A2 Basic US 34 Folder Collection
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- It was about 11 o'clock in the morning.
I was wearing my dark blue suit
with powder blue shirt, tie and display handkerchief,
black brogues, black wool socks
with dark blue clocks on them.
I was neat, clean-shaven and sober.
I was everything the well-dressed
private detective ought to be.
I was calling on 10 million pounds.
- I'm Philip Marlowe.
General Sternwood's expecting me.
- Will you come in please, sir?
- Thank you.
- If you'd wait here, sir,
I'd let the General know you're here.
- Tall, aren't you?
- I don't mean to be.
- Handsome, too.
What's your name?
- Reilly.
Doghouse Reilly.
- What do you do?
- I'm a detective.
- American?
- Yeah.
I came over here during the war
and couldn't find my way home.
- You makin' fun of me? - Now why would I do that?
- You are tall.
I like you.
- Hey, wait a minute.
- The General will see you now, Mr. Marlowe.
- Woo!
- Who was that?
- Ms. Camilla Sternwood, sir.
- You should start weaning her.
She looks old enough.
- This way, sir.
In here, sir.
This is Mr. Marlowe, General.
- Sir.
- You're looking at a rather dull survival of a gaudy life.
Cripple.
Both legs paralyzed
and just half his lower belly.
Brandy?
- Thank you.
- I used to drink this with champagne.
So you know Inspector Carson?
- Our paths crossed now and then.
- No, he recommended you.
He said you had that American quality
of insubordination.
What do you know of me?
- Well, you're very rich,
you're wife died several years ago
and you moved to England.
You have two daughters, very pretty,
but a trifle wild.
The older one married an Irishman called Rusty Regan.
- I'm very fond of Rusty.
No, it's...
He was a breath a life to me while he lasted.
- What happened to him?
- Went away.
Went away a month ago.
Without even saying goodbye to me.
That hurt a little.
I'll be hearing from him
one of these days.
Meanwhile,
I'm being blackmailed again.
Two or three months before Rusty came,
a year ago,
I paid 5,000 pounds to a man by the name of Joe Brody
to leave my younger daughter Camilla alone.
- I met her in the hall.
- Yes.
I'm afraid my girls have all the usual vices.
- She tried to sit on my lap.
I was standing up at the time.
- What about the...
What about the note?
- "On demand, I promise to pay Arthur Gwynne Geiger
"one thousand pounds.
"Signed, Camilla Sternwood."
I'd pay.
- Why?
- Well, it's a little money, it gets a lot of annoyance.
- I have pride, sir.
- This bookseller, Geiger.
He says this is a gambling bit.
- Well, I pay this, how many more will turn up?
- Well in that case, I'll come down on him.
You'll think a bridge fell on him.
- I'm sure you...
What are your charges, Mr. Marlowe?
- Fifty pounds per day, plus expenses,
when I'm lucky.
- Well that seems reasonable
for removing morbid growths from people's backs.
Matter's in your hands.
And don't ask my daughter Camilla about it.
She'll just suck her thumb and look coy.
And now, Mr. Marlowe,
I must excuse myself.
I'm, I'm tired.
- The General has instructed me to give you a check
for whatever you will require, sir.
- Instructed you? How?
- By the way he rang his bell, sir.
- You write his checks? - I have that privilege, sir.
- That privilege should keep you from a pauper's grave.
No money just yet, thanks.
- There is one other thing, sir.
Mrs. Regan wants to see you.
- The General's older daughter?
- Yes, sir. - How did she know I was here?
- She must have seen us go into the greenhouse, sir.
She lives up there.
- So, you're a genuine private detective.
I didn't know they really existed.
What are you starin' at?
- What looks like trouble.
- Did you like Dad?
- I liked him.
- He liked my husband.
Rusty.
Oh, Rusty was a lot of fun for Dad.
More fun for Dad than he was for me.
Did he say anything about Rusty?
- He said something.
- He wants to find him?
- Well, yes and no.
- I don't see what there is to be cagey about.
I don't like your manners.
- No, I grieve over them myself.
In the long, lonely winter evenings.
What is it you're afraid of, Mrs. Regan?
- Then he
didn't want to see you about Rusty?
- Why don't you ask him?
- Forget it.
Please, Mr. Marlowe?
Please.
Could you find Rusty if Dad asked you to?
- When did he go?
- About a month a go.
They found his car in a hotel garage somewhere.
- They?
- He didn't tell you, then.
- That is not what your father wanted to see me about.
Is that what you've been trying to get me to tell you?
- As a matter of fact, yes.
- Very well, then I'll be trotting along.
- She had lovely legs,
I will say that for her.
I did a little superficial research,
even though the job her father had given me
was a lawyer's job.
If Mr. Arthur Gwynne Geiger,
Rare Books and First Editions,
turned out to be a blackmailer,
it was still a lawyer's job.
Unless there was a lot more to it than met the eye.
At a casual glance,
I thought I might have a lot of fun finding out.
- Can I help you?
- Do you have a Chevalier Audubon, 1840, the full set?
- Not at the moment, no.
- What about a Ben Hur, 1860?
The one with the erratum on page 116.
- I'm afraid not.
- You do sell books?
- And what does this look like, a banana?
Do you collect old manuscripts?
- No, only unpaid bills.
- I see.
- Is Mr. Geiger expected back?
- I'm afraid not until later.
- Well...
I'll just sit and wait in one of your charming chairs.
- It'll probably be very late.
- Oh, that's all right.
I have nothing else to do except
sit here and think about my trigonometry lesson.
- Yes.
Of course.
- I knew what the book would be,
of course.
Handsomely printed, indescribably filthy.
A book to rent from a library of elaborate smut.
On my way back to the shop,
I'd asked about Mr. Arthur Gwynne Geiger, the librarian.
I'd learned that he was about 50,
tall with a glass eye.
He drove a beige Alvis car.
- All right, now, dopey.
That's the girl.
There we are.
Sorry, honey, you're too late.
They'd already taken your pictures away.
Come on now, let's go home.
Come on.
- Oh, good evening, sir.
- Good evening.
Is Mrs. Regan home?
- No, sir.
- I hope the General's asleep.
- The evening is his best time for sleeping, sir.
- Maybe you'd better get the maid.
I think this requires a woman's touch.
- Oh, dear me, yes.
I'll get Matilda.
May I call you a taxi, sir?
- No.
No, as a matter of fact, I'm not here.
You're just seeing things.
Thank you.
- Thank you.
I'd told a dying old man
that I'd come down on a blackmailer.
But someone else had done it for me with a gun.
I was left with the book from Geiger's bedroom.
It seemed to be a lot of names and addresses all in code.
Probably his customers
and probably people like Camilla Sternwood,
who he was blackmailing.
- Yeah.
- Morning, Marlowe.
It's Carson.
Did you see General Sternwood?
- Uh-huh.
- Then perhaps you know why his Bentley
is washing about in the sea near Ramsgate.
Car's a mess and so is the man inside it.
I'm driving down to take a look, interested?
- What's the story?
- It went through down there.
It must have hit pretty hard.
It was high tide at one last night
and no one round here saw anything.
- Broken neck seems to be the cause of death.
- What about that bruise?
- Looks like someone hit him while he was alive.
- I say suicide.
He plowed an awfully straight furrow down the pier.
We don't suspect fowl play.
- You know the man, Marlowe?
- The Sternwood chauffeur.
I saw him polishing the car yesterday.
- Hmm.
Did your job for the General have anything to do with him?
- Not at all.
I don't even know his name.
- Owen Taylor.
- Hmm?
- Yes, that's his name.
About two years ago, the General called me.
Taylor had run off with that crazy daughter, the young one.
I helped trace him.
They were in Scotland where you can get married quickly.
- And?
- Well next day, the older sister comes down and says that
Taylor was gaga over her sister Camilla and
she put him up to the marriage thing.
In the meantime, we checked.
Found he'd done six months for robbery a few years earlier.
- Screwy family.
I guess now you gotta go against them, huh?
- I'll have to ask them some questions.
- Well, try to leave the old man out of it if you can, huh?
- Why?
- He's got enough trouble.
And besides, he's sick.
- You mean he pines for his dear lost friend Rusty Regan?
- Look, I know nothing about Rusty Regan.
Regan hasn't harmed anybody that I know of.
I'm not looking for Regan.
- Oh, it's you.
- Is Geiger in today?
- No, I'm...
I'm afraid he's not.
What was it that you wanted?
- I was just kidding about those first editions I asked for.
I have to be very careful.
I've got something that Geiger wants.
- Oh, a salesman.
You better come back tomorrow then.
- Hey, knock it off.
I'm in the business, too.
Look, if he's sick,
I can go on up to the house.
I haven't got forever.
- That wouldn't do any good.
I told you, he's out of town.
Now just come back tomorrow!
- Okay.
Tomorrow then.
I'd like to give you a card but
you know how it is.
- Yes.
I know how it is.
- Taxi!
Can you follow that van?
- It ain't moving!
- Well just suppose it does.
- Sure!
- Okay, let's go.
We're gonna lose him.
Can't you go faster?
- Oh, be quiet!
- We lost him.
What the hell, try left.
I said turn left.
Look, if you don't like my driving,
you know what you can do.
- Stop, stop here!
- What about the fare?
- I gave you five pounds when I got in.
- What about a tip then?
Bloody colonial.
- The name on the bell read "J. Brody."
A man called Joe Brody had received 5,000 pounds
from General Sternwood to stop playing with Camilla
and find some other little girl to play with.
It could be the same J. Brody.
- Are those for my friend Joe Brody in number three?
- Yeah.
Hundred pounds a box, easy.
And I've got a bad back.
- Well, you can join but you can't take a joke.
- Thanks.
- Well, you do get out.
- Well doesn't everyone?
Eventually.
- I'm sorry about yesterday.
Perhaps I was a little rude.
- We were both rude.
- You don't put on much of a front.
- Well, you can't much money
in this business if you're honest.
- And you're honest? - Painfully.
- How come you end up in this slimy game, then?
- How come you end up marrying a gun runner?
- Let's not argue again, hmm?
I've been trying to get a hold of you all morning.
- About Owen Taylor?
- You know about that?
- Well, my friend Carson at the Yard thought I did.
Seems he knew more about it than I did.
He told me that Owen at one time
wanted to marry your sister.
- It wouldn't have been too awful if he had.
After all,
he was in love with her.
We don't find too much of that in our circle.
Is that what Dad wanted to see you about?
Hmm?
Camilla?
- He still hasn't asked me to discuss it.
- He'd better look at those anyway.
- How much do they want?
- Ten thousand pounds by tonight.
Or else they give them to a porno magazine.
- The demand came how?
- This woman telephoned.
Shortly after those arrived.
She said there could be police involved
and if I didn't pay,
I'd be visiting my sweet little sister in jail.
- Can you get the ten thousand cash?
- Mm...
I could probably get it from Eddie Mars.
- Who?
- Eddie Mars, he owns the Cheval Club.
I was there last night.
Playing roulette.
- You would like roulette.
- All Sternwoods love losing games.
Like roulette.
Like marrying men that walk out on them.
Like Dad riding in steeple chases at 68.
Then being rolled on and crippled for life.
Can you do anything?
- I think I can.
- I like you.
Do you believe in miracles?
I think I can get the ten thousand.
After all, I've been a good customer to Eddie Mars.
And there is another reason why Eddie should be nice to me.
Eddie's wife Mona
is the woman my husband Rusty ran away with.
Doesn't that interest you?
- I'm not looking for Rusty.
- She has a great little body, doesn't she?
- Yeah.
You know, you should see mine sometime.
- Hold it.
You remember me.
Doghouse Reilly?
Come on.
Let's go inside, huh?
How much do you remember about last night?
- I was ill last night.
I was at home.
- The hell you were.
Before I took you home,
you were right there on that chair on that orange scarf.
You remember, all right.
- What do you want?
- I want to know who killed Geiger.
Did Joe Brody do it?
- Joe Brody?
Him?
- Oh, come on.
Let's not be clever, for God's sake.
This is the time for a little old-fashioned simplicity.
Did Joe Brody kill him?
- Kill who?
- Oh, Christ.
- Yes.
Joe did it.
- Why?
- I don't know.
- Have you seen much of him lately?
- I hate him.
- And you'd like to see him turned in for the killing, huh?
- You're not Reilly.
Your Phillip Marlowe, a private detective,
and my sister told me.
- Then you do remember.
You came back here after the photos
and you couldn't get in the house.
Well the photos are gone,
so don't worry about it.
Just forget that you were ever here.
Leave it to Reilly.
- I gotta go now!
- I was hoping to see Mr. Geiger.
- We don't know where he is.
- Oh, really?
You are friends of his, of course?
- We just dropped by for a book.
Books, eh?
- Yeah.
Well, we'll travel on now.
- The little lady can go.
But I'd like to talk to you so
stay a while.
Blood.
Quite a lot of blood.
- Is that so?
- I'll call the police.
- Yeah, you do that.
- Who the hell are you?
- Phillip Marlowe.
I'm a private investigator.
- From America?
- Way back.
How come you had a key?
- I own this house.
- Well, well.
You're Eddie Mars, aren't you?
I knew you owned the Cheval Club
but I didn't know you went in for pornography.
- I'm after Geiger for
personal reasons.
I'm not part of his rackets.
- Maybe you killed him to muscle in.
- Geiger didn't turn up at the store today.
I hear somebody moved his stock out.
I like to know what my tenants are doing.
- Funny, my landlord never bothers.
- Marlowe,
stop believing you're so amusing.
And stay away from this house.
And stay further away from me, all right?
- I'll just drift.
Oh, by the way,
how's Mrs. Mars?
We have a mutual friend, she and me.
An Irishman named Rusty Regan.
You Joe Brody?
- So what?
- You got the books, Joe.
I've got Geiger's list of customers.
The ones he was trying to blackmail.
I think we ought to have a little talk about that.
- Well, I'm listening.
Cigar?
- So many guns lately.
So few brains.
- Why did you come here?
- Why don't you ask your friend
with the pointed shoes to come in?
She must be tired of holding her breath.
- Come in, Agnes.
- I knew he was trouble.
- This sucker list I have,
Geiger's list, is in code.
Must be about 500 names on it.
If those are Geiger's regular customers,
I reckon it to be about, oh,
half a million pounds a year profit.
That's worth killing a man for.
- He's crazy.
- Shut up, Agnes!
- I do think the blackmail's a mistake though, Joe.
If I were you, I'd just stick to the dirty books.
- You're a very funny fella.
Who exactly has this lovely racket?
- You do now.
- No, I didn't kill Geiger.
- Well I know someone who'll say you did.
- Oh, that little whore.
She would. - Great.
I thought it was you who grabbed those nude photos of her.
- How about a little cash?
I'm running low, and Agnes and me want to move on.
- No chance.
- You win.
Keep him covered.
If he gets jumpy, use your own judgment.
- I want my pictures, Joe.
I'm gonna get them, Joe.
Joe, gimme my pictures. - Now, listen, Camilla.
- Now wait a minute, Camilla.
- Gimme that!
- Christ, don't let her kill me!
- Just stay put, you'll be all right.
Come on, honey, get up from there.
You look like a Pekingese.
The photos, Joe.
Give.
Is this the lot?
- Yep.
- Can I have my photos?
- Later.
I'll take care of these, you go on home.
- Home? - Yeah.
You go home and wait for me.
- You take care of Camilla, don't you?
- Check.
- Can I have my gun? - Later.
- Camilla likes you a lot.
- Why did you blackmail Mrs. Regan instead of the old man?
- I tapped the old man a few months ago.
He paid me off to leave that idiotic daughter.
Mind you, I'd have left her anyway.
I reckoned her elder sister could raise a few thousand.
- Business been bad, then?
- I'm a bookmaker.
The punters have had all the luck lately.
- Where'd you get these?
- Someone gave them to me.
- Perhaps marker.
That's all I ever meet.
- You've got your photos.
You obviously aren't going to the police.
Nobody has anything on me.
- Except for a couple of murders.
- Now what does that mean?
Where were you at 10:30 last night?
- I thought maybe I could persuade Geiger
that he needed a partner.
I wondered if he had any protection.
But only women seemed to go to his house.
Last night, it was Camilla Sternwood.
So I drive round the back,
but there's a brown Bentley parked.
Another Bentley belongs to the Sternwoods
from my memorable days as Camilla's friend, so I waited.
- Tell me more.
- I waited about ten minutes
then I walked down to the house.
I saw someone going in through the kitchen door.
- Bye bye.
- I saw the killer come running down the back garden,
into the Bentley,
and off.
- So you went after him and took the negatives.
- I followed him quite a long way.
Then...
Kid skidded into a phone box and I caught up.
I developed the photos
and when Geiger didn't turn up at his shop,
didn't answer the telephone at his house,
I reckoned he'd been killed.
So with Agnes' help,
I borrowed his stock.
Not her again.
- Well if it is, she doesn't have her gun.
That should comfort you.
- Not much.
- Is that you, Brody?
- Yeah, wait a minute.
- Me or the cops?
- Who are you?
- A friend of Geiger's.
- Leave me alone, you bastard.
- This is a small pistol, kid.
Would you like a small hole
right through the middle of your gullet?
Now look.
Now we're gonna walk slowly down to my car.
You're gonna get in it and drive me to Uncle Geiger's house.
What's your name?
- Carl Lundgren.
- Well you shot the wrong man, kid.
Joe Brody didn't kill your boyfriend.
All right, you've got a key, let's go.
- Who says I have a key?
- Your friend Geiger gave you a key.
Why don't you shoot me?
Seems to be three people who have a key to this house.
You, me and Eddie Mars.
That means that you or Eddie Mars
dragged Geiger's body out of here and hid it.
I think you.
Now where is it?
You are so helpful.
- Here they are, then.
Lined up for the judges
and for us.
Sixty-eight of the world's most beautiful girls
for the Miss World contest.
- What, Marlowe?
- I said I've been very busy these past several hours.
I think it's time we all had a little get-together.
- I'd called Commander Barker of C Division.
All this is in his area.
- Always glad to help the department.
- Oh, Jim.
- Hello, Steven, how are you?
- I was at a reunion dinner.
What's all this about?
- Mr. Marlowe here, he's a private detective.
Caught this man called Carl Lundgren
who shot a man called Brody dead
in Randall Way a couple of hours ago.
- You caught him?
- All by myself.
- Willis.
What have you got on the Randall Way killing?
- Corpse called Joe Brody with three bullets in him.
And a brunette, Agnes Lozelle.
She was in the apartment when Brody was shot.
Claimed she didn't see the killer.
- Is that all?
- It only happened an hour ago.
- Mr. Marlowe here
just delivered the man he says murdered Brody.
Here's his gun.
- Tell your story, Marlowe.
- You heard about the car that was fished out of the sea
this morning with a corpse in it?
- No.
- The dead guy was chauffeur
to a rich family named Sternwood.
Last night, shot and killed a guy named Geiger in this area.
- I couldn't bear to hear all this twice, Marlowe.
You may as well make a statement of it at the same time.
- I told my story.
I left out two things, not knowing why at the time.
I left out Camilla's visit to Brody's apartment
and Eddie Mars' visit to Geiger's house in the afternoon.
I told the rest of it just as it happened.
- Sign it.
- Sir, it seems the chauffeur Taylor committed suicide.
- Yeah, that's my guess.
- Who hid Geiger's body, then?
- Lundgren, the kid I gave you, must have done it.
I suppose he came back while I was taking Camilla home.
Dragged Geiger's body out to the garage
and then later decided he hadn't done right by his friend,
so he came back and laid him out on the bed.
- We'll keep the books, Marlowe.
These blackmail notes from General Sternwood are yours.
- Thank you.
- And let me tell you something.
I'm a close friend of old man Sternwood.
In my time, I've done all I can to save him grief.
But in the long run, those girls of his
are bound to do something no one can hush up.
- This didn't start with Geiger.
It started with Rusty Regan disappearing.
- What started?
- I think that's what the old man
really wanted you to find out.
It was close to eleven
when I got back to my apartment.
I concealed a murder and suppressed evidence for 24 hours,
but I was still at large and nobody seemed unduly worried.
As I got to the door,
I heard my television was on.
I wasn't in, so I guess somebody else must be.
- My, we are tough tonight.
- And how we do keep our friends waiting, don't we?
- I smell a policeman.
I'm too tired to talk.
I'm too tired to eat.
I'm too tired to think.
- Oh, don't worry, there's no damage.
You see, we didn't feel that it was necessary.
And besides that the lobby was becoming so
fearfully boring.
- It's fascinating on the way out.
Why don't you try it?
- May I tell you something, soldier?
I'm nice to be nice to.
But I'm not nice not to be nice to.
- If you listen real hard, you'll hear my teeth chattering.
- There were police at Geiger's.
Did you keep me out?
- Why should I?
- Did you?
- Yeah, I kept you out.
I don't know why.
I guess it was just complicated enough without you.
Thank you, soldier.
Who killed Geiger?
- The chauffeur.
- I hear you're looking for Rusty Regan.
- A lot of people seem to think I am but
I'm not.
- Well just in case you are,
I might have an idea for you.
Why don't you pop around and see me at the club anytime.
- Maybe.
- You see, Marlowe, I have a funny feeling
that it would be very amusing
to meet you again.
- General Sternwood's residence.
- This is Marlowe, remember me?
- Mr. Marlowe, of course.
- Is Mrs. Regan in?
- I believe so, sir.
Shall I just go and see?
- No, just give her a message, would you?
Tell her that I have the pictures,
all of them.
That everything is all right.
You got that?
- Oh, yes, you have the pictures.
And everything is all right.
May I say thank you, sir?
- Of course.
- Carson asked me to help you, Mr. Marlowe.
Perhaps as much as I can.
There are 17,000 or so people
reported missing at this moment.
And you know, we don't find many of them.
If murder's suspected or something like that,
there's a big search otherwise.
And here's the file on Rusty Regan.
Look at it, take notes, mustn't leave my office.
- The General took a great fancy to him.
You know he's crippled and lonely and
Regan used to sit around and keep him company.
- Do you know Eddie Mars who owns the Cheval Club?
- I know of him, yes.
- Some say Regan went off with his wife Mona.
- Well if this is a picture of wife Mona, I don't blame him.
You think Regan was killed?
- He sold arms to the Irish.
Took risks.
But normally if they're murdered, we find them.
If the General is so interested,
he should offer a reward for Regan.
The government doesn't give us the kind of money it takes.
- Do you think Eddie Mars killed them both?
- I think the same thing as you think, Inspector.
That he ran off with a woman that meant a lot more to him
than a rich wife that he couldn't get along with.
- You met Mrs. Regan?
- Well she'd
make a jazzy weekend,
but she'd be a bit wearing for a steady diet.
- My wife wouldn't even make a jazzy weekend.
- I never married.
- Phillip Marlowe, here.
- Norris here, sir.
General Sternwood is not feeling well.
But I had read the papers to him
and he assumes that your investigations are now complete.
And he has instructed me to send you a check for
500 pounds.
- Well that's very generous of him.
I'll return the notes he gave me and destroy the photos.
- And we may consider
the matter concluded, sir?
- Why not?
- Very well, sir.
- Good evening, sir.
- Good evening.
- Benny, the gentleman's car.
- Your boss invited me.
Remember?
- Mr. Marlowe.
Good evening, my lord. - Evening, Reg.
- Mr. Mars, there's a Mr. Marlowe to see you.
- Let him have up to 2,000 pounds then move.
Ah, soldier.
Good to see you again.
Do sit down.
Ah, well, maybe a drink.
- You hinted that you had something for me.
What is it?
- Have you been here before?
- No, I don't get any kick out of gambling.
- There's a friend of yours in there gaming on the wheels.
I hear she's doing rather well.
Ms. Charlotte Regan?
Tell me, soldier,
how much do I owe you?
- Owe me? For what?
- For keeping me out of the newspapers.
- You said you had some information.
- Information?
Information...
About what?
- You have a short memory.
Rusty Regan.
- Oh, that.
I heard you got all that from
Gregory at Scotland Yard.
- You heard?
- Yes, well we...
We are good friends, he and I.
Look, soldier, you've been good to me.
I'm used to paying people who are good to me.
- I didn't come here to make a touch.
I get paid for what I do.
Not very much by your standards, but I make out.
You didn't knock Regan off yourself, did you?
- No.
Did you think I had?
- I wouldn't put it past you.
- I thought you weren't looking for Rusty Regan.
- I know someone who would like to know where he is.
- General Sternwood.
- Geiger was trying to blackmail the General.
The General didn't say so,
but I figured he was scared that Rusty Regan
might be behind it.
- Yeah, well Geiger would get on everybody.
He'd get some notes that weren't legal and try it on.
If it didn't work, he'd just drop it.
- Well he certainly dropped it this time.
Dropped it an fell on it.
- Look, Marlowe, you're looking for Geiger.
Geiger's dead, isn't he?
You're finished.
- That's right.
Finished and paid off.
Think I'll take a walk around the club.
- The door over there leads out behind the tables.
- Thanks, but I'll go in the same way the suckers enter.
- We are still friends, aren't we, soldier?
- Sure we are.
- Then maybe one day I'll be able to do you a real favor.
- You wouldn't by any chance
have somebody tailing me around in a gray Humber, would you?
- No.
I mean why the hell should I?
- I can't imagine.
- Place your bets, please.
21 red, red wins!
- Scotch and water, please.
- Place your bets, please.
- Bottle of Dom Perignon, George, for the lady in pink.
- Doing all right for a change, is she?
- Eight straight wins in a row.
- 15 red, red wins.
- She can't lose, can she?
- You wanna bet?
- You rake it up fast enough,
but somebody starts winning, you get nervous.
- I'm afraid the rules are a maximum
of 5,000 pounds on the even bets.
So if you take off
about 6,000.
- Well, just spin the wheel, hmm?
- I'm sorry, madam, I just work for the house.
- Just spin it!
- Is anything the matter, Mrs. Regan?
If you've finished playing,
perhaps our chauffeur can drive you home.
- One more play, Eddie, hmm?
Everything I have on red.
- You're already over the limit.
If nobody else objects.
- 11,000 pounds.
- Seven red.
Red wins.
- I think I've got the system.
- Shall I call for your car, sir?
- No, I think I'll get some air.
- The car park's just round there, down the alley, sir.
- Thank you.
- The attendant does have your key, sir.
- Thank you.
- Quitting while you're ahead?
- Why not?
Makes change.
- It's a gun, lady.
Yell and it's all over.
- Hello, Lanny.
I told you,
never do that.
You're covered.
- Marlowe.
- Good guess.
Now set the bag down between your feet.
Slow and easy.
Tell me I can't get away with it,
people just keep giving me guns.
Town's falling to pieces.
On your way, Lanny.
No hard feelings, huh, Lanny?
You keep it quiet,
I'll keep it quiet.
Okay?
- Nice work, Marlowe.
Are you my bodyguard now?
- Yeah, looks like it.
- What are you doing here?
- Well,
Eddie Mars wanted to see me.
- What about?
- He thought that I was looking for a man
who people say had run away with his wife.
- Were you?
- No, I was not.
- Then, what did you come for?
- To find out why he thought that I was looking for a man
who people say had run away with his wife.
- And did you find out? - I did not.
What's Eddie Mars got on you?
- He just doesn't like me winning, that's all.
- I suppose he's the one who sent that lugen after you.
- Lugen?
- The guy with the gun.
- Are you a lugen?
- A lugen is on the wrong side of the fence.
- Is there a wrong side?
- What's Eddie Mars got on you?
- You mean a hold of some sort?
- Yeah.
- Wittier, Marlowe.
- I don't pretend to be witty.
How's the General?
- Not good.
Do not want him to die hating us.
You shoot people, don't you, Mr. Marlowe?
You're a killer.
- Me?
- You're one of those
quiet deadly men.
No feelings.
- You've got enough shady friends to know different.
- They're all soft, Marlowe, compared to you.
Killer.
Where do you live?
- Westminster.
By the cathedral.
- Do you care to show me?
- You want to see it?
- Yes.
- What's Eddie Mars got on you?
- So that's the way it is.
- That's the way it is.
- You bastard.
You rotten bastard.
- Look.
Kissing you is nice
but your father did not hire me to sleep with you.
What's Eddie Mars got on you?
- Say that again and I'll s...
scream!
- Go ahead, scream.
- Why do you think he has anything on me?
- Oh, come on.
He let you win a lot of money
then he has some comedian come after you with a gun
and take it away?
You're not even surprised.
I think it's all an act.
- You know something?
You have a wonderful way with women.
- So you won't be a sister to me?
- If I had a knife,
I'd slit your throat just to see what would run out.
- I told you the first time I met you, I'm a detective.
I work at it, lady.
I don't play at it.
- Hi!
I'm all undressed.
- You know,
I had almost worked that out.
In another second, I'd have said,
"I bet you're all undressed."
- You're cute.
- It's nice.
But I've already seen it all, remember?
- The porter let me in.
I showed him your card,
the one you gave to our butler.
I told him that you wanted me to meet you here.
- Well.
Now that we know how you got in,
suppose you tell me how you're going to get out.
- Not going.
I like it here.
- We have to keep on being friends.
It's a matter of professional pride.
I'm working for your father
and he sort of trusts me not to pull any stunts.
I'm going to the kitchen to make a drink.
You want one?
- Yes, please.
- If you're all dressed when I get back,
you get the drink, okay?
- Gimme!
- Now, no.
Not 'til you get dressed.
- You jerk.
- I will give you three minutes
to get yourself dressed and get out of here.
If you're not out by then,
I will throw you out and you can get dressed in the hall.
Now get started.
- The next morning,
the gray Humber was outside my apartment.
A small man sat in it alone.
He might be a cop with time to waste
or a smoothie in the detective business
trying to chisel his way into my case.
Or maybe he was the Bishop of Bermuda,
disapproving of my nightlife.
In my office,
an envelope contained a brief, formal note
and a check for 500 pounds.
Signed for General Sternwood by Vincent Norris.
That made it a nice day.
I was wondering whether to get the car put right,
buy a suit, take a holiday off,
or pay off some of my creditors,
when the man from the gray car showed up.
- Come in.
- Maybe you know me.
- Sure.
You've been following me around for the past couple days.
Like a fella trying to pick up a girl
lacking just that last inch of nerve.
- Look, I am Harry Jones.
- And you knew a guy called Joe Brody.
- How'd you know that?
- Well you're too short to be a cop.
You don't belong to Eddie Mars
because I asked him last night.
I can't think of anybody except Joe Brody's friends
would have that much interest in me.
- Yeah, well...
Agnes sent me.
Y-you've met Agnes?
- The only bookseller I know with enough sex appeal
to stampede a businessman's lunch.
- You made a crack
up there.
The day Brody got himself killed.
You said...
You said Brody must know
something special about the Sternwoods
or he would never risk blackmailing him with that photo.
- What did he know?
- No, I'm selling that.
200 pounds.
Look, we've got to get out, Agnes and me.
- She's too big for ya.
One of these days, she's gonna roll over and smother you.
- That's not nice.
- Well you're right.
What have you got for the money?
- Will you pay it?
- If it does what?
- Helps you to find Rusty Regan.
- I'm not looking for Rusty Regan.
- Oh, yeah?
- Go ahead.
- Oh, I knew rusty.
I mean not that we were that close but
well enough to say...
- What's going on then, Rusty, eh?
And he'd answer or not,
according to how he felt.
They were all there that night.
Eddie Mars with Charlotte Sternwood
and the reason for them being there,
Mona Grant, she was a singer.
Mars was mad about her.
And so was Rusty.
Charlotte Sternwood,
well she just hung around the joints
like she couldn't sleep nights.
♪ Won't somebody ♪
♪ Dance with me ♪
♪ Start up ♪
- Eddie Mars got Mona Grant, the singer.
They married
and Rusty got sore and married
Charlotte Sternwood.
Well the marriage was a bit...
And Rusty started to see Mona the singer.
And then
they both vanish.
Together, people said.
- Most of that's on the record, Harry.
That's not worth 200 pounds.
- Yeah but then a new fella enters the scene.
Lash Canino.
- Who?
- Lash Canino, the brown man.
I was in this pub, see, collecting bets for Joe Brody.
And suddenly, there he is.
The brown man.
Brown suit, brown shirt, brown car,
brown girl he had, too.
And a foot.
Well, he'd been shot, hadn't he?
Left leg all in plaster.
Now this guy, Canino,
is tough like some guys think they're tough.
He'd bump a guy off between drinks.
Eddie Mars calls him in when he has something special.
At the office, I tell Joe I seen Canino.
He puts that together with Rusty and Mona disappearing.
Well,
Joe collected 5,000 from the Sternwood family once before.
Now,
he reckons he can get a line on the lovebirds
and collect twice,
from Eddie Mars and the General.
So he tells Canino.
He follows them to the park.
And there's Charlotte Sternwood sitting,
waving bank notes about
as if she's gonna feed them to the pigeons.
But it's Canino who picks them up.
Now Joe figures that Canino knows something about Regan
and is trying a little squeeze on the side for himself.
- I still see don't see 200 pounds in it.
If Charlotte Sternwood thought
that anything had happened to Regan,
Mars is just the type of person she'd go to.
- Yeah, but what if Eddie's wife,
Mona the singer,
never really ran away with Regan at all.
What if she's been kept now,
just outside London in a hideaway?
So the law think that she and Regan
went off safely together,
when all the time,
she's being held on her own, out there.
- That's an address I'll pay for.
- Agnes found her.
She'd tell you where.
- You tell me.
I've already met Agnes. - No, no.
I promised her.
She'll tell you when she's holding the cash.
You know Burnington House? - Yeah.
Small, sick businesses go there to die.
- Brody's office is on the ground floor.
Eight o'clock?
Right.
Bring the cash.
- Harry,
Eddie doesn't like you seeing private detectives.
That's naughty.
- You don't know that I--
- Marlowe told Eddie Mars
that someone followed him in a gray Humber.
Your car, Harry.
- I think you can get him.
Agnes wants to sell some information to him.
We need money to get--
- Sell what?
- Photos, you see.
Photos of the Sternwood girl that Geiger took.
- Our information is
that Marlowe already has them.
- Agnes kept some, you see, she's like that.
- Ah...
And where is Agnes?
- I don't know, I don't want to get her into this.
Please, Mr. Ca...
Well she is...
She's at 68 Redlinge Court, Kensington.
- You and I
will go and visit her.
And don't you be foolin' me.
- No, that is the truth.
- Here's to the truth!
Ha!
To Agnes and the truth, Harry!
- Hello?
- Is Harry there?
- Not at the moment, Agnes.
- Marlowe?
Where is he?
- Look.
I got the 200 pounds.
If you give me the address, I'll bring it to you.
- Do you know the Italian Gardens in Hyde Park?
- Give me the money.
Hmm.
This should get me away.
What happened to Harry?
Canino got wise to him.
Now forget about Harry, what about my information?
- Joe was tailing Canino whenever he could.
He saw something in it for--
- Yeah, Harry already told me that.
- About two weeks ago, he followed him.
Up the A1 to a turnoff near Clifton.
Then he lost him.
It became a thing with him.
Saturday and Sunday, he dragged me around the area,
hoping to pick up Canino in that brown car.
A couple of weekends ago, we saw them.
We passed them by a pesticide plant.
And the girl driving was Eddie Mars' wife, Mona.
She was wearing a blond wig.
Canino the watchdog was taking her out for air.
Joe tailed them from in front
and just beyond a place called Hunts Garage,
the car swung off left at the track.
Joe sneaked up there that evening and took a look.
There was a radio going and
Canino's car was outside.
Nothing else happened so
I came back.
- And that's it, huh?
- Mm.
Wish me luck.
I got a raw deal.
- Like hell you did.
Agnes was wiping herself
off the slate for good.
Three men dead,
Geiger, Brody and Harry Jones,
and she went walking off between the waters
with my 200 in her bag and not a mark on her.
The case had been about a little blackmail.
But all along, it had been about Rusty Regan.
Everyone I had met was more interested in him
than in anything else.
Rusty Regan ran off with Eddie Mars' wife Mona.
But he hadn't.
I was turning over in my head
the scattered pieces of information
that swirled like light snow in a heavy wind.
And fate stage-managed the whole thing.
- We're closed!
- Open up, Lou!
- Come in.
Three men beat and robbed a couple up the road last week.
So we lock up at night.
Well I got two flat tires and only one spare back there.
I need help.
Clifton's two mile up the road.
Try there.
- The road's full of tacks.
Somebody ought to sweep them up.
- Lou!
You do operate a garage.
Now give the man a hand.
- I thought they set those tacks off the road?
I skidded on the curve.
- Lou.
Take two jacks.
Where are you headed for?
- London.
- Well, you'll be a oner.
Drink?
This is not the road to London.
- I must have taken a wrong turn.
- Yeah.
- Decent little car you got there.
You'll get money for that today.
Wanna sell it?
- Lou,
just fix the flats.
- I am fixin' them,
aren't I?
- You slept well, Mr. Marlowe.
- What time is it?
12:30.
You have a date?
- Maybe.
Where are your boys?
Out digging a grave?
- They had to go somewhere.
- Leaving you alone?
- You don't look too dangerous.
- I thought they were keeping you prisoner.
- Then why did you stick your neck out?
Eddie wasn't doing you any harm.
They know perfectly well if I didn't hide out,
the police would be quite certain
Eddie murdered Rusty Regan.
- Eddie did murder Rusty Regan.
- Eddie didn't do anything.
He's not a killer.
- Well not personally, no, he has Canino.
Canino killed a man tonight.
Harmless little man who's only trying to help someone.
I saw him do it.
- I don't believe Eddie was in on that.
- I thought platinum hair went out of style.
- It's a wig, silly.
'Til mine grows out.
- Who did that to you?
- I did, why?
- Yeah, why?
- To show Eddie I'd do what he wanted me to do:
hide out.
That he didn't need to have me guarded.
I wouldn't let him down.
I love him.
- Good grief.
- Excuse me. - Going?
So soon?
- I've been stuck here for two hours drinking lager.
Nature calls.
- I'll wait for you.
I got lonely.
I needed to talk to someone.
In about ten minutes, I'd say,
this place is gonna look like a police convention.
It'll be a lot better for you if I'm not tied to this chair.
Lady, you need me.
You're involved in a murder.
Maybe two.
- But I didn't know anything about those.
- It's not the way I'll tell it.
- I can't do anything about the handcuffs.
Canino's got the key to those.
- Better come with me if you wanna keep on living.
- I'm not afraid of Canino.
I'm still the boss' wife.
Eddie and I didn't do anything!
- Eddie's a handful of mush.
Canino could take him with a teaspoon.
- What do you mean you can't find him?
No!
No message!
I want to tell Eddie personally
just how stupid you really are!
Now you get your things together.
We're leaving!
- You're playing too rough, Marlowe.
- There have been a lot of killings going on around here.
I haven't been getting my fair share.
- You're lucky the girl's story backs you.
I guess it comes under self-defense.
- And what does Eddie Mars come under?
- He's here.
We're very big on statements today.
He admits he hit his wife.
He even agrees it was rather silly.
He says he knew Canino but only as a customer.
He didn't know Harry Jones.
Geiger was his tenant.
- So Mars just walks away free and happy, huh?
- Unless you've got some real evidence.
Do you still think you can find Regan?
- I do not.
I'm not even going to try.
- In real life, the good guy never gets the girl.
- Yeah, that's the way it is.
Yeah.
- Mr. Marlowe?
The General would like to see you,
if it's convenient, sir.
- Well it's
two o'clock now.
I can be there in an hour.
- Thank you.
This way, sir.
In here, sir.
Mr. Marlowe is here to see you, General.
- Sit down, Mr. Marlowe.
I didn't ask you to hunt for my son-in-law Rusty Regan.
- You wanted me to, though.
- You assume a great deal.
I usually ask for what I want.
- I think you put those Geiger notes up to me as a test.
Your man Norris thought with Geiger dead the case was over.
- And you didn't.
- Now why would a man like Geiger
give you evidence of debt
and expect you to pay up like a gentleman?
He wanted to find out if anything was pressuring you.
If there was, you'd pay.
There was something pressuring you.
You were afraid that Regan was not what he appeared to be.
That he just stayed around
to try to find ways to play games with your bank account.
- I don't care about the money.
And I have no illusions about my daughter.
But Rusty.
Are you still trying to find him?
- No, sir.
I've been warned off.
The cops think I play too rough.
- I'll give you 10,000 pounds to find Rusty.
I don't even have to know where he is.
A man has a right to live his own life.
I just want to know that he's all right.
Do I make myself clear?
- Yes, General.
- He...
He spent hours with me.
Sweating like a pig.
Telling me about the
Irish Revolution.
Just a big, curly-headed
Irishman from Clonmel.
Sad eyes.
Smile so...
So wide.
I may be vain in my judgment of a man but
he seemed pretty clean to me.
Find him for me, Marlowe.
Just find him.
- I'll try, sir.
You better get some rest.
- I guess I'm just a sentimental old goat.
And...
no soldier at all.
- He was used up.
He looked more like a dead man than most dead men look.
But at last he'd asked for what he'd wanted all along:
Rusty Regan.
Regan who hadn't gone off with Mona the singer.
I felt the answer was very close.
Maybe right here in the General's back yard.
- Bored?
- You're not angry with me?
- I must say, for people with money,
you and your sister don't seem to have much fun.
Here.
I brought your artillery back to you,
and I've cleaned it and loaded it up for you.
Take my advice:
don't shoot any people with it
until you've learned how to be a better shot.
- Teach me. - Huh?
- Teach me to shoot, I like that.
- Here?
It's against the law.
- I know where.
Down by the old ruins.
Teach me?
- All right.
- Like it?
- What is it?
- 2,000-year-old Roman ruins.
- Hey, watch that thing, it's loaded.
I'll set this can up over there on the wall.
Now don't start shooting til I'm back beside you, okay?
- Okay.
- My, but you're cute.
It's a good thing I loaded this thing with blanks.
I had a hunch what you might do.
- You don't care about any of us, do you, Marlowe?
You kill a man last night
but now you have to come here
and frighten my sister into a fit.
Well?
- How is she?
- She's all right, I suppose.
She's fast asleep.
What did you do to her?
- Absolutely nothing.
I came back to the house after seeing your father.
I gave her back something I had which belonged to her.
She wanted me to teach her to shoot.
She wanted me to see an old ruined castle.
She wanted to kill me.
She fired all six shots straight at me.
Sweet little thing, isn't she?
- Hard to prove.
- Prove what?
- That she fired at you.
You were alone, the two of you.
You can't prove a thing.
- I was thinking of another day,
when there were real bullets in that gun.
I was thinking of the day that Rusty Regan disappeared.
I came home the other night and found her naked in my bed.
I threw her out.
I guess Regan must have done the same thing at some time.
You can't do that to Camilla.
- I suppose you want money, too.
- How much money?
- 10,000 pounds?
- Is that what you paid Canino
for getting rid of the body
after you'd found out what she'd done
and gone to Eddie Mars for help?
But of course that's small change
compared to what Eddie expects to collect
one of these days, isn't it?
Eddie Mars used Geiger to blackmail your father.
It was, as they say in law, a test case.
Your father sent for me
which showed he didn't scare easily.
Eddie had to know that.
He had something on you and Camilla.
And he wanted to know if he also had it on your father.
If he had,
he could collect a lot of money in a hurry.
If he hadn't,
he'd have to wait until you inherited
your share of the ten million.
So he
stage-managed his wife's disappearance
with Rusty Regan
to fend off any inquiries.
He didn't want that body found.
- It's in the lake by the ruin.
If my father finds out about all this, he'll...
It's not his dying, you understand.
But what will he be thinking about while he's dying?
- I'll give you three days.
Put her in private care.
- You don't want money?
- Oh, sure.
All I itch for is money.
I'm so greedy that for 50 pounds a day,
plus expenses on the days I work,
I risk my future, the hatred of the cops,
of Eddie Mars and his pals,
I dodge bullets and put up with saps
and say, "Thank you very much.
"If you have any further trouble, please call.
"I'll just put my card here on the table."
I do all that for a few pounds.
And maybe just a bit to
protect what little pride
a sick and broken old man has in his family.
So that he can believe that his blood is not poison.
That his little girls,
though they may be a trifle wild,
are not perverts and killers.
Take her someplace where they'll keep her away
from guns and knives and junk.
Hell, she might even get herself cured, you know?
It's been done.
- What did it matter
where you lay once you were dead?
In a stagnant lake or in a marble tower on top of a hill.
You were dead.
You were sleeping the big sleep.
You were not bothered by things like that.
Oil and water were the same as wind and air to you.
You just slept the big sleep,
not caring about the nastiness
of how you died or where you fell.
Me, I was part of the nastiness now.
A far more a part of it than Rusty Regan was.
But the old man didn't have to be.
He could lie quiet in his canopied bed
with his bloodless hands folded on the sheet,
waiting.
His heart was a brief, uncertain murmur.
His thoughts were as gray as ashes.
And in a little while, he too,
like Rusty Regan,
would be sleeping the big sleep.
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The Big Sleep

34 Folder Collection
Amy.Lin published on January 20, 2020
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