فصل 16

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فصل 16

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Chapter sixteen

Tell Me the Truth

Did you leave Las Cabanas before midnight?’ asked Sergeant Murphy.

‘That’s right,’ I replied, ‘I left the nightclub just before twelve.’

‘So you weren’t at Las Cabanas when the big fight started, just after twelve?’ asked the sergeant.

‘Big fight?’ I said, trying to sound surprised.

‘Don’t sound so surprised,’ said Sergeant Murphy angrily. ‘We received a telephone call from the owner of Las Cabanas. He said that just after midnight last night, a tall man with brown hair and brown eyes, called Lenny Samuel, attacked two of the people at the club. The owner of the club said that you ‘then attacked and injured three cooks. Then you broke over one hundred plates and a table, and ruined food worth several hundred dollars.’

I didn’t say anything. I could not think of anything to say.

‘Did you really do all that?’ Sergeant Murphy asked, in a different voice. The Sergeant sounded both surprised and pleased. ‘Did you really do all that on your own, or did you have men to help you?’

‘I did it all on my own,’ I said, beginning to feel a little proud of myself.

‘Do you know that you could go to prison for six months for what you did last night?’ the sergeant asked. He was laughing as he said it.

I wasn’t laughing. I couldn’t see anything funny about six months in prison.

‘Look,’ Sergeant Murphy said, ‘I’m not stupid.’

I agreed with the sergeant that he was not stupid.

‘I’m not stupid,’ Sergeant Murphy repeated, ‘and I know why you were at Las Cabanas last night. Benny Greep used to work there and you went to find out about his death.’

I agreed with the sergeant again. It seemed the best thing to do.

‘Now,’ Sergeant Murphy said slowly, ‘I’m interested in Las Cabanas. The club is owned by people who are criminals. But we can’t prove that they have broken the law. I’m also interested in Benny Creep’s murder. Now, what I suggest is this. Tell me all you know about Las Cabanas and Benny Greep and I will let you go. If you tell me all you know, you won’t go to prison for the fight at the nightclub. But I want the truth, not the lies you told me yesterday.’

I took a deep breath and started to tell the sergeant what I knew. I told him about everything except Elaine Garfield. I wasn’t sure how closely Elaine Garfield was connected with Benny Creep’s death. So, I told the sergeant that Helen Garfield, from New York, had asked me to find out about Las Cabanas.

Sergeant Murphy asked me for Helen Garfield’s address in New York and I said I didn’t know it. Then the sergeant asked me where Helen Garfield was staying in Los Angeles. I said I didn’t know.

I told Sergeant Murphy all that I knew about Benny Greep, except that the drummer had known Elaine Garfield. Then I asked him about the two men in the yellow car, who had followed me. The sergeant smiled and said that the two men were policemen. Finally, I told him about the fight at Las Cabanas.

Sergeant Murphy listened to everything. When I had finished my story, he looked at me in silence for a few moments.

‘Right, Samuel, I hope that you’ve told me the truth, and all the truth. If you’ve been telling me more lies, I’ll make sure that you go to prison for six months, because of the fight at Las Cabanas. Now, you can go.’

I stood up.

‘Thank you,’ I said, with a smile.

Sit down, he said, ‘and listen. You can go. But you must promise to tell me anything you find out about Las Cabanas and about Benny Greep.’

‘I promise,’ I said quickly and stood up.

Wait a minute, said Sergeant Murphy. ‘I’ve one more thing to tell you. I’m going to telephone the New York police. I’m going to ask them to find out all they can about Helen Garfield. If the police in New York discover that you’ve told me lies about Helen Garfield, you will be in very serious trouble.’

I told the sergeant not to worry and thanked him very much.

I left the police station feeling very happy because Sergeant Murphy had let me go. I called a taxi and went out to Golden Drive to get the Chrysler.

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