Please Pass The Guilt – Chapter 14

The ad ran on page 6 of the Times Thursday morning and on page 9 of the Gazette that afternoon. Wolfe had added a couple of conditions

They had discussed the probability of the cops watching house and bugging the phone and decided nothing could be done about it, but as two can play that game, they would record all conversations either in person or on the phone. With the bank balance fat again the Wolfecateers have been rehired and at 2 pm Tuesday afternoon were in the front room playing pinochle.

A foreigner by the name of Nasir ibn Bekr calls wanting to see Wolfe about the ad. Since when asked if he has information, he says that he isn’t sure, and screwballs are always sure, Archie tells him to stay there and goes in to talk to Wolfe. When Wolfe tells him to bring him, Archie turns around to find him there already.

After putting him in the yellow chair as it was closer to him than the Red Leather Chair, Archie goes and closes the hall door so the help could get by and take a look at the visitor through the peephole behind the Waterfall Picture.

As Archie crosses back to his disk Nasir remarks that of course the conversation was being recorded so Archie tells him that he won’t bother taking notes. 😉

We learn that there is yet another possible group of people that have it in for CAN vice-president Amory Browning. Nasir says that he is one of a group of Arab terrorists that are active in the country and that they had 3 bombs and had discussed setting one off in the CAN building and if possible Brownings office. As he has been a member of the group for less than a year they don’t quite trust him (and I can see why!) so he hasn’t got a lot of specific information.

He does a lot of talking and then tries to explain why he is betraying his fellow terrorists. He offers a torn dollar bill to as identification should he not be able to claim the reward.

Wolfe asks if he speaks Arabic and when Nasir says “Of Course”

More questions and then Nasir says something that Archie can’t understand but thinks is a question.

Wolfe understands and answers in english. He wants to know Nasir’s real name and other things that he isn’t going to get but offers him the use of the back exit as the Brownstone is under surveillance.

Nasir declines and says that he can’t be followed. (?) He then leaves.

Archie tells the crew that it’s clear and they come into the office.

Fred doesn’t think he is the bomber.

Orrie thinks he is a member of The League of Jewish Patriots.

Saul says no that he is a Jew but not that kind and that he doesn’t believe that they were involved as it happened on the day CAN was to choose a new president.

Wolfe has Archie give the crew the list of names and address but he doesn’t think there is a real lead here either.

Archie gives us a sampling of other kooks that the ad brought out but nothing is at all promising.

By Thursday evening Archie is so low that he was trying to decide what to sell if something didn’t break soon. Wolfe was rereading a book which Archie tells us he only does when he is low.

And the doorbell rang. It’s Dennis Copes, who breezes in, walks over to Wolfe and sticks his hand out. Wolfe actually shakes hands with him!

He then sits and comments on the ad, wanting to know which Agency wrote it.

Wolfe tells him that it was Archie.

He continues in this vein for a time and gets down to business, which is something he says he should have told the police long ago but the money was just too tempting.

He goes on to admit to knowing about the LSD! He claims to have been in Brownings office when he overhears Helen Lugos’ and Kenneth Meer talking about Odell doping the whisky. He says Meer tells Helen to not open the drawer the next day and then he though Helen was going to come check the office and got out in a hurry.

Wolfe wants to know more about Meer and questions Copes for quite a while.

Copes points out that the fact that he knows about the LSD should be proof enough of his story.

Wolfe tells him without support his information is worthless.

They talk and Wolfe tells him to tell no one anything and then asks to see his notebook.

After a few more questions Wolfe leans back in his chair and closes his eyes. Archie:

I honestly don’t know if he realizes that that’s no way to end a conversation. I do.

Which ends chapter 14. They have some information anyway since no one is supposed to know about the LSD. Maybe the next chapter will give a bit more.

Comments, corrections, criticism requested.

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