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from Killing Time In LA by Kenneth Lawson

Copyright © 2020–2021 Kenneth Lawson

Chapter 6 Day Six ; Tuesday June 15, 1949

Sometime overnight the rain had cleared off.

I woke up to the sun cutting strips of light and dark through the venation blinds that we’d pulled down last night to keep the world out.

Last night Brenada and I had talked until long past dark. Then we’d reconnected again as only we could.  

I lay in the bed staring at the ceiling. The sound of Brenda breathing next to me was comforting. Glancing over at her  I noticed she never did get back up and put on her night clothes. Neither did I come to think of it. Sighing deeply I took several deep breaths and  slipped out of the bed.

  In the bathroom I looked at myself in the mirror. I found the double edge safety razor and applied generous  amounts of shaving cream and found my face under the beard. 


As I was finishing Brenda appeared in the mirror only wearing her bathrobe. 

An hour later we were in the kitchen having breakfast when the phone rang.

Reluctantly I answered it.

“Jim,that lawyer you were asking about. Reynolds?” I recognized Bob’s voice instantly.

“Yeah Jake Renyolds, I talked to his secretary yesterday.”

“I found him. Dead, looks like a stabbing.”

“Damn. What happened?”

 “Got a call early this morning. A drunk found him in an alley  and he tolds his bartender who called us. His Id says he is Jake Renyolds, and he’s a lawyer, and his address is ..”

“Exactly where I was yesterday..”I finished.

“Yep, Come over and have a look before they take him away.”

“Ok give me a bit to get dressed.”

Bob gave me the address. Twenty Minutes later I kissed Brenda goodbye and headed out in the Packard.

 It wasn't hard to find exactly where Bob was. The block surrounding ally had been roped off and police cars were parked in every haphazard way imaginable. Barely leaving any room for the ambulance to get into to pick up the body, when the corner was done.

Bob led me to the body.

“Meet Jake Reynolds.” He pronounced.

 I squatted down and looked him over. He was old, not terribly old, but enough his hair was starting to thin. And the clothes he wore seems to be old. But well made.

 I noted the label on the inside of his suit coat.  It said it had been made by a tailor in San Francisco. I wrote down the name.

  There was a small spot of blood on the left side of the vest.  Carefully pulling the vest away from his shirt I saw the hole in the shirt just below the one in the vest. There was very little blood on the clothes. From a distance it would be easy to miss it. I’d seen the same knife wound before. During The war.  I’d inflicted the same death on german officers many times during the war. 

 Standing up I reached into my pocket.

“He was killed with one of these.” I pulled my Schrade switchblade out and showed Bob.   Hitting The Button the blade quickly and forcefully slide out the end of the handle. Slightly recoiling in my hand it did so.  I closed it and planted it against Bob’s chest where his heart is.

“Put it here and hit the button, if done right it’ll go straight between the ribs and pierce the heart. Little or no blood outside, and the victim bleeds internally.” I pulled my knife away from him as quickly as I’d put it there. 

“It can be done from the back too.  Just get it between the ribs and it slides in and … Dose this.” I slid my knife back in my pocket.

  I pushed certain memories back in the recess of my mind. I didn't want old war stories. I could never tell anyone to fog up my mind. Not now.  I’d seen stabbing before, and they’re never pretty. Killing with a knife is up close and personal. You’re usually looking into their eyes when they die. Except when you can do it from behind. Then it's more or less routine.  But he’d been stabbed in the chest. He knew who killed him and probably why.  Who would he let get that close?  Bob rushed me  out of the scene before the rest of the brass arrived. Telling me he’d meet me in his office later today. I headed back to the packard and  circled around the block to avoid the unmarked police cars that were showing up containing the captain and his cronies. They didn't like me, and finding me  here wouldn’t go well for me.

 Stopping at a drug store I found a payphone and called Brenda and told her what We’d found.

***I knew it would be several hours before Bob would get back to his office. So I found  a diner and nursed a cup of coffee for a while.  Pulling out my list of names that Lane had given me. I found the payphone and the phone book. Dragging it back to my table I set to looking up the names. How many were in the greater Los Angeles area I wondered.

Several of them lived in Beverly Hills. Somehow that figured.  Somehow the war had been good to them. But I wondered how long it would last once the Lazarus Project came out.  I expect that they figured it had long been buried in a mountain of files somewhere in some archive never to be looked at again. Forgotten in the annuals of the war. There were plenty of other thing...

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