Please Pass The Guilt – Chapter 3

Archie tells us that they keep copies of the Times and Gazette for 3 or more weeks and that he would have looked up the Odell murder (now we know where the blood came from) since he had now meet Kenneth Meer, out of simple curiosity, but they needed a job having had only 6 so far in 1969 (so the calendar was right).

He goes on about the checking account balance and gets down to some facts about the murder.

Who: Peter J. Odell
What: Opened the bottom drawer of a desk and was killed instantly when a bomb in the drawer went off.
When: Tuesday May 20 at 3:17 pm.
Where: A room on the 6th floor of the Continental Air Network (CAN) building at West Fifty-Fourth Street.

The desk wasn’t Odell’s. It belonged to Amory Browning, the vp in charge of programming. The drawer was where Browning kept his supply of Ten-Mile Creek bourbon. Nobody knew (or admitted to knowing) what Odell was doing going into the drawer in the first place. And no one admitted seeing him enter the room.

Archie goes on to give more background on it but you get to find and read the book to get that part… 😉

He reads the accounts in 15 copies of both papers and then calls Lon Cohen at the Gazette. Archie invites Lon to meet him at Rusterman’s at 6:15 that evening for dinner before their weekly Thursday 8 o’clock poker game at Saul Panzer’s apartment.

I take the 15 copies of each paper to mean that it’s been 15 days since the the murder and there has been at least one update on this high profile case a day per paper.

He then calls Felix at Rusterman’s and reserves the small upstairs room, noting that his request was personal and not on behalf of Wolfe.

Good lines here and there that I’m not mentioning. Well worth the read if you’re not already. 😉

Archie tells Wolfe that he will leave before 6 that evening but not why.

Vollmer phoned in the middle of the afternoon to say that Dr Ostrow didn’t want to know what “Ron’s” real name was but Archie goes on to say:

“Which of course was a polite lie. Dr. Ostrow would certainly have liked to know the name, but not from Wolfe if had got it by a trick.

Now we get to 4 pages of “He said, she said, they said” with Lon and Archie at Rusterman’s.

Archie assures Lon that Wolfe isn’t involved and Lon suggests to Archie:

“You could just put an ad in the Gazette. Of course with a box number since Wolfe mustn’t know you’re drumming.”

I’m going to let you sift through the next bit on your own as at the end of the chapter Archie says it best:

When, at a quarter to eight, out on the sidewalk, we decided to walk the eleven blocks to Saul Panzer’s instead of scouting for a taxi, I had collected around a hundred more facts and guesses, but it would be a waste of paper and ink to list them for you since none of them was any help to my program. Also I will not report on the course of events at the poker table, except to say that having a complicated operation on my mind was no help to my wallet. I lost sixty-eight bucks.

The one prominent fact that Archie got, that is of some importance, is about the recently widowed Mrs. Odell being worth somewhere between 70 to 80 million bucks! Guess we can see which golden goose Archie is getting ready to put a move on…

One other thing that came out in that fact finding mission:

It seems that nobody knows just who the bomb was planted by or for. The cops and the reporters are all stumped.

Now if Archie can figure a way for Wolfe to get cut in on the action. 😉

Comments, corrections, criticism requested.

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