PDF Download Pulp - Popular Detective.44.04. - It Could Only Happen To Willie, By Joe Archibald

Copy and paste this link to your website, so they can see this document directly without any plugins.


Keywords

Willie, that, Fitzy, will, said., would, have, with, like, when, Kelly, over, Satchelfoot, Gertie, give, know, could, been, from, what, back, Babe, this, O’Dool, Bilk, them, into, don’t, dictionary, little

Transcript

Popular Detective, April, 1944
IT COULD ONLY HAPPEN TO WILLIE
By JOE ARCHIBALD
Satchelfoot’s dictionary comes to the rescue when
Detective Klump faces the last word in befuddlement!
T ALL started because William
Klump, president of the Hawkeye
Detective Agency, got compromised,
and through no fault of his own. A client
visited him one afternoon and she was the
type that a wolf would trail for seventyeight blocks even though he had a corn on
every toe.
The doll had more curves than the Erie
and a blond hair-do like Sheridan’s. She
had a husband who went out nights to
squander his lettuce on poker, and the
client wanted Willie to trail him to the
poker game so she could have the
authorities raid it.
Willie agreed to take the case for fifty
fish and the doll got up to leave when a
high heel buckled under her and she lost
her balance and fell in Willie’s lap. Willie,
of course, grabbed the client tenaciously,
for he knew the weakness in the antique
swivel chair under his pants.
The chair collapsed, taking Willie and
the eyeful with it. At that very moment,
Gertrude Mudgett walked into Willie’s
office.
“Her heel—” Willie gulped.
“So I see, you poor man’s Manville,”
Gertie howled. “An’, she can have you,
William Klump. If I wa’n’t ‘a lady, I
I
POPULAR DETECTIVE 2
would knock out all your teeth an’ string
‘em an’ give that babe a necklace. Well,
the law will protect me, Mr. Klump.
You’ll find out.”
“It did look bad, didn’t it, Mr.
Klump?” the client said.
“It still does,” the private detective
said. “She has got every dime I own in the
bank in her name. What do you think?”
“I’d hate to,” the doll said,
straightened herself out and walked out of
the office.
“The things that happen to me,” Willie
sighed. “If I met a tiger in a dead end it
would be carryin’ nearly a hundred red
points with it.”
He saw the bottom half of the chair
was finished so he piled up some books
and put the seat on top of them.
Three hours later he trailed a citizen
who lived in the Bronx to a poker game,
and lost three dollars and eighty cents.
Willie told himself he had enough for one
day, so went to his rooming house to
stretch out and relax.
ILLIE took off his shoes, fell into
bed and the whole works folded up.
The iron headstead conked him and made
him forget his troubles for a while. When
he could get up, he walked downstairs to
find the landlady to tell her she would be
sued plenty if he found he had a
concussion.
“How would you ever know, Klump?”
the landlady sniffed. “Anyway, let me see
you dare sue somebody you owe money
to. You got until Saturday to pay up or hit
the road.”
“I just kind of forgot myself,” Willie
said. “So many things happened to me
since mornin’. Any little job you want me
to do that could go toward the rent? I’m
handy.”
“Well, that’s an idea, Klump. My
electric iron is out of whack an’ the radio
acts up. You fix them and it means one
week less you got to pay.”
Willie worked in the landlady’s
basement apartment for over an hour.
“There, tryout the things ag’in, Mrs.
Gilhooley,” he said when he was through.
Mrs. Gilhooley did. She plugged the
electric iron in and heard Frank Sinatro
crooning in her ear. When she clicked the
radio on, nothing happened for a few
minutes. Then it began heat up and the
window curtains next to it caught fire.
Mrs. Gilhooley chased Willie out into the
street and “Satchelfoot” Kelly caught the
private detective by the slack of his pants.
“You,” Willie gulped. “That is all I
needed. What you doin’ around here?”
“I come to git them two tickets you
was to take Gertie to a show with tonight,
Willie,” the detective from Headquarters
said. “Hand ‘em over.”
“So you took my girl over again,
huh?” Willie groaned. “What she sees in
you, Kelly, I don’t know. Fork over fourforty for the pasteboards, Satchelfoot.”
“I guess you didn’t see the papers
tonight, Willie,” Kelly said. “Or you
wouldn’t ast what a doll sees in me. I
grabbed the character who liquidated the
night watchman at the Gormley Girdle and
Foundation Factory and stole the twentyone Gs, is all I done.”
Willie closed his eyes for a few
moments, wondered if the day would
never end.
“Huh?” he tossed out.
“Yeah. Right now Fitzy Fay is down in
the can, Willie. It was quite a day’s work
for me. Fitzy had stomach ulcers and eat
nothin’ but milk and cheese, a doc told
me, so I cased all the delicatessens on the
West Side as cheese is rationed an’ only so
much goes to a customer. Which meant
Fitzy had to buy some in every one, so I
finally spotted a doll buyin’ cheese an’
follered her. She went to three other stores
W
IT COULD ONLY HAPPEN TO WILLIE 3
an’ I got a hunch. Fitzy’s dame was
lookin’ after him while the heat was on.”
“Only luck could of helped you,”
Willie said. “You couldn’t ordinarily find
a hep cat outside of the Paramount on a
day James was blowin’ his brains out
there. Here are the tickets.”
“Thanks,” Kelly said and hurried
toward a subway.
“Wait, you didn’t pay me,” Willie
yelped, and chased the detective all the
way to the train.
The door of a car slammed against
Willie’s fingers and he had to yank them
out but quick so he would not go along
with the express even though he was not
inside it. Willie blew on his fingers and
called it a day, one of the worst he had
ever spent. He got to his room and slept on
the floor.
“I might have known it,” Willie yipped
as he perused a journal over his breakfast
in his office the next morning. “Kelly got
Fitzy, but none of the sugar. He didn’t git
the crook that was with Fitzy who might
have fired the shot as there was no rod on
Fitzy. Fitzy will get a smart mouthpiece
and give him half of the dough to spring
him an’ Kelly will be a bum ag’in. Huh!”
E CLEANED up his dishes in a little
washstand in a corner; put his little
can of Sterno back in the closet and the
two eggs that were left in his safe. Then he
thought things over. He called up Gertie
Mudgett first thing.
“Hello,” Willie said. “Look, if all is
over, you should have a conscious an’
send me my money, as we ain’t married
an’ you can’t sue me for desertin’ or—”
“Look, jerk,” Gertrude Mudgett
retorted. “If I git a lawyer an’ sue for heart
balm, I will git twicet as much as what I
got in’ the bank for you, Mr. Klump, so
what do you think? Anyway, I am glad I
caught you in the act, as nobody could
never make a gentleman out of you.
Aloysius has promised me to improve
hisself to make me proud of him when we
git married, Willie. You’ll notice the
change in him soon.”
“I’ll be sure to look an’ see if he has
washed his neck at last,” Willie sniffed. “I
will fight you to the Supreme Courts,
Gertie Mudgett!”
“You won’t git no farther than
Rommell,” Gertie snapped and hung up.
The president of the Hawkeye
Detective Agency thumbed the pages of a
classified directory and looked up lawyers.
He picked one out and started a letter that
read:
Dear Sirs:
I have a fiancée, or did, who has all my
dough and won’t hand it back. How much
would you charge to get it by force as you
would need at least three men in 1-A. . . .
Willie crumpled the effort up and
tossed it into a basket. It did not sound
dignified and he would have to think of
big and fancy words to have a law firm
bother to take a case. He would have to
think it over more.
Willie got down to real business and
mulled over the recent murder and payroll
robbery that had made the public
indignant. Yeah, Willie thought, it was
almost treason what Fitzy and his pal had
committed. How could the employees of
the Gormley Girdle and Foundation
Company put most of their pay in War
Bonds if they did not get it?
F COURSE the payroll was most
likely insured, but Fitzy had not cared
about that, and he had known the night
watchman had been nearly eighty because
the other one had quit, not being too old to
work in a defense plant. Fitzy was a
saboteur as twenty grand would buy a lot
of jeeps.
H
O
POPULAR DETECTIVE 4
Willie conjured up a picture of a bunch
of U. S. soldiers plodding along a shelltorn road in Italy when they should have
been riding. Why, even Eisenhower might
get captured because of Fitzy, as he might
try and escape the Krauts in a car that was
not there. Willie guessed he would go
downtown and see if he could get
Satchelfoot to start bragging as the
detective might let some important details
slip. He did not run into Satchelfoot until
late that afternoon when Kelly emerged
from the subway at Worth Street.
Kelly did not notice Willie falling in
step with him as he had his nose shoved
into a little book and was mumbling:
“Abaca, aback, abacus, ab—”
“What lodge are you joinin’,
Satchelfoot?” Willie asked. “Or are you
learnin’ Greek?”
“Huh?” Satchelfoot gulped. “It is you,
is it? This is U.S. I am readin’ which
shows how ignorant you are. I am learnin’
to talk refined an’ in the future will say
you ain’t punk, Willie, but abomabdominable. When I am late for a date
with Gert, I will say I am unavoidable
detained and excuse me for bein’ dilotary.
Do I want to be a moron all my life?”
“Yeah,” Willie said. “Oh, brother!
Look up the polite word for jerk so I will
know how to be polite to you in the future.
If you had any brains you would not have
run away from P. S. Forty-one just after
you learned Mother Goose rhymes, an’ it
is a fine thing to waste taxpayer’s money
like this when criminals like Fitzy Fay’s
confederate is at large. You know you will
never find him or the dough.”
“Is that so?” Satchelfoot blurted out,
taking the bait, hook, line, sinker and
rowboat. “Well, I been workin’ all day on
the case. We grilled Fitzy until he was
done on both sides an’ we even give his
doll that scallopine or truth sirup an’ ast
her where Fitzy had the sugar hid, if she
knew. She did not know an’ she said she
didn’t know Fitzy had knocked off the
girdle factory neither. She said she didn’t
know Fitzy had any pals as he was always
a lone wolf with her.”
“He better git a good lawyer,” Willie
said.
“He’s got one. It is Horace K. Bilk.”
Kelly sighed. “He’ll spring Fitzy sure.”
“Bilk?” Willie said. “The guy who
snatched Lucille LeMarr, the hatchet
murderess, from the hot sofa and put her in
a night club as a singer? To have Bilk you
got to have more than social security.”
“Yeah,” Kelly said. “Which makes me
think Fitzy knows where he can get his
mitts on the payroll, Willie. He must have
promised Bilk his pay in full to git that big
shot mouthpiece.”
“We will watch Bilk an’ trail him,”
Willie said.
“Oh, you mental deficit,” Satchelfoot
yelped. “You think Fitzy would trust a
lawyer like that? Fitzy will have his pal
pay off if his pal knows where the dough
is, which he must. Nobody dares come to
see Fitzy so somebody outside must know.
. . . Say, how much have I said to you,
Willie Klump? You git away from me and
go look for your own cases.”
“I have to see the D. A.,” Willie said.
“I know where there is a private gamblin’
joint that has to be knocked off. It owes
me three-eighty. It is a free country, Kelly,
an’ I am fightin’ crime like anybody else.
It is only I work different than real
detectives.”
“Well, keep out from under my feet,”
Satchelfoot warned.
“Then I will have to walk on the other
side of the street,” Willie snickered. “They
didn’t want you in the Army, but they
could have used them landin’ barges.”
W
HEN Willie got into the D. A.’s
office, he learned that Fitzy Fay
IT COULD ONLY HAPPEN TO WILLIE 5
was quite a crossword puzzle addict. Fitzy,
a cop came in and told the D. A., was
yelling his top off for a dictionary as he
was killing time filling in the little blank
squares on a toughie he had cut out of a
morning paper.
“You think it’ll be safe to give him one
to shut him up, Chief?” the cop asked the
D. A. “All’s he could do would be to
choke himself on some big words, huh?”
“Nothin’ doing,” the D. A. said. “The
cover of the dictionary I got is hard
enough to cut your throat with. Don’t take
no chances with Fitzy Fay as he’s been
betting the guards he will beat the rap.”
“But he’s yellin’ his head off.”
“Wait!” The D. A. grinned. “Send for
Kelly. He’s got one that is driving him
crazy.”
Satchelfoot walked into the chief’s
office and wanted to know what gave.
“That dictionary, Satchelfoot,” the D.
A. said; “We want to borrow it for an hour
or so. I’ll see you get it back. Fitzy has to
finish a puzzle before he takes the witness
chair and we want to quiet him down.”
“But I got to know how to ask my
dame out to dinner tonight correct instead
of sayin’ ‘How’s about the nosebag,
Babe?’”
“I’ll write it out for you, Kelly,” the D.
A. said. “Come on, let’s have the book.”
Satchelfoot reluctantly handed the
little book over and then sat down in a
chair near the D. A.’s desk. He picked up a
big dictionary and studied it.
“Huh,” he said. “By Webster, this one.
There is a book twicet as fat in a bookstore
where I went. It was by a guy named
Unabridged who must be twicet as smart.”
“Oh, gosh,” Willie said. “I feel almost
sorry for Gertie. Now about that gamblin’
joint, D. A. It is a public nuisance an’ it is
worth fifty bucks to me to see it raided.
Here is the address an’ the apartment
number.”
The D. A. glared at Willie after
running his eyes over the slip of paper.
“Hah, Klump,” he said. “Just my
brother-in-law, is all. Plays a friendly
game with his associates once in a while.
Now you two morons get out of here.”
Willie and Satchelfoot were walking
down the stone steps of the bastile when a
very important looking character came up
behind them. He touched Kelly on the
shoulder. It was Horace K. Bilk and the
lawyer blew thirty cents’ worth of cigar
smoke into the faces of both detectives.
“Been talkin’ to my client, Kelly,”
Bilk said, then threw away half a Corona
and yanked a fresh one out of his pocket.
“Fitzy said to give this back to you, Kelly,
when I saw you. The cop told him it was
yours.”
“Oops, Willie,” Kelly said. “Almost
forgot it. An’ I only got about an hour or
two to learn some big words to toss at
Gertie. Yeah, Bilk, an’ did Fitzy say where
your fee was comin’ from?”
“That’s no concern of mine,” Bilk
sputtered. “I spring ‘em, they hand over
the dough.”
“It should be against the law,” Willie
said indignantly, “to have lawyers who
protect the criminals from their just
desserts. If the shoe fits, lace it up.”
“Say, I’ve seen you somewhere before,
haven’t I?”
ILK was blustering, as Willie’s words
were still griping him.
“I been there enough so maybe you
did,” Willie sniffed. “Like I said, a cop
works his head to the bone an’ risks his
life to git a crook like Fitzy an’ then along
comes a lawyer an’ springs him.”
“No wonder,” Bilk snorted. “When
detectives don’t keep their noses clean.
Like Kelly here, for instance.”
“What do you mean with such an
incineration?” Satchelfoot demanded to
B
POPULAR DETECTIVE 6
know. “I’ll sue for slander.”
“Don’t believe this will hurt my case if
I tell you what Fitzy Fay told me to tell his
girl,” Bilk said, his jowls still the color of
an egg plant. “Said for her not to worry.
He had plenty on a certain flatfoot named
Aloysius Kelly, and don’t tell me two
Irishmen got that same screwy name, as it
isn’t possible.”
“What you been doin’, Satchelfoot?”
Willie asked the detective when Bilk got
into his big car and ordered the chauffeur
to step on it. “Oh, the disgrace of it. I
never believed it of you, never. Takin’
bribes, hah? I am glad I found you out at
last, you—you viper!”
“Willie, it isn’t so,” Satchelfoot
protested. “Don’t look at me like that or I
will bust you right on the nose. It is Bilk
cookin’ up a defense an’ is goin’ to
defamate my character so’s when I git on
the stand. . . . Oh, so you don’t believe it,
Willie Klump!”
“Not unlest you climb to the roof of a
factory that publishes Bibles an’ hold a
dozen in your lap while you swear,” Willie
needled.
“Look, Willie, this is serious, as a
criminal is goin’ to git sprung.”
Willie Klump snapped his fingers.
“Speakin’ of crooked lawyers,
Satchelfoot, I got to git to my office an’
write that letter I got to write. But I can’t
think up big words to put an impression on
people. I got it, lend me that dictionary
just for tonight, Satchelfoot. I will see you
git it back before your date with Gertie. If
you do, I will believe you are not crooked,
Satchelfoot.”
William Klump arrived at his office
twenty minutes later and took the
dictionary out of his pocket. He found he
had no writing paper and went out to
purchase some. Now, Willie Klump had
perhaps the shortest memory of any man
living and when he entertained a thought
he had to put it immediately on paper for it
was as short-lived as a snowflake dropping
onto a hot stove.
Halfway to the stationery store, Willie
saw a rustic looking character ask a man
standing on a corner the time of day. The
city dweller turned his back very rudely on
the asker and Willie gave the gentleman
what was what when the bucolic one
ambled away.
“He only wanted the time,” Willie
yipped. “You should—”
“Look, you silly lookin’ jerk,” the city
man snapped. “Oncet a man asked me the
time an’ I told him. He kept the
conversation goin’ until we both went in
an’ had a beer. Then we had a lot of beers
an’ we got friendly. I took him home with
me an’ he met my daughter an’ he married
her finally an’ turned out to be a no-good
bum an’ I have to support him. An’ here
I’m talkin’ to you an’ I got another
daughter home. You beat it quick!’“
ILLIE, brain a little woozy,
stumbled along and went into a
tavern. He needed a beer. He forgot Gertie
and the letter to a mouthpiece. He picked
up an evening paper on the bar and saw a
headline that said Bilk was to defend Fitzy
as the D. A.’s case against Fitzy was
ridiculous, as what jury would believe an
eighty-three-year-old citizen who had
forgotten to wear his bifocals on the
evening of his liquidation could identify
Fitzy as the one who inserted the bullet in
his short-ribs. The watchman had simply
babbled a description of a dishonest
character that resembled Fitzy Fay’s
specifications, was all.
“It will be as hard to throw the book at
Fitzy,” Willie choked out, “as to thread a
needle with a string of spaghetti.
Headquarters is goin’ nowhere fast, like
Mussolini—an’ there is suspicion that
Satchelfoot is playin’ both ends in the
W
IT COULD ONLY HAPPEN TO WILLIE 7
middle too. I wish I could git a lead on this
thing, as the girdle company. . . . Ha, Fitzy
and his pal should both get two-way
stretches for such a crime. I think I will go
home an’ lay down for a while. I know I
forgot to do somethin’, but I can’t think of
it.”
It was hours later when Willie woke
up. The landlady was pounding away on
his door as if the thing had been Smolensk.
“Yeah,” Willie said, and got off the
tricky bed carefully. “What is it?”
“Telephone, Klump. Hurry up. I
thought I would send for an undertaker if
you didn’t answer soon.”
Willie rubbed the dust of Morpheus
out of his peepers and stumbled down to
the telephone. .
“Ha-w-w-w-w-p-u-g-yeah? This is the
Hawkeye Det. . . . You, is it? I want my
dough, Gertie Mudgett, or I’ll write a
lawyer. . . . Wha-a-a-a-a-a-a?”
“Hurry, Willie,” Gertie yelped in
Willie’s left ear. “He’s in the horsepital
an’ maybe he won’t live until mornin’. Oh,
it is terrible, Willie. Aloysius has either a
fraction or contussion of the brain.”
“Then they must of hit him with a
concrete mixer,” Willie said, hung up and
ran upstairs for his hat.
William Klump was shocked when he
saw the patient.
“You look like a character in a Karloff
picture, Satchelfoot,” he said. Kelly’s head
was swathed in gauze and only part of his
nose, one eye and half of his mouth were
bare. “Come clean, Satchelfoot. You was
crossin’ your pals an’ they mugged you?”
“Don’t you see he can’t talk much
yet?” Gertie said. “They picked him up
two blocks from where I live, Willie,
an’—”
“Mr. Klump to you,” Willie cut in.
“In a minute they will have your name
on a door in this healing hacienda and a
chart on the foot of your bed, you
flathead,” Gertie griped. “Kelly must have
been attacked by at least seven hoodlums.
What’ll we do, Willie?”
“You must leave, the both of you,” a
nurse said and got Willie by the arm.
“Don’t you see he needs rest?”
“From where I stand,” Willie sniffed,
“it looks like Satchelfoot would get it
permanent. But I know that flatfoot and
unlest he was hit by three of Rommell’s
tanks head on, he has a good chance.
Look, Gertie, I give you one more chance
to hand me over my dough.”
“Ha ha,” Gertie said and hurried to the
bedside to bid Kelly good night.
HEN Willie remembered the job he
had to do and that was to write a letter
to Tinker & Evvers. With lawyers like
those two, anybody would take a chance.
On the way out of the hospital, Willie tried
to figure out who would assault
Satchelfoot as it certainly would not be for
his bankroll. Maybe it was Fitzy’s pal who
wanted to see to it that Satchelfoot would
never reach the old stand in a criminal
court salon.
Very early in the morning, Willie
Klump started the letter to the
mouthpieces. This time he hunted through
Kelly’s little lexicon for the right words.
He began:
Dear Messrs Tinker and Evvers:
It comes to my notice that my fiancée who
has rejected me for another man will not give
up the bankroll I let her keep in escrows—
Willie thought he had better look up
that word and a few more. He thumbed the
pages of the pocket dictionary and noticed
on seven different pages that a little pencil
dot had been put alongside a word.
“Huh, Kelly must have been markin’
off the ones he was goin’ to either write or
say to Gertie. I will copy them off for a
gag an’ spring them on her before he does.
T
POPULAR DETECTIVE 8
Er, I better call up the hospital and see if
he’s still on the tax list.”
The hospital front office assured Willie
that Aloysius Kelly was going to survive
as he ate a bowl of cereal, three eggs and
bacon, four slices of toast, two doughnuts
and three cups of coffee for breakfast.
“What did I tell you?” Willie said, and
hung up.
He started copying the words out of
the dictionary and onto a sheet of paper. In
a little over an hour, Willie read them off
and felt goose pimples crop up all over his
epidermis. He took a gander at the words
again and rolled them along his tongue.
Dough - truck - grand - cross – piece Need - Warehouse - Pay - Old - Hood - five Mouth - Under - Sixty-Nine - Foot -To - Of –
Jail - pal- Me - Hold -East - Part - No - Can Of Willie dug at his scalp with his fingers
and gave himself a minute rub to see if his
brain would respond.
“Dough, truck, warehouse, jail,” he
mumbled.
“It all sounded very dishonest, and
Satchelfoot Kelly—”
Willie began to unscramble the words
and try to put them in their places. He
scribbled for over two hours until his
waste-basket was full of crumpled
answers. By noon time, with his bovine
eyes bloodshot, his hair looking like the
nest of a slattern crow, his fingernails
bitten down to the first knuckles, Willie
practically had the words kicked into line.
His final effort read:
Dough under hood old truck warehouse,
foot of East Sixty-nine. Need part to pay
mouthpiece. No jail hold me if you cross me,
pal.
Willie forgot that hunger was running
all over his stomach and yelling up his
feed line to be heard. He started making
notes.
He wrote:
No. 1 Satchelfoot has gone crooked. But
why was he beat up before he could—I don’t
know what. But how could he send anybody
the message if he didn’t have the dic. . . .
Why, he could of used a phone as he is not in
jail. Fitzy Fay is! I got to think.
No.2. The D. A. made Kelly lend the
pocket dictionary to Fitzy to do a cross-word
puzzle. Fitzy give the book to Bilk who give it
to Satchelfoot which still don’t add up
nowheres as oncet you give back what you
borrowed, the deal is closed. But Fitzy could
not use the phone in the D. A.’s office so if he
wanted to send word to a pal, he would have
to use other ways. I am beginnin’ to smell a rat
which is not Satchelfoot. But it is crazy.
No.3. The mystery is why was Kelly set
upon by alley commandos if he wasn’t mixed
up with the crooks? But it is up to me to go to
the warehouse and get the girdle factory
payroll as it looks like Fitzy stashed the dough
on the getaway and went in a different
direction than his pal and had no time to tell
his pal or did not trust him. This will kill me.
ILLIE pocketed his findings in case
he needed to look at them for
reference, which he certainly would. He
felt a little worn out by the overtaxing of
his mental assembly and there were
butterflies in his stomach, so he decided to
go over to his rooming house and take a
cat-nap.
Willie arrived there twenty minutes
later, took off his shoes and eased himself
with great care into the tricky bed.
When Willie Klump awoke, the room
was in darkness and his radio was on and
he was sure that corny program always
gave out at eight P.M. He got out of bed
without mishap and thought back as far as
his brain would take him. There was
something he had to do. He fished his
notes out of his pocket, snapped on a light
W
IT COULD ONLY HAPPEN TO WILLIE 9
and scanned them in a hurry.
“Oh, gosh,” Willie said. “I’m the limit.
I got to git down there to the warehouse
fast.”
There was a knock on Willie’s door,
then the knob turned and the door swung
open and a big citizen Willie had never
seen before in his life, stepped inside. He
shut the door behind him and turned the
key in the lock. Willie saw the visitor field
a miniature bazooka in his hand.
“You’re Klump, a private dick?”
“Yeah,” Willie said, the word shaking
like so much Jello. “What is the meanin’
of this? You git out of my room!”
“Git in that chair an’ button your lip,”
the vicious-looking person flung at Willie.
“Ever hear of Babe O’Dool?”
“I hate dames,” Willie said. “One just
put the slug on. . . . O’Dool? Not the one
escaped from the Pennsy pen an’ killed
three guards? You are Fitzy’s—”
“You hit the jackpot, jerk.” O’Dool
grinned wolfishly at Willie. “The doll
called me and give me the message Fitzy
told Bilk to give her. ‘He had plenty on
Kelly.’ It meant only one thing to me—a
kite from Fitzy. Now back in Chi oncet,
me an’ Fitzy had to git word to each other
without the cops knowin’ an’ we used the
dictionary in a public lib’ary. Now it was
either a notebook or a little dictionary
Fitzy used to plant on Kelly, see? After I
slugged Kelly, he didn’t have no message
on him so I looked around to see who was
his close pals. You was one, so here I am.
You know what I come for, Klump.”
“I will not give you the dictionary as I
ain’t got it,” Willie said, shivering. “I lost
the book.”
“So that is what it is, huh?” O’Dool
sniffed. “Okay, I’m friskin’ you like the
Krauts frisk a Russian city. After I git the
book, I got to leave you dead, Klump. Too
bad, as you are a good-natured-lookin’
slob.”
“You leave my room at oncet!”
“Shut up,” the gorilla snarled at Willie.
“Look, I’ll only leave you half dead, I
promise, if you will save me time by
forkin’ it over. I’ll sit on the bed here an’
cover you with this Betsy an’ give you just
two minutes.”
Willie Klump saw no way out. He was
at a dead end and could not expect to get
out of the rhubarb with less than two
broken legs, a fractured skull and a
compound fracture of both arms.
“Look,” Willie said desperately. “I will
promise you time off for good behavior if
you will confess everythin’ an’ ask for the
mercy of the court, O’Dool. They will get
you anyways, as crime don’t pay.”
“I got a murder rap hangin’ on me,
Klump,” O’Dool said. “Let’s stop kiddin’
around, huh?”
E PLUNKED his big bulk down on
the edge of Willie’s bed and it
weighed all of two hundred and thirty
pounds bone dry. Babe O’Dool was a little
agitated in the bargain and felt like
throwing his weight around.
The bed immediately folded up and the
iron headstead made a bonging sound as it
tapped Babe on the button. In a few
seconds, O’Dool was wallowing around in
a sea of twisted sheets and blankets like an
old cargo ship that has been hit by a torp.
Willie shook the fright out of his meat
and bones and made a dive for Babe
O’Dool. He got a big boot in his stomach
but the vital organ was already flat, not
having been nourished for hours. Willie
was only disconcerted for a few moments
and picked himself up off the floor and
lunged for O’Dool again.
The big citizen met Willie more than
halfway and the president of the Hawkeye
Detective Agency fairly flew against the
wall and nearly stuck to it like a sheet of
fly-paper. Babe O’Dool put his head down
H
POPULAR DETECTIVE 10
and tried for the haymaker but Willie
collected himself quickly and stepped
nimbly to one side. O’Dool’s head hit the
wall and a picture of September Morn was
knocked loose from its moorings and it hit
Babe on the back of the neck.
“Can’t nothin’ kill you?” Willie
gasped and started his first lap around the
cramped room.
He reached out and yanked a light bulb
out of its socket and everything was pitch
black. Babe O’Dool cussed like an
income-tax blank filler when he fell over a
chair. The whole house shook.
Willie belly-whopped into the wreck
of his bed and rummaged wildly around
for the equalizer. He felt O’Dool’s breath
on his neck and a big hand brushing
against his larynx and got out of there.
Willie felt his fingers against cold metal
and he stooped quickly, lifted up the foot
of the iron bedstead and crashed it down
against a dark object rushing at him.
Babe O’Dool let out a horrible yell and
Willie was pretty sure he had the gorilla
this time. He stepped back and listened to
O’Dool thresh about on the floor like a
hamstrung hippo for a few moments, then
groped for the door.
Not until then did Willie hear the to-do
outside. Sirens were screaming and so was
Mrs. Gilhooley and a lot of feminine
lodgers. The door was rocking on its
hinges when Willie turned the key in the
lock and swung it in.
Three cops fell on the top of Willie
and when they unpiled he asked them why
he should be classified 4F as look what he
had been through.
Babe O’Dool’s noggin was shoved
through two iron rungs in the piece of
Willie’s bed and the Babe’s eyes were like
two raw eggs swimming in water glass and
the hoodlum was yelling for a mouthpiece
to get him out of the jail.
“I know my rights an’ what a habus
corpse is an’ you can’t do this to me.”
“What’s been goin’ on here?” a cop
yelped.
“You get your things and leave this
house at once, Mr. Klump,” Mrs.
Gilhooley said. “Of all the shameless
conduct I never did see. I will sue you too,
Klump.”
“Look,” Willie said. “That is Babe
O’Dool I captured and over in Pennsy they
want him more than they do a six-cent
cigar which is worth three cents. He is an
excessory after the fact with Fitzy Fay
who held up the Gormley Girdle and
Foundation Factory.”
“You are bugs,” a cop said.
“He is not,” a big character yelped as
he crashed the gate. “That is Babe O’Dool
awright as I been studyin’ his pan in the
gallery for a week now. How’s things,
Babe?”
“What do you t’ink, copper? Imagine
me gittin’ nabbed by this punk? Awright,
so I go back to Pennsy an’ fry, but you still
haven’t got the payroll, see? I don’t know
where it is as Fitzy an’ me split up when
we scrammed from the factory an’ Fitzy
had the sugar. Lemme outa this thing,
huh?”
ILLIE was busy exploring himself
for possible breaks.
“I will lead you right to where the
payroll is hid,” he said. “I got the dope
from Satchelfoot Kelly only he don’t
know it an’ even don’t know he had it.
The ol’ warehouse at the foot of East
Sixty-ninth an’ it is under the hood of an
old truck there. Fitzy was trying to get five
grand of it to pay his mouthpiece some
advance as Bilk comes high, don’t he?”
“Well, the D. A. will throw the book at
Fitzy now,” a cop said.
“A dictionary,” Willie said, and
grinned. “I guess I’ll never git that letter
writ to my lawyers. What is a polite word
W
IT COULD ONLY HAPPEN TO WILLIE 11
for a chiselin’ pigeon, huh?”
“This will give Kelly a relapse,
Klump,” a cop pointed out. “It still puzzles
me, though.”
“It will take a long time to explain,”
Willie admitted. “The things I can git into.
Babe had a Betsy so don’t forget to find it
‘fore you leave.”
“Why, Mr. Klump,” Mrs. Gilhooley
gushed, “you are a hero and your picture
will be in the papers, I bet. I’ll see that you
get a brand new bed.”
“Don’t you dare,” Willie said. “I will
never part with that one ag’in. I love every
lump an’ squeak in it, Mrs. Gilhooley.”
Downtown, the D. A. listened to
Willie’s story like a man just recovering
from a night with an opium pipe and the
D. A.’s eyes bugged out as he looked at
the fat payroll on his desk.
“You started the case off good,” Willie
said, “when you lent Kelly’s pocket
dictionary to Fitzy. Kelly was the germ
carrier but did not know it an’ then the
Babe after not findin’ the kite on Kelly,
went after Satchelfoot’s closest friends.
So. . . . Oh, heavens! This is awful. Gertie
is a closer friend of his than I am. We got
to hurry an’ talk to O’Dool. O-o-oh!”
“Sure,” Babe O’Dool admitted. “I
fergot to tell ya. I visited the flatfoot’s
torch an’ had to use her rough as she was a
battler. I cuffed her one, tied her up an’
gagged her. Left her in back of a laundry
on East Forty-fift’. Two hun’red eleven
east. I thought I had the book but when I
got to my hangout, it was just a bankbook.
Here it is as what good is it to me?”
“Oh, brother!” Willie said. “I’ll give
that to my lawyers. It is a ill wind that
blows nothin’ somebody’s way, don’t you
think? I must hurry and get Gertie out of
that. But why should I hurry? You sure she
was tied up tight?”
“Like traffic in a t’ree alarm fire, you
punk,” O’Dool groaned. “Now lemme
alone. . . .”
T WAS midnight, and Willie Klump sat
on an old box in back of the laundry on
Forty-fifth Street. Never before had he
been able to talk for twenty minutes
straight with Gertie without getting an
answer.
“I saved you from a fate worst than
death,” Willie impressed upon her. “He
was comin’ back to assassinate you, he
said. I will see you git some of the reward
money as it was you tried to make Kelly
an illiterate an’ got him to buy the
dictionary. I am rescuin’ you so you would
be an ungrate if you didn’t give me back
my life savin’s now.”
After a while, Gertie Mudgett walked
with Willie to the nearest tavern and got
first aid. When the stimulant brought her
back to normal, she threw her arms around
Willie and told him she would never doubt
him again. He was hers forever. The
proprietor came over and told them both
that if they wanted to put on the woo, they
could go over to a park somewhere as he
ran a respectable joint.
“Why, the idea!” Gertie howled. “That
is an insult. Willie!”
“Ah—er—after all,” Willie said, “this
is no place to neck.”
“Oh, sidin’ against me, are you?”
Gertie yelped louder. “You let this
baboon—”
“Don’t call me no baboon, sister or
I’ll—”
“Listen, Gertie,” Willie gulped.
“You’ll what?” said Gertie.
Willie picked up his hat and got out
first.
Gertie was not far behind him and she
was still wound up.
“I better not lose that address of them
lawyers,” Willie gulped. “I think I will still
need it.”
I

Free PDF reader Online

This tool may come in hand for every webmaster, business owner and any other person living partially online. We allow our users to easily upload any document type, while we convert it into PDF format for further use. You can easily share generated a link to your clients, so they can easily check out your price lists, data sheets, or product manuals online without the need to download Adobe PDF reader or any additional software. Moreover, you can extract any images available in the document for additional use, so you do not need to take screenshots, or extract images using any other way. 

Features

  1. Free for life, no hosting costs. Simply upload a document and that's it
  2. Always online. We take care of the service, so we can provide you highest level of service availability
  3. Unlimited hard drive space - no limits, no megabytes. Just upload anything you like and we will convert it to PDF (if this file is convertible)

Previous 10

Next 10