... I could see the silhouette of a woman now through the frosted plate glass of my outer office door, which read Nicholas Chambers, Private Investigation.   I walked to the door and opened it.   She looked to be around  twenty-five, five feet eight inches in height, a brunette with a figure that probably got a lot of looks.  She gave me a faint smile.


... The forward door to the car opened and a large man wearing a long black leather trench coat entered.  He had a gold police shield that was folded over his outside pocket, and wore a brown fedora on his well-groomed  head.  His jaw was large and  square, and his nose looked as though it had been broken on more than one occasion.  I recognized the detective to be Sergeant O'Brien from the Providence Police Department.  He was carrying a double barrel shotgun that he was holding down low by his leg.  The  women across the aisle gasped as he entered the car.  


... A lock unlatched and the door creaked open a few inches.  The red head was standing inside and shot a puzzled look back at me through the chained door.  She had already changed out of her skirt and was wearing nothing but a sheer slip at the moment.  She didn’t seem to mind my seeing her that way.  She was pretty in a simple sort of way, but she had that look of trouble in her eyes.  She was smoking a cigarette and gave me the quick once over. 


... Two short Filipino doormen greeted me as I entered the opulent dining room.  They were both dressed in red and white monkey suits, with greasy dark hair slicked back into ducktails.  The place was stinking with money.  It was that ancient stale richer than rich money that most ordinary citizens never realize exist or have any real concept of.  It was the type of elite society that had been rich for generations.  The type who spoke with lofty accents from nowhere in particular, who wore stuffy tuxedos to breakfast, and hired little negro boys to bring their trash out to the curb.  


...The corridor I was limping down was damp, cold and dimly lit.  A few low wattage light bulbs hung loosely every twenty or so yards from an overhead plaster ceiling.  It was cracked and peeling badly.  They flickered as I passed beneath them, as if to warn me away from the ominous path I was taking.  It was a cold dark place, suffocating with a putrid stench that somehow permeated through the heavy stone walls.  An inch or so of murky black water flooded the floor and seeped surreptitiously into my new Oxfords.


.... I brushed by him and pushed the door to my office open.  The place had been tossed.  My desk was on its side and the drawers dumped out on the ground.  Books and paperwork from the shelves were sprawled across the oak floor.  A couple of scotch bottles that I kept in the cabinet had been broken against the wall.  The Davenport had been gutted and its insides pulled out.   The most disturbing sight was lying slumped over the side of my desk chair.  Her bare arms hung down loosely, her fingertips scraping at the floor.  Her head was tilted up, her beautiful jade eyes still open and staring up at the ceiling.  Her throat had been cut and she was very dead.


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