For the first time in three years, Craven Danger stepped out through the front door of his office building without having to duck a hail storm of loose furniture and verbal abuse.
I should have stopped being air-raid warden a long time ago, thought Craven.
“Taxi!” he cried.
“Can’t I go wit’ ya, Mr. Danger?”
“Nah, Betty,” said Craven Danger. “Too dangerous. The letter says I was to come alone, see!”
“But, what if I was to lay low in the back seat?” said Betty. “Then, when we got to the docks I could slink out the other side of the taxi and follow you out to the boat. Then, when you meet up with your mysterious contact, you distract him and I’ll sneak on board and find out if their up to any shenanigans concerning your body in cement or something. If all‘s clear, I‘ll give you the signal.”
”What signal?” said Craven.
”Ca caw!” said Betty. “Ca caw!”
”Are you out of your mind?” said Craven.
“Hear me out,” said Betty. ”Then, if I find out they happen to be mob boys gettin‘ ready to fit you with some extra heavy shoes, I‘ll go--“
“Don’t tell me,” interrupted Craven. “Let me guess, ‘Who whoo! Who whoo!’”
“Now you’re being silly,” said Betty. “At that point I would just say, ‘Run, Mr. Danger! Run!’ Then I high tail it right behind you and we come back here to the office and forget we ever got any letter. I seen it in a movie once.”
“Hey!” said the taxi driver. “Did you yell ‘taxi’ or what? I been waitin’ here forever. I got hemorrhoids, ya know!”
“I’m coming. I’m coming,” said Craven. “Just hang on to your hemorrhoids and relax!”
“You be careful out there, Mr. Danger,” said Betty. “You ain’t never had no experience on a real case before. And it ain’t like in the movies at all. They shoot you with real bullets around here.”
“Well, I got bullets of my own, Betty,” said Craven. “Don’t you worry about me.”
“But you ain’t never shot nobody that actually had it coming,” said Betty.
“Are you coming, or what!” said the driver. “My hemorrhoids gettin’ restless. I need to take ‘em home and drown ‘em in a sea of calmin’ waters.”
“I said I’m comin’!” said Craven.
“It’s dangerous out there,” said Betty. ”don‘t forget to say your prayers.”
“Danger’s my middle name!” said Craven.
“No it ain’t,” said Betty. “It’s Moe.”
”I can‘t get nothing by you, kid,” said Craven.
“And keep all your eyes open,” said Betty. “And your chin where nobody can get a good poke at it. Walk in backwards, if you have to.”
“I’ll do that, kid, said Craven. “See you in the morning. And don’t be late! I may need bandages! Ha. Ha!"
Craven Moe Danger slid into the backseat of the cab and settled back.
“Pier 17!” said Craven. “And--”
“Don’t tell me,” interrupted the driver. “And step on it?”
“No,” said Craven. “And please drive carefully. I have a sensitive stomach.”
Oh, brother! thought the driver. What a character..