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10-Story Detective April 1949 by unknow

10-Story Detective April 1949 by unknow

Author:unknow
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Mystery, Pulp
Publisher: 10-Story Detective
Published: 1949-04-06T05:00:00+00:00


HE COULDN’T answer for a moment. He wanted to look at her as long as he could. They say to be a hit vocalist you need ninety per cent looks and ten per cent talent. Angela was more beautiful than that. Men would always be gaping at her and reaching for her as some reach for a rainbow. But her voice would never be good enough for wax or for the air, and in ten years whisky would make it hoarse. He didn’t want to think about it.

“I guess it’s not much good,” he said.

“We’ll see each other, Johnny,” she said.

“I’ll think of you.”

“I’ll write a lot of songs for you.”

She smiled. “Wonderful, Johnny. I’ll be singing them.”

He knew then beyond any doubt it was hopeless. Tonight they’d have a couple of drinks together and then it would be all over. There was nothing he could do.

“I’ve just finished the last show and have to see the boss,” he said. “Meet me afterwards at Nick’s.”

“I’m going to leave right now,” she said. She turned to the mirror and tilted her head to see the highlights of her hair. “See you in a few minutes, Johnny.”

Marlo was chewing on his perpetual cigar when Johnny stepped into his office.

“I want to say good-by to you and Mr. Dutton,” Johnny said.

“My partner’s not around right now.” A huge grin broke out on Marlo’s face. “You look sick, kid. What’s the matter—Angela turn you down again?’ Then he roared with laughter, slapping the desk blotter with his fist.

“It’s not funny,” Johnny said.

“Well, don’t worry about it,” Marlo said. “The air’s full of chicks like Angela. They’ll come flying around with the dough you’ll be making.”

“Maybe.”

“You’ll be making more in royalties in a day than we could pay you in a month.”

Johnny’s mind wasn’t that far ahead. He was thinking of now. He’d get his last pay, empty out his dressing room, and leave, It was almost over.

“When you get up there with Berlin and Rose and the Duke, give me a ring,” Marlo was saying.

He grinned and shifted his cigar to the other side of his mouth. He opened his mouth and suddenly his whole expression changed. He stared at the door in back of Johnny. He said, “Hey, no, no,” and the cigar dropped out of his mouth onto the desk.

Johnny saw Marlo’s face for only a second. The next instant there was a sharp report and a shrill whistling past Johnny’s ear. Johnny saw a dot in the center of Marlo’s forehead. The dot was turning red and spreading over Marlo’s face. And then Johnny tried to turn in his chair, He remembered hearing a shot and thinking he’d moved in the wrong direction. He remembered the room getting up and walking away from him. First Marlo faded out and then the desk faded out and then the floor turned into the ceiling and Johnny stretched his hands to cushion the fall he never felt.

The room was spinning wildly and there was something in his hand.



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