Archie, with his food fixation, starts the chapter off, by telling us he doesn’t know what happened to the rest of the snack.
He then goes on to suggest a way of keeping occupied next time you (the reader) are in jail. He has a bit of a fixation on female knees that he talks about here too.
It’s worth the read and that’s the only way you’ll get it.
Of course that got him to thinking about Peggy Truett’s knees and all the other people like Wolfe and Haight that might be looking at her knees and then he kicks a stool across the room…
His description of the food is wonderful:
I am not going to report on the food because you would think I’m prejudiced. I honestly believe they put disinfectant in the oatmeal and the stew.
Can’t you almost taste it right now?
Evers, the other full time deputy, comes to get him at 5:40pm Sunday afternoon and tells him to get his shoes on and bring his coat. He’s going home!
There is some more fantastic word craft in this section and if I start with any of it I’d have to put in too much, so…
The lawyer, Luther Dawson, is there to spring him and greets him with:
“I come to deliver you from bondage. All signed and sealed.”
Archie refuses to sign anything, gets his things back and heads out. Dawson tries to talk to Archie and gets a good talking down to and chewing out!
He gets out to the street and Lily is in a dark blue Dodge Coronet sedan. Archie gets in behind the wheel and heads toward the cabin.
He asks her how much bail and she tells him $10,000.
He pulls over and stops in a secluded area so they can talk without distractions.
She brings him up to date.
He thanks her for the food.
She tells him that Wolfe is at Woody’s and that they will stop on the way in.
She also tells him that Peggy Truett is at the cabin.
Jessup was there the night before and he and Wolfe questioned her for 2 hours.
Lily is upset because they wouldn’t tell her anything afterward. Bit spoiled, maybe?
She asks Archie if Wolfe may be sweet on Peggy and he tells her the apparent interest is a “filter job”. She asks “What’s that?”
“It’s similar to what I asked you to do abut Saturday night, only he steps it up by asking questions. It’s the opposite of filtering coffee. With coffee you’re after what goes right through, but with her he’s after what doesn’t go through, or doesn’t want to. Then you don’t know whether Haight has seen him or not.”
She tells him that he hasn’t.
She also mentions that sitting still, she can detect: “a slight-uh-aroma. Kind of exotic. Will it go?”
He tells her it’s permanent and asks if she got the prints off to Saul. She did.
They head on into town and stop at Woody’s to see Wolfe. Who greets Archie with “Satisfactory.”
Wolfe wants to stay and eat hunkiav beyandi, a kebab served with eggplant stuffed with onions browned in oil, tomatoes, garlic, salt and pepper. Sounds good to me!
Archie wants to go and get clean and eat. There are words. Archie leaves.
Once in the car with Lily and on the way he speaks:
“Some day I will brown him in oil and sprinkle garlic on him. He is expecting phone calls. He suggested that I bathe and eat and go to bed. So either he has got something hot started that he thinks he doesn’t need my help with, or he is cooking up one of his screwy charades that he knows I wouldn’t like.”
And goes on. And on.
They get to the cabin and he takes the key from the car to show himself that he’s not gonna go and get Wolfe if Woody wouldn’t bring him home.
He, clean as a scraped trout, eats turtle soup, two filets mignons, hashed-brown potatoes, bread and butter, milk, spinach with mushrooms and Madeira, honeydew melon, and coffee. Now that’s a meal!
Diana and Wade come in and Archie tells them about jail and then they play pinochle. Wolfe comes home shortly after 11 and goes to his room without coming into the big room.
The game finishes and Diana and Wade go to their rooms and Archie goes to tell Wolfe goodnight. Wolfe wants to talk.
He tells Archie that Peggy is in “protective custody” (being protected from Haight) and that the the last call from Saul had settled things. He had then called Jessup and men would be on the way at 9 am in the morning. Then he tells Archie that he isn’t going to tell him anything more.
Archie has words for Wolfe. Excellent paragraph of some fine words.
He subsides and Wolfe asks him if the new rental has a key that is taken inside and placed on the shelf like the other car. Archie suspects him of changing the subject but answers “yes”. Wolfe then tells him to get the key in the morning before breakfast and then bids him a good night.
Archie tells him goodnight after deciding there was no use wasting his breath with comment or question, and retires himself.
On the way to his room he decides the killer has got to be Wade!
And that brings us a LOT closer to the end. 10 more pages or 3 more chapters and 2 more days. This next bit is good. I can hardly wait!
Comments, corrections, criticism requested.