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Disturb The Dead

By Sam Merwin, Jr.

A Murder and a Jewel Theft Take
Bill Post on a Strange
 Graveyard Trail

WHEN Bill Post finally caught up with Pete Mydans, the dapper thief grinned at him amiably from behind bars. Bill, usually a pretty hard-shelled citizen, felt like swearing violently or bursting into tears. But, being a pretty mature young man, he did neither. Instead, he managed a grin:

"Planning to stay awhile?" he asked.

Mydans shrugged. He was a hawk- faced man whose dapper exterior covered a long experience with prison and violence. He had not yet exchanged his two-hundred- dollar suit for prison shoddy. A white carnation, tipped with cerise, adorned his buttonhole.

"A couple of years, I guess," he replied. "Depends on how I behave."

"Where'd you put the Mallory jewels, Mydans?" Bill inquired.

"And what would I be doing with the Mallory jewels?" said Mydans. "I'm a pretty ordinary sort of fellow. Why an insurance dick like you would think I have them beats me. You must have run up a sweet swindle sheet chasing me around, Post."

"I know you took 'em," said Bill, his smile fading. "No one else leaves pink and white carnations lying around a rifled safe."

"But I was miles away," said Mydans with a look of bland innocence. "My friends told you all about it in court."

"I know that fake alibi of yours stood up," said Bill. He turned away in disgust. By giving himself up on this old charge in Central City, Mydans had effectually spoiled Bill's pitch. It meant the jewels—a six-figure collection of them—had been safely hidden.

"You might do me a favor," said the crook insolently. "They don't give us carnations around here. I'd appreciate if you'd send me one every day. I'd do the same for you."

"Except that you're not free, and I'm not in jail, and I don't like carnations," growled Bill.

Mydans' insolence had gotten under his skin. Knowing that further talk was useless, he left the prison abruptly.

He'd only missed by a few hours, after a two-...

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