Dan J. Marlowe
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It wasn’t at all like Hazel to go off without a word to Drake. But she did. He tried calling her at the motel, but they said she’d just checked out. No, no messages.
Drake figured he’d better do a little checking on his own.
Which is why he went to see Hazel’s business manager, Nate Pepperan, in Hudson. It had been Pepperman’s phone call which had taken Hazel to Hudson in the first place. Nate would surely know where she was.
But Nate wasn’t telling. How could he, with his throat slit?
Operation Whiplash—a tense, blood-pounding tale of mayhem, murder, and the Mafia with Drake, the Man with Nobody’s Face.
humming sound on the line. “Ahhh, yes. Mrs. Andrews checked out day before yesterday, sir.” “Then why the hell wasn’t I told that when I called the motel the day before yesterday?” I demanded heatedly. “Sir, this is a person-to-person call,” the operator warned. “I’ll talk to this man,” I said. “You, there, at the Lazy Susan. Why wasn’t I told day before yesterday that Mrs. Andrews had checked out?” “I’m sure I don’t know, sir.” The voice was gently tolerant of human frailty. “I wasn’t on
on the chair. I walked out into the bedroom, hoping to see the maid. Instead, there was a dark-faced, burly-looking type in wet swim trunks. If a man in such a costume can be said to be a flashy dresser, I was looking at a flashy dresser. Besides, there was the evidence of the suit in the bathroom. I knew I was looking at Mario Rubelli. “Sorry,” I said easily, “My key seems to have opened the wrong door.” “That’s the trouble with these cheap fleabags!” he snapped. Then he saw the open bureau
on its outside a thick-feeling, oxidation-resistant paint. For anyone who had fired as many guns as I have, the shape, size, and construction of the metal box were a dead giveaway: it was the protective liner from a small-caliber ammunition container. Scattered around it on the floor were the cigarette butts, burned matches, and crushed paper cups it had contained before I kicked it over. Where there’s ammo there’s bound to be guns. I hadn’t found them because Colisimo was too clever to keep
knees, face screwed up in shock and pain. My arm felt as if it were on fire. I straightened up from the counter against which I had been supporting myself with my right elbow. My knees felt marrowless. Hazel was on the floor beside Ricardo, pounding his head with the heel of her shoe while Kaiser remained locked onto his throat. I held my automatic on the shrunken-looking Colisimo while I wobbled toward the furiously convulsed rough-and-tumble on the floor. One look was enough to tell me that
onto the seat. The shepherd seemed to have fully recovered from his double head-knock. I motioned to Colisimo, and he got in gingerly, his eyes on the dog. I walked around the car, got in, and started the engine. It purred with quiet power. Hazel and the Ford were nowhere in sight. I started off slowly toward the traffic light, then watched in the rear-view mirror as the cruiser’s lights came on and swung in a big arc as it turned to follow us. Jed Raymond was a local businessman and entitled