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Broken Melody

By Robert Leslie Bellem

Nothing scalds Dan Turner so much as a threatening note. When there's geetus in a case, and when there's a little songbird like Chiquita in the picture, nobody's going to tell Dan to layoff, and get away with it!

AT MIDNIGHT I parked my jalopy on the southwest corner of Sunset and Zenith, according to instructions. A low fog was rolling in from Santa Monica. The dark pavement glistened with moisture.

I lit three matches one after the other; set fire to a gasper with the third. That was the signal. Out of the shadows a dame darted furtively toward my coupe.

She wore a tight, form-fitting coat that advertised her sleek hips, her lush contours. The collar was turned up, and a dark veil obscured her peepers.

She slid in alongside me and said: "Drive, señor!"

I headed my bucket toward nowhere in particular. "You're Chiquita Chauvez?"

She nodded. She was trembling. "Si. And . . . oh, Madre de Dios, I am glad you weel help me!"

I reached into my coat pocket, pulled out a stone with a piece of paper around it. I said: "Well, baby, I hadn't intended meeting you tonight. But when some sharp apple tossed this through my bedroom window fifteen minutes after you phoned me, I changed my mind."

She unwrapped the paper, stared at it in the glow from the dash-lamp. As for me, I didn't have to read it again to know what it said:

"Dan Turner—

Lay off Chiquita Chauvez if you want to keep on breathing.

One Who Knows."

She handed the note back. I said: "Now look, señorita. I want to know the score. You're one of the biggest singing stars in pictures. Tonight you phoned me, asked me to meet you at midnight, said your life was in danger. I told you to save it until morning. Then this note was thrown through my window. I'd like to know why."

Her answering move startled the bejoseph out of me. She twisted the door- handle on her side and started to jump out of my jalopy—while I was making forty miles an hour!

I said: "What the hell—!" and grabbed her with one hand; caught the front of her coat and felt her flesh swelling against my fingers through the cloth. I yanked her back into the coupe, slammed the door. Then I twisted my wheel to keep from skidding into a curbstone.

She shrank down in the seat. "Let me g-go ! You are of no use to me now!" she whimpered.

I said: "How do you add that up?"

"B-because Roland Reid apparently knows you haf agreed to help me, and he weel take steps to block you!"

I stiffened. "Roland Reid? The guy that's directing your latest Altamount picture?"


I parked, switched off my lights. "Whistle the patter, kiddo."

"Th-there ees leetle to tell. Señor Reid ees eenfatuated weeth me. I do not return hees affections. He has th-threatened to keel me tomorrow morning on the set. I had hoped you would go weeth me to the studio; I thought you could protect me. You are Hollywood's best private detective. But. . . ."

I said: "I get it. Somehow Roland Reid found out you phoned me. He tossed that warning through my window. And now you think I won't be of any use to you."

"Th-that ees eet, Señor Turner."

I shrugged. "Okay, baby. Shall I drive you home?"

"N-no. I weel get out here." She slipped from my coupe and the fog swallowed her.

IT SCALDS me for somebody to throw a monkey-wrench in my business. I'm in the detective game for the dough; and I might have collected a fat chunk of geetus from the Chauvez cupcake if it hadn't been for that threatening note. Not that I thought Roland Reid would actually pull any rough stuff on Chiquita at the studio the next morning; he was too big a shot to take such a wild chance. I figured he was just trying to throw a scare into her so she'd kick in with a little affection, Spanish style.

But just the same, she would have hired me if it hadn't been for the warning heaved through my glassware. I got a sudden idea. Maybe if I showed up at the studio anyhow and nothing happened to her, she might slip me a couple of centuries out of gratitude.

I took a gander out the window of my jalopy; saw that I was just about three blocks away from Hal Schumaker's house. Schumaker was musical director for Altamount—and a friend of mine. I headed for his place.

Just as I stepped on the starter, my mitt touched something cold, metallic, on the seat alongside me. I picked it up. It was a small gold medallion with a broken length of thin platinum chain dangling from it.

I saw what must have happened. When I'd grabbed the frightened wren and yanked her back into my tub, I must have torn the medallion loose from its chain around her throat. I pocketed it, figuring I'd return it to her at the studio next day.

AT Hal Schumaker's house a sleepy butler let me in. He acted snotty when I asked for Hal; so I gave him the fish-eyed focus and he wilted like last month's lettuce, went upstairs to call his master.

Pretty soon Hal came down. He said: "Turner! What the devil brings you here at such an ungodly hour?"

I said: "Hi, pal. Can you fix it for me to get on the Altamount lot tomorrow?" Then I told him about Chiquita Chauvez and her fear of Roland Reid. I finished with: "So you see, if I'm on the job tomorrow anyhow, maybe I can collect some scratch out of her."

He grinned. "Okay. Stop by for me at seven in the morning. I'm conducting the orchestra for Chiquita's big scene at nine. She's to sing La Paloma. You can watch from the sidelines." Then he looked a little concerned. "You don't think Reid would really try to hurt her, do you?"

I said: "Of course not. He's just trying to scare the tripes out of her. Object, a boudoir rendezvous."

"I hope that's all it amounts to, Dan. Chiquita and I used to be . . . damned good friends." He saw me to the door.

I went to the curb, started to climb into my jalopy. And then out of the fog a roscoe said: "Chow-chow!" and two soft- nosed hornets went whistling past my noggin. I threw myself inside the coupe, yanked out the .32 automatic I always carry in a shoulder-holster.

I waited for somebody to push another slug in my direction, so I could aim at the flash. But nothing happened. Then Hal Schumaker's front door opened. He came running toward me. "Dan—what the devil—?"

There was no use alarming him. I said: "My cylinders backfired." Then I stepped on the starter, breezed away. But I had plenty on my mind. Some bright disciple had certainly tried to ventilate my think- tank. It began to look as if maybe Roland Reid was in earnest.

And yet some of the parts didn't fit; didn't make sense. If Reid actually intended harming the Chauvez quail, why would he warn her in advance? Why didn't he go ahead and stop her clock right now?

I whispered "Hell! Maybe he's already done it!" I saw an allnight drug-store, parked, went inside. I found the public phone, dialed Chiquita's house in Beverly. "Let me talk to Señorita Chauvez."

In a moment I heard her Spanish accent: "Hal—lo?"

That was all I wanted to know. She was still okay. I hung up without saying anything; went home to bed.

NEXT morning, Hal Schumaker passed me through the Altamount studio gates; took me to a Spanish set on Sound Stage B inside a big concrete building twice the size of Rhode Island. The place was knee-deep in prop men, electricians, carpenters, sound-technicians, and grips. Over on a dais at one end of the set, Schumaker's orchestra was tuning up—all in Spanish costumes. Hal said: "Well, Dan, I'll be leaving you. Got to go put on my own Spick regalia."

I wandered around, looked things over. Roland Reid, the director, was superintending the arrangement of a bank of baby spots. He was a big bruiser, handsome as hell. But he didn't look like a potential murderer.

Trailing behind Reid was a cute little auburn-haired doll in a blue sweater and orange slacks. She had a shape like a bachelor's dream—and the sweater and slacks were taut enough to let everybody know it. I tabbed her. She was Betty Coughlin, a script-girl. I'd been on several parties with her in the past.

I walked up behind her, patted the orange slacks where they were tightest. I said: "Hello, luscious."

She whirled; looked indignant. "When I want a massage, I'll send for a professional—" Then she looked at my puss and broke into a thousand candlepower smile of recognition. "Well, split my brassiere if it isn't Philo Sherlock Turner, the demon dick! I thought your fingers were darned familiar."

"Sure. I'm a sucker for curves like yours," I said. "How's for an invitation to your apartment some rainy evening?"

"Well, maybe. If it rains hard enough," she flipped back at me. "You'll have to bring your own galoshes, though."

I said: "It's a date." Then I added: "When do the cameras start rolling?"

"Pretty soon now. As soon as Chiquita Chauvez shows up."

Just as she told me this, I piped Chiquita coming onto the set. In spite of her movie make-up—jaundice-yellow grease-paint, blue-daubed glims, crimson- smeared kisser—she was a wow in six different languages. Her black hair was fastened with a jeweled comb, her swelling white breasts bulged out of the low cut bodice of a tightly-laced costume, and her fringed skirt stopped at the knees, displaying plenty of shapely gams.

I edged close to her, dragged that broken locket out of my pocket. I said: "You dropped this in my car last night, señorita."

"You have make beeg mistake, señor. I do not know you!" she snapped. Icicles dripped from every syllable.

I was puzzled. Then I caught the play. She didn't want Roland Reid to spot me chinning with her. I whispered: "Okay, baby. My mistake." I pivoted, walked toward Reid. I made up my mind to watch him every minute.

He yelled: "Clear the set!" Everybody scurried beyond the camera lines except the actors who were to appear in the scene. Chiquita took her place before the lenses. A microphone was lowered from a boom overhead. To Chiquita's left, Hal Schumaker raised his baton before the orchestra; tapped for attention.

"Hit 'em!" Reid barked. The lights blazed on. Then: "Interlock! Roll 'em! This is the picture!"

Cameras whirred up to picture-speed; synchronized sound-track apparatus was cut in. Chiquita started warbling the first bars of La Paloma. I kept my peepers on Reid.

And then it seemed as if a dozen things happened at once.

I HEARD Chiquita's voice break. I whirled, stared at her. A shot sounded. Chiquita went sprawling in a heap before the cameras. Chaos busted loose all over the place.

Extras, juicers, grips—everybody was running toward the spot where Chiquita had gone down. I said: "What the hell—!" and hurled myself forward. Just in front of me, Roland Reid was batting his way ahead. Betty Coughlin, the auburn-haired script girl, was alongside him as usual.

I poked a bit-player in the mush knocked him down. I leaped over him, grabbed Betty by the shoulder tossed her to one side. Just as Reid reached the front of Hal Schumaker's orchestra dais, I yanked out my .32 automatic. I said: "Stand still, Reid—you murdering rat!"

He turned, stared at me. His pan went pasty. He said: "Wh-what—!"

Behind me, whistles were shrilling as studio cops came charging up. One of them spotted the roscoe in my mitt. He made for his own rod, unholstered it. He said: "Drop that gun, you damned—"

"Stow it!" I beefed at him. "I'm Dan Turner, private dick!" I flashed my tin. "Put the nippers on Reid, here."

The bull looked dubious. Reid said: "Damn you, I'll—"

"Button your trap!" I rasped. "Chiquita told me how you threatened her. She hired me for protection. Like a sap, I took my lamps off you for a minute. And you browned her."

"I—I—? You're insane! I loved her!" He tried to avoid the handcuffs, but the studio flatfoot was fast. The minute Reid was in bracelets, the cop fanned him—and pulled a small automatic out of his coat.

The gat's muzzle was still smoking. Reid looked as if he'd been slugged in the teeth. "My God! How did that thing get in my pocket?"

I didn't have time to answer riddles. I saw another studio copper; yelled at him: "Hey, you! Phone police headquarters— fast! Get Dave Donaldson of the homicide squad; tell him to flag his frame out here pronto. See that nobody leaves the set!"

"Yes, sir."

I shouldered my way past the cameras, cleared a path with my elbows. Around the sprawled form of Chiquita Chauvez a circle had gathered—actors, technicians, members of Hal Schumaker's orchestra. Hal himself was standing there, looking jittery. He said: "Good Lord, Turner—"

Chiquita's short skirt had ridden up to display her white thighs. I went to my knees, ripped open the bodice of her tightly-laced costume. I put my hand under her breast; couldn't find any trace of heartbeat.

There was a purplish hole in her temple. She was as dead as last year's election promises.

With the help of the studio bulls I herded everybody back; kept them fairly quiet. It seemed hours before Dave Donaldson arrived with his homicide boys and a medical examiner. But at last they showed up. Dave saw me; ran forward. "What's cooking, Sherlock?" Then he spotted Chiquita's corpse and yodeled: "Cripes, she's already cooked!"

WHILE his minions lifted the defunct dame and carried her into a small ante-room for examination, I told Dave the whole story. I started with the quail's phone call the night before, mentioned the note that had been tossed through my window, told about how somebody had taken a potshot at me in front of Hal Schumaker's house, and ended with the finding of that smoking roscoe in Roland Reid's pocket.

When I got through, Donaldson said: "Hell! It's open-and-shut. Reid's as good as gassed right now. I'll—"

Before he, got any further, a studio flatfoot rushed into the little room. "Jeest—Mr. Reid got away! He bopped my partner, swiped the handcuff keys and lammed!"

Dave said: "The stinking son! Come on, Turner." We both slammed out to the sound stage. Everybody was milling around. But there was no trace of Roland Reid. He'd made a clean break.

Donaldson rapped out orders, threw a dragnet out for the missing director. After that there wasn't much left to do except send Chiquita's remnants to the morgue, take statements from the witnesses. Presently I hauled bunions for home.

AROUND six that evening, Dave Donaldson came to my apartment stash. He looked weary. I poured him a snort of Vat 69, had one myself. I said: "Any trace of Reid yet?"

"No, damn it. I—"

A knock sounded on my door. I got up, answered it. Hal Schumaker walked into the room.

I said: "Hello, Hal. What's on your mind?"

"I've got an idea, Turner." He nodded to Donaldson and went on: "You haven't found Roland Reid, have you?"

"No," Dave grunted.

"Well, I think maybe I can tip you off to something that may locate him for you."

"The hell you preach!" Donaldson was on his feet. "Come on, spill it!"

"Well, it—it's this way. You remember that red-haired script clerk, Betty Coughlin?"

I said: "Sure. What about her?"

"She used to be Reid's . . . girlfriend . . . before he ditched her and started chasing after Chiquita Chauvez. In spite of the way he tossed Betty over, I'm pretty sure she's still in love with him. And I've got a hunch she may be hiding him in her apartment. Or else she knows where he's laying low."

I said: "That's interesting. By the way—how do you know so much about Reid's private affairs?"

Schumaker flushed. "I—I told you last night, Turner. Chiquita and I used to be . . . good friends."

"Pajama parties and stuff like that?"

"Yes. But it . . . ended long ago. Just the same, Chiquita told me a lot about Reid, including his former hook-up with Betty Coughlin. That's why I think Betty may be hiding him now."

Donaldson said: "Thanks for the tip. I'm going around to see this Coughlin frill right away!"

Schumaker left. Then I turned to Donaldson. "Hold everything. If you go busting in on Betty Coughlin, you won't get to first base. She knows you're a homicide dick; she'll be suspicious of you. Why not let me try instead? Betty likes me. In fact, she invited me up to her flat.

Maybe I can trip her up; make her spill something."

Dave hesitated. "We-ell, okay. But God help you if you mess things up!"

"Don't worry. You go on back to headquarters. I'll get in touch with you later."

As soon as he powdered, I took a shower; scraped a razor over my pan. I got dressed, downed three snorts of Vat 69, went out.

Driving toward the Coughlin cutie's apartment, I mapped out a campaign. I'd find some way of getting her out of the road for a little while; then I'd go through her joint with a fine comb and maybe find some trace of Roland Reid.

She was home when I tickled her bell. I barged in. She was still wearing the tight orange slacks, the form-fitting blue sweater with the high neck. The way vibrant curves poked outward through that sweater like a pair of torpedoes made my fingers itch.

She seemed surprised to see me. "Dan Turner!"

I said: "Hello, hon. You said I could come see you any rainy evening. And it's beginning to drizzle, outside."

She put the amazed focus on me. "A murder is committed before our very eyes this morning, and you come around tonight with love in your heart. You can't be human!"

I slipped an arm about her waist, fed her a sample kiss. "Dead people don't mean anything in my book, babe. It's the live ones I like. And you look plenty live to me."

It struck me that she gave in mighty damned sudden. Her willingness was almost phoney; as if maybe she wanted to get rid of me in a hurry, and figured the easiest way was to cooperate without any arguments. She put her arms around my neck, pasted her kisser to mine.

I yanked her over to a big easy-chair, plopped myself in it, pulled her down on my lap. She snuggled against me like a cuddly kitten; gave vent to a quavery moan as I turned on the heat. "You're . . . quite an expert, aren't you, handsome?"

I said: "Practice makes perfect. Hm-mm-m, zippers. They think of everything these days."

"Please . . . you'll tear something!"

"What's a little rip between friends? Or maybe you don't like me well enough to call me a friend."

"I like you plenty, Dan."

"Do you go for me as much as you go for Roland Reid?"

She reddened; jammed herself closer to me. "Let's not even think about him." Then she dished me a cargo of labial dynamite that exploded all the way down to my rubber heels.

At the start of all this, I'd merely been firing the opening guns of a carefully planned campaign. But the farther I went, the more my control began to slip its moorings. After all, Betty Coughlin was a damned desirable slice of cake—and I'm as human as the next bozo. For a while I lost track of my original purpose; concentrated on making hay. . . .

PRESENTLY she got off my lap; handed me a new fifth of Vat 69 and a corkscrew. "I think we could both use a snifter," she said dreamily. "Don't you?"

I agreed; got the bottle open. But I did the job awkwardly—and as the cork came out, I contrived to spill about a pint of perfectly good Scotch all over the redhaired cutie's habiliments.

She gasped. "You've drowned me! Now I'll smell like a distillery—not to mention all that wasted whiskey."

I grinned: "Better go wash it off before it soaks into your gorgeous pores."

"I suppose I should," she said. She whisked the tight sweater off over her auburn tresses; gave me a brief strip-tease swivel at the charms nestling in the cups of a mesh uplift bandeau. Then she pattered to the bathroom, closed the door after her.

I heard the shower hissing, which was the chance I'd been waiting for. I started frisking the flat, fast, not making any noise.

It was a tiny stash; an efficiency. There were only three closets, counting the cupboard in the kitchenette. It took me less than a minute to know Roland Reid wasn't hiding anywhere in that little walkup wikiup. Then, abruptly, I spotted Betty's damp blue sweater where she'd tossed it on the floor; noticed something clinging to it. I picked it up and whispered: "What the hell—!"

I had the answer to my riddle!

I catapulted to the bathroom door, shoved it open. The Coughlin cupcake was still showering; you could see the outlines of her delishful figure through the opaque waterproof curtain. I said: "Hey, sweet stuff, I've got to powder. If Dave Donaldson phones me from headquarters, tell him to meet me at Hal Schumaker's house, pronto!"

I turned, dropped her sweater, lammed for the door. She yelled after me: "Wait a minute—!"

But I didn't wait. I went buckety- gallop downstairs, out of the building. The night was wet, dark. I started to climb into my parked jalopy; then I stiffened. Somebody was already sitting in it.

"For the love of Whozit!" I yowled. "You!"

Dave Donaldson said: "Yeah. I've been waiting here more than an hour. What did you find out from the Coughlin wren?"

I jammed my brogan against the starter-button. "I found out plenty. We're going places!"


"To Hal Schumaker's tepee," I barked. I made a sharp U-turn, headed toward Sunset.

Donaldson said: "Schumaker? I don't get it." Then he tensed. "Oh-oh! I savvy the set-up now. Schumaker toted a grudge against Chiquita Chauvez because she ditched him. He was sore at Roland Reid for making a play for her. Then last night you talked to Schumaker; told him of Reid's threats against the dame. That gave Schumaker an idea. He figured to croak her on the set—and then frame Reid for the job! While conducting his studio orchestra this morning, he plugged Chiquita, then planted the gat in Reid's pocket!"

I didn't answer. I was too busy sliding fourteen bucks' worth of rubber off my tires, braking to a stop before Hal Schumaker's house.

I piled out, started for the front porch. Donaldson followed me, puffing. "What's your plan?"

I looked ahead. The Schumaker dugout was dark. Evidently nobody was at home. I said: "Keep quiet. Do what I tell you— and don't ask questions."

THE front door was locked. I opened it with a master key from the bunch I always carry. We slipped inside, closed the door after us. I dragged Dave into the front room, went to a window, unfastened it, opened it wide. Dave whispered: "What's the idea?"

"You get over in that corner; hide behind the davenport. You'll find out."

He did what I told him. And then I whipped out my pencil flashlight, snicked it on. I held it at arm's length away from me; started wandering around the room.

Maybe five minutes went by. I could hear Donaldson whispering: "You damn fool, put out that light! You want Schumaker to come home and take a shot at you—?"

Just as he said it, something scraped on the porch. I turned toward the open window; saw a shadow. Then the shadow licked out a fire-tongue at me as a roscoe said: "Blam!" I ducked. A bullet burned across my left duke and I dropped the flashlight. My knuckles stung like blazes.

Even as I dropped the light, I launched my hundred and ninety pounds at the window. I dived through, hit the porch, collided with the shadow that had tried to cream me. My arms went around a slender form. The form struggled, screamed—

I clapped my palm over soft, open lips and said: "Okay, Betty Coughlin! You're under arrest for cooling Chiquita Chauvez!"

By that time, Donaldson was alongside me. He hauled out his cuffs, snicked them .on the auburn-haired script girl's wrists. We dragged her inside the front room of the house, turned on the lights. Donaldson yeeped: "Well, I'll be double-damned to hell!"

"Yeah," I said. "And this is the last time I set a trap and use myself as the bait. She damned near ventilated me." And I sucked my bullet-nicked knuckles.

The jane yowled: "You meddling rat! I'll—"

"Take it easy," I advised her. "If you know what's good for you, you'll confess the whole thing; take a plea. Maybe you'll just get the book tossed at you—life imprisonment instead of a gas-house rap."

"You can't prove—"

I said: "I can prove plenty, sister. I'll start from the beginning. You used to be Roland Reid's sweetie. But he gave you the gate because he fell in love with the Chauvez cutie.

"That made you sore. To get even, you schemed to murder Chiquita and frame Roland Reid for the killing. And to make sure he took the rap, you dragged me into the case.

"You telephoned me last night, disguised your voice, pretended you were Chiquita Chauvez. You said your life was in danger. When I didn't want to take the case, you hung up—and pulled a clever stunt on me.

"You came to my apartment, threw a threatening note through my bedroom window. You knew that would make me mad; make me look into the matter.

"And you were right. I went out to the corner of Sunset and Zenith, which was where you had asked me to meet you. You had a veil over your puss, and your coat- collar turned up. In the darkness you pretended you were Chiquita. You said Roland Reid had threatened your life. Then you pulled another smart gag. You told me you didn't want my services because you figured I couldn't do you any good.

"You had a good reason for doing that. Having lied about Reid's supposed threat, you were through with me. You figured I wouldn't appear in the case any more— until Reid had been arrested for killing Chiquita. Then you planned that my testimony would drive nails in his coffin.

"After leaving my coupe, you hung around to see what I'd do. I drove here to Hal Schumaker's house, three blocks from where you'd left me. You followed. When I came out of the house, you sent a couple of slugs past my noggin. That was to scare me off—keep me out of the case.

"But I didn't react as you expected. I turned up at the studio this morning. Meanwhile, I had found a medallion in my jalopy—part of a locket on a chain. At the studio, I tried to return that medallion to Chiquita Chauvez—the real Chiquita. She said she didn't know anything about it. That should have tipped me off, but I was too dumb to get it.

"Anyhow, a little later you shot Chiquita when she started to sing La Paloma before the cameras. Then you got close to Roland Reid, planted the rod in his pocket.

"On the evidence of the gun, and my testimony, Reid would have been convicted. He must have realized that. So he made a break; got away clean.

"Then, this evening, I went to your flat—thinking maybe I'd find Reid hiding there. He wasn't in your joint, of course. But I found something a damned sight more valuable. It was clinging to the inside of the neck of your blue sweater."

I STOPPED, fished in my pocket, pulled out a broken length of fine platinum chain. From another pocket I produced the medallion I'd found in my coupe the night before. I said: "Here's the chain from inside your sweater. And here's the locket. You'll notice the broken parts fit together."

Betty Coughlin glared at me, but fear was beginning to grow in her eyes.

I said: "The minute I saw this bit of chain on your sweater, I knew you must be the dame who was in my jalopy last night. And if you were the one—if you had impersonated Chiquita Chauvez—there must be a good reason.

"I tabbed that reason. You had planned to kill Chiquita. And in order to throw the guilt on Reid, the man you hated, you went through that scene with me last night."

Donaldson stared at me. "What a guy! What a guy!"

I went on: "Well, I knew I had the goods on you, baby. But proving it was something else again. I hit on an idea to trap you. I walked into your bathroom, where you were taking a shower. I let you see your blue sweater in my fist; let you see that I had taken the piece of chain from it. Then I lammed—after telling you where I was going.

"I knew you'd get dressed and follow me here to Schumaker's shack. You had to get the chain and the medallion back. And you figured to bump me, because I was dangerous. Yon knew I was wise to you— or on the verge of getting wise.

"You did exactly as I expected. You came here and took a pot-shot at me. Fortunately for me, you missed. And now—are you going to confess, or do you prefer sniffing cyanide at San Quentin?"

She slumped. "I—I guess a life sentence is better than. . . Yes, damn you—I c-confess!"

So now she's at the women's prison up at Tehachapi. And I've got a scar across the knuckles of my left mitt.