The Avenger 7 - Stockholders in Death

The Avenger 7 - Stockholders in Death by Kenneth Robeson Read Free Book Online

Book: The Avenger 7 - Stockholders in Death by Kenneth Robeson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Kenneth Robeson
the Jeff Hotel.
    “I suppose the police are right behind you?” said Tom.
    “No,” said Benson, voice quiet but vibrant. “Why should they be?”
    “If you turned me in, you’d get in good with the cops, wouldn’t you?”
    “I have no idea of turning you in,” said The Avenger. “The idea I have in mind is strictly the opposite. I’d like to see that you don’t get taken for a little while. You’d have a hard time of it, right now, with the murder charge so definite and recent against you. I can put you in a place where no one will ever find you.”
    Tom’s eyes, suspicious, keen, wary, played over the face of this man who had rearranged his features to resemble another man, but whose dead countenance and pale eyes were unmistakable when you knew who it was.
    “No one will find me here,” Tom said. “You’ve got more than that in mind. You’re just trying to get me away from Luckow, again, and get your own hooks on me.”
    “I want you to leave Luckow,” nodded Benson. “This rat is dynamite for you—or for anyone else impulsive enough to trust him.”
    It had been a long time since anyone had called Nicky Luckow a rat to his face. The mobster’s eyes glinted and his jowls darkened.
    He turned to Tom Crimm.
    “Want to leave, kid?” he said.
    Tom shook his head, angry eyes on The Avenger.
    “You’ll hang with us?” persisted Luckow.
    “Yes,” said Tom.
    “O.K.!” Luckow’s face suddenly became impassive. “You run along to the next room, now. I want to ask this guy a coupla things.”
    Tom went out. The girl went with him, after a swift glance had swept between her and the mob leader. Benson saw that glance, though he seemed not to have seen it.
    Luckow turned toward him.
    “When any guy sticks his nose into my business the way you have,” he said, “that guy dies! And when any guy messes up gang business like you have a dozen times in the past, he oughta get burnt by anybody getting his hands on him. Get me?”
    “Certainly,” said The Avenger. “You mean that, on two counts. You intend to carry me out of here feet first; you mean that you didn’t send Tom out of here so that you could question me—but just so that he wouldn’t witness a killing.”
    ‘That’s right,” said Luckow in his soft, dangerous voice.

    Downstairs, eight men came after the girl. Luckow’s swift glance had told her to come back with all the help she could. The eight men came up the stairs with drawn guns.
    They went into the first room behind the concealed door at the top of the narrow stairs.
    From the inner room, Luckow’s room, a familiar figure was emerging as they entered. The figure closed that door, turned, and faced them.
    “Nick,” said one of the eight, “the girl said—”
    The man addressed as their leader rubbed his right fist suggestively.
    “He’ll keep for a while,” he growled. “You guys stick around here, though, and be sure he doesn’t try to get out. I’ll be back in a minute.”
    He walked through their ranks, down the stairs, and through the café room. From all sides were little nods of recognition. To some he nodded back; to others he paid no attention.
    He went out the street door, got in the car The Avenger had come in and drove to Bleek Street.
    And up in Nicky Luckow’s suite the eight gunmen finally went into the room to see why the Benson guy was so quiet. Benson wasn’t there!
    Instead—they found Nicky Luckow, in shorts, with a tuxedo lying beside him, bound and maniacal with rage.
    No detective in New York could twice have invaded the mobster’s den single-handed. But The Avenger, who could fool his way into places by making his face over to look like others, had; and he had twice walked out with ease. But he had failed twice, in the final analysis.
    He had failed to make Tom Crimm see reason. The son of Joseph Crimm was still in a wolves’ den—thinking it to be a safe fold—with doom hanging over him every moment of the day and night.



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