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datatime: 2022-10-06 13:12:54 Author:reWVuJCo

"Any ideas?" he asked softly.

A woman's voice said: "Marlowe?" It was a small, tight, cold voice. I didn't know it.

"Who was the wren?" I asked.

I stepped inside and waited for the door to squeak shut. A bare carpetless room paved in brown linoleum, a flat desk and a rolltop at right angles to it, a big green safe that looked as fireproof as a delicatessen bag, two filing cases, three chairs, a built-in closet and washbowl in the corner by the door.

There was a sudden tinkling, icy-cold laugh on the wire. "On account of a guy had sore feet," the voice said.

A shadow came against the glass and the door was pulled back with a squeak. I was looking at a thick-set man with a soft round chin, heavy black eyebrows, an oily complexion and a Charlie Chan mustache that made his face look fatter than it was.

"The one that phoned me."

I got out of a jolting open-cage elevator, looked at a dirty spittoon on a dirty rubber mat, walked down a corridor that smelled of butts, and tried the knob below the frosted glass panel of 619. The door was locked, I knocked.

"Better see Rush Madder. Know him?"

I got out of a jolting open-cage elevator, looked at a dirty spittoon on a dirty rubber mat, walked down a corridor that smelled of butts, and tried the knob below the frosted glass panel of 619. The door was locked, I knocked.

"Better see Rush Madder. Know him?"

Madder opened a flat tin of cigarettes and pushed one past his lips with a sound like somebody gutting a fish. His hand shook.

"Any ideas?" he asked softly.

He put out a couple of nicotined fingers. "Well, well, the old dog catcher himself. The eye that never forgets. Marlowe is the name, I believe?"

"No," I lied. "Why should I see him?"

"Did somebody phone you?"

Rush Madder was a shyster in the Quorn Building. An ambulance chaser, a small-time fixer, an alibi builder-upper, anything that smelled a little and paid a little more. I hadn't heard of him in connection with any big operations like burning people's feet.

"Not from my side. But if you think I'm going to sit here and let you play with my reflexes, it does."

It was getting toward quitting time on lower Spring Street. Taxis were dawdling close to the curb, stenographers were getting an early start home, streetcars were clogging up, and traffic cops were preventing people from making perfectly legal right turns.

I said slowly: "They want to talk to you. On account of you know a broad that knows a man had sore feet."

Madder opened a flat tin of cigarettes and pushed one past his lips with a sound like somebody gutting a fish. His hand shook.

He reached over and pushed the hook down. "Now, listen," he complained. "You're too fast. What you calling copper for?"

"Huh? What wren?" He still didnt look at me.

A shadow came against the glass and the door was pulled back with a squeak. I was looking at a thick-set man with a soft round chin, heavy black eyebrows, an oily complexion and a Charlie Chan mustache that made his face look fatter than it was.

"Any ideas?" he asked softly.

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