Tag Archives: fifties

273. Gunsmoke

Gunsmoke tickled his nostrils as the smell of death slowly filled the room.

The damping hole in her head actually improved her looks, the cop that found her on the floor in an expensive pink dress would claim. Chuck Napier agreed. The gal had fallen hard from the ugly tree. Didn’t mean she deserved a bullet through the head, though. If only she hadn’t stuck her nose in his business.

He hadn’t noticed her when a money transaction had ended with three stiff Dagos in a dimly lit New York alley. No looks meant no husband. And no husband spelled no money. So she started blackmailing him. Putting the screws on Chuck Napier, page one detective and famed consultant to the NYPD.

“What would the public think about you dabbling with the mob?” she had asked.

The public. Not the police. She knew he was hardened enough to endure a couple of years in Sing Sing. But he would never cope with negative copy in the Examiner.

For two years he paid her off with ten-dollar bills in a brown envelope in an anonymous post box. By year three she was asking for hundred-dollar bills and Charles Napier wasn’t planning on indulging her greed any more.

Luckily an ugly girl’s weakness was easy to spot. When he shot her through the head the potatoes were boiling on the stove and the roast she’d prepared all day was nearly done. The dinner table was laid out beautifully with her best plates and two burning red candles. The only thing she’d messed up was her dress. Blue dots were hardly fitting for a first date.

For the first time since she started blackmailing him, Chuck Napier took pity on her.

“I bet you’d look good in pink, gal,” he told the corpse.



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