فصل 07

مجموعه: کارآگاه لنی ساموئل / کتاب: زنی که ناپدید شد / فصل 7

فصل 07

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متن انگلیسی فصل

Chapter seven

Benny Greep

I looked at my watch. It was nearly eleven o’clock. I went back into the cafe and asked if I could look at the telephone book. I turned to “L” and ran my finger down the outside of the page. Soon, I found the name I was looking for: “Las Cabanas”. I looked more closely. The address was: Las Cabanas, 232 Golden Drive. Telephone: 323.0313

I left the cafe and walked over to where I had parked the Chrysler. It wasn’t time for lunch yet, so I decided to go and see what Las Cabanas was like. It took me nearly twenty minutes to drive there and another ten minutes to find somewhere to park.

Have you ever seen a night club in the daytime? It’s a very depressing sight. At night, a nightclub seems wonderful. However, at a quarter to twelve in the morning, it looks old, empty and dirty. The man I met at Las Cabanas looked old, empty and dirty, too.

I rang the bell for five minutes before he answered the door. Even then, he didn’t open the door itself. Instead, he opened a small window in the door.

‘What do you want?’ he asked. ‘The club doesn’t open until ten o’clock tonight.’

‘I’m looking for someone,’ I said, ‘someone called Benny Greep.’

‘I don’t know anyone called Benny Greep,’ the man replied and started to shut the window.

‘Wait a minute,’ I said and pushed five dollars through the window.

‘That’s better,’ the man said.

And he opened the door and let me in.

I followed him across the dance floor. The man was a cleaner. He picked up a brush and began to clean the floor.

‘Do you know where I can find Benny Greep?’ I asked the man again.

‘If you come back tonight at ten o’clock, you’ll find Benny Greep here,’ the man said. ‘Benny plays the drums in the band.’

I gave the man another five dollars.

‘Where can I find Benny now?’ I asked.

The man picked up a piece of paper from the floor and wrote an address on it.

I took the paper and left immediately.

As I drove the grey Chrysler away from Las Cabanas, I looked at the address the cleaner had written:

5314 ARVIEDA STREET

WEST LOS ANGELES

5314 Arvieda Street was an old block of apartments. I gave the porter a couple of dollars and he told me which was Benny Greep’s apartment. I walked up the narrow, dark stairs until I came to the fifth floor. I was looking for Apartment 507.

I knocked on the door of Apartment 507 and waited. There was no answer, so I rang the bell. No answer. I knocked again, hard. There was still no answer.

I pushed against the door and it opened easily. I waited. There was no sound from the apartment, so I went in. The light was on and the curtains were drawn. The apartment was very small. There was one main room, which was used as the living-room, dining-room and bedroom. The room had two doors. One of the doors led into the kitchen and the other into the bathroom.

The main room was very untidy. The table was covered with dirty plates and glasses and there was a full ashtray lying on the floor. There was a strange smell in the room.

I looked into the kitchen. The kitchen was also dirty and untidy. I walked across to the bathroom and opened the door.

Benny Greep was in the bath. His left hand was hanging over the side of the bath. The hand had neatly cut nails, and there was a gold ring on one finger. The wrist was covered by a shirt-sleeve, which was rather dirty. I couldn’t see the rest of the arm, because it was under the water.

Benny Greep’s head was just out of the water. He had a handsome face and quite long, black hair. His eyes were wide open. The only other parts of his body out of the water were his feet. But I couldn’t see his toes because he still had his shoes and socks on. The bath water was red.

I pulled out the plug in the bath, to let the water out. When the bath was empty, I looked at the dead man more closely. He had been dead for several hours. He had been shot in the chest and then pushed into the bath. I looked on the floor by the bath. There was blood there, too, and I was standing in it. I moved back and cleaned the blood off my shoes with some water.

Then I quickly looked round the main room again. The dead man’s coat was lying on a chair and I felt in the pockets. I found a few dollars and a driving licence. The driving licence had a photograph of the dead man on it. The licence belonged to Benny Greep, and the address in the licence was 5314 Arvieda Street, West Los Angeles. The dead man in the bath was definitely Benny Greep.

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