Lay Her Among The Lilies

Lay Her Among The Lilies by James Hadley Chase Read Free Book Online

Book: Lay Her Among The Lilies by James Hadley Chase Read Free Book Online
Authors: James Hadley Chase
the gate and got into the Buick.

    Why nine o'clock? I wondered as I trod on the starter. Why not now? Of course the money had something to do with it, but she wasn't to know I hadn't come heeled with five hundred dollars. She didn't ask. This was a smooth, bright baby: a baby who knew all the answers, and could make four and four add up to nine. I sent the Buick down the road so the speedometer needle flickered up to seventy after the first hundred yards. At the bottom of the road I crammed on the brakes to make the turn into Beach Road, gave an elderly gentleman about to cross the street three different kinds of heart disease, straightened out of the skid and went on until I saw a drug store. I swung to the kerb, ran across the sidewalk into the store and into a phone booth.

    Paula answered the phone after the second ring.

    "This is Universal Services," she said in her gentle, polite voice. "Good evening."

    "And this is your old pal Vic Malloy calling from a drug store in Coral Gables. Grab your car, bright eyes, and come arunning. You and me are going to hold hands and make love. How does it sound?"

    There was a momentary pause. I'd have given a lot to have seen her expression.

    "Where exactly are you?" she said, and sounded as unexcited as if I had asked her the time.

    "Beach Road. Come as fast as you can," I said, and hung up.
    I left the Buick outside the drug store and walked to the corner of Beach Road. From there I could see Eudora Drew's cabin. I propped myself up against a lamp standard and kept my eyes on the gate of the cabin.

    Nine o'clock. I had three hours to wait, and I wished I had asked Paula to bring some Scotch and a sandwich to help while away the time.

    For the next twenty minutes I lolled against the lamp standard and never took my eyes off the cabin. Nobody came out. Nobody went in. Several tough-looking homhres emerged from other cabins and either walked away or drove away. Three girls, all blondes, all with strident voices, came out of the cabin next to Eudora's and strolled down the road towards me swinging their hips and ogling anything in trousers within sight. As they passed me they all looked my way, but I kept my eyes firmly on the cabin.

    A nice neighbourhood this, I thought. Not the kind of road Mrs. Bendix's bunny-faced pal would care to walk down.

    Paula's smart little two-seater came bustling out of Princess Street and headed towards me. It pulled up and the door swung open. Paula looked very trim and slightly glacial in her grey, pin-head suit. She was hatless, and her brown eyes looked at me enquiringly.

    "Where now?" she asked, as I settled beside her.

    "Drive up here nice and slow and stop on the bend. Eudora's place is that white and blue abomination on the right," I said, and as the car moved forward I rapidly told her what had happened. "I have an idea she might communicate with someone," I concluded. "I may be wrong, but I think it'll be worth while keeping on eye on her for the next couple of hours. The only way to watch the house without getting the neighbours in an uproar is for us to be a courting couple. That's something they all understand in this district."

    "Pity you had to pick on me," Paula said coldly.

    "Well, I couldn't very well pick on Kerman," I said, a little peeved. "Let me tell you some girls would jump at the opportunity."

    "Can I help it if some girls have queer tastes?" she asked, pulling up on the bend. "Is this right?"

    "Yeah. Now for the love of mike, relax. You're supposed to be enjoying this." I slid my arm round the back of her neck. She leaned against me and stared moodily down the road at the cabin. I might just as well have necked with a dressmaker's dummy. "Can't you work up a little enthusiasm?" And I tried to nibble her ear.

    "That may go down big with your other girl friends," she said icily, jerking away, "but it doesn't with me. If you'll open the glove compartment you'll find some whisky and a couple of sandwiches in there.

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