January 8, 1997
When I walked in, Murcheson from 4-B was holding a gun to the head of old Mr. Fournetelle, the landlord.
Then Murphy the ward heeler came in. He put his gun to Murcheson’s head.
Then Skiffington from the Chronicle strode in, suitably armed. He pointed his gun at Murphy.
Skiffington was followed by Morczyk, the spy. The reporter trembled visibly when Morczyk pressed the machine pistol to his temple.
But the spy was himself shaken by Morrison, the blackmailer. The gun was puny enough, by comparison to others in view. But it was enough to make Morczyk’s forehead bead with sweat.
When Bramley the mugger came in, I almost laughed out loud: Actions do have consequences…
“Hey!” said sweet old Mr. Fournetelle. “For what are we doing all this?” He broke away from Murcheson and shuffled to his roll-top desk. From a drawer he pulled his own revolver. “Let me save us all a lot of trouble.” He put the barrel in his mouth.
Skiffington looked embarrassed. He rubbed his eyebrows, then said, “Uh… Maybe you didn’t understand…”
Morrison snorted. “I told you he was too old to play this game!”
“Yeah, sure,” said Bramley. “But what do we do about him now…?”
“Shoot him!” Murcheson seethed.
“Naw,” Murphy sneered. “Just throw him out of the game. That’ll fix him!”
“No,” said Morczyk. “This will fix him better. Make him stay in the game. But take away his gun.”
Poor old Mr. Fournetelle shrugged in humility. He handed his gun to Murcheson and resumed the position…