The Case of the Angry Actress: A Masao Masuto Mystery

The Case of the Angry Actress: A Masao Masuto Mystery by Howard Fast Read Free Book Online

Book: The Case of the Angry Actress: A Masao Masuto Mystery by Howard Fast Read Free Book Online
Authors: Howard Fast
lady now and then in those days. But what do I remember? I ain’t no elephant, except in appearance.”
    â€œThis girl’s name was Samantha Adams.”
    â€œSamantha Adams. You don’t say.”
    â€œMaybe eighteen, twenty years old. Blue eyes, blonde hair, good figure, maybe five feet six or seven inches tall—”
    â€œPoor Officer Chan—what are you, an LA cop?”
    â€œBeverly Hills,” Masuto replied, taking out his billfold and showing her his badge.
    â€œThat accounts for it. Some day they give you a day off, wander along the Sunset Strip—you’ll find maybe ten thousand babes to answer your description—no! No, wait a moment. Samantha Adams. That wasn’t her real name. Some other name—no, I can’t remember the other name for the life of me, but I remember her. I used to kid her about that Samantha business. Poor kid—poor, stupid kid.”
    â€œWhy do you say that?” Masuto asked softly.
    â€œAh, she had no brains. You know, mister, for a dame this is the hardest, lousiest, dirtiest dark bunghole of a town in all these USA. Make it—you don’t even exist out here unless you got a stainless steel ramrod up your you-know-where. This kid was soft—all the time soft and scared. Then one day she is going to lick the world and she goes off on a job at some studio—I think at World Wide, over in the Valley. Something happens. I don’t know what—but here’s a kid has the heart torn out of her. She has the curse after that, and we can’t stop the bleeding, so I finally get a doctor and pay him. She comes out of it finally, but very weak and not good up on top. She’s broke and a month behind. What the hell, I never threw a kid out on the street. That’s why I stopped it with the dames. I know what it is to be one, and I ain’t got the cabbage for an institution. So I don’t even mention it to this Samantha kid, but one day she walks out. Leaves me her lousy suitcase and her few lousy clothes for payment—I should sell them. Can you imagine? Yes, sir, this world is one big joyride.”
    â€œYou said your name is Mrs. Baker?”
    â€œDolly Baker, sonny.”
    â€œYou never saw her again?”
    â€œNo. That was ‘Goodby Samantha.’”
    â€œAnd you can’t remember her name—the other name?”
    â€œIt’ll come to me.”
    â€œYou wouldn’t have a register or anything like that?”
    â€œBuster,” she smiled, “what do I look like, a sap? They can make their space ships without my poor widow’s mite.”
    He grinned back at her. “Thanks, Mrs. Baker. You have great heart, and I think that when you reflect on it and realize that I bear no harm for this poor girl, you will remember. Here’s my card. Will you call me when the name comes back to you?”
    â€œMasao Masuto,” she read from the card. “I like you, Buster. I’ll call you, but if that poor kid is in something that stinks, find the lousy male bastard that put her there and go easy on her. Will you?”
    â€œI’ll try, Mrs. Baker.”
    â€œYou’re Leo, aren’t you?” she asked, looking at him narrowly.
    â€œHow did you know?” He was impressed but not astounded, recalling that he had shown her the open wallet with badge and identity card.
    â€œI’m sensitive to such things. I am Scorpio myself—very perceptive. That girl didn’t steal anything. She did not hurt anyone. You take my word for that.”
    â€œIt’s eleven years later.”
    â€œPeople don’t change—not the deep nut of them. You ought to know that, Officer Chan.”


    Murphy Anderson

I T was just 12:15, just past midday, when Detective Sergeant Masuto parked his car behind one of the new savings and loan office buildings on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Northeastern Films had the entire sixth floor, with

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