Chapter Two, Part 3
Before I’d gotten my head around the implications of what my nose was telling me, light dribbled into the alley up to my knees. “What the—?” barked a familiar voice. I stepped over the body and turned as a flashlight’s beam rose to look me in the eye. “Oh, it’s you, Kong.”
“Want to get that out of my face, McNeely?” The beam dropped, hovered at my stomach. Detective McNeely entered the alley behind a stout number wearing a frown that could wring a confession from the steeliest perp. “Lieutenant.”
The Lieutenant snorted. “Should’ve expected to find you here, Kong. Seems every time someone drops a body in this town, you turn up.”
“You know I hate to miss a show.”
“Watch it, then.” He spat in the general direction of my feet. The Lieutenant’d loathed me since I stepped on his brother in ’33. “One day I’m going to catch you putting on the show. Then you’re finished.”
I spat in the same area—nowhere near him—but the big ape’s saliva splashed over the tips of his shoes. “Catch me if you can.”
“Come on, Kong,” McNeely entreated wearily. “Play nice.”
“Sure I will. Soon as your boss here quits making idle threats. In the meantime, take a gander at . . .” I stepped back, over the body.
The Lieutenant sucked breath through his clenched teeth. McNeely whispered a prayer. They fixed their flashlights on the mess of a man. “He’s been . . . butchered.” The Lieutenant’s beam found my face again. “What do you know about this?”
“I came here to have a listen at the window.” I nodded toward the 21 Club’s third floor. “Heard shots before I reached the alley. Found this.”
“We heard Wormsy’s tommy gun,” McNeely offered.
“Came here why?” the Lieutenant demanded. I blinked and said nothing. “Come on—out with it. Even you wouldn’t hang out in a reeking alley like this for kicks.”
“Business,” I said.
I simply showed him a row of grinning teeth. Then I turned my attention to McNeely. “I heard Wormsy’s piece spouting off, too. But I didn’t see him hightailing it out of here.”
“Are you suggesting Wormsy didn’t off this mug?” the Lieutenant snapped.
“I’m not suggesting anything. You’re the police.”
“Then I’m suggesting you tell me whose business sent you here to spy on Wormsy and company.”
Again I ignored that challenge. To McNeely I said: “So we all heard Wormsy shooting, and here we are behind his joint, and there’s a body. I’ll admit it doesn’t look good for Wormsy—but that doesn’t cinch it that he offed this sap.”
“Jeez—look at him,” McNeely stammered. “What else but Wormsy’s tommy gun could’ve shredded him like that?”
The Lieutenant voiced it: “Almost looks like a big dog snatched him up and shook his insides to pieces.”
He was half right. For city cops, there was nothing to explain a murder except guns and knives. But they weren’t bullet holes—even hundreds of them. I’d seen those kinds of wounds before. On Skull Island.
That, wedded to the floral scent, gave me plenty to ponder. Nothing I cared to share with the law just yet, though. I tipped my hat at them and edged back into the street as an ambulance wailed its approach. “I’ll be getting out of your way now, gentlemen.”
The Lieutenant fairly snarled at me, but he knows the drill: unless you’ve got a warrant for my arrest or a tank, you’re not holding me. “We’ll be stopping by your office, Kong. See that you have better answers to my questions then than you do now.”
I had a question for him, but I kept it to myself: how did the Lieutenant know someone had dropped a body in the alley before I’d stepped back to show it to him?
Check back next week for the continuing saga of King Kong: World’s Biggest Dick!