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La Paree, March, 1937

Badgering Bickford

by Robert Leslie Bellem

HANK BICKFORD had just settled down with a book and a highball when there came a soft knock upon the door of the apartment.

Not having been in Paris very long, Hank wasn't expecting callers. Moreover, the outer night was ugly with rain, not at all the sort of evening for anyone to select to go visiting.

With a frown of wonderment, Hank set down his novel and his glass. He opened the door. Then he blinked as his eyes beheld a double barreled vision of feminine loveliness.

The girl was a stranger to Hank; and his first thought was that he was dreaming. Nobody could possibly be that beautiful, he told himself. Such raven black hair existed only in fiction. Such audaciously curving breasts belonged only to sculptured statues. Such slender hips and modeled thighs couldn't be real. Such kiss-inviting red lips and slumbrous dark eyes had no place in a world of cold reality.

She wore no coat, and her frock, wet by the rain, was plastered revealingly to the sleek contours of her delicious figure. Boldly was her bosom limned by the clinging material. Hank was intrigued, enchanted and temporarily speechless.

"Monsieur Bickford?" she spoke in a delicious contralto.

"Yes—I mean oui" he switched to passable French. "Will you come in, Mademoiselle?"

SHE ENTERED; AND her hips swayed with languorous, captivating grace with every step she took. As he closed the front door, she turned to face him; and he thought he noticed that her sweet young bosom rose and fell as if with a repressed inner excitement. With each breath, those challenging mounds bulged against the damp restraint of her frock, so that their apexes were sharply delineated.

"Is there something I can do for you, Mademoiselle?" Hank asked.

"No," she answered. "It is I who will do something for you, Monsieur Bickford."

He could think of only one ...

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