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The White Headed Corpse

by Carroll John Daly

Bert--which seemed to be all the name he had--was a walking corpse with hair that had turned white overnight. Quite a guy--Bert. He had more courage than most dead men and quite a few live ones--and when it came to leading me to Ira Lent--the invincible killer who ran the country's greatest spy-ring--he was right there with the goods. But me--I'm no slouch myself when I know who I'm shooting at. Hell, hadn't the G-men called me in to do their dirty work? Appointed me a sort of one-man Department of Justice when they couldn't cope with the great Ira on their own?

SURE, I was living in a high-class, or at least high-priced, Park Avenue house. I had the money and I liked it. But the dough was going fast. It was about three o'clock in the morning and I had gone around the corner, a few blocks down, for some of Joe's beans. The beans and coffee set me back fifteen cents, and you couldn't get better at any price. That's the difference between the rich and the poor. If the rich pay enough for food they think it's good-when the poor pay fifteen cents it's got to be good.

The underpaid, all-night doorman at my Park Avenue front was sleeping behind a potted plant. I made my way over the thick rug, and knowing that the elevators wouldn't be manned this time of night, at least not more than one, decided on the automatic lifts.

One of the larger elevator doors suddenly opened. The man holding the door said: "I'll take you up, Mr. Williams. I'm the new assistant to the superintendent."

He explained his absence of cap and uniform and his plain blue suit. Sure, he explained that. But he explained a lot more before I stepped into the elevator. His right hand was in his jacket pocket, and the jacket pocket bulged. I didn't need any fortune-teller to tell me what that hand held.

Price: $2.50

Format: Electronic PDF File
30 Pages
First Published: 1939

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