The Body Looks Familiar

Free The Body Looks Familiar by Richard Wormser

Book: The Body Looks Familiar by Richard Wormser Read Free Book Online
Authors: Richard Wormser
Tags: Suspense, Crime, Murder
Captain B. L. Martin has taken over the investigation personally. Okay, Marty?”
    Cap Martin shrugged.
    Lyons and Koch were back again. They were carrying a towel, each by an end. They laid the thing down on a lumpy looking couch, and spread the ends, started pushing jewelry around with their fingertips to make a display. Stones and metal glittered in the weak sunlight that came through a white curtain.
    “All the jewelry in the house,” Lyons said. “No furs. No silk underwear, anything like that.”
    Cap Martin put his hands on his hips, bent over. He grunted once or twice. “He coulda bought better,” he said.
    Harry Weber said, “He was saving to have a baby.”
    Cap Martin grunted. “Put it back, boys. Be neat.” He looked up at the ceiling as though expecting something to be written there.
    He was not a very highly paid man. And what he did get paid, he was likely to misspend—a poker game, a symphony record, books he didn’t really need. But still his wife had earrings, perfume, silk lingerie. There was something feebly pathetic about this little pile of junk. No jewelry at all would have been better than these half dozen specimens of dime store art, filled out with two or three old-world brooches that hadn’t been worth anything a hundred years ago and had, somehow, failed to turn themselves into antiques.
    Cap Martin said, “Put ’em back where you found them. Lyons, you used to be on hockshop detail. How much do you think everything in this house it worth?”
    Lyons shrugged. “Nothing here would hock,” he said. “Maybe seventy-five bucks, selling it outright. Clothes and all.”
    Jim Latson said, “That’s about an all-time low,” and turned toward the front door. Feet were clumping on the porch. It was Cap Martin’s driver. He was saying, “Call your office, Captain. Something they didn’t want to put on the air.”
    Cap Martin nodded. He stood there a moment, looking at the floor, a blocky man, strong and bright and at home in his job. Then he stared at Harry Weber, but Weber made no move to give him privacy.
    Finally Cap Martin shrugged, and walked to the phone that the hotel had probably required Guild to have. Or maybe the waiter had put it in when his wife got near the end of her term of pregnancy. Considering the sparseness of everything else in the Guild house, the telephone was sheer wanton luxury.
    Cap Martin took a last look at Jim Latson who, as senior officer present, should have asked Harry to step outside. But Latson was cheerfully lighting a cigarette, a mere spectator of another man’s work. Martin dialed the number.
    Then he said, “Homicide,” and then, “Martin.” No reporter would grow healthy, wealthy and wise from Cap Martin’s end of a phone conversation. What Harry heard was, “Yeah,” and “I see,” and “I’m starting right in.” There was not even a good-by.
    Cap Martin put the phone down and smiled a little. He said, “Put this stuff back like it was, boys, and resume your standby.” Then he went out the front door, leaving his chief and Harry to follow him.
    The driver was already back behind the wheel. When Martin said, “Office,” he picked up the handphone, said, “H-four to H-one. Coming in, over and out,” and started the car. Martin said, “Code two,” which meant the driver could use his red light and siren.
    So they went back the way Lyons and Koch had come down here the other time, instead of by the more traffic-free riverfront boulevard. Occasionally, the siren moaned a short cry as they pushed through the machinery center, the produce belt.
    Jim Latson smoked his cigarette. Cap Martin kept his face stolid. Harry Weber made no effort to keep his face from looking curious.
    Finally Martin spoke; they were only a couple of blocks from the Civic Center now. He said, “The federals want Guild if we don’t. Illegal entry.”
    Latson whistled, cranked the window down a little, and dropped the cigarette out. “I’d say we want him.

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