Dan J. Marlowe
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It wasn’t at all like Hazel to go off without a word to Drake. But she did. He tried calling her at the motel, but they said she’d just checked out. No, no messages.
Drake figured he’d better do a little checking on his own.
Which is why he went to see Hazel’s business manager, Nate Pepperan, in Hudson. It had been Pepperman’s phone call which had taken Hazel to Hudson in the first place. Nate would surely know where she was.
But Nate wasn’t telling. How could he, with his throat slit?
Operation Whiplash—a tense, blood-pounding tale of mayhem, murder, and the Mafia with Drake, the Man with Nobody’s Face.
with heavy steel-strapped crates, leaving only a narrow passage between. I walked to the open door. There was no one at the desk in the tiny receptionist’s office. I looked inside the office that had been Karl Erikson’s. There was no one there, either. The large picture on the far wall which had served to conceal the entrance to a hidden room was gone. The entrance stood open, and inside I could see more crates. Some were packed, and some in the process of being packed. I was sure they
curiosity. “Where did you say you got it?” “From Karl Erikson.” “Well, then I suggest you take it back to this Mr. Erikson, whoever he is, and tell him I think he’s carrying his little joke a bit too far.” Mr. Harrington’s thin lips screwed up in distaste. “With friends like this Erikson you don’t need enemies. I think he’s setting you up for a hard time.” The foppish young man looked me over more carefully than he had previously. “If you’re actually in unauthorized possession of classified
slippers that enabled them to move almost noiselessly. They looked villainous enough to be Chinese river pirates. Chen Yi removed a dark green windbreaker from her arm and handed it to me. “Put on this jacket of Candy’s,” she said. “It will be chilly on the water.” If we make the water, I thought to myself, but I took the jacket. “You two go downstairs and around to the back and get the truck started,” I said, handing Hazel the keys. “Don’t use too much choke. I’ll be right there.” They left
in the stern, waving her arms in circles. It was a moment before I caught on to what she was doing. “She’s semaphoring Karl on slack or no slack in the towline, so he doesn’t pull the stern out of this baby,” McLaren said. “Yeah, but she’s exposed. Someone’s—” A gun cracked on the pier. I saw the gun flash halfway out on the oil company dock, and as one man McLaren and I from opposite ends of the wheelhouse roof sprayed both wharves with a withering cross fire. “One good thing about this
violently. Bobbing flashlight beams played upon a totally disorganized scene when I reached the doorway. Erikson’s initial charge had taken him nearly to the edge of the roof, opposite the way we had gained it. He was enveloped in a cloud of men, but his muscular body kept shedding them like a dog flinging off water drops. All attention was fixed upon the melee. Men in uniform danced around its edges, trying to get into the action. I knew that I was supposed to take advantage of Erikson’s