In a couple a days, after ya dry out, those things will go away and you’ll be back ta normal.”
“How’d ya like ta be drivin’ back ta New York with Sidney?” said Betty. “He got a nice warm trunk with ya name on it. And I'll be happy ta do the packin’, too."
“Great idea," said Sidney. “You could even do some of the drivin’, Mr. Danger. And let ’ol Sidney sleep in the back seat every couple of hours to rest my roids.”
“Why do ya gotta bring those things up every time we talk about you drivin’? It ain’t somethin’ most people wanna ta hear about.”
“Well,” said Sidney, “they’re somethin’ very close ta my heart, or my liver, really.”
“Hey!” said Betty. “Ain’t that a yellow Mercedes over by that fishin’ pier?”
“Yeah!” said Craven. “Sidney! Follow that car!”
“But it’s already parked, Mr. Danger,” said Sidney. “How about I just pull over?”
“Whatever,” said Craven.
I gotta learn ta calm down, thought Craven. I been watchin’ way too many gangster movies.