Reformed burglars never rest
Sleuth About Town
"Brr... I'm cold."
Those were the first words that came out of Elizabeth March's mouth as she entered the hall of the well located house in London. Luckily, the place was warm and cozy.
Empty, too. She wondered were all the servants were.
Well, they'd show up, eventually. She could bet they were in the kitchen, talking and playing cards. She didn't mind. They deserved their rest and some fun.
With that in mind, she moved to the living room, dragged a chair near the fireplace and sat there, just staring at the roaring fire.
Much was in her mind. Her past life as a burglar still haunted her. All the wrong things she had done still lived in her nightmares. The woman let out a tired sigh. All that was in the past now.
She had a new life. An agency. Friends. A new name.
Yes. A new life.
It could be a better one, if she didn't have to carefully hide her past from everyone. She had to mind every word that came out of her mind. Every letter she received. Every phone call...
She sighed and got up, reluctantly.
"Miss Elizabeth March?"
"Yes. Who's there?"
"Just a friend who wants you to know that dreams may shatter like glass..."
"What, what do you..."
He had hung up, and so did she.
She was still standing by the phone, trembling, when she heard the footsteps. She didn't turn around. It was probably just one of the servants. Yes, it was Gerald, her butler.
He had asked something whose meaning she couldn't reach. Maybe how she was.
"Sorry, Gerald. I'm fine. I was talking on the phone, and felt slightly light-headed."
She forced a smile to the man. He smiled back.
"Maybe you should take a bath and rest, ma'am.", the man suggested, carefully.
"Not now. I've got a phone call to make. After that, I'll do what you say."
She watched as the man left the room and picked the phone back up. She dialed a number, hoping the person on the other side was home. (...)
Marc downed his scotch of whiskey. From the moment he saw Vulkie he had been dreading this question since he mentioned his case. When she asked him "So, can I be of any assiistance to you?" he wasn't
"Vulkie..." Marc paused. "I don't think there is much you can do. I don't even know why I'm drinking this scotch. Bernie, I actually came to check out an alibi of a suspect of mine; Tim Robinson. He claims to have been in here last night. Did you happen to see him?"
Bernie looked up. "Tim Robinson? What's he look like?"
"He's an averaged size guy, clean cut, dresses like a lawyer and has a scottish accent." Marc replied.
"A Scottsman...if I remember right, I believe he was in here last night..he came in about six pm and left around nine or ten. He was pretty drunk." Bernie said shaking his head.
"Thank's Bern," Marc said and he threw down the money to pay for his shot.
Bernie laughed aloud and said, "This one's on the house." Marc thanked him and left. As he stepped outside into the cold whether, he pulled out his watch. It was noon and he was hungry for lunch. Marc only kept a handful of cash on him so he figured something quick and easy would do the trick. He remembered the cafe in the hotel and how great the food was. So that's where he went.
He walked inside the cafe and saw to people whom he thought he'd never see again. Charlie Cain and Molly Maltese. Next to Molly was another man. Marc walked up to them from behind. Placing his hand on Molly's shoulder, he nelt down behind her and said, "Now what is someone like you, doing in a big city like this?".
Molly jumped and when she realized who it was, she nearly fell out of her chair.
Sleuth About Town
After the whole mess with the rooms was solved, Elizabeth didn't have much more to do than staying behind closed doors, thinking. A book was on her lap, but she wasn't reading it. It was a mistery novel, and she wasn't in the mood for that right now.
She placed the book on her night stand and picked another one. It was "Wuthering Heights".
She read for a couple hours, only closing it when she felt hungry. A look at her pocket watch informed the young woman that it was lunch time.
Changing her blouse and coat, Elizabeth went downstairs to the hotel's cafe. She didn't even realized there were other people there, as she looked absent-mindedly at the menu.
"Lord in Heaven don't DO that to me!" Molly cried dramatically, gasping for air. but she dissolved into giggles until she realized that Pierce had his gun aimed squarely at Marc's forehead.
"Alright, Miss?" he asked, and Molly straightened up.
"Yes, Pierce, this is another friend. Pierce Evans Malone, Marc Lacrimosa, likewise." she said tiredly. "I hired Pierce after the Billings affair, Marc. Hes just cautious. It's wonderful to see you! How have you been, tell me everything! We've actually spoken to your client, Miss March. There was a mix-up with the room you see, we met quite by chance. Once again Marc, all our combined resources are at your disposal if you'd like them!"
She smiled sunnily and took a sip of her orange juice, then turned a shrewd eye on Marc. " You look a little irritated; what happened?"
Molly introduced Marc to Pierce and Marc reached out to shake Pierce's hand. Cautiously, Pierce reached out and shook Marc's hand. Marc took a seat next to Charlie.
"Charlie, it's good to see you? How have you been?" Marc asked him.
"I've been doing fine." Charlie replied. They shook hands as well.
"You look a little irritated; what happend?" Molly asked.
Marc let out a chuckle and explained the case. He told them how he went to check out an alibi at the Owl and Walnut Bar where he ran into Vulkie who seemed to be getting a little drunk.
"I told Vulkie that I just got assigned a case and she offered to help. I told here there wasn't anything she could do." Marc told them. Molly shook her head. Not sure whether she was shaking her head at Marc for telling Vulkie or Vulkie asking to help after what she did to us in New York.
Marc changed th subject instantly. "I can't stay for very long and chat, but I can stay for a quick bite to eat. Then I have to go talk to another person about their alibi. If they too have a valid alibi, I'm going to be lost. I'll have to go back to Elizabeth and get more names from her." Marc said.
He looked up and saw Elizabeth three tables down from them reading her menu.
"Charlie? Do you mind doing me a favor?" Marc asked.
"What is it?" Charlie asked
"Elizabeth March over there, needs some kind of protection-"
"And you want me to help protect her?"
"...If you don't mind. She needs some kind of male protection and I can't do it and solve the case at the same time. It's impossible."
Charlie nodded. We excused our selves from the table and moved to talk to Elizbeth. I told her that Charlie was there for her protection. Without saying a word, she nodded.
Sleuth About Town
Elizabeth was still reading her menu, trying to make some sense out of it, as she heard Marc's voice.
She put the menu down - she wasn't hungry, anyway - and payed attention to the two man.
Only after a while she opened her mouth, directing a question at Charlie.
"Mr... Hmm... I'm sorry, I didn't catch your last name.", she paused for a while before continuing.
"Are you sure I won't be a burden for you? I mean... I don't know, wives and girlfriends are not always understanding. If yours isn't, I can deffend myself, as long as I stay in here."
After that suggestion, the woman went silent again. She looked really tired and pale. It was obvious she hadn't been sleeping well lately.
"Nonsense, Miss March." Molly piped up smartly, lighting a cigarette. "Why, both Charlie darling AND Marc spent copious amounts of time with me and never breathe a word about trouble. Now I'll admit to you I'm as vain as Clara Bows mirror, and if I cant make some housewife jealous already then either Im losing my touch or there is nothing to worry about!"
She winked good-naturedly and tapped the end of her cigarette. Molly was both whip-smart and charming; a girl had to be with her background. She made some women extremely uncomfortable, but she was always honest about how proud she was of her well-maintained figure and perfectly made-up face. It was a running joke for her, she had no issues laughing at herself and making quips about her infamous vanity.
"Of course, Miss March, you could give me a run for my money anyday." Molly noted, scrutinizing her face. "Why, I do declare I'm jealous! You are downright lovely!"
Playfully she pouted. "Just watch that you don't give her too much attention and neglect me, boys. Remember, I pack pistols in places you would never dream of seeing!" she said, patting the thigh holster where it pressed against her skin under her tasteful skirt.
" Miss March you look tired lets get you back up to your room. Since I am now in charge of your safety I'd feel better knowing you were out of sight." Charlie said trying to keep a straight face after Molly's comment.
As the two headed towards the stairs Marc yelled out to Charlie " I'll be sure to keep you well informed of the progress."
Charlie gave a thumbs up and followed Elizabeth up the stairs.....
Once in the room Charlie wedged a wooden chair against the door and closed all the curtains.
"Now then I think this should be give us abit more security Miss March" Charlie said
" Please call me Elizabeth, Mr. Cain" Elizabeth replied.
" And please my name is Charlie, my father was Mr. Cain." said Charlie.
Charlie assumed the role of protector quite easily it is a role he has played quite often. Elizabeth sat on the bed reading a novel and Charlie sat by the door. He tried to seem invisable no sense in unnerving Elizabeth anymore than she already seemed...
Molly clicked her tongue as Charlie led Elizabeth up the stairs, her eyes sparkling with good humor.
"That man's good," she said to no one in particular. "He just met the lady and he already got her upstairs..."
Pierce threw her a disapproving look and she made a supplicating gesture.
"Mea culpa, mea culpa." she said easily. "Now, Marc, what say I help you interrogate suspects? I'm bored witless and Pierce here is about as fun as a brick wall."
"Now Marc, whay say I help you interrogate suspects? I'm bored witless and Pierce here is about as fun as a brick wall." Molly said.
Marc sat back in his char pulling out his pipe, loaded it with tobacco, and lit it. As he began to puff on it, he said, "Well, I was just on my way to go talk to someone here in London up on the northern west side of the city. He's a former mobster now just a gangster/thug wannabe."
"We'll go with you." Molly said. Marc nodded and all three of them left the cafe. They decided to take Marc's car with Pierce riding in the front passenger seat and Molly in the back. It was just a short drive to Mike McDaniel's house. Marc parked the car and the three of them walked to the front door.
Pierce stepped up and knocked three times and a large muscular man answered it. "Mr. Mike McDaniel?" Marc asked.
"I'm he." the man replied.
"I'm detective Marc Lacrimosa. This here is detective Pierce Malone and detective Molly Maltese. We'd like to ask you a few qestions about a woman named Elizabeth March." Marc said.
Mike looked around and finally let them come in.
"First off," Marc said, "I'd like to know about your relationship with Ms. March."
"Oi, she was a lovely woman. Sweet as can be. Used to work with her. What's become of her?" Mike replied.
"I'm investigating some black mail and harrassment phone calls that she's been recieving. If I find out you are lying to me about your relationship with her, by god Iwill come back and find you and then you will hate me for what I will do. Now I'm going to ask you again. What was your relation ship with her?" Marc snapped.
Pierce and Molly stood behind Marc as he spoke with the man, who replied, "I didn't like her to be honest. We used to work with each other. Our past is confidential but I'll say that she betrayed us all. I would have killed her when I first found out about it. But I figured it wouldn't be worth wasting a good bullet." (Contin..)
"She recieved a phone call last night with a threatening message. Your name happend to be one that would want to do harm. So I'm going to ask you for an alibi." Marc said.
"You want an alibi? Why? Do YOU think I called her?" Mike said laughing.
Pierce stepped up and finally spoke, "I'd advise you to answer that question. Otherwise, not only will you not like him, but you wont' like me either."
"Fine," Mike said, "I was at the podiatrist. I sprained my ankle last week," He said lifting his pant leg to show us the splint on his foot."
It wasn't much to vouch for a valid alibi. Anyone can put a splint on their foot. Marc thanked him and they left. At a the nearest gas station, Marc used the pay phone. He had the phone operator connect him to the podiatrist's office who then verified Mike McDaniel's alibi. There it was. Marc had nothing.
Without a word, Marc drove back to the hotel. He asked what room number Elizabeth was in and he was given the number. Marc, Molly, andPierce walked up the stairs to Elizabeth's room. Marc knocked on the door.
The door slowly opend only revealing an eye. It was Charlie who let us in and quickly shut the door, locking it.
"Elizabeth, both of the names you have given me have valid alibis at the time you recieved that phone call. I need you to think of some more names. You have too. I can't do this without any names." Marc said.
Elizabeth looked up from the novel she was reading and opened her mouth to speak.
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