A Hard Case (Part 3)
I hadn’t been exactly straight with the client. I had a hunch where his wife was. There aren’t too many places a busty woman with no head for figures and less than a thousand bucks in her purse can go.
So I drove over the hill for a slog through Topless Los Angeles.
Doris Frawley could get bar patrons to order cases of champagne with a whisper in the ear. I showed her picture to managers, bouncers, and sweaty women on their breaks. “Hell, she’d put most of us out of a job,” one of the topless ladies said.
Nobody on Western Avenue had seen Doris Frawley.
Sunset Strip looks like a glittering step up, but it’s only further West, with parking lots for customers. And the dancers go all the way.
They serve ginger ale at places like the Tits Mahal. Nude women and alcohol don’t mix, in that part of the world. Doris Frawley was another blank in Nude Los Angeles.
High-dollar soda-pops turned to gold when I headed back to the Valley. Some former Sheriffs Dept colleagues had set up a roadblock on Cahuenga Pass and were administering the Breathalyzer. Sheriff Johnson Brown leant his beer gut against my car door.
“Hot damn. Ned Sloane, the lawman who thought he could go it alone. Check the car. Check the clothes. You were doing better when you wore a badge. And now: have you been drinking, sir?”
“Not me. I’m working undercover. Wave me through.”
“What kinda case you on? Lost pet?”
“A woman ran away from her husband.”
“What’s she look like?”
“Blonde, big in the chest.”
“Like, how big?”
Brown whistled when he saw the picture. Sheriffs Dimshaw, Pettet and Cluskey shambled over.
“I’m gonna turn in my badge and gun tomorrow,” Cluskey said.
“Take it easy,” Brown said. “Sloane was spotted in several titty bars earlier this evening. He’s unemployed, got nowhere else to go. Soon as this sobriety check bullshit’s over, I’m gonna investigate whether he exposed himself to any strippers, or behaved otherwise indecently.”
He waved me through with an obscene hand signal.
A gesture in a rearview mirror sparked intuition. Doris Frawley had hardcore appeal. That sort of talent leads to X-rated movies, which mean big bucks to those who produce them. Adult entertainment comes from North Hollywood, these days.
I was headed there anyhow.
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