A new story from Selected Shorts


The hush hush blows we're very hush hush about his name but the celebrated shirt maker who did it for us is famous on two continents for blouses with details like those deep yoke folds the wonderful shoulder pads the short band bull farewell my lovely appetizers I came down the six floor corner of the Arbogast building it's the wide world noodle corporation the swing around Rumsey accountants and the a secretarial service swimming a graphing our specialty the legend on the ground glass panel next door said atlas detective agency Newman and Driskell but it's never just go in retired two years before with the thirty eight slot between the shoulders donated by a Snowbird in Tacoma and I own what good will the firm had I let myself into the crummy handy room we kept to impress clients well good morning at Bertie Claflin well you certainly look like something the cat dragged in she said Bertie had a quick Tom she also had eyes like dusty lapis lazuli taffy hair and a figure that did things to me I kicked open the bottom drawer of a desk like two inches of rye trickle down my cross kissing Bertie square on her lush red mountain set fire to a cigarette I could go for you sugar I said slowly her face was very ill watchful eye stared at arrears liking the way they were joined to our head there's something completed bought them you knew they were there for keeps when you're a private you want things to stay put any customers a woman by the name of Sigrid born Stearns said she'd be back a looker Sweden she'd like you to think so I nodded toward the inter office indicate that I was going in there and one in there I lay down on the Davenport took off my shoes and bought myself a shot from the bottle I kept underneath four minutes later an ash blonde with eyes the color of on set opens in the Nettie Rosenstein basic black dress on a bomb Martin stole burst in bosoms heaving and looked even better that way with a gasp she circled the desk hunting for some place to hide and then spotting the wardrobe where I keep a change of Bourbon ran into it I got up and wandered out into the edible Bertie was deep in a crossword puzzle see anyone in here no it was a thoughtful line between her brows say once a five letter word meaning trouble sweet I told her I went back inside I waited the length of time it would take a small not very bright boy to recite Ozymandias and itching carefully along the wall took a quick Gander out the window a single with stooping shoulders was being very busy reading a paper outside the grist ET stort two blocks away he hadn't been there an hour ago but them of course neither had I he wore a size seven dove.

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