I’ll get your attention with a picture from ‘Murder and More’
Now that I have you looking in the right direction…this is from the book.
After walking cautiously down the narrow hall, I stopped in front of Room 212 and stared at the door. Something was wrong. The door wasn’t completely closed; it was open about an inch, but not enough to see inside the room. I pulled out my .38 and paused at the partially open door.
Listening through the small opening I could hear sounds, not voices but a soft mumbling noise coming from inside the room. Using the barrel of my gun, I pushed the door. It easily swung on its hinges and into Room 212 – permitting light from the hall to enter the dark room.
“Knock, knock,” I said through the doorway and into the shadowy room. “Anybody home?”
“Ugggh,” I heard someone moan before speaking softly. “Come in and close that damn door.”
“What!” I shouted to the unidentified voice.
“Come in and close the damn door, I need some help.”
Stepping into the shadows and without closing the door, I pointed my gun at the noise, grunts and mumbling voice coming from a far corner of the room.
“If you need help, then tell me who I’m helping,” I said seriously. “Identify yourself or I’ll shoot.”
“Carson, will you please shut the door and turn on the damn lights? You can also put that gun away; nobody in this room will be shooting back.”
I still had no idea who I was speaking to, but followed instructions. Closing the door, I flipped a switch next to the entrance and a bedside lamp turned on. I did NOT put my gun away.
Lying on the floor in the shadows, and leaning up against the closet door was Lydia Longstreet – the younger sister of Lilly Longstreet. Lilly was a private investigator who had met a violent death during my recent adventure, ‘Dead End’. I had almost met the same fate. Following Lilly’s death, Lydia picked up where her sister left off – operating a small private detective business in Memphis. However, I could not imagine what or why she was in New Orleans and speaking to me from the floor of a room that was supposed to be occupied by Mr. Donovan Tanner.
“Lydia,” I shouted. “What the hell…”
“Carson, put that damn gun away and get me a wet towel. My lip’s busted.”
Staring at what I couldn’t believe and without moving, I simply shook my head and glared. Lydia’s right hand was covering her right jaw, and she was using her left arm to keep from lying completely on the floor. Shoulder length black hair pointed in all directions, and her dark skirt was pushed up past mid-thigh – revealing more than she would have wanted. It was obvious that Lydia Longstreet had suffered some sort of trauma, which resulted in her being in the floor and now struggling to get up.
“Carson, are you deaf or blind? Get me a wet towel and stop looking at my ass,” she yelled.
Still shaking my head, I put the gun away and located the small bathroom behind me. Retrieving a towel from the rack, I ran water over one end of it and walked back into the room. Lydia had managed to stand up while I was gone – she immediately jerked the towel from my hand and placed it against her jaw.
“Lydia, what are you…”
“Calm down Carson, I’ll tell you all about it,” she said looking around the room.
Spotting an open bottle of Jack Daniel’s on the dresser, she poured a glass full, dipped the dry end of the towel in the whiskey and placed it against her busted lip. Giving me a long look before shaking her head, she picked up the glass and drank the rest of the whiskey. Then she sat down on the edge of the large bed.
Lydia Longstreet was a beautiful woman, much like her older sister but in different ways. Lydia was taller, probably by more than an inch, and had a figure that placed more emphasis on her breasts – she’d gotten what Lilly had missed. Soft tan skin, piercing dark eyes and coal black hair were appropriately highlighted by dark clothes – offering the observer a ‘sexy, but dangerous’ appearance. In so many ways Lilly and Lydia were the same – and in so many other ways there were different.
I pulled up a chair and sat down, watching Lydia use the whiskey soaked towel to doctor her lip.
“Carson, I came here to see a Donovan Tanner and give him some money. In return, he was supposed to give me documents, which I would take back to my client. When I arrived the door was closed and I knocked, but nobody answered. I tried the handle, it wasn’t locked. So, I pushed the door open and walked in; somebody slugged me and then you showed up. That’s it.”
“Humph,” I snorted. “Who’s your client?”
“Who’s yours,” she snapped.
“I asked first,” I smiled.
“You know I’m not going to tell you that, so why ask.”
“Do you still have the money?”
“Close your eyes,” she said slowly.
Lydia stood and pulled her skirt up to her waist. Stuffed in the stockings on her right leg, and just below dark lace panties and garter belt was a large envelope.
“Yep, still here,” she said smiling.
Also, strapped above the knee on her left leg was a small .32 caliber pistol – just like Lilly used to carry.
“You looked,” she said sitting back down.
“I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist,” I grinned, ignoring her comment and pouring myself a cup of whiskey. “Tell me Lydia, who’s your client?”