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Close To A Corpse

By C. K. M. Scanlon

Detective Sergeant Dan Kenny Moves Swiftly to Spike a Killer's Alibi!

DETECTIVE SERGEANT DAN KENNY seated himself on a bench with a sigh. Even after twenty years in the New York Police Department he still hated the city morgue. The bleak place with its rows of cadavers in compartments that could be pulled out of the wall reminded him of some sort of weird filing cabinet

Kenny stared bleakly at the elderly morgue attendant. Old John Lake with his pasty white face and gray hair was getting to look more and more like the dead that were in his care. His manner was always like that of a well educated and overly unctuous undertaker.

"That is the last of the poor unfortunates who have been brought to this haven within the last forty-eight hours, Sergeant," Lake said. "I'm afraid the body you are seeking is not here."

"It wasn't important." There was something about Lake that always made Kenny inclined to feel tough and vitriolic. "Just a cheap gangster that's turned up missing so I'm checking the hospitals and the morgue. Routine stuff. The lug probably just skipped out of town."

John Lake nodded and then frowned as the phone rang in his office. Kenny glanced at his wrist-watch. It was a quarter past three, early morning. He rose up from the bench and followed Lake into the office as the morgue attendant went to answer the phone.

"City Morgue," Lake said as he picked up the receiver. He listened a moment and his eyes widened. "Just a moment, please repeat that."

Lake quickly handed the phone to Kenny and the sergeant placed the receiver to his ear.

"Go ahead," he said. "Let's have it again."

"This is Harvey Wilson, of Wilson and Hart, attorneys," came a muffled masculine voice over the wire. "I'm at my office on the tenth floor of the Chapman building. I'm going to commit suicide, so you'd better send the morgue wagon here for my body."

"Hey, wait!" shouted Kenny excitedly. "Don't do anything foolish. You just wait there until I get to your office and we'll talk this thing over. Go slow, will you, old man?"

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