It was foggy out and the rod was an extension of my mitt. The collar of my trench coat was turned up over my ears and I pulled my hat low over my eyes. I walked silently up the stairs until I reached the door to the beach house. In a few minutes I’d have my answer.

I thought back to how it all began. The O’Grady dame walked into my office that Tuesday. It had been raining out and she was soaked. Even drenched I could tell the dame was extremely good looking. The office lights shined off of her wet blond hair and I could barely keep my voice steady.

“What can I do for you, babe?” I asked.

“Oh, Mr. Blast. I don’t know what to do. The police can’t help me and you’re my last chance and –“

“Slow down. Take it from the top.”

“My husband, Harry O’Grady, is missing,” she sobbed.

“New York’s a big den. There are a lot of joints to get lost in, babe,” I said.

She started crying and I managed to calm her down. She gave me everything she knew, which wasn’t much, and I sent her home. Then I went to work.”

I covered a lot of ground, but I wasn’t getting any closer to the end. Then my lucky break came. Someone had spotted the old man after his reported disappearance. I finally knew the answer.

I turned the handle and entered the darkened house quietly. I heard the loud click of the hammer and turned to see the culprit.

“Mrs. O’Grady. How are you?” I asked with my teeth gritted.

“Mr. Blast, you got a lot further than I intended. After another week, I’d have fired you and we’d all be happy.”

“You couldn’t run off with your new boyfriend. He didn’t have the money to support your way of life. So you came up with this little plan. Kill off the old rich man, sell everything and move quietly away,” I said.

“So now I have to kill you, Mr. Blast,” she said, her finger slowly depressing the trigger.

I knew I only had seconds until I was a corpse. I had to think fast. I kicked over the light that dimly lit the room and dove for the cover of the sofa close by.

Now she couldn’t see me, but I couldn’t see her either. I located my rod that I had dropped upon entering and waited.

I heard footsteps approaching. Six feet away. Two feet. Then I saw them standing too close for comfort. I looked up and found myself looking into the barrel of her gun.

Slowly, I secretly brought my gun around to face her. She pulled the hammer back and placed both hands on the butt with both index fingers on the trigger.

The explosion was deafening. In a matter of seconds I saw the expression on her face totally change. One minute she was grinning broadly. The next minute, the grin was wiped off, along with the rest of her face.



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