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Dog Collared

By Joe Archibald

When Willie Sees Red and Battles Saboteurs who Threaten the Navy Yard, He Wins the Fur-Lined Pooch for Sleuthing!

THE phone rang early one morning in the office of William Klump, president of the Hawkeye Detective Agency and Willie hurriedly dropped a cackleberry into a pot of boiling water atop a portable stove, then picked up the public utility gadget.

"The Klump Agency never sleeps," Willie said. "What? Huh?"

"Good morning, sir. Good morning. This is Pliny's Pick-a-Pal Pet Shoppe calling. We want to remind you, sir, that Miss Gertrude Mudgett's birthday is next Friday and if you are looking for a Pekingese, Pomeranian, poodle or pug to give her, we got everythin', sir. This is Pliny's new service and what do you think of it, Mr. Klump? Goodbye."

"Wait," Willie said. "I ain't in a market for no pooch. Or am I? How did Gertie—I mean how did they know she went with me steady?" Willie hung up and scratched his cranium. "Why, she was ravin' about havin' a mutt to keep her company the las' time I saw her though. Boy, they should be detectives and not me."

Willie munched on his boiled egg, deploring the loss of three hundred dollars he'd had left over from his last case until Gertie had pounced on it.

"I'll put it away toward our furniture, Willie," Gertie had said. "You ain't to be trusted with money. Anybody could sell you anything, even lockjaw germs."

Willie cleared his breakfast dishes away, washed his plate and cup and spoon. If all detectives looked like Willie, dishonest citizens would just give up and go to work. There was absolutely no chance for the average skullduggerian to tag Willie as a slewfoot, for Willie looked like something that had suddenly been lifted off a country fair lot and deposited right in the middle of Times Square.

That was his chief stock in trade, for if the government ever slapped an excessive profit tax on brains, Willie could simply write Uncle Sam and ask for a rebate.

Willie took a four-day-old letter from his pocket. It bore a Washington, D. C., postmark and in the upper left hand corner of the long envelope were the pulse- needling words, "Federal Bureau of Investigation." For the tenth time Willie read:

Dear Mr. Klump:

We are sorry to inform you that you lack the necessary qualifications to become a G-man. You have never passed a bar examination, and you got no farther than the seventh grade in school. We are sorry to hear that the army refused to accept you as a recruit because of poor eyesight but are confident they will draft you when they need you.

Very truly yours.

"I don't get it," Willie said in a nettled voice. "I didn't think all G-men was ex- bartenders, and when you get a big public enemy cornered, does he ask you what high school or college was you graduated from, before you have got a right to shoot him? It is because I have no pull in the government."

THE phone rang again. Willie answered it and recognized Gertie Mudgett's voice.

"Hello Willie," Gertie trilled. "Don't keep me waiting for our date tonight, will you? We both ain't any younger, are we? Why, I was sayin' to Millie Moran only this mornin', Pa's birthday is almost here ag'in an' it seems only yesterday I give him the quart of rye for his las' one. G'by, Willie."

"G'by," Willie said, and asked himself, as he hung up, "I wonder if she is hintin' about her birthday. All dames are gold diggers."

Willie Klump stayed in most of the day, hoping that a client would call up or knock on his door. No soap. He told himself he might just as well have opened a man-hunting bureau in the left wing of a monastery. Finally he reached for his hat and went out of the office.

Gertie was to be in a tavern on Third Avenue at six-thirty. They served the kind of corned beef and cabbage Gertie liked. Willie arrived ten minutes late, but he saw no signs of his torch. He slid into a booth and waited.

A waiter came out of a phone booth and called out:

"Is Chick Bean around?"

A long thin citizen in baggy tweeds and battered skimmer turned away from the bar and he wanted to know supposing he was.

"A guy says to tell him there is a murder just found out down on East Forty- third," the waiter growled. "And if this Bean is any kind of reporter, he'll. . . Oh, hello Chick. I didn't know you."

The reporter banged down his beer and dusted out of the tavern. Willie Klump snatched up his own hat and caught up with the scribbler at the curb. He climbed into the same cab.

"What you want?" the news hound clipped. "Beat it, as I got plenty of insurance now."

"I'm a detective," Willie said. "Just new at Headquarters." He flashed his badge.

"Yeah? Okay, but if you are a phony, the boys will fold you up like an accordion. Hurry up, driver. Somebody knocked off the editor of the Weekly Workman. Looks like fifth column stuff for any paper."

Cars were clogging the street in front of a tobacco store on East Forty-third. A crowd of morbid taxpayers were trying to crash the gate and Willie and the reporter had quite a time getting up the stairs to a flat of three small rooms.

The morgue flunkys were already removing the defunct redactor and "Satchelfoot" Kelly sat in a chair, grinning. He did not get irked even when he spotted Willie. Satchelfoot was holding something in his hands, wrapped in a handkerchief.

"He said he was a real dick," Chick Bean complained to Kelly. "How should I know? They change flatfeet around so much, Kelly."

"Let the dimwit stay," Satchelfoot said. "We got this thing licked awready, Chick. I got evidence here to hang a swell looking hoofer in that Russian cabaret over on Second Avenue. That joint called Steppe Inn. Looks like she rubbed out this Leon Potsky. I bet she gits more scratch from Stalin than she does from that clip joint."

WILLIE heard it all then. A telephone girl had caught a light acting up on the board on the neighborhood exchange but nobody answered. Then she heard a sharp feminine voice yelping at the other end of the wire.

"Let him have it! Kill the rat!"

The switchboard Sal had quickly called the coppers and they had found a corpse on the floor of the flat. The telephone was in good order, the receiver not being off the hook at all.

"Somehow the receiver was lifted off the hook a little by accident," Kelly explained to the fourth estate. "The cupcake didn't know it, so her crime was found out just as she committed it. She had to have an accomplice, too, or why would she yell at him to knock off Potsky. You remember when they sent Joe Stalin's Number One gazabo up for fakin' a passport? Well, this Potsky didn't come out with no sugar to sweeten up his trial. So maybe Joe sent word to one of his agents who is the gal at Steppe Inn to liquidate Potsky for letting down the old Lenin grad."

Willie's head began to spin. This was big stuff if Kelly was not talking through his derby. Fifth Column stuff. He wondered what Satchelfoot had in his hand.

"Dropped her lipstick here—with her name on it," Kelly said. "Sonya Kavyar. Been seen around with Potsky. Maybe Potsky wa'n't lettin' Stalin down, either, for he was always for the masses and. lived crummy like this to show them he was. This is the only flat in this buildin' and the rest of the shack is took up with stores and lofts and things. Potsky figured to live up to what he preached, see? Okay boys, you can get my pitcher any time you want now. I'm goin' down and arrest this Kavyar cookie."

"He gets all the luck," Willie groaned. "If I could of got here first and found the lipstick they would beg me to be a G- man."

"Say, didn't you have a date with Gertie tonight, Willie?" Satchelfoot wanted to know.

"Why—er—yeah!'' Willie gulped.

"She will knock you bow-legged, Willie." Kelly laughed. Then he said: "Pick up that murder weapon, Patsy. Can you imagine? A big paper-weight from a Wall Street brokerage house. The capitalistic force that flattened one of the Marx brothers. What a story, hey, Chick?"

Willie forgot Gertie again. He was idly pushing his shoe at a little object on the floor.

He picked it up and cupped it in his hands.

"Come on, boys," Satchelfoot said. "We will go down to the Steppe Inn and pick up this Siberian nightin'gale."

Willie could not see where he could help himself any by going. He evacuated the murder area and hiked back to the tavern. Gertie would make a scene and it would top all her other tantrums. When Gertie Mudgett was riled, strong men trembled.

Willie took a deep breath outside the oasis, removed the piece of bridgework and put it into his pocket. He walked in and he met Gertie on the way out. He threw his arms over his head and yelped:

"I can explain."

"Why, Willie," the doll said. "I can't understand you sometimes. Just because you're late, you think I don't understand?"

"You ain't goin' to slug me?" the president of the Hawkeye Detective Agency gulped. "You, feelin' all right?"

"Of course, Willie. This will make up for all the times I kept you waitin'."

WILLIE did not tumble until he was on his way home that night. He passed a flower store and a sign in the window reminded passersby that there was a birthday for somebody every day.

"I get it," Willie smiled. "She is still hinting for a present of a pooch!"

Less than twenty-four hours later, the rub-out of Leon Potsky assumed larger proportions. Potsky, the U. S. Department of Justice hot shots admitted, had not been a Stalin stooge at all. He had let his hair grow and had purchased a pair of thick- lensed specs at the behest of his superiors. Potsky had been a G-man named Harvey Keech and he had been set up as editor of the Weekly Workman after the editor before him had passed out in the natural way. The real Potsky had been apprehended soon after his arrival from Russia and Keech had taken his clothes and his name and had been fixed up to look like Potsky.

Right from Moscow had came morsels of news to the Weekly Workman and the spurious Leon Potsky had tagged a dozen Stalinites during his reign as editor of the more than pink weekly rag. A P.I.— political instructor—had found Potsky out, and now it looked as if Satchelfoot Kelly had lifted himself up to national notoriety by the apprehension of Sonya Kavyar, singer in the Steppe Inn.

Willie happened to be down in Center Street that night when they grilled Sonya. They would not let him in the room where she paced the floor but he could hear the Russky wren's shrill voice.

"I tall you nya-a-ting more," Kavyar yipped. "Becoss I do not know nyatting more, my frands! I do not go to see Potsky thees night. Somewan he ees frame Kavyar. Yah, eet ees my leepsteek! But mabbe you put eet there yoursalves, you domb looken' detactives! Don't ask me nyatting more. Just gat me my lawyer."

"You had an accomplice!" Kelly howled. "Who caressed Potsky—er— Keetch with the paper-weight, huh? Your voice registered right in the telephone and the operator has already said your voice and your accent was the one. You will get a permanent in a chair but not in a beauty parlor! Ever see an elocution, hah?"

"Bah! Nots to you, big feet. I steel say nyatting!"

Look, Sonya," Satchelfoot pleaded. "Plead guilty, as even I wouldn't want to see them nice black locks of yours get singed. You ain't got a leg to stand on!"

"No legs to stand weeth, haw? Mabbe ze costomers come to ze clob to see ze wans on ze tables, yah?"

Willie waited until Satchelfoot came out. Willie had to laugh.

"I hate to see the chicken you was fricasse-in' in there," Willie said. "You are a wreck, Satchelfoot. There is enough sweat pouring off you to launch a sailboat."

"We're goin' to show her photos of grillings up in the Big House," Satchelfoot said. "Then she'll talk. You get out of here, Willie! I can't afford to be seen with small fry like you, now I have a big name."

Willie grinned. "I admit you have got the right culprit, but somehow it just must turn out not to be, as you caught the culprit. There is things in the world that you just can't believe, Kelly."

SATCHELFOOT KELLY had William Klump removed forcibly and when Willie skidded down the steps he brushed himself off and made his way uptown to his office. There he sat down and thought for awhile. He put down the fruits of his noggin on a sheet of paper.

"No. 1. What is the use thinkin' of this case as Kelly has arrested the assassiness? But he still don't have her accomplish. That's where I come in. But foolin' with Stalin scares me

"No.2. Kavyar is a swell dish and maybe knew Wall Street brokers and one gave her a paper-weight for a souvenir.

But he wouldn't be the accomplish, I don't think. I only got one chance and I will disguise myself and get in Potsky's flat like the pigeons I saw on his window-sill have been gettin' in. Kelly might have missed somethin'."

Willie took an old topcoat from his closet. An old slouch hat. He pasted a black mustache over his upper lip, put on a pair of dark glasses, and went out into the street. A block away he purchased a copy of the Weekly Workman.

"I see you are for the proletariats," the news-stand owner said approvingly.

"Not exactly," Willie said. "I have not followed the baseball teams for three or four years now. I guess they will finish ahead of the Brooklyns, though."

Willie meandered down to the scene of the murder and cased the old loft building. There were no cops or G-men around it, as far as he could see. If any of the law- enforcement bodies figured anyone to return to the scene of a crime, they would never suspect the assassin would do it in broad daylight. To be a successful detective, Willie mused, you had to do what nobody would ever think you would.

He sneaked through an areaway and finally came to the rear of the building where Potsky had made his home.

There was a fire-escape there. Willie climbed it and soon was entering the flat.

Potsky's place was turned topsy-turvy. The G-men sure had combed it. But even they could overlook some clues. Suddenly, there came a terrible assortment of sounds out in the street. The banshee wail of a police jalopy. The screeching of brakes. A lot of shouting, too.

Willie looked out the front window. The cops were out there all right. He hopped to the fire-escape and saw three husky citizens in the yard below.

"Come out!" a rough voice yelped. "You got no chance at all."

Willie tried to pull off his mustache, but the glue he had used had been cooked up to paste pieces of metal together. Something crashed through the window and set up pyrotechnics. Tear gas trickled into Willie's respiratory organs and he began to cry.

"They—they think I'm Dillinger or somebody," Willie gulped.

"Stick 'em up!"

"Keep him covered, boys!" a booming voice banged against Willie's whirling brain. "Looks like we got him before he could pull a Betsy."

"Uh—I ab iddoced," Willie said, tears streaming out of his peepers. "I ab a harbless cidized who—"

"A foreigner awright," a cop said. "Can't understand a word he's sayin'. Put the cuffs on him."

WILLIE was taken to the Federal Building and the cops told the press that they had the Russian dame's accomplice. Satchelfoot Kelly lost no time in getting to Uncle Sam's branch office and then he sat down and laughed himself sick.

"That is Willie Klump, you guys," Kelly said. "He can get into the darndest messes. He is a correspondence school dick and he was lookin' for clues. Wasn't you, Willie?"

"I only wanted to help," Willie said, his face as red as a fireman's suspenders.

The G-men were irked with Willie and held him for five hours. Then they released him. Willie met Gertie in the hall. She was very understanding about it all and took him to the nearest oasis and bought him a drink.

"You must learn to control yourself, Willie," Gertie said; "Let's go somewhere and dance or somethin'. Did you hear they had an explosion at the Brooklyn Navy Yard awhile ago? They think it was sabotidge. Look, Willie, I have a girl friend who goes with a sailor and she wanted to know this aft if I had a boy frien' and if I did, we could all go out some place together. I will call her up."

"Go ahead," Willie groaned. "I don't care what happens to me."

He picked up an evening paper and read the headlines. The story of the popoff at the Navy Yard was featured. A U. S. cruiser, in drydock for repairs, had had some of its viscera blown galley west by something heavier than a fire-cracker.

The police suspected Fifth Columnists.

"I sure would like to capture some of them spies," Willie thought.

Gertie came out of the phone booth and said everything was fixed.

"We meet Lulu and her torch in Brooklyn, Willie. At Mame's Place on Sands Street."

"Isn't it awful tough over there?" Willie asked.

"It is only like they give a dog a bad name," Gertie said. "Anyway, I never been there and would like to try it. All the sailors go there. All the sea-dogs, Willie."

"Dogs ag'in," Willie thought. "She sure is hinting."

Mame's Place was clogged with gentlemen of the nautical persuasion and their heartbeats when Willie and Gertie arrived. The tobacco smoke could have been cut out in big square chunks and the smell of grog was heavier than Willie's dancing pumps.

"Hi, Lulu!" Gertie called out. "That's a cute sailor you got, ha! Meet Willie Klump!"

Everybody shook hands and then a head waiter with cauliflower ears led them to a table and asked them what kind of poison they would have.

"Make mine prussic acid with arsenic chaser," Willie said.

"He is in the dumps," Gertie said. "Bring him a zombie."

"And four steaks," the sailor said.

The party waxed more torrid by the minute. There were two fights and six near-fights. The waiter came back from the kitchen and said they were all out of steaks. The gob summoned Mame.

"Look," said the gun-pointer. "What kind of a jernt is this? No steaks. Hitler ain't occupied us yet, has he?"

Willie felt butterflies in his stomach when he looked at Mame. The doll was no Eskimo squaw. She was as willowy as Hepburn and had the pulchritude of a LaMarr. Willie wondered if she really did have a black silk dress on or had she simply poured a big bottle of ink over her.

MAME was irked and summoned a tall male character. She let him have it.

"Look, Fancy Pants. Why don't you do something around here to earn that soup and fish I bought for you, huh? Not a steak in the place and seven hours to go. I should of left you in that Fourteenth Street penny arcade."

"Says you," Mame's husband quipped, not being too original. He looked sore anyhow, toying with a bandaged thumb.

"Says me," Mame countered. "And shut up. I'll do the talking. You go and see that some raw meat is sent into this joint."

"Look, I ain't no stooge, Mame," the tall character complained. "I got a right to open my mouth here and—"

"Says you," Mame chirped.

"Yeah, says me."

"They go on like that all the time," the gob said. "She's the boss, though. I think she's Hungarian. He's one of them Jugo slobs."

"It is fun here, ain't it, Willie?" Gertie said. "How about takin' me out on the floor, as my puppies are just itchin'."

"Dogs ag'in," Willie mumbled. "That pet shoppy dame wasn't no fortune teller. Gertie tipped her off."

An hour later three marines, listing slightly to port, began to sing:

Ten thousand gobs laid down their swabs,
To lick one sick marine!

The fight started. Lulu's torch left the table and got himself a piece of it. A marine was tossed behind the bar and three sailors leaped over after him and turned on all the beer taps so that they might drown the sea cop.

Willie picked up a skimmer that happened to belong to Lulu's tar, put it on his head, and looked for an exit. Then a bunch of knuckles hit Willie and flattened· him. Half the U. S. Navy walked over Willie before Gertie could drag him clear.

"You was foolish to put on that sailor's hat," the doll said. "Let's go before the cops come, Willie."

"I never want to put in a worse day," the president of the Hawkeye Detective Agency said as he ducked out into a dark alley. "You keep awful company, Gertie."

"So you don't like my frien's, don't you?" the doll yelped. "Well, you can go fly a-now, Willie. Oh, here we are fightin' and my birthday tomorrer. You wouldn't want to spoil it, would you?"

"Why, of course not," Willie forced out. "Er—I want to surprise you, Gertie. Meet me at Thirty-seventh and Fourth tomorrer, huh? About three."

"I can hardly wait," Gertie said. "I already got a leash—"


"They made me take one out where I live," Gertie quickly countered.

"They said real estate is boomin' and they won't rent no more from week to week."


"I guess Satchelfoot Kelly will be famous soon, won't he?" Gertie said. "The papers say he is even mentioned for a job down in Washin'ton. They'll make that Russian tell who was her accomplish 'fore long, as nobody can fool with the F.I.B."

"Ha!" Willie grinned. "That is not bad. They know she is lyin' all along. You are a card sometimes, Gertie."

WILLIE walked his girl friend home from the subway and then went home himself. He was fagged out worse than a Fascist marathon runner in Libya. The paper he had picked up on his way home mocked him. There was a picture of Satchelfoot on the front page. A screamer said:


"She must be guilty," Willie ground out. "She won't give an alibi. Life is awful. I have six bucks left and it has to go for a pet pooch."

Willie met Gertie Mudgett outside of Pliny's Pet Shoppe at three the next afternoon.

"Why, Willie Klump," Gertie gushed. "I do believe you are going to surprise me with a pet, ain't you?"

"Yes, a big surprise—like seein' a sea bass in an aquarium," Willie said under his breath.

Pliny's Pet Shoppe was the Tower of Babel, animal kingdom. Everything from a praying mantis to a baby kangaroo was in the place.

A birdlike character shuffled slowly forward and asked what was Willie's pleasure.

"Oh, a beer now and then, or a movie," Willie replied.

"He wants to wait on you," Gertie said a little impatiently. "Look at the swell poodles over there, Willie."

Crazy sounds swirled around Willie's noggin. "Let him have eet! Keel the rat!"

Willie spun around on his heels.

"Who said that?"

"I didn't hear nothin'," the pet shoppe clerk said.

"Me neither," Gertie said.

"I guess I'm hearin' things," Willie said and pushed up to a cage holding a furry canine.

"Spitz?" Gertie asked.

"It will if you tease it," Willie told her.

"How much is a nice Pomeranian?" Gertie asked.

"Says you! Says me." Willie clutched at a wooden post and hung on. "Why I ever took you out of that penny arcade, I don't know. I'll do the talkin'."

"Did you hear what I heard," Willie yelped at Gertie.

"You are stallin', Willie Klump. You promised to buy me a pet and you are goin' to. . . . How much are Pekeranians, I mean Pomernese? You got me all mixed up, Willie. How much are they? As long as they ain't over twenty-five—"

"Keel the rat! Let heem have eet!"

"You heard that!" Willie tossed out, sweat pouring off his epidermis. "There's who said it! That parrot over there. Where did you get that parrot, huh?"

"Him?" the clerk said while Gertie bit chunks out of her handbag. "A boy found it wanderin' around over on First Avenya and he come in here and sold it to us for ten bucks. I can make twenty dollars profit on it."

Willie grabbed the clerk as if the store had turned into an excursion steamer and had caught fire. He yanked something out of his pocket and shoved it in front of the clerk's nose.

"Is that off a pigeon?" he wanted to know.

"It's a parrot's feather," the expert on feathered friends assured Willie. "No pigeon has them like that. You see the quill is—"

"What is this?" Gertie Mudgett shrieked. "I ast to buy a dog and you're dickerin' for a parrot. I wouldn't have no parrots near me, Willie Klump. They bite!"

Letting go of the clerk, Willie clutched at Gertie.

"That's right. They do, and this one bit somebody and parrots mock everybody they hear if they are smart parrots. Here is six bucks deposit on that parrot! Don't you dast sell it to nobody else."

He plunked the five spot and the single bill down on a counter, gave his name, then ran out of the pet shoppe.

"Willie Klump, you come back here!" Gertie yelped. "Oh, you double-crosser! You Indian giver, you! I didn't want no parrot, and whose birthday is it? I'll kill you if I ever see you again."

WILLIAM KLUMP, man-hunter not exactly deluxe, was already beyond recall. He hopped a subway and went down to Center Street. He demanded that he be allowed to see Sonya Kavyar in the Women's Prison, as he was sure she was innocent.

"Listen to the crackpot," Satchelfoot Kelly snickered. "He's got an epileptic fit again."

A snide-looking citizen happened to come in the house of detention, and he overheard Willie. He claimed he knew his rights as the attorney for the night-club chickadee and that if there was any chance to build up the defense for his client, he would see that he nabbed it. The upshot was that Willie accompanied the lawyer to the hoosegow.

"Did you ever go to Mame's on Sands Street?" Willie asked Kavyar.

"Yeah," Kavyar said, then narrowed her peepers. "So vhat? Wan time me an' Mamie Kelso we seeng togather optown in swall clob.

"You think of somethin', Kavyar?" the mouthpiece said.

"I didn't say," the Russky belle fenced. "I say nyatting, not yat!"

"Well, you go on from here," Willie said. "I found out what I want to know. Potsky kept a pet parrot at one time, huh?"

"Yah," Kavyar said. "Wan time it tak bite at me. Potsky should've kept it in a cage. Vhat has all zis to do with—"

"I'll be back," Willie said, and got out of there, his legs shaking.

Thoughts eddied inside his coco and he leaned against the cold gray walls and tried to sift the good ones from the chaff.

Willie wrote some things down in a notebook and sought out the D.A. It took him three hours to crash the gate, then the president of the Hawkeye Detective Agency put his cards right on the table.

"It is the way with me, sir," Willie said to the suave citizen. "Nobody takes me serious because I don't look like a detective. I know who killed Leon Potsky, and it wasn't Kavyar. Ask Kelly what become of Potsky's parrot as he had one and it bit the murderer an it was there mockin' the lady accomplish who was with the murderer."

"Just take it easy," the D.A. said. "Go over that again."

Willie did. He added a couple of salient facts.

"And I bet you will get the characters who tried to blow up the Navy Yard, too. I guess G-men are smart in laboratories. They can tell whether anybody got hit by a hammer or bit by a parrot by the wound, can't they? Why didn't the cops find out Potsky had a parrot?"

"This Potsky was a recluse," the D.A. said.

"Ain't there no cure for that disease?" Willie asked.

"Maybe I'll lose my job over this, Klump," the D. A. said. "I shouldn't even listen to you but you have solved three or four cases, and maybe you've fallen over something again. I'll arrange for a raid. If this is a turkey you've brought me, I'll take away that tin badge of yours. But in fighting Fifth Columnists we can't overlook a bet."

Satchelfoot Kelly got beside himself when he heard about Willie and the D.A. He told the D.A. that Willie was three degrees more stupid than the average village zany, and what was the idea anyway, he having the real culprit.

"There's something about Klump that don't show on the surface," the D.A. said to Kelly. "You will accompany him to that place in Brooklyn, Kelly. Why didn't you find out that Potsky kept a parrot, and why didn't you try and find out what happened to the bird?"

"Somebody is nuts," Satchelfoot protested.

A raiding party reached Mame's place at closing time.

"You guys go in back," Willie said to Satchelfoot and three burly plainclothes workers. "Me and the G-men will go in the front here. These dishonest people live upstairs and they might try to escape through the winders. Get your guns ready."

"This one will cook you, Willie," Satchelfoot snorted. "This is the silliest thing I—"

"Come on," Willie said.

He barged into Mame's Place. Six sailors were there and they had imbibed to the point of meanness. Mame stood near the bar having a quick one.

"Mame," Willie yelped, "you are under arrest for overthrowin' the government or trying to. No use to put up a fight."

"What?" Mame screeched.

"Listen to these punks," a gob said. "Le's go, guys. It's all-out aid for Mame. Gimmie that empty bottle."

"Don't you dare!" Willie roared. "Somebody cover everybody! Watch out for her boy friend, as I don't see—"

A Betsy went off somewhere and a bullet went through a tuba close to Willie.

"That's her husband!" Willie yelped as he ducked a split of ginger ale. "All you sailors stop helping citizens who are overthrowin' the government, as you will get court-martialed and shot. . . . Go after him, somebody! He is goin' upstairs!"

Satchelfoot Kelly and three husky characters came in from the rear and Mame put a bullet through the crown of Kelly's derby before Satchelfoot could get her around the waist and hang on. Mame and Kelly slid out on the dance floor.

"That is him," Willie howled as toy cannon roared on every side. "Dancin' a rhumba when all of us are fightin' to the death."

"You crackpot!" Kelly yelped. "She's got two handfuls of my hair! Drag her offen me!"

The gobs, convinced by this time that Mame and her spouse were the enemy, formed a flying wedge and went up the stairs after the tall dark male with the bandaged thumb. One of Mame's comrades picked Willie up and jammed him head-foremost into a big kettle-drum.

A G-man dropped a stooge with a nice sweep of a clarinet and another played a tune on the barkeep with a sax. Upstairs there was a terrible commotion as the gobs opened up with fistic salvos. Willie managed to get out of the drum in time to see the gentlemen from the sea descend the stairway carrying a sunken morale destroyer.

THE clean-up did not take long. The law herded Mame and her confederate up the stairs and into a flat where there was enough evidence to convince even Satchelfoot Kelly.

"I knew it," Willie said. "This place did a big business but it was in the red. Ransack the joint and you will find all sorts of important letters, newspapers and things. It is where they plotted. They was double-crossing' everybody, including themselves."

"Comrade," said the battered Ivan Buzzoff, for that was who he confessed to be, "we are lost. Do not say nyatting, yah! Not vhan word."

"I don't see how we slip op," Mame said disconsolately.

"Yeah, tell us how they did, Willie," Satchelfoot Kelly gulped. "Boys, look at these infernal machines here. A plan of the Brooklyn Navy Yard and—"

"It was easy," Willie said. "When they come to bump off Potsky after they found out he was a double-crosser, the parrot was there. Ivan bopped Potsky with the paper-weight and Potsky keeled over and hit the table holdin' the phone. The receiver slipped up. The parrot yelled what Mame yelled when Ivan did the foul deed. 'Let him have it. Kill the rat!' The telephone operator heard it.

"The parrot started a fuss and Potsky tried to rub it out and it bit him and got away. A kid found it on the loose and took it to a pet shop to sell it. Parrots imitate everybody they hear—a good parrot. Well, Ivan and this doll visited Potsky a couple of times before they assassinated him. The parrot made a record of things they said just the same as if he had been a phonograft record.

"Mame an' Ivan tried to act like they was Americans durin' business hours downstairs as they kept sayin' 'Says you,

says me,' and all that stuff." Willie went on after a deep breath. "Kavyar used to dance with Mame and come here a couple of times. It was easy for Mame to lift Kavyar's lipstick and plant it at the crime. Kavyar liked Potsky and was out with him a couple of times. . . . Why didn't she alibi? Ha! Well, Kavyar is no Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms the way I look at her, and maybe she was with somebody's husband at the time and—

"What is the difference, Satchelfoot? Here is the characters who killed Potsky and tried to blow up the Navy Yard. What do you say to that, Mame? You wormed information out of sailors after selling them your giggle water, huh?"

"Down with the capitalists!" the black- haired doll hurled at Willie. "Nots to you!"

"An' volts for women," Willie said. "Don't forget that, you Steppe sister! . . . O, ah, oh, is it this later, everybody? I have to go and see somebody about a dog."

"Eet is not fair," Ivan groaned. "He does not look like detactive. He is Fifth Column detactive. Thees spy business is not safe no more, nyah!"

"I must make up to Gertie," Willie said. "How much is a great Dane, Satchelfoot?' After all, if she hadn't ast me for a birthday present, I wouldn't of— er—a great Dane should equal about fifty pugs or pinkykneeses, should it not?"

"He is like I said, crazier than a March hare with hives," Satchelfoot Kelly said, pawing at his face. "You got no chanct in this world, bein' sane. Willie, I'll bet you found a big clue you didn't say nothin' about."

"I wouldn't say that," Willie grinned. "It was as light as a feather, Satchelfoot. Excuse me, where is there a phone?"