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Daughter of Murder

By Robert Leslie Bellem

There are some things a daughter ought to know about her own mother—including how she died. Dan had some doubts about both would-be heiresses, but no doubt about which one wanted to kill him!

AS A rule, when I park my jalopy in the basement garage under my apartment stash I usually ankle up the inside stairway to the main lobby of the joint, then take the U-drive elevator up to my wigwam on the third floor. But this time I changed my habits and got a hell of a surprise.

It was after midnight and I was fairly well oiled on Vat 69, so I decided to barge around the block a couple of times. Maybe a walk in the ozone would blow the fuzz out of my grey matter, I figured. Anyhow, I started strolling; whereupon I piped this red-haired wren on the fire escape.

I don't know what made me look up at that particular moment, but when I did, I spotted the jane. She was climbing down the iron ladder; and just as I copped a startled swivel at her, the moon came out from behind a cloud bank.

I said: "What the hell—!" and felt my temperature soaring into the higher brackets. And no damned wonder. The chick's entire wardrobe consisted of a pair of thin chiffon panties and a brassiere of tissue-paper texture!

For an instant I thought I was having the heebie-jeebies. In the first place there wasn't any blaze; therefore the quail had no business being where she was. And in the second place she looked almost too delishful to be genuine.

Her bare gams were sleek, tapered, creamy; her hips had a gorgeous lilt in those skin-tight scanties. The moonlight kissed her perkily mounded tidbits through the gossamer brassiere; danced across her piquant puss and made glints in her wavy auburn coiffure. Even at that distance I could see she was something extra special in the way of youthful she-male yumph.

But why was she horsing around on those rusty rungs, lowering herself from the fourth floor to the third?

Even as I watched, she gained the third floor landing where there was an open window. She hesitated, then lifted the sash two feet higher; straddled the sill and vanished inside.

I almost swallowed my gasper, fire and all. Because it was my bachelor flat she'd entered!

Which didn't add up to make sense. I was positive I didn't know the frill dressed or undressed. From tresses to tootsies I hadn't recognized a damned thing about her; yet I'd certainly seen plenty of what she owned in the way of charms.

You don't catch a beautiful, unpeeled burglar breaking into your igloo every night in the month. When you do, it's only human to try and find out what the hell's cooking. So I sprinted buckety-blip for the entrance to the building; larruped into the elevator cage and wafted myself upward. On the third floor corridor I gumshoed toward my portal.

IT OPENED at the exact instant I reached for the knob. I tensed as the carrot-thatched cupcake staggered out over the threshold into the dimly lighted hall. Then she glued the panic-stricken glimpse on me.

She moaned: "Oh-h-h-h. . . ?" and closed her greenish peepers; collapsed in a dead faint.

I caught her as her knees buckled; lifted her in my arms. My hand accidentally contacted a yielding little mound of sweetness as I held her; and the resilient warmth sent thrills crackling through my nooks and crannies. If the babe hadn't been deep in the heart of a swoon I might have started getting ideas.

As it was, I restrained my wayward impulses; toted her back into my living room. She was a tiny, fragile dish, light as a feather and seductive as hell. Her pallid pan was young, innocent; its whiteness emphasized by the flaming masses of hair that made a wavy frame for her features and shoulders. Add skin the smoothness of milky velvet and curves like a picture from Esquire and the result was really something to gander.

I made a light, deposited her on my davenport, leaned down to take a whiff of her breath. There wasn't any trace of whiskey fumes, so I knew she wasn't plastered. She'd passed out from fright, not John Barleycorn.

In my bathroom I dampened a wash- cloth, brought it back and laid its cold wetness on her forehead. Her long lashes fluttered and she opened her glims. Their emerald color looked even greener now.

She whimpered: "Wh-where am I? Who are y-you. . . ?"

"You're in Hollywood, hon," I said. "...

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