Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Farewell My Cadence (5)

The guy opposite me was a weaselly looking man, beard, glasses, kinda fusty. He looked like the kind of man who'd sell out his own grandmother for a chance to sell out his own grandfather. Everything he said sounded strange, kinda bored and confident, the kind of confidence that's a con more often than not.

"Of course, no-one knew her like I did, it was my job to make sure everyone else knew her right, " he drawled. "Wanna buy some pictures of her?" The pictures looked kinda old, but the price tag on them was right up to date.

"Yes, I understood her, alright, and it was my job to make sure everyone understood just a little less than me - nothing worse than letting just anyone in on the act. I made sure everyone knew about all her old lovers - the Abbé, the Kaiser, the Rebel, the Joker, the Choirmaster - oh, yes, she had plenty, I can tell you..."

Yeah, plenty of names coming of his tongue, but thy were all old hat, all long gone. I needed to know who she was seeing now, who might have had a reason to stop her seeing someone else.

"Now? Good God, man, she was never seeing anyone now. There were only ever the old lovers. What do you think I am - some kind of gossip columnist? Only the old ones are worth talking about. Oh, sure, I know there are some young bucks who like to say they know her - but they don't, I tell you! Only I do! Only through old photographs, all those faces from long ago..."

He was starting to ramble. I slapped him hard across the face. He fell to his knees and thanked me, asked me to do it again. But I didn't have time. I had to get to the bottom of it all. There were a hell of a lot of bodies piling up in this case, and I was starting to wonder if the dame knew anyone who wasn't dead.

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