Sunday, February 21, 2016

the golden gumdrop caper, part 15

by manfred skyline

illustrated by roy dismas and konrad kraus

originally appeared in the june through september 1956 issues of last stop - excitement magazine

editorial consultant: Prof. Dan Leo

for previous episode, click here

to begin at the beginning, click here

in our previous chapters, we met the international jewel thief stanley slade, recently recaptured after a daring escape from prison, and the notorious adventuress angie ricardo, recently sentenced to a long term in a federal penitentiary. angie has been contacted by mysterious personages, including the "thin man"... who get her released, for their own purposes...,

after a brief stop, where she encounters an old friend , angie continues on her way. in her tentative destination of yonkers, she encounters a couple of children of the night...

“are we going to new york now?” salome asked again.

“maybe.” angie was watching the young cop in the rear view mirror as he got back in his squad car.

“maybe? what’s maybe?”

“we got one more place to check.”

“check for what?” salome asked.

angie started to say, what do you care? but said “ for my lawyer friend”.

“but he was supposed to be here!”

“i figured he might be here, but he might be at this other place, too. i already checked there once.”

the cop had pulled out. angie started the desoto and began pulling away from the curb.

“hey!” salome shouted.

“hey what?”

“what about our cokes?”

“and my hershey bar?” pippi added.

“we haven’t got time for that. i don’t want to be here if that cop comes back.”

you don’t. what about us?”

angie stopped the car. “girls, i am not kidnapping you. you invited yourselves into my life. if you want to stick with me, maybe we can be useful to each other. i’ll scratch your back, and all that. if not, you can just get out of the car right now, all right? with no hard feelings.”

salome thought for a few seconds. “if we get out, can we keep the two dollars you gave us?”

“yes! now make up your minds.”

salome looked over at pippi.

“it’s nice and warm in this car,” pippi said.

salome nodded. “we’ll stick with you for now,” she told angie.

“great.” angie started the car again and they headed down the street away from the bus station and back toward ronnie’s roadhouse. she checked the rear view mirror again for any sign of the police.

“now,” angie said, when had left the bus station behind, “do you know where the train station is? there must be one.”

“why do you want to know here the train station is?” salome asked.

“i just do. do you know where the train station is?”

“you are heading in the right direction,” pippi told her. “it’s on the other side of town.”

“thank you. that’s good.”

they were on streets with dark houses. angie slowed down.

the streets were quiet. the two girls were quiet, just watching the houses go by.


dick richmond was walking again, for the millionth time, through the endless corridors of the horace mann school. they were filled with water. then they turned into a beach.

pete jones, his old sailing instructor, was waiting at the end of the corridor/beach. he was selling salt water taffy at a little stand.

dick couldn’t reach him. he wanted to swim but was afraid of getting his argyle socks wet.

a woman’s voice - an old woman’s voice, as old as pete jones - his wife? - called out - “toonerville trolley! toonerville trolley! west 43rd street! get your hot fried chickens here!”

dick woke up. it took him him a few seconds to remember where he was, and a few more to remember who he was.

he wasn’t at horace mann any more. he was a grown man, a member of the bar. and he was working for a certifiably insane client.

he was in a chair, fully dressed except for his jacket, and his tie was loosened. he was hung over - though no more than on almost any other morning.

he was in the study - or library - of the home of sylvester mcdonnell jefferson - “the thin man” - his immensely wealthy but insane client .

the only light in the room came from a small desk lamp. sylvester mcdonnell jefferson was sprawled face down across the desk with cards from his endless game of solitaire scattered on the desk and on the floor.

was he dead?

dick forced himself up from his chair and approached the desk.

what time was it? was he supposed to be in yonkers meeting angie ricardo?

who hopefully had enough sense to figure out where to meet him? and had she been there and gone?

what time was it?

dick reached the desk and felt for the thin man’s pulse.


the sky was turning light.

the area around ronnie’s was still deserted. not a car or person in sight.

angie stopped about a hundred feet from it.

“now what?” salome asked.

“we wait. to see if my friend shows up.”

“and how long might that be?”

a good question, thought angie. a very good question. she had a feeling the whole thing was turning into a complete fiasco, and that she would be back in the prison in time for lunch - if somebody didn’t shoot her. “i don’t know . forty-five minutes, an hour. if the street gets busy we’ll probably split.”

“and then, finally, will we go to new york?”

“sure, we’ll go to new york. if nothing else happens, and we are still here to go to new york.”

“what else could happen?”

“a lot of things could happen. but like i said, i’m not keeping you here. get out any time you want.”

“it’s still nice and warm in the car,” said pippi. she yawned. “i think i am going to take a little nap.”

“it might get real warm,” angie told her. “that’s all i am saying. consider yourselves warned.”

she took out her cigarettes and lit one.

part 16

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