The two men were seated at a table in a dark corner of the CnB Bar & Grille.
The CnB is a house of many a darkened shadow but even in a joint where the ladies were colorful
while the men tried their best not to be -
these two individuals were among the shadiest - if there even is such an adjective ...
"So - okay now look, Lefty!"
The speaker glanced quickly over his shoulder
taking a fast look around the room to see if anyone was listening or could overhear their conversation.
No one appeared to be within earshot and if they were -
it is doubtful that anything these two denizens of the netherworld had to say
would be of any particular interest to either of the proprietors of the establishment.
Howard was behind the bar polishing glasses as was his habit when he didn't have anything better to keep him occupied.
The only thing Howard was at all interested in hearing was a call for another round -
which wasn't at all likely in the case of these two who were obviously cheapskates ...
And Dennis was out back somewhere trying with some nervous impatience to reassemble the components of the PC
he had taken apart and wanted somewhat desperately to have back up and running before he had to baby-sit
for his niece later during the evening.
In short - although that is never the fun way to go as I ever prefer taking the more scenic routes on my way home -
the two men seated at their table over in the corner had the place very much to themselves.
"Yeah? What's up, Doc? I'm all ears!"
"Y'know that ice that ol' Fagin Swinburne has his black heart set on, doan cha, Lefty?"
"Y'mean them rocks dey' had on display at Shemmitz Jewelery?"
"Yeah! Dose is da ones!"
"Well, Doc! Ol' Fagin is gonna hafta figger out how tuh appropriate dose goods all on his own -
On acount-a I ain't gonna try it!"
"Y'won't? Why'n'Hell not?"
"Dat place is built like Fort Knox! Dat's why!
Ol' Swinburne is juss dah Fence!
He doan hafta take any of da heat when somethin' goes sour! Thass why!"
"No ... Yer right! He don't! Not unless some buddy finks on 'im!"
"I ain't never finked on nobody, Doc!"
"I know dat, Lefty ..."
"But at da same time - I ain't gonna stick my neck out tuh heist dat ice for what little piece a' da action I'm likely tuh see!"
"Y'won't hafta, Lefty ..."
"Y'got that right! Like I juss said ... Huh? Why not?"
"On account a' some dame waltzed inta Shemmitz Jewelry t'other day an' bought 'em!"
"Well now - Y'see? Dat's dat den!"
"Ho no it ain't, Lefty! Not the end anyway! It's only da beginnin'!"
"I'diz? How's come?"
"On account a' Ol' Fagin Swinburne knows the dame what made da purchase ... her place of res'dence ... th' hours when she's away ...
the whole anchillada!"
"An' here I t'ought dat Aunt Chilada ran that little Mexican joint over off a' McKinley ...?"
"Y'know good'n well what I'm sayin', Lefty!
Now then ... Are y'gonna make da heist or ain't cha?"
"Yeah ... Sure ... A' course, Doc!"
"Good! I di'n't wanna see us go t'rough all dis jive juss ta have yuh weasel out on me!"
"I wouldn't never do a t'ing like dat, Doc!"
"I di'n't t'ink tha' cha would, Lefty!
Y'ain't lemme down yet, has yuh?"
"Not dat I kin 'member, Doc!
But den - I doan always 'member ev'ry li'l t'ing dese days!"
"I know how dat is!
Here! Lemme order us anudder roun' an' I'll fill youse in on dah details?"
"Soun's like a plan tuh me, Doc!"
The man Lefty referred and at times deferred to as Doc waited until Howard had filled their second pitcher,
ambled over to their table where he set it down between his two customers without uttering so much as an intelligible syllable,
and returned to his station behind the bar where he resumed polishing glasses
before Doc continued with his explanation of the situation at hand to his partner.
"Now, le'sse ... Where was I before I was interrupted?"
"You was in no way interrupted Doc!
Y'signalled Howard over there t'bring us another pitcher! Doan cha 'member?
I swear! Dere's times when yo'r as bad as I am!"
"Naw! There ain't nobuddy's bad as you, Lefty!"
"Yeah ... Dat dere's da troof too, I s'pose ..."
"But now - well, Lefty - I woodn't be completely honest wit' choo
if I failed tuh make mention of the fac'
that there is juss one small hitch in duh proceedin's ..."
"Oh sure, Doc!
Here it comes!
Da troof at last!
Dere's always somethin'!
Where is dis place?
In a penthouse onna twelf' floor - an' I gotta use duh fire 'scape! Right?"
"Now, now, Lefty! It's nuttin' like dat! D'location issa piece a' cake!
You'll be in an' outta there in less'n five minutes - I'm tellin' yuh!"
"Hokay! So what's duh rub?"
"Well yuh see - it seems that there's another party involved ..."
"What udder party, Doc?
Is we got competition for dis ice?
Cuz in dat case ..."
"Since when were yuh worried about our competitors, Lefty?"
"I din't say I wuz worried, Doc!
Ah'm juss gonna see dat I go prepared dat's all!"
"How're yuh gonna be prepared, Lefty?"
"Ah'm gonna be strapped! Tha's what! I'm gonna be carryin'!
"Naw! Don't do that, Lefty!"
"Hell, Doc! Why not?"
"Cause if yo'r caught in the act - it's armed robbery!
An' the Law is apt t'go hard on yuh!"
"I 'preciate yo'r concern, Doc! I really does!"
"'Sides! It won't be necessary!"
"The only thing yuh got tuh contend with is a baby-sitter, Lefty ..."
"Huh? A Baby sitter?"
"Yeah ... Both of the adults in the house work ... Good payin' careers too from the looks a' things!"
"So dey got a sitter tuh greet da kiddies when dey gets home from skool?"
"Yeah ... Manufactures 'em their peanut butter 'n' jelly san'wiches for snacks an' such!"
How y'know that, Doc?
Man! Ol' Fagin Swinburne must a' cased dis joint to a fare thee well!"
"Aw - Hell - Lefty! I dunno! Honest! I juss made that up!"
"Made wha' t'up? The baby sitter?"
"No - the part about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches ..."
"I wuz afraid a' dat ..."
"Cuz I wuz hopin' tuh hog me one of 'em on my way out!"
Now look, Lefty!
The problem is that this gal keeps kind a' irregular hours!"
"Yuh mean she don't juss stick 'er head in the door juss afore the kids get home after skool?"
"No and that's the hitch!
She must get there tuh do some other things around the house!"
"Wha 't'other t'ings, Doc?"
"I don't know - housework I suppose -
What difference does that make?"
"It don't I guess ... I ain't never done no housework so I wuz juss curious ..."
"Yes - Well - Okay - But now the fact is -
We don't know just which days nor when she's likely to be there, Lefty!"
"Won't pose no problem, Doc! Leastwise - It shouldn't ..."
"Now look, Lefty!
Neither Fagin Swinburne nor I want to be a party to a murder!
Do you hear?
So whatever else you do -
Do Not -
And I repeat -
Do Not Kill Anyone Under Any Circumstances!"
"Now of course," the Doc continued lowering his voice to such an extent
that Lefty was forced to lean half way across the table to hear what the man said.
"You and I both realize that due to unforeseen circumstances accidents will happen.
So if one them was occur - be sure to bring back some decent pictures!
The last bunch were kind of out of focus!"
Locating the address posed him little or no difficulty and Lefty was inside the house in less than no time.
It must have been a secure neighborhood ... Either that or the people living at this address were trusting souls ...
Lefty hadn't had so much as a burglar alarm to contend with.
Lefty had been prepared to rifle the place in a thorough search for the piece of jewelry he was to purloin ...
But even that wasn't necessary for the necklace had not even been stashed away in the safe Lefty assumed must be somewhere.
Rather it had been simply sitting there in an unobtrusive jewelry box standing atop a chest of drawers.
In short, his entire outing had been simplicity itself
and Lefty pocketed the item in question and paused to look about the room,
thinking what a shame it was that he hadn't driven his van today.
What with VCR's and televisions in each of four bedrooms ...
At least two personal computers hooked up in what must be a home office ...
He might not be able to retire - but he sure could afford a few months off after he fenced a haul from this place!
Well! He had what he had come for in his pocket so there was little sense in fretting about missed opportunities.
Lefty habitually assumed his dem an' dose act because his employers seemed to find comfort in it - or somethin?
Lefty couldn't quite see how or why they should find it to be at all reassuring -
but they seemed to do so - and that was all that mattered to him after all!
It did not appear as though he was going to have anything in the way of interruption nor interference this afternoon
and Lefty was all but ready to Make like tree an' leaf! as he would tell the Doc later -
when all of a sudden he heard someone or something at the rear entrance.
Lefty stepped nimbly into a large bedroom closet ...
"Yoo - Hoo! I'm home!" Came an unfamiliar female voice calling as she made her entrance.
But then - How could he expect her voice to be familiar when he had never been here nor seen here before?
Lefty smiled at his own reaction and fingered the short length of sash cord he had tucked in his pocket.
There are those people who would insist upon calling what he had in his pocket a clothes line ...
But Lefty had been jarred awake in the dark of night by a falling window counter-weight often enough
to know that what he carried with him was a sash cord!
Lefty had taken the Doc's advice about carrying a gun with him to heart -
but that was hardly to sat that he had come here entirely unprepared for just such an emergency!
In fact - if the truth be known - he had rather looked forward to it
and had loitered perhaps somewhat longer than was entirely necessary after having securing the goods in question.
"Yoo - Hoo! Kids! Now I know yo'r in here somewhere!
An' how many times have I gotta tell you guys about playin' hookey from school?
You know? The only one's you're foolin' is yo'rselves!"
Oh! So this was to become a small game of Hide 'n' Seek was it?
Only this time the shoe was on the other foot ...
Usually it was supposed to be she who was about to become the victim who was supposed to be doing the hiding, wasn't she?
But then ... Turnabout was fair play - wasn't it?
"Now c'mon out here boys! I tell yuh what!
You come on out an' I'll le' cha play with Dominique here just the way you likes tuh have 'er!"
Even from where he was stashed away in the bedroom closet,
Lefty could hear the unmistakable rustle of clothing as it was being removed ...
What was this? A bit of home-grown down-to-earth in-house sex education?
Where was all this when he was a kid in school?
Well! From the sound of things it was almost time for him to make his own grand entrance, wasn't it?
Now let's see! From the sounds of things - the woman is still out there in the kitchen ...
And I've got Doc's camera set up on a tripod in the living room ...
I'm gonna hafta trust that when no one shows up immediately to see what she's got -
that the gal's ego is gonna demand that she start lookin' around to see what's what!
Right? Let's just hope so!
Either Lefty's intuition was good - or he had prior experience in affairs such as this because - as he had surmized -
it wasn't overlong before he heard the soft sound of bare feet padding around and toward the living room.
Lefty made his way silently out of his hiding place in the bedroom closet and crept noiselessly into the front foyer.
And so this was Dominique, the Baby Sitter ... And what a great babe to be sitting with babes in arms!
Only for one reason or another, Lefty thought that the boys of the house were well beyond that stage.
Lefty went through the small motions of cracking his knuckles in preparation.
Just look at the size of this babe! Those great boobs and the depth of her chest!
It was enough to make him wish that he had brought a gun or at least a knife with him after all - instead of this skimpy sash cord!
It seems that almost everybody has the mistaken idea that strangling another human being is the easier thing in the world ...
That could only be because at least a fair number of them have never tried it!
They seem to think that the victim is just gonna stand or sit there and let someone else choke the life out of them without raising a hand
It didn't happen that way ...
Not usually - and at any rate - not often ...
And when you coupled that with the fact that his intended was a great strapping babe
like the one standing before him out there in the middle of the living room ...
Well - Lefty knew that he had his work cut out for him - that was sure!
"Honestly! Now isn't it just like those boys to go off somewhere an' leave their Papa's camera standin' here like this?
What am I ever gonna do with those two?"
"Well ... I dunno 'bout yo'r boys, Ma'm ... But there's a fella here y'can play 'round with if y'are of a mind to!"
"Huh?! Who're you! An' how'd you get in here!"
"Me? Why, I'm the plumber! The Missus of the house called complaining of a leak in the shower, y'see?"
"Gee! An' here I am with hardly any clothes on!"
The baby sitter became suddenly aware of her own near nudity
and she turned demurely away from the man standing in the doorway leading from the front foyer.
Lefty saw his opening immediately ...
He stepped quickly forward and tossed his sash cord around the baby-sitters neck - and as quickly twisted the ends of the rope ...
"Wha -? No! Unngah! Huungh!"
Dominque caught on to what was happening rather soon - as Lefty had knew that she would ...
And as he knew as well - her great body heaved and bucked in protest as she struggled against the rope that bound her at the throat ...
But he managed to steer Dominique in her struggles so that she was positioned not only before the camera he had set up ...
But into - or at the very least across an upholstered chair that stood in the living room ...
"Unn-Naahh! Unn-Naah!" Dominque offered by way of her opinion of the process as Lefty alternately released -
and then reestablished his grip upon the cord he kept twisted around her neck ...
You don't seem to be enjoyin' this all that much, are you?"
"No - I didn't think so ..."
He watched her bosom heave - and found himself wishing now more than ever that he had carried his knife ...
Next time he would! Make no mistake about that!
Strangling had its proper place of course - although he wasn't always entirely certain percisely where that proper place was ...
The truth of the matter was that he was getting tired ...
So he had best make an end of this job so that he could report back to Doc and get along about his own affairs ...
Lefty twisted the cord still more tightly and the rope dug deeply into the woman's throat ...
Her chest heaved massively one last time - and she settled back - her corpse tastefully draped across the arm of the upholstered chair.
Now! If only he had his knife to slide into her navel! And then to plunge into each of her fine breasts!
For a brief moment he toyed with the idea of going to the kitchen to rummage around in the drawers in search of a knife!
But - after all ... He'd promised the Doc that he wouldn't leave a mess behind him this time ...
And there was the matter of his own integrity to take into consderation - because he had given his word after all!
And besides ... There was always the next time to think about!