Wednesday, February 27, 2013

ace of night, part 4: the wind and the rain

by horace p sternwall

illustrated by roy dismas

for previous episode, click here

to begin at the beginning, click here

there were no messages for me when i got inside the hotel.

not that i was expecting any, but i always check.

just like i always look both ways and behind me when i cross the street.

you got to gamble, but you can't be too careful.

i walked up the three flights of stairs to my room.

i don't like elevators.

did i ever tell you what happened to me in an elevator in budapest in 1944? but that is another story.

i walked down the corridors.

one thing about the place, it was quiet.

i stood outside the door of the hotel room.

how many doors outside how many rooms in how many hotels in how many cities in how many continents had i stood like this -

my sixth sense told me everything was all right.

i still wished i had a gun. i needed a lot of things - that was high on the list.

i put the key in the door and opened it and went in.

i switched on the light. nothing. just like i expected. my powers of prediction were still working pretty good. good enough, anyway.

i needed some sleep but i knew i wasn't going to get any.

i had gotten pretty wet, so i got my suitcase out and changed my clothes.

i could hear the wind and rain outside.

i couldn't stop thinking about the dame in the cab - what did she call herself?

miss lost lamb.

i went and looked out the window,

it was raining harder than ever.

i hoped miss lost lamb hadn't gotten too wet getting out of the cab.

she was right across the street.

so close, so close.

i could say, she might as well be a million miles away.

but i know better.

fate has a way of stepping in.

especially if you know how to handle it.

i got a cigarette out of my pack and started to light it with my lighter.

then i remembered the matchbook.

davenport 7 - 5297.

i went over and sat on the bed and picked up the phone.

the line was dead.

not too surprising, in a dump like this.

but now i was curious.

and i wasn't going to sleep anyway.

i didn't feel like going back out in the rain.

i figured i'd go down to the front desk, use the phone down there.

yeah, that is what i'd do.

davenport 7 -5297

it had a certain ring to it.

5. carla

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