Chapter Four, Part 3
“No obvious cause of death,” Sims mused, eyeing Herbert Bahnhof’s body. That familiar cloying scent hung over it. The T-Rex certainly hadn’t gotten to him, but something else perfumed with Skull Island had paid a visit to Bahnhof.
Sims sighed, rolled a cigarette. “‘S’pose I asked for that. Recognize this meat?” I grunted noncommittally. He frowned. “Come on, Kong. You said you had a line on this bird, nothing serious, then we come in here and out jumps a body? At least give me some quid pro quo.”
“You mean aside from playing the catcher’s mitt for every hysterical heiress tries to fling herself to the sidewalk?”
“Don’t be that way, Kong. Come on, play square.”
“How about this: you let me creep out of here, don’t mention me to the coppers, and I’ll give you the goods.”
Sims coughed. “Awfully hard to hide your comings and goings. And what am I supposed to tell them about how I found this mug? Just snooping into ladies’ closets?”
“You’ll come up with something. Look, Sims, I’m supposed to be working for this Bahnhof lady—that’s the honest goods.”
“And you don’t figure she offed him?” Sims nodded at the body.
“That doesn’t play right. She came to me to find him. Why hire a four-ton ape to comb the city when you’ve got your target stashed with the coats?”
“Maybe she stumbled into luck after she hired you. Found him, offed him, and don’t need your services no more.”
“I don’t think so. She didn’t strike me as the killing type.”
“No?” Sims tilted his head. “This dame—she blonde?”
He hid his face behind a peal of smoke. “No reason. What’s the connection between her and him?” I said nothing. “I know, I know—don’t crowd you, right? But look here: you want me to forget you came, forget you asked to peek in here—me not knowing whether you expected to find this or not—and do a song and dance for the bulls on your behalf?”
“I’ll give you this much—the line I had wasn’t on the bird. It was this mug that worried me. How he wound up in here, I don’t know. But I need a little head start on the coppers to figure things out. Maybe save my client a world of hurt—and if turns out she did do the deed here, maybe I can haul her in without bringing the Waldorf into it. How’s that play?”
He didn’t like that—but he liked the vision of headlines screaming MURDER AT THE WALDORF even less. “Well . . . I’ll have to give her up to the police so far as her having checked in. But I can tell them she ain’t been here to have hauled a body to the room. We’ll see how I can work it from there. But I ain’t making any promises—‘specially if she waltzes right into the lobby.”
“Fair enough. The bulls wouldn’t keep this quiet if they knew I was here, anyway. Leaving me out saves us both a world of hurt.”
Sims’s shoulders slumped. “That’s fine. Only the boys out back saw you, and they won’t remember their names in an hour. Scoot, Kong. You owe me one.”
Check back next week for the continuing saga of King Kong: World’s Biggest Dick!