It started out as a simple murder
investigation. That's my specialty, murder.
First there was the body, Mr. Robinson's
body, sprawled out on the floor of his bathroom in a pool of blood. An
electric razor sat unplugged beside the sink. I ruled out a shaving
mishap. Mrs. Robinson and her sister Miss La Rue were watching from the
doorway as I examined the stiff.
Just then a young cop appeared.
"Hi," he said "I'm Mike O'Malley."
I nodded and replied, "Miles Diamond,
private investigator. Mrs. Robinson wants me in on the case."
"Always glad to have Miles Diamond in on a
I liked this kid.
He told me he'd been checking out the
"Any prints," I asked. He showed me some
nice snapshots of his family. I figured him for a rookie.
Suddenly he seemed to remember
something he'd overlooked. "You'd better come with me," he said. He led
me to the basement. There in the coal bin was a shapely blond corpse
with a nasty wound on the side of her head.
"Be on the lookout for a blunt instrument,"
Before I'd left the house he'd found me a
saxophone and two guitars.
I headed back downtown to my office to think it over. I was just
getting settled when in walked Miss LaRue. I sensed that she was
wearing nothing but slinky pajamas under her see-through rain coat. It
was just a hunch.
She said, "I came to persuade you get off of
the Robinson case. Let the police handle it." She leaned closer to me
whispered, "You could surely find other things to handle.
The closer she got, the more sense she made.
But there was one more question I had to ask. I tried to be subtle.
"Where you and old Robinson having a
disgusting sleazy affair?"
She broke down under my intense questioning
and started to sing.
Fortunately, I convinced her to talk instead.
We were interrupted though, by the sound of
a doorknob being slowly turned. I quietly positioned myself behind the
door and sapped the guy with the butt of my .38 as he entered. It was
Earl, the janitor. I'd warned him to knock before entering.
I was showing Earl out when I found
myself nose to nose with the barrel of a gun. The big guy holding it
stepped up and slapped me hard, once on each side of my face. The pain
I could take, but the smell of garlic on his breath was deadly.
He said, "Seet down chump, I've got a
message for you."
"Try using Federal Express next time," was
my snappy reply.
He hit me again.
Then he leaned close to my face, and in a
menacing voice, he said, "Lay off zee Robinson case bud, or it vill be
I was interested in early retirement, but I
don't think that's what the man had in mind. I tried an old trick.
"Say pal, I gotta go to the john."
He nodded and I strolled into the washroom.
Once inside I reached behind the toilet tank and pulled out a little
something I keep there for just such emergencies.
I took my time, and walked out just as the
boys in blue arrived at the door. It was the first time I'd ever seen
two mailmen together. They usually work alone.
They distracted my big friend, though, and
he didn't even notice the cop who was right behind them. I knew that
having that phone installed in the john would pay off.
I began my customary explanation.
You see," I told them, "Miss La Rue here was
having a torrid romance with Mr. Robinson. He was having a dirty little
affair with the blond bombshell in the coal bin. And Mrs. Robinson was
having a steamy liaison with this man - the cook." I pointed at the big
guy and the copper spoke up.
"Well then who killed Mr. Robinson and the
"Looked accidental to me, I replied. "I'm
sure that an autopsy will show that Mr. Robinson had a heart attack
while cleaning his dentures with an ice pick and stabbed himself as he
fell. The blonde dame probably broke her neck sneaking into the house
through the coal chute."
I looked around triumphantly and continued.
"Mrs. Robinson thought that cookie here had
diced up her husband. And he thought she'd done it. Just a
I looked at Miss La Rue.
"It was Miss La Rue's visit that tipped me
off. She knew the truth, but she gets the family fortune if her sister
is out of the way. That's why she wanted me off the case."
And that wrapped it up. The only mystery
left concerned Miss LaRue's attire, and I intended to do a bit more
digging there. I like a case with no loose ends.