vineri, 6 iulie 2012

[...] he took some photos of me -- with my clothes up to my neck [...]

"How long have you known him?"
"Oh, years. He used to be an announcer at the station my husband owned. KFDK. That's where I met him. That's where I met my husband too."
"I knew that. But Marriott lived as if he had money. Not riches, but comfortable money."
"He came into some and quit radio business."
"Do you know for a fact he came into money -- or was that just something he said?"
She shrugged. She squeezed my hand.
"Or it may not have been very much money and he may have gone through it pretty fast."
I squeezed her hand back.
"Did he borrow from you?"
"You're a little old-fashioned, aren't you?" She looked down at the hand I was holding.
"I'm still working. And your Scotch is so good it keeps me half-sober. Not that I'd have to be drunk --"
"Yes." She drew her hand out of mine and rubbed it. "You must have quite a clutch -- in your spare time. Lin Marriott was a high-class blackmailer, of course. That's obvious. He lived on women."
"He had something on you?"
"Should I tell you?"
"It probably wouldn't be wise."
She laughed. "I will, anyhow. I got a little tight at his house once and passed out. I seldom do. He took some photos of me -- with my clothes up to my neck."
"The dirty dog," I said. "Have you got any of them handy?"
She slapped my wrist. She said softly:
"What's your name?"
"Phil. What's yours?"
"Helen. Kiss me."
She fell softly across my lap and I bent down over her face and began to browse on it. She worked her eyelashes and made butterfly kisses on my cheeks. When I got to her mouth it was half open and burning and her tongue was a darting snake between her teeth.
The door opened and Mr. Grayle stepped quietly into the room. I was holding her and didn't have a chance to let go. I lifted my face and looked at him. I felt as cold as Finnegan's feet, the day they buried him.
The blonde in my arms didn't move, didn't even close her lips. She had a half-dreamy, half-sarcastic expression on her face.

Raymond Chandler, "Farewell, My Lovely"


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