Gregson pondered the necessity of murder, in a world full of the dead and dying—people were in a hurry to end the life of someone else, but if they only waited… Hell, nobody can wait.
“Oh, that’s my neighbor,” Gregson said. “She’s taking a trip back to the Fatherland. What’s worse is that Gertrude is an educator, and wants me to watch her electric Mercedes.”
Madelynn put on a bathrobe. Her curves were mysterious, like silhouettes of sex.
Gregson smiled, opening the door. “Mein Fuhrer.” He clicked his boots together and saluted.
“You big child. Will you ever grow up?” Gertrude asked. She had a thick accent, and spoke with a boisterous baritone, verging on hysterics with a loving German quality. Her clothes were tan, and rolled up at the knees and elbows.
“Trust me Gertrude, your car is safer with me, than at the auto club.”
“You go through cars faster than you go through women.”
“Oh—you have another woman over. Well, be sure to take your STD medications.”
“Keys?” Gregson asked.
Gertrude dangled them over his fat palm. Her trust in him was like a mother trying to give her adolescent son more responsibility.
“Have a great trip, Gertrude. Now, I need to get back to my art.”
“I’ve been studying the female form and its functions.”
Her look of disgust was for the ages, and Gregson closed the door.
“How is she going to get to the airport?” Madelynn asked.
“She has many man- slaves who will chauffeur her, or she’ll call an Uber. Speaking of which, we should go. I’d like to stop-off at an art gallery to brush-up on snob lingo.”
Madelynn laughed, but Gregson was serious. A great detective is undetectable.
“Is she gone?” Gregson asked.
“I don’t know,” Madelynn said.
“Well, look out the window.”
Madelynn checked. “There’s a short man with round features helping her into his Prius.”
“Oh—that’s Paul—her number one. She been trying to make me her number one since I moved in here. Why don’t you put-on a dress that shows off your body?”
“Or, I could just go like I am,” Madelynn suggested.
“There’s a law against that, but the police would make an exception in your case.”
“What about you?”
“No—it wouldn’t work. The coast is clear. Let’s go.”
They opened the doors of the pristine black Mercedes and smelled the new-car-smell.
“Hey—there’s butt warmers in these seats,” Madelynn noticed.
“I know. The German’s can make a useful car.”
“Put seatbelt on,” came a woman’s voice.”
“Oh no,” Gregson said. “Her car comes with a woman who tells me what to do. DEACTIVATE!”
“No—it’s speaking German.”
“Just do as she says, and everything will be all right,” Madelynn suggested.
Gregson laughed. “You don’t know women. We’re not far from the conference—it’s on an island, and there’s a ferry schedule.”
“Reduce speed now.”
“What is she talking about?” Gregson complained. “I’m going the speed limit.”
“You’re doing 20-over.”
“Don’t gang-up on me, Madelynn. I can barely handle one woman giving me directions.”
“You like it when I do it in bed.”
“That’s different. You women always want to take something out of context.”
“All right, I shouldn’t have said that.”
Madelynn smiled and kissed him.