''Kev, how you been? You aint been around lately." said Rollo Jones.
"I was on vacation." I said snidely..
"Yeah? Hope it was a good one." laughed Rollo.
"Is the boss man upstairs ?" I asked.
''Yeah...let me call him." said Rollo who pulled out a cell phone.
"Speak to me." answered Big Chicken...
"Guess who's here? The gumshoe." said Rollo.
"That would be,Kevin Morris, Always a pleasure!!!!!..Send him up!" said Big Chicken...
Rollo pointed to the door...
"You know where his office is." he said.
''Thanks Rollo." I said.
I elected to walk the two floors up...I didn't trust the elevator in this building...
Big Chicken sat behind his desk munching on what else??...Kentucky Fried Chicken, some potato wedgies and Corn on the cob...He was sipping on a Diet Coke too...He motioned for me to sit down...
"What can I do for you Kevin?" he asked.
"I'm lookin for a guy...a guy named Slip... He killed a girl up in Little Norway." I said.
"You're always after the bad ones aint you? Him?, I don't know where he lays his head, but I know his girlfriend..Betty Blaze...She's one of my girls....I can give you an address....She'll know where to find him." he said.
"What's the deal with this guy?" I asked.
"The rap on Slip is this...He was datin this babe over in Little Norway....Babe had a little money...She fronted him a couple of g's.... cause she loved him right? Only thing was...He was over here doin double duty with my girl...Betty Blaze...Uptown chick found out somehow and was puttin the squeeze on Slip to return all of her dough...She threatened to put this juice man named Chang Lee on him..Real nasty peice of business..Funny thing is..Chang Lee got picked up by the cops a few nights ago on some unrelated mess... Murder rap, I heard!!!Slip don't watch the news..He probably didn't know...He offed that babe for nothin."
said Big Chicken.
He wrote an address down on a grease stained piece of paper and passed it to me...It had her cell phone number on it also...
''Here..She'll know how to get in contact with Slip." he said.
"Thanks Chicken and a word to the wise....Salads baby...Salads...All that grease will kill ya man." I said with a smile...
"We all gotta die of something Kev..." he remarked..
"Aint that the truth...Be Easy Chicken."
"Always Kev...You know me!" he laughed.
Elizabeth "Betty Blaze" Frederick answered the door in only bright red panties and a red print bra that seemed to be struggling to contain her huge breasts....When she saw that it was me, a man she did not know...She closed the door...
"Wait a minute,I'll be right back." she said.
She came back to the door with a night gown on...An old white night gown that covered her up completely.
She let me in.....She had a nice , neat little place...Smelled nice too!
"So...Who are you and what do you want? I don't date guys from the club....I do Bachelor parties though!" she said.
"None of that...You have a friend I need to get in touch with...Gary Becker...aka Slip...."I said.
"You a cop??,Cause I told that Puerto Rican Detective that Gary was here with me all night." she said.
"I'm not a cop...Not even close...But I know that Gary was not with you last night...He was seeing a woman named Myra Stansfield in Little Norway...He was strangling her!!!...I got an eyewitness who places him at the scene..." I said.
"No you don't.!!!..Gary said wasn't no witnesses there." she spat out....Then she realized she had made a big mistake.... She had said too much!!!
"If it wasn't...I wouldn't be here, now would I?? " I said.
She looked down at the floor.....
"Look...Gary borrowed 12G's from her...She used to be his girlfriend...When she found out he was seeing me, she demanded all of the money back immediately or she was going to put this friend of hers...a Loan shark named Chang Lee on him...Chang Lee and his guys had already killed somebody.. Gary was scared to death of Chang Lee...He lives up there in Lil Norway..Everybody up there scared of Chang Lee..Gary killed her to save himself..." she said.
"Not my problem.!!!..Here is my card....I'll be in this room in the Aloquin Hotel...tell him to meet me there tomorrow night..." I said and passed her a card...
"Now you tryin to put the squeeze on him." she said.
"It's a cruel world aint it doll?" I said as I left..."Tell him...don't be late." I said.
What she couldn't know was that my friend, Peeping Tom had put a new powerful wire on me that had caught her entire conversation...fully,with no static.
It would serve my purpose... Lockpick Johnson , Peeping Tom and Sean Jackson had been here hours before and had wired the room for sound and video.. Detectives Carlotta Rodriguez, Duke Baylor and some uniforms were watching a live feed from this room, a block away in a police van. A little after nine o'clock there was a knock on the door... I opened it...A tall dapper dressed man with slicked back hair was in the doorway...He pulled a .38 smokeless out much like mine and aimed it at me...
"Get inside bitch!" he said. He looked around....
What he also didn't know was that Owen Todd was hiding in the bathroom for extra protection...just in case things got funky before the cops arrived..
"You must be Slip! Pleased to meet you." I said.
Slip looked like a poor man's version of Temptations lead singer, David Ruffin...just as Chazz had described him...I half way expected him to break into a version of "Aint Too Proud to Beg."
"You think you're gonna put the squeeze on me...eh? Who saw me kill that broad?" he snapped..
"You were seen." I said..."And if I don't return at a certain time tonight, my guy is going to go to the cops." I said.
"That's crazy....There was only two people in that bar when I killed that broad and one is dead and one was blind." he said.
"Apparently there was someone else." I said.
"There couldn't have been...If it was you ,you would have stopped me." he said.
"I didn't stop you." I said.
"You knew that by tellin that babe what you told her ,that she'd tell me and that I'd be here didn't ya.So it had to be you eh? Only I don't know where you coulda been...I didn't see you or no one else when I walked in that bar. You aint got no eyewitness..You want to squeeze me for that dough ..Well guess what.???.I aint got no dough.So now." he said.
"That's too bad.Because you got trouble pal." I said.
''Oh yeah..I aint got no trouble...You the one that got trouble.I aint bein blackmailed and I aint goin to jail for murder either.What you got is death!!" he said.
Owen Todd walked out of the bathroom with a .38 smokeless in his hand...
Slip looked around....
"Who is he? What is this??He your eyewitness? You aint see jack, you wasn't even there.." spat Slip.
"Did I say he was there? ..." I said.
Just then there was a knock at the door!
"Who is that? Get rid of em." he snapped...
"Oh I'm afraid I can't do that." I said...Owen Todd smiled wryly...
"We got you outnumbered two to one and you givin us orders?" he laughed.
"WHAT!!! WHO IS IT?" he snapped..
''The Police" came a voice.
"What do you want?" he asked.
"We here to lock your ass up" came the voice....
It was Duke Baylor! I couldn't contain my smile at what he'd just said....It was soo him.
Detective Edwin "Duke" Baylor kicked the door in...and Detective Carlotta Rodriguez came in behind him with three uniformed policemen...
"Did you get it?" I asked.
"Every Blood thirsty word...We picked the girl up earlier tonight and now we got this dreck" said Carlotta, who handcuffed Gary "Slip" Becker.
"I don't believe this!!! Wasn't no body else there!!!!" he screamed as the officers led him out to the police wagon. ''Wasn't nobody else in there.!!!!!......I don't believe it!" he screamed. "I didn't see these two guys...This is messed up..I'm tellin you, NOBODY SAW ME KILL THAT BROAD." He yelled!!!
Owen Todd just shook his head....
"Man, he's crazy Kev, Guess he didn't hear em when they said he has a right to remain silent." he said.
I laughed..."Yeah, guess he didn't."
''Much obliged to you and your guys Kevin." said Duke Baylor...
"Don't mention it." I said.
''We have 100% clearence with the cracking of this case." he said.
''You'll find his scarf at the girl's place..." I said.
"We already have it...Thanks again Kevin." said Carlotta.
''All in a night's work" I said as Owen Todd and I walked off into the Philadelphia night.
Early the next morning...I stood on the roof of C.I.D. headquarters....It was cool out...I was drinking a tumbler of hot coffee...So was Sissy....
'Yeah,I like this too." I said.
"Kevin...You and me...Me and you, we've stood up on this roof drinking coffee and discussing a case many times." said Sissy.
"I know..." I said.
"This week ,I asked you to find my father...You helped Tyriq and Jimmy catch a murderous loan shark and his gang and last night you helped Chica and Duke catch another murderer.."she said.
"I solved everybody's problem except yours" I said.
"No...No...I didn't mean it like that Kevin...You did good..We cracked two big cases this week..My detectives couldn't be happier..." she said.
"It's Thursday Sissy...Tonight we are going to find your father... This is between me and you...but I had a client...a client who witnessed that murder!!!.....The Stansfield murder...He couldn't come to the police or testify...but he practically filled in the dots for me so that I could take Slip Becker down...without you guys needing his testimony...He paid me in cash and in information... This is your father's real address Sissy."
I said and I passed her a piece of paper with his address and phone number on it...
"What?" she said....Her eyes got as large as saucers!!!
"I checked it out...I went by there and I saw your dad going in and out....I got your dad's license plate off of his car...His car is parked in the back...It's a Duplex...It's in the name of a Selma Alvarez...Probably his girlfriend. That's his spot and I happen to know that he's playing tonight at Hush Puppies....I stopped by there too and confirmed it with the manager....So you see,I've had a very busy night.Tonight we...You and me are going there to see your dad...He won't get away this time." I said.
Sissy smiled at me warmly.....Then tears began to flow down her face...
''Hey...no tears ...no tears...It's going to be alright..." I said.
"Kevin, I've got to pay you...I've got to do something for you." she said.
''Sissy, you've been doing it for years....You've showed up just in the nick of time and taken dangerous suspects off the streets...You've kept my identity and my operatives pretty much a secret...you've been a good friend to me..You don't owe me a thing...I'm only too glad to be able to help you." I said.
Sissy hugged me, held me tight for a long moment...Then she stopped crying...I took out a small hankercheif and wiped the tears from her eyes..She managed a smile...
"We are going to see my dad!" she said.
"That's right." I said.