Death Of A Dude – Chapter 11

At ten minutes past five Sunday afternoon a turnkey inserted a key in the lock of my cell door and turned it, opened the door, and said, “Someone for you.”

Archie wasn’t enthused as he figured it wouldn’t be Wolfe or Lily nor a lawyer. Turns out it was Ed Welch with cuffs there to take him to Jessup’s office.

There is a slight confrontation about the cuffs and leaving Archie with Jessup which Jessup wins. Archie admires Welch’s performance getting the key off the ring:

It was a good performance. Better men than him, including me, have had trouble getting a key off of a ring, and he had done it, smooth and fast, under pressure.

Welch leaves.

Jessup and Archie talk a little about the arrest and then Jessup asks if Archie wants to eat the snack that Lily had packed for him or talk first. Archie wants to talk so he will have more time to eat later.

There are some interesting comments back and forth here. You know the routine by now surely. Read the book… 😉

Jessup then hands him a letter from Wolfe:

AG: I have spoken at length with Mr. Jessup and have reserved nothing relevant to the inquiry we are engaged on. Therefore neither will you. We are committed with him irrevocably, and I think he is with us.
August 11, 1968
NW

Archie gives the letter back to Jessup but tells him he wants it back later as a souvenir.

Archie asks about Wolfe’s whereabouts and is told he is under house arrest at Miss Rowan’s cabin.

Jessup then tells him that Sam was killed by a blow from a rock “not much bigger than your fist.”

He also tells Archie that Wolfe is right about them all being on the same team.

They discuss the murders being connected and Archie starts telling him what all has happened since Wolfe got there.

After getting to Sam’s murder he asks for water as his throat’s getting dry. Jessup asks if he wants Scotch or rye. He says water would do but if scotch wanted in it would be welcome.

They drink and talk a bit more and Archie wants to see what’s in the picnic basket. It was quite a spread.

1 can pineapple
1 can purple plums
10 (or more) large paper napkins
8 paper plates
1 jar caviar
1 quart milk
8 slices Mrs. Barnes’s bread
6 bananas
1 plastic container potato salad
4 deviled eggs
2 chicken second joints (?? is this the middle wing joint or what we (in the south) call a drumstick?)
1 slab Wisconsin cheese
1 jar pate de foie gras truffe (not gonna try for the accent marks)(goose liver pate?)
1 huckleberry pie
6 paper cups
2 knives
2 forks
4 spoons
1 opener combo
1 salt shaker

Archie says he hopes Jessup is hungry too and they dig in.

While eating Jessup explains his position, and that Haight will ask for high bail or that Archie be held without bail but says he won’t go for that.

Archie explains that he would like to be out so he could detect. Jessup wants to know what he would do and Archie explains in considerable detail.

Which I am gonna leave for you to read if you haven’t already… 😉

Afterwards he asks Jessup for a piece of paper and writes a letter to Wolfe in which he suggests that Lily or someone at the ranch find and bring in Peggy Truett (Sam’s friend) among other things.

He gives it to Jessup to read and when Jessup asks why they don’t just call Wolfe at the cabin and tell him, explains that Haight may have the phones tapped.

Jessup then tells him that he won’t have to go to St. Louis as Saul is going there. He goes on to say that he had driven Wolfe to Woody’s that morning where he had made the call. They had also gone to Farnham’s and Lily had taken everyones picture. These were being developed and Jessup would take the prints back out to Lily’s, along with Archie’s note to Wolfe.

He also admits that he likes Miss Rowan’s conception of a snack. He continues and tells Archie that their (Jessup’s and Lily’s) previous encounter (remember this?) was forgotten by mutual consent. He repeats the confession he made to Lily but you get to read that in the book… 😉

Archie asks Jessup to tell Wolfe and Lily that they don’t need to bother about bail since they are doing so well without him and then asks if there is room in the refrigerator for the remains of the snack. Jessup says that there is but there will be people there all day. Archie replies:

“Wait till they’re gone. I probably won’t be hungry sooner anyhow. That disinfected cell doesn’t seem to whet a man’s appetite.” I picked up the can opener. “Plums, or pineapple?”

And so ends chapter 11. Archie’s just not having real good luck in this one. However, it seems that Wolfe has someone in mind with the pictures and with Saul going to St. Louis. Poor Archie gets to sit and twiddle his thumbs in jail while even Lily is being useful taking pictures and charming Jessup. I hope his little “snack” helped ease the hurt… 😉

Comments, corrections, criticism requested.

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