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Ten Detective Aces, November, 1940
Taken for a Bride
By Joe Archibald
Author of “Bang Tale,” etc.
The bride is gone
And the groom is glum,
And Snooty gets ripe
For a pistol plum.
ELL,” Snooty Piper says
one morning as he peruses
the first edition of Mr.
Guppy’s Evening Star, “they have very
interesting murders everywhere but here in
Boston, it seems to me.”
“That is terrible,” I reply. “Let’s go over
and complain to the Chamber of
Commerce.”
Snooty ignores me. He is reading about
the rubout that took place up in Portsmouth,
N. H., a few days back. A character
knocked off his wife by tipping over a
canoe in the drink they call Great Bay. It
seems that the male wanted her insurance
and his freedom, to boot, but it looks very
much like he will get his noggin topped
instead as there was an eyewitness to his
skullduggery.
The criminal character’s name is
Georgie ‘Porgy’ Pankas, and cops say
Georgie had quite a pin-ball and slot
machine racket going through northern New
England.
“Business must have been slow for
Porgy,” I says. “So he pulls an American
“W
TEN DETECTIVE ACES 2
Tragedy for a stake.”
Snooty nods. “His trial comes up in just
three weeks too, and he is held without a
smell of bail. I hope I can get up there as it
is a cinch Georgie will get hanged by the
neck until he is quite defunct. It was a tough
break when the dame saw Georgie tip over
the canoe. She hung out in some summer
camp there and was in swimmin’ at dusk. It
shows crime doesn’t pay.”
In the next few minutes we forget about
the crime that is already solved as a phone
call comes in for Snooty. When he gets
through with the phone, he tells me it is a
tip from a pal of his who works in the
Missing Persons Bureau.
“Scoop, there is a groom over there in a
terrible state as the cupcake he was to have
married this a.m. disappeared sometime last
night,” Snooty says without taking a breath.
“We might have a murder here.”
OGFACE WOOLSEY, the city editor,
says for us to go over and look into the
matter quite thoroughly when Snooty gives
him the lowdown. We go over to the Bureau
where the business of finding citizens who
have taken an unexplained powder is carried
on. Who is there but Iron Jaw
O’Shaughnessy, alleged detective.
“Who called you?” Snooty sniffs. “It is
a waste of time for us to be here, Scoop. If
the disappointed groom sent for Iron Jaw,
he does not care whether he finds his doll or
not.”
“I ought to paste you one, you green
hornet,” the big flatfoot says. “It is a nice
way to talk when a poor feller like him over
there is in such a dither. Look at him,
Piper!”
The taxpayer huddled up in a chair in a
corner is, without doubt, a very pathetic
figure. His floodgates are wide open and his
noggin is clutched tightly in his hands.
“She is gone. She has been murdered.
Oh-h-h-h, my darlin’!” the sad citizen
howls.
“What did you get up to now?” Snooty
asks Iron Jaw.
“Well, he says he saw her yesterday aft
about four o’clock,” the slewfoot
begrudgingly admits. “She was tryin’ on her
goin’-away rags. He says it was a bluetailored suit with a pin-stripe. She had a red
turban on too.”
“Did she have any enemies?” Snooty
says to the weeping character. “Maybe you
know a guy who would have her knocked
off rather than marry you, huh?”
The disappointed groom’s name is Elmo
Tappett. He takes his hands away from his
face and then Snooty whispers to me and
says to let’s forget the whole thing as what
dame wouldn’t change her mind if she had
to take a gander at such a pan every day of
her life.
Elmo is no Gable. He does not even
come very close to being a Karloff, but
nobody can figure dames. “He must have a
very ducky personality,” I says.
“Uh—er—I bet I know,” Elmo yips.
“There was a guy who went with her for
three years ‘fore I met up with her. He is a
very jealous guy and he did say once he
would end everything for himself and her,
too, if she hooked up with me. His name is
Victor Vaselino.”
“Latins have very hot blood,” Iron Jaw
says.
“What is your doll’s name?” Snooty
asks Elmo. “It would help us if we knew.”
“Josephine Jupp. There never was
nobody as beautiful. She had eyes like sloe
plums. Her lips—”
“We will go over and look over the
place where she lived to see if there was
signs of a struggle,” Iron Jaw says. “Then
we go and glom this Victor Vaselino.”
We follow Iron Jaw and party over to a
little flat in Back Bay. Josephine’s quarters
are quite in order. There is a very
diaphanous wrapper hanging over a chair
D
TAKEN FOR A BRIDE 3
back. When he sees it Elmo bursts into tears
once more.
“That is her weddin’ dress,” Elmo
sniffles. “Oh, this is terrible.”
“It ain’t good,” Iron Jaw says. He yells
for the landlady. She would have come
running if she had been on the other side of
town shopping in Filene’s basement.
Iron Jaw asks the landlady some
questions and the old frill says that
Josephine got a phone call shortly after
Elmo left her. She seemed quite gaga about
it and she went out of the house with her
going-away scenery still on her.
“We better see this Vaselino,” Iron Jaw
says. “I think we got this thing busted wide
open already. Hah! Where does the punk
live?”
Victor Vaselino, Elmo tells us, lives
over in Cambridge, just off Harvard Square.
We go and call on Victor. He is a very
sleek-looking person with a pair of eyes that
could stare down a Svengali. He is reading a
book when we arrive and Snooty picks it up
just after Victor sets it down.
“It is quite a book,” Snooty says in a
very hard voice. “Unsolved Crimes of Two
Worlds.” Iron Jaw picks up another tome
that is on a table. “How to Commit a Perfect
Crime,” he growls. I select one from a
bunch on the window sill. It says on the
cover, Murder Without Trace or the Corpse
in the Trunk.
“What did you do with the body?” Iron
Jaw says and jabs a finger halfway through
Victor’s breast-bone.
“Wha-a-a?”
“Come clean,” Iron Jaw says.
“Josephine Jupp is missing. You called her
on the phone last night, ha-a-ah?”
ICTOR nods but looks quite
bewildered. “Yeah, I asked to see her
for the last time before she got married to
this Elmo guy,” Victor said. “I was O.K.
with her until he showed up. There was
some letters I was to give her back an’—”
“Blackmail too, huh?” Iron Jaw says.
“Besides cold-blooded murder! Why you—
!”
“Keep after him,” Snooty scoffs.
“You’ll have him for perjury and arson
before he can look out.”
“You keep outa this,” Iron Jaw says to
both of us. “Where is your trunk?”
“Why—er—I sold it a couple of days
ago,” Victor said. “I been out of a job for a
couple of weeks an’—”
“Where’d you sell it? Prove it!”
“A second-hand man,” Vaselino says,
perspiring very copiously. “I don’t
remember who.”
Snooty looks at me. His eyes are as
wide open as a fourth-rate pug’s defence.
“Er—maybe Iron Jaw is right, Scoop,” he
says. “Some day he will have to be an’
maybe this is the day.”
“You are under arrest, Vaselino,” Iron
Jaw says. “With that name you should be a
slippery gent, hah? Whatever you say is
used against you. Well, so—long, type lice!
Read about me in the papers. Got the idea
outa them books, huh?” he tosses at Victor.
“Let me at him,” Elmo cries out and
reaches for Victor’s epiglottis. Snooty and
me hold him back and he starts sobbing
some more.
“It is all a terrible mistake,” the Latin
yips. “I said good-bye to Josie in the drug
store and that is the last I saw of her. Look,
Elmo, you know I wouldn’t—”
“Get the viper out of my sight,” Elmo
howls and tries to pick up a coffee table to
throw. “Oh, my poor li’l bride.”
“If that is her picture there,” Snooty
says, “I would cry too if I had had her ready
for the wedding machine and then had lost
her. She is a blonde with a shingle-bob, isn’t
she?”
Iron Jaw takes Victor away. Me and
Snooty go to the Greek’s and think
everything over.
V
TEN DETECTIVE ACES 4
“Up to now,” Snooty says. “Iron Jaw
has no corpus delicti, has he, Scoop? I
imagine the cops will comb the second-hand
trunk stores and all. I would look in the
Charles River to play safe if I was a
detective.”
“You are certain Josie is liquidated?” I
ask.
“One can’t be sure, Scoop. Three things
could have happened to her besides gettin’
assassinated. First, there is amnesia.
Second, she might have changed her mind
last night after taking a good gander at
Elmo’s photo. Third, she could have gone
out for a last fling as a spinster before she
hopped to the broom and fryin’ pan. If she
is still at large we will know her by her red
skimmer and pin-striped tailored burlap.
Keep your eyes opened.”
It is an hour later when we are passing
Filene’s on Washington Street that Snooty
Piper suddenly clutches at my arm an’ says:
“Look, Scoop!” He leaves me and walks
over to a doll who is taking a gander at
girdles in the window.
“Pardon me,” Snooty says. “You
couldn’t be Josephine Jupp, could you?”
I hear a sound like you hear when
somebody whams a baseball bat against the
side of a tent. Snooty’s green hat goes
spinning and a dame is yellin’: “Masher!
Help!—police!”
I help Snooty Piper lose himself in the
crowd and finally sneak him into a tavern
on Avery Street. One side of his face looks
quite red and is puffing up like an omelet in
a hot pan.
“She would be carrying a ham, wouldn’t
she, Scoop?” the crackpot says. “She
slugged me with it and I bet it weighed ten
pounds!”
“It serves you right,” I spout. “That
turban she was wearin’ was pink, not red.
Her suit didn’t have stripes in it.”
“I was over-zealous, Scoop,” Snooty
says. “I must control myself. Hold me every
time we pass a doll wearing a suit and a
turban, will you?”
The papers in late afternoon carry an
account of the apprehension of Victor
Vaselino as a suspect in the disappearance
of Josephine Jupp. Victor cannot remember
who he sold a trunk to, and admits having
been the last character to have looked upon
the doll who was ready for the nuptial vows.
Iron Jaw O’Shaughnessy is mentioned
frequently in the column of type.
Now it is late the next p.m. when a very
startling thing happens to me and Snooty
Piper. We are walking along Tremont on the
Common Side when we see a very slender
blonde canary coming toward us. She has
on a very red turban and a tailored blue suit
with pin stripes.
Now just as I grab Snooty, a taxi crabs
up to the curb and stops. Two citizens
emerge from the swindle jalopy and they
crowd on either side of her. One character
lifts his hat very politely and the doll stops
and gets quite paralyzed about it all.
“That is a disgrace,” Snooty sniffs.
“Accostin’ female citizens by wholesale.
We should put a stop to—say, she is a bblonde, Scoop. Come on. Something is very
screwy—!”
The doll opens her mouth to let out a
howl and one character plants a big lunch
hook over her face and stifles her pipes. The
other helps push her toward the cab and I
think I see the sunshine on a Betsy he has in
his other flipper. Me and Snooty go into
action.
Snooty grabs up an empty banana stalk
that has fallen into the gutter and lets it go.
It hits the citizen nearest the taxi right in the
pantry and knocks him on his panties.
Bang! Bang.
I DUCK behind a very heavy garbage can. In the next second I come up with it in
my arms and I run right into the rough
person firing off the cannon and knock him
TAKEN FOR A BRIDE 5
against the side of the jalopy. It was quite a
tank attack but I bounce back and go over
on my back with the garbage can holding
me down.
A lot of citizens start putting on a very
heated fuss but do not try to stop the
mashers who pile into the taxi and race
down Tremont. I finally roll the garbage can
off my torso and look for Snooty. He is
getting up quite slowly and has the mark of
an auto tire across the back of his green suit.
“Where is the doll?” Snooty yelps. “It
was Josie. Where is the cops?”
When the gendarmes arrive en masse,
they pick me and Snooty up and say we will
find out what is what for starting a riot on
Tremont Street.
“It is a lie,” a taxpayer says who
witnessed it all. “They saved that poor girl
from a kidnaping!”
“Yeah,” Snooty says. “Look at the
roscoe holes in that garbage can there. What
did you think we could have made them
with? A street-car conductor’s punch?
Where is the doll?”
“There she is,” I says. “Over there on
the grass as limp as a cooked stick of
macaroni. Maybe the scare shook her loose
from the amnesia, huh?”
“Who is she?” a cop asks.
“Josephine Jupp, that is who,” Snooty
says. “Iron Jaw O’Shaughnessy has arrested
a character for rubbing her out and there she
is in the flesh. Ha, ha!”
“What do you think of that?” a cop
gulps.
“I wouldn’t know,” I sigh and feel
around my torso for ventilation.
The cops carry the canary into a drug
store across the street and give her first aid.
When the blonde sits up, Snooty says:
“Well, Josephine, you have been givin’
Elmo a terrible time of it, haven’t you? Now
you go right home and get ready for the
weddin’, huh?”
“Somebody around here is nuts,” the
blonde dish says. “Where am I? I was
walkin’ along when—I remember! Two
men tried to snatch me. Somebody started
shootin’ an’—who says I wanta git married,
huh? I never heard of no Elmo. I am Rosie
O’Hara from Saugus an’ I just rented a
room awhile ago over on Commonwealth
Avenue. What is this, huh? What’s the big
idea?”
“You are wearin’ a red turban and a suit
with pin-stripes,” I says while Snooty
brushes spots away from his eyes.
“So I am, huh? So what? So a girl has
got to ask you punks what she wears. Is the
cops got a law against turbans? Let me outta
this burg. I’m grabbin’ the first bus for
Saugus.”
Snooty sidles over to me. “Er—Scoop—
that turban has seen better days,” he says.
“It is more than two or three days old and
the suit she is wearin’ shines like a Dutch
farmer’s wife’s kitchen floor. Somethin’ is
haywire again.”
“Just leave me alone,” I says.
The cops ask for a description of the
citizens in the cab but we cannot remember
what they looked like as the battle is still
quite hazy in our minds.
“Er—Miss O’Hara,” Snooty says. “It is
quite an unfortunate occurrence all around,
isn’t it? We will see you get to your roomin’
house and pack up and get a bus. Some guys
must have thought you was somebody else.”
Snooty’s legs buckle a little and I help
keep him horizontal.
The cops says it is okay for us to take
the doll off Tremont Street. Then they
question a lot of citizens who might have
remembered what the rough boys looked
like, also the license number on the cab. We
take the blonde canary home. She is quite a
card.
“I got enough of this burg,” Rosie
repeats. “I figgered to come to the big town
an’ make me a glamour girl as I got a voice
an’ might git myself in a night club. It’s a
TEN DETECTIVE ACES 6
mighty screwy place here as what do you
think?”
“I don’t dare any more,” I told her.
“Well, I git me this room,” Rosie says.
“An’ I am in it only an hour when I find this
outfit rolled up an’ shoved in a corner of the
closet. Some dame left it there. Well, they
wa’n’t new but they was stylish so I
figgered I’d put ‘em on. They fit me swell
an’ that’s how come I had a turban on an’
that tailored suit.”
E AND SNOOTY are slug-nutty
when we finally get to where Rosie
hives up. The landlady there says the room
she rented to Rosie O’Hara was occupied by
a blonde for only a day. She showed up in
the rags Rosie found, but left during the
night.
“Said her name was Smith,” the
landlady says. “She paid me a week in
advance too. She was a blonde, a little
darker than Miss O’Hara here.”
“Josephine,” I says.
“I wonder,” Snooty says and sits down
on the stairs and paws at his face. “Josie
only wore that going-away outfit that one
time, Elmo said. She couldn’t be that hard
on clothes if she rolled all the way from
Braves Field to the North Station in them.
This is a puzzler, huh?”
“Look, we will forget it,” I suggest. “It
looks like Iron Jaw is right. Josephine has
been rendered defunct, I am quite positive.”
“Wait,” Snooty says. “May I have your
suit coat, Rosie?”
“Yeah. An’ don’t git so personal, see?
Here, take it. I wouldn’t git caught dead in
it.”
“Huh? Why—er—you did almost,”
Snooty chirps. “I am beginnin’ to see—
almost. Look, Scoops. There is an old label
here. It says: Spitzer & Co., Portland, Me.”
“Then that lets Josephine out,” I mutter.
“She didn’t have to go to Portland to buy
her trousseau when we have such swell
stores here in Boston. It belonged to
somebody else.”
“You amaze me, Scoop,” Snooty mocks.
“Say, who is Josephine?” Rosie wants to
know. “What made her run away, huh? He’s
been runnin’ around with other women
maybe. Nobody can trust nobody these
days.”
“You had better go back to Saugus,” I
sigh.
“No! A thousand times no!” Snooty
says. “Look, Rosie, you must help us as we
are of the Fourth Estate and help fight
criminals. If citizens are after a doll wearing
that outfit, you put them on again tomorrow
and just walk around. We will be right
behind you all the time an’—”
“I ain’t goin’ to git killed for nobody,”
Rosie says. “You are both screwy. I’m goin’
to Saugus this minute.”
“And I was sure you was just the girl for
me—er—us,” Snooty says with a very
funny laugh. “I could make you famous. If
you helped me on this case and we come
out all right, you would git your pictures in
all the papers. That is publicity and all the
night clubs would beg you to—”
“Yeah?”
“Look here,” I fling at Snooty sotto
voce. “That is criminal. You are lurin’ an
innocent girl an’—”
“Oke,” Rosie says. “I will help you, Mr.
Piper. I’m beginnin’ to think you’re a swell
guy. If you could see the dopes I had to go
out with in Saugus!”
We go to the Evening Star. “Dress her
up and teach her the English language and
she would be a pip, Scoop,” Snooty says. “I
think I will give the air to that cookie over
in the Waldorf Lunch. It is the morgue I am
interested in now.”
“Then it is good-bye,” I tell him. “I
leave you when we reach Mr. Guppy’s. It is
murder you will have on your hands, you
goon. Settin’ that doll as bait for gorillas.”
I go over to the Greek’s alone. Two
M
TAKEN FOR A BRIDE 7
hours later in comes Snooty Piper and his
eyes are very bright as if he had been
smoking a handful of reefers.
“I got it, Scoop!” Snooty yips as he
slides into the booth with me. “I have been
looking up in the morgue at the Evening
Star about certain characters. I telephoned
the cops in Portsmouth, N. H. I have been
down to headquarters asking if Georgie
Porgy Pankas has friends among the riff-raff
here in Beantown. It is absolutely
astonishing the things I have learned.”
“What did J. Edgar Hoover have to
say?” I ask. “Look, stupid. What has the
murder up there in the sticks got to do with
the disappearance of a bride the night before
her merger with a groom? Don’t bother me,
Snooty Piper. I won’t listen to no more such
mullarkey. I think you are as mentally
deficient as a cuckoo in a clock.”
“Now stop it, Scoop. I have got a swell
idea for both of us. We will go over to
where I room and talk it over. I have got the
number of Rosie’s rooming house and I will
call her from there. Tonight is the night. Let
us hurry.”
We did. Don’t ask me why he has such
an influence over me. I guess it is just that
Snooty is so nutty he fascinates me.
VER in his room he has a couple of old
suits he has picked up in a second-hand
store. He has a bottle of belladonna and
some make-up stuff.
“They are very loud suits, Scoop,”
Snooty says. “We will put them on after we
have made up some. That yellow stuff is to
put on your face after you put on the red
wig. I have got a very black curly wig and a
black mustache to match. We are gorillas.
The belladonna is to put in our eyes to make
us look like snow birds.”
“Huh?” I am so numb that that is all I
can say.
“I know where pals of Georgie Porgy
Pankas hangs out,” Snooty says. “Here is
your gun, Scoop. I thought of everything
since I last saw you and you have no idea
how I had to rush around.”
While I am making up, Snooty calls
Rosie.
“You will have visitors around ten
tonight,” the nitwit tells her. “Be sure and
wear the suit and have the turban on display
in the room. That is all. Stand by. Piper
signing off.”
We go over to a very low-looking dive
on South Washington Street. We act very
tough as we go in. Our lamps are shining
like diamonds in the bottom of a coal bin
and I hear a doll say:
”Pipe the two cokies, Millie. They are
higher than kites. I never saw ‘em around
before.”
Me and Snooty get into a booth and
order a pair of skull busters. Snooty does
the talking.
“I t’ought dese big-time mugs was
smart, Spider. We haveta come down an’
help ‘em fix a dumb dame for Georgie.”
“Shut up,” I says, nasty, and light a
cigar. “Want de whul woild t’ hear ya, ya
punk!”
“Aw, nobody here knows from nuttin’,”
Snooty, alias Butch the Blood from Nashua,
says. “Did dey mess up the snitch, huh? Dey
call up from Boston an’ tells Georgie’s
mout’piece an’ we haveta come down an’
show ‘em how to rub out a doll.”
“Ya know where dis Lulu Berry is,
Butch?”
“Yeah. I talked wit’ dem newspaper
guys what took her home. Dey t’ought I was
a cop. Ha, ha, so dey are smart in dis boig,
huh? We do de job an’ hop back to the
sticks. Dis Lulu is stickin’ close to her room
now until she sees a chanct to sneak outta
Boston, see? She knows de heat’s on her an’
I bet she’s called the D.A. up there to send
her dough to buy a new outfit. Right now
she’s as good as a dead pigeon an’ we split
a grand, Spider. After a coupla slugs, we
O
TEN DETECTIVE ACES 8
beat it, see?”
“This stogie is lickin’ me,” I says. “I—”
“Sh! Stick to your character, Scoop.”
We ankle out and somebody bumps into
Snooty. Snooty gets very ugly and wants to
know if the citizen wants to apologize or
shoot it out with gats. The customers in the
joint look very scared and a character
behind the bar says for us to scram before
he opens up our skulls with a Betsy of his
own.
We wait for a cab outside when three
tough boys slide up alongside of us.
“Hello, pals,” one says. “So you two
was sent down to git Lulu, huh? Well, we
want to play wit’ you guys, see? If you ain’t
agreeable, we have ways of makin’ ya,
see?”
“Watch ‘em close. They are filled with
hop,” another criminal character says. He
looks familiar to me.
“Okay, fellers,” Snooty says. “Me an’
Spider don’t want to hog everythin’. We are
all in this together to save Georgie from the
hemp cravat, ain’t we?”
“Yeah, now ya’re talkin’,” a very evillooking hood says. “Le’s grab dis taxi
comin’.”
On the way to Commonwealth Avenue,
Snooty makes a very wild stab and gets
away with it.
“You phoned up there an’ said you
already had the doll,” he said. “What was de
big idea, hah?”
“Look, cull. There oughter be a law
about dames dressin’ alike. We grab dis
canary, see? Then we find out she ain’t Lulu
when we git her to where we hang out in the
Hotel Luxoria on Harrison Street, see?
Well, it’s a kidnapin’, ain’t it? So she sees
our mugs an’ll reckernize us ag’in. So we
gotta bump her off ‘fore we leave town,
see?”
I am quite frightened over everything
and I think of things that make me much
more jittery by the minute. I am glad the
jalopy’s engine is very noisy as the lugs
cannot hear my teeth and my knees cracking
together like castanets.
“Yeah,” Snooty says. “Dames copy each
other’s rags as they are dippy. Well, we’ll
fix t’ings dis time, boys. Georgie will laugh
at dem cops when they put him on the
stand.”
E ARRIVE in front of the rooming
house on Commonwealth Avenue
and four of us get out. The other tough
character is to watch for cops while we are
inside. We walk upstairs and knock on
Rosie’s door. She opens up and lets out a
little squeak and tries to shut the door again.
Snooty grabs her and puts a hand over her
mouth.
“Yeah, here is the turban she wore outta
Portsmouth,” a mug says. “She’s wearin’
that suit. Well, let her have it, Butch!”
Bang! Bang! Bang! The sound of the
roscoes comes from outside.
“De cops,” a rough guy says. “Smack
her an’ let’s scram, Butch!”
“Let ‘em have it, Scoop!” Snooty yelps.
“Give ‘em the ammonia, Rosie!”
“We’re framed, ya punks. Grab the
cannons. These guys are bulls. Ow-w-w-w!
I’m blind.”
It happened very swiftly. Rosie had a
pitcher of ammonia ready on the table and
just when Snooty let her go she picked it up
and irrigated the rough criminals with it. I
hit one sputtering hood with a radio set and
Snooty does very well when he throws a
brass knob he takes from a bed post.
He bounces it off a noggin that is quite
dull from ammonia fumes and the citizen
sits down in a corner and grins for no reason
at all. Rosie is quite a battler and after she
empties the pitcher she cracks it into many
pieces over a third pate and the battle is
over.
Iron Jaw O’Shaughnessy and some cops
come in and we turn things over to them.
W
TAKEN FOR A BRIDE 9
“Well, this is not Josephine again,”
Snooty says to the bug-eyed slewfoot. “But
we know where she is. Just let us borrow
two big strong gendarmes as we must raid
the Hotel Luxoria as that is where Elmo
Tappett’s bride is pigeon-holed. Victor
Vaselino is going to be very put out about
things, Iron Jaw.”
We have very little trouble releasing
Josephine. She is quite shaky and all, but
she looks very chic in her new blue tailored
suit with the pinstripe to it. Her turban goes
well with her blonde locks, too.
“I left Victor,” Josephine says on the
way to headquarters, “after I got back the
letters which I wrote to him. Victor just
wanted to say goodbye for the last time.
Three men got out of a car and threw me
into the car and carried me here. They were
talking about killing me. Oh, I am so
happy!”
“Well, here is the way it was,” Snooty
says to the cops. “This witness for the D.A.
up in Portsmouth—this Lulu Berry who saw
Georgie tip a canoe over—was advised to
leave Portsmouth until the trial as he figured
Georgie’s pals would try and see she did not
do any squawking.
“Well it happened that Lulu had an
outfit like Josephine here and the gorillas in
Boston were tipped off to what she would
look like and they waited for her. Well,
Josephine happened along and since she is a
blonde too, Georgie’s mugs grabbed her.”
“Yeah?”
“Yeah,” Snooty goes on. “Please don’t
interrupt me. Then they find they have
snatched the wrong female character, but do
not dare let her go as it is kidnaping they
have committed. Now, Lulu Berry reads
about the missing bride and what she wore.
So she knows it was her they was really
after, so she takes off the turban and the suit
and puts on different scenery.
“She lams to a place where she will feel
safer, and who comes in to rent the room
she had flown but Rosie O’Hara from
Saugus. So Rosie is almost snatched on
Tremont Street, see? Because she found
Lulu’s duds and put them on. I smell a
rodent very quickly when I see Rosie’s
ensemble is quite on the defunct side as a
bride would not go a way in an old suit,
would she? Elmo said it was brand new.”
“Cripes,” Iron Jaw says. “Gimme a
paper and pencil, a cage and a strait-jacket.
Then I will try and figure this.”
“Well, I called the cops up in N. H. to
get the lowdown on what Lulu looked like
because there was a label marked Portland,
Me., in the suit coat that Rosie was wearing.
From there on it was very amazing
sleuthing work on the part of me and Scoop
and Miss O’Hara. Get a camera man and
take her picture right away.”
“Whose? Josephine’s?”
“No. Lulu’s. No, I mean Rosie’s,”
Snooty says. “It gets a citizen mixed up,
doesn’t it? Will somebody call Portsmouth,
N. H., and ask if Lulu got back there?”
“We just done that,” a cop says. “She
did. They got her locked up just in case.
Georgie will sure swing now.”
“That reminds me,” Snooty says to
Rosie. “They got a swell band at the
Coconut Grove. We will have time for a
gallop or two, won’t we, Scoop?”
“Oh, Elmo,” Josephine says as she
clings to him like ivy sticking to a chimney.
“Isn’t everything wonderful? I am going to
give Mr. Piper a great big kiss!”
“How about me?” I sniff.
Rosie comes at me. She says it was me
she liked the best anyway.
I run out of headquarters and do not stop
until I am in the subway on Park Square.
Snooty Piper can get me into the darndest
messes.

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