A Nose for Danger, part 10

Chapter 4

“Why do elephants drink so much?”

“To try to forget. Smellephant, you already told me that one. What, you don’t remember?”

“Yeah Sam, I remember. I remember everything. That’s what we elephants do.” I looked at the empty whisky glass in front of me, and I thought back on the night before. I would always remember that night, which was a good thing. I would also remember waking up alone the next morning, which was not such a good thing.

“Why can’t we just remember the good parts, Sam? It would make life so much easier.”

“Nah,” he shook his head. “We need those bad parts. Makes us human.”

“Last time I checked, I was an elephant and you were a chimpanzee.”

“I was speaking metaphorically.” He took another shot. Gotta say this for him, Sam could handle his liquor like no chimp you’ve ever seen.

The bartender set us up another round of Jack Daniels. “Sam, remember when I used to drink single malt?”

“Yeah, but you were boring then. Way too happy. I kinda like you better this way.”

“Thanks,” I said, “You are a true friend. And thanks for checking on the birth records.”

“No problem Smellephant. It was all right there — two healthy twin baby girls. The weird thing is, soon after that the trail goes cold. Lulu just disappears — no dental records, no kindergarten enrollment, none of the usual stuff.”

“What’s your theory?”

“Well, you’re the shamus, but my guess is Winthrop found out Lulu was back, and hired Whiskers to make her disappear from the record.”

“And that way when he gets rid of Lulu…”

“There’d be no paper trail. It’d be like she was never born.”

“Bastard,” I said. “Yeah, I had it figured pretty much the same way. Except why would Winthrop ice Whiskers before the job was done?”

“Dunno,” Sam shrugged. “Maybe he thought the hare was finished.”

“Yeah, and maybe Whiskers talked to Manny before he got iced. The parrot was ready to squawk, so he also had to be taken out of the picture.”

“That’s a big pile of maybes, Smellephant. How do we know for sure?”

I downed my last shot for the evening. “I’ve got an idea.”

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