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Something about the dame left the hair on Jake’s neck standing at attention. She was built like the Hoover Dam, for one thing, with more legs than hundred-year-old brandy in a gallon snifter, and a red dress that hid them the way a palm tree’s leaves hide its trunk. The easy way she handled his .38, delicately loading each bullet into the chamber before slapping the cylinder back into place, spinning it, and sighting along the cold steel barrel made Jake’s pulse beat like an epileptic jackrabbit, but did not fit well with the school-girl front she put on. Jake would have to ask around about her - he didn’t like getting involved with any frail who expected that waving her gams at him would make him stupid. Not that these gams couldn’t make a brain surgeon drool in his patient. “My fiance Carlo never liked guns,” she purred, “How ironic that he accidentally shot himself nine times while cleaning my six-shooter.” Ironic wasn’t the half of it, thought Jake. This skirt was trouble, and no mistake.
“So what do you say, Mr. Harcourt, will you help me find my missing sister’s wothless silver locket?”
“I guess I’ll take the case, sweetheart” Jake shot at the tomato, and immediately regretted it. “I get a hundred dollars a day, plus expenses, not counting Sundays, federal holidays, and Kwanza.”