Gregson reclined in his easy chair. It wasn’t easy, no matter what anybody said.
It’s not easy, to do your own thing—
when there are no awards, no women, no ladders to climb—only, the impossible mystery to solve.
Gregson stared at his personal library.
Poe, tempted him with absinthe.
Holmes, enticed him with the needle.
Christie, couldn’t write—even though she was a bestseller. Her detective was a poor excuse for a man.
“And then there were none…” Gregson grumbled.
He took a drink of scotch.
He puffed his cigar.
He stared at his telephone.
“Yeah,” Gregson said.
“Gregson? This is Dan.”
“You know, we were friends in college, but I flunked out of the police academy.”
“Oh, damn. I mean, Dan. How are you?”
“Enjoying bachelorhood. Say Gregson, did you ever get married?”
“No.” Gregson looked at his golf clubs, with the grass and mud smeared on his silver irons. He released his breath like a dead man.
“Why didn’t you get married, Gregson?”
“I don’t know. Crime kept getting in the way, I guess, and beautiful women.”
“Have you ever thought about dating a woman your own age?”
Gregson coughed. “Have you been reading Vogue, or one of those women’s magazines?”
“I’m calling to invite you to a book club. It’s a great way to meet 50-year-old women.”
“If I want to do that, I’ll visit the senior center.”
“It’s not like that, Gregson. These broads have class. They’re all hot divorcees. They have timeless beauty. They’re like roses that don’t wilt.”
“And they have aphids,” Gregson added, “Don’t over-sell it, Dan. It’s obvious that you want to believe.”