Bobby Weston, Jack’s young associate, sat across the desk from Jack. He puffed on a cigarette while he waited for him to finish his call. He first met Jack when he was arrested for petty breaking and entering. Jack got his charges thrown out and put Bobby on the straight and narrow. That was until he came to work for Jack the PI. He did more B&E now than ever. Only difference, he got paid to do it.
Jack put the receiver down and nodded at Bobby. He lit up a cigarette and took a drink of coffee, although what he really wanted was a shot of bourbon. This case just might be his undoing.
“Okay, kid. Here’s the deal. I need you to keep an eye on Victor Angelo for a couple of days. Shadow his every move, but don’t get caught. You got that?”
Bobby nodded as he stumped out his cigarette and stood up. “Sure, Jack. Shadow and not get caught.”
“Good! I have to go see Larson. There’s something fishy about him sending that dame to me.” Jack pushed back his chair and stood up too. “Check in with Dani every couple of hours. And for Pete’s sake, Bobby, be careful.”
Jack knew Bobby could handle himself. The kid was six-foot-tall and weighed well over 300 pounds, but with his blond tussled hair and baby face, everyone misjudged him.
Bobby picked up his hat and turned to leave. “Hey boss,” he said, turning back around, “you meaning to take Angelo out this time for good?”
Jack chuckled. “We’ll see, kid. We’ll see. Now get on out of here!”
Jack left his office a few minutes after Bobby and headed to the police station. As he entered the 5th Precinct, he was met with cheers and pats on the back. His old buddies enjoyed Jack’s occasional visits.
“What’s new, Jack?”
“Solved any murders recently, Jack?”
“How’s that hot secretary of yours working out, Jack?”
These were the usual round of questions. Jack just laughed and nodded at the guys. Promised them they would all get together over a round of beers soon. He headed to Larson’s office and knocked on the door.
Jack entered the small office. His old partner sat at his desk shuffling papers. Larson looked older these days. White streaks of hair mingled with the black ones. He had a permanent crease across his forehead these days and his voice was gruffer than before. The man was nearing sixty, probably due to retire any time.
“Hey Larson,” Jack said with a nod as he sat down across from him.
Larson looked up from his stack of papers. “I guess you are here about the White case?”
“What gives, Larson? Why’d you send that dame to me if this was ruled a suicide?”
Larson leaned back in his chair and cupped his hands behind his head. “She was quite persistent, Jack. Claimed her husband didn’t own a gun.”
“And the one you found at the scene?” Jack asked as he took off his fedora and tossed onto a chair beside him.
“Just Charlie White’s prints and the serial numbers filed off.”
Jack nodded. It sure sounded like something Victor Angelo would pull off. “So you think Angelo is involved?”
“Honestly, Jack, I’m not sure. We found that matchbook on him. His wife claimed he came home to her every night. So where did he get the matchbook?” Larson leaned in and whispered, “Too many loose ends, Jack, but you know how it is around here. No proof, no search warrants, no Angelo.”
Yeah, Jack knew all too well. They’d let Angelo slip through their fingers once while he was an active cop and he’d tangled with him once since becoming a PI. The guy was as slippery as an eel.
Jack stood up and put his hat on his head. “Okay, Larson. I’ll see what I can come up with and keep you in the loop.”
“Say Jack,” Larson interjected before Jack could get out the door, “we have an unsolved murder case linked with Angelo’s club too.” He pulled out a file and handed it to Jack.
Jack took the file and looked it over. Handed it back to Larson. “You think the two are connected?”
“I’ll let you know if I discover anything,” Jack said as he opened the door. “See you around, Larson.”
The Stacked Deck is a noir-style WhoDunIt serial which will appear as 31 parts, told every day in March. I hope you will join me again tomorrow for another exciting part of this story!
This serial is copyrighted ©2016 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved. Permission must be granted to distribute or copy this serial (unless reblogging). Thank you.
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