Clint’s bright red 140 Jaguar roadster swung into Thorton North’s curved driveway and parked under an expansive portico. As he buzzed the front door, a bright light flashed on and a tiny television camera focused on him.
A cheery black maid opened the door.
“Hello, Mister Clint. Mr. North is in his office.”
“Thanks Maisie. Is Marge home?”
“No, she’s out shopping”. Maisie left for the kitchen.
Clint went behind the bar and fixed himself vodka. He peered out to the expansive view of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills below as Thorton entered and sat at a tool at the bar.
“Hello, Thorton, what will you have?”
“Fix me a double.” Clint thought Thorton looked sober so he fixed him a weak scotch. He watched Thorton pick up the drink and gulp it down.
“What kind of calf piss is this?” asked Thorton as he pushed the glass back for more.
“Thorton, are you racing in Havana?”
“Yes, we’re getting the Ferrari ready. I’ve been on the phone with Havana. I got a couple of suites at The Nacional. We can watch the race from our balcony. Don’t have to go near the damn track”.
“I’m going too. My client, Marty Fallon, has a club date at Meyer Lansky’s Riviera, and Fangio’s racing. That I gotta see”.
“Make me another double.” Thorton pushed his empty glass toward Clint. “A little girl Jimmy introduced me to has been calling. I told her to come up.”
“Do you think that’s wise with Marge here?”
“Hell, she’ll never know.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure about Marge”
They heard the door latch open and Marshall, Thorton’s business manager, walked in. His open shirt revealed lots of gold around his neck; a chunky gold watch hung from his wrist and a heavy linked gold bracelet on the other.
Gifts from Marge, thought Clint.
“Marshall, I’m glad you’re here. Thorton is about to call one of his whores. Talk him out of it. You can’t fool Marge.”
“Clint’s right. Wait till we get to Cuba. I’ll get you all the whores you want down there,” said Marshall.
“Hell, I woke up this morning with this big throbbing hard on. It won’t go away. I even put on the air-conditioner,” said Thorton as he got up and left the room.
“We’re in for it,” said Clint.
“I’m leaving,” said Marshall.
“No, you’re not. It could be fun,” said Clint.
When the doorbell rang, Clint yelled out, “I’ll get it, Maisie. It’s for me.” Clint made his way to the front door. He checked the monitor and saw a young girl and let her in.
“Hi, I’m Shirley,” said the blonde as she extended her hand. She was sexy, about twenty with big breasts and a cinched small waist. She wore a black and white large polka dot dress, open in the front. A young Mae West, thought Clint. “I’m Clint,” he said. Thorton is in his room. Follow me.”
He opened the door to Thorton’s bedroom. Thorton sat on the large bed in a pair of long boxer shorts looking like he had just gotten out of a concentration camp. His stick legs were crossed as he peered into a glass of scotch. Clint knew the white plastic dish placed by his feet was used for spit and vomit.
“Hello Mr. North,” the girl said. “I’m Shirley, remember?”
“Why sure, honey. Sit down next to me. I want to tell you a story.” he said. Shirley sat down.
“Thorton, why don’t you and Shirley go to the office? S0MEBODY will be here soon. Have you forgotten?”
“Now that’s a pregnant thought. Why didn’t I think of it?” said Thorton as he pushed himself to his feet while Shirley steadied him.
Clint called into the bar. “Marshall, go to the kitchen and keep Maisie busy. I don’t want her to see Shirley.” Marshall went off to the kitchen.
“Thorton, you lead the way,” said Clint.
“Clint, you’re such a good friend,” he said as he moved slowly toward the rear of the house.
Shirley stayed back and pulled Clint aside. “Is he okay? He’s a
no-go to me.”
“You’re in for a big surprise,” said Clint.
“What’s that mean?” she asked.
“You be the judge.”
Shirley was puzzled and caught up with Thorton and followed him into the office.
“Honey”, said Thorton. “Did I tell you, you’re the best looking piece of poontang I ever did see?”
Shirley closed the door behind them.
Clint went back to the bar and poured himself a big drink. Marshall came in from the kitchen.
“The last hooker he had here he wouldn’t pay. So she cleaned the steaks out of the deep freeze before she left,” said Marshall.
“You mean he does this all the time?”
“Yeah, but never with Marge in the house.”
The sound of a latchkey in the front door was heard followed by Marge’s entrance. She was dressed in a light green silk Pucci top with bright fuchsia slacks. Her white blonde hair was done up in a smart do. “Why Clint, I didn’t know you’d be here. Will you stay for dinner? I picked up some divine lobsters at Jurgensen’s. Where’s Thorton?” she asked, as she glanced into the living room for him.
“He’s around, isn’t he, Marshall?” asked Clint uncomfortably.
“Look!” She put her hand forward to show off a large diamond ring. “Thorton bought me this for my birthday. The girls at Saks just died when they saw it.”
“I don’t blame them, its a queen’s ransom,” said Clint.
“I wanted to go on this cruise to New Zealand, but Thorton thought it was too expensive; I’m sure this ring cost a lot more. Anyway, we’re going to Havana, have you heard?”
“I’m going too,” said Clint.
“How divine! We’ll have so much fun. Fix me a drink. I’ll tell
Maisie you’ll be staying for dinner,” said Marge as she left the bar and went into Thorton’s room on her way to the kitchen.
Clint poured himself another strong drink.
A few minutes later Marge was back. She picked up her drink. She stared at Clint and then Marshall suspiciously.
“I went by the office. The door is locked. I smell whore!”
Clint and Marshall exchanged looks.
“I’ve got to go.” Marshall said getting up to leave.
“You’re staying right here,” said Marge. “Thorton has a whore here, doesn’t he?”
Clint and Marshall said nothing.
“I knew it. That dirty old man has brought a whore into my house. That horrible creature.” She moved fast and left the room for the office.
Clint and Marshall could hear her pounding on the door with
Clint worried she might hurt herself or have a heart attack.
“I know you’re in there you dirty old man,” she yelled. “Let me tell you. You’re going to stay there. I’m going to sit in front of this door. I don’t care how long it takes. I’ll stay here all night if I have to. There’s no bathroom in there and no windows. You’re going to start stinking soon. How’s that going to go over with your whore, you old bastard?” Marge came away from the door exhausted. She went to the terrace and picked up a chair and brought it to the door and planted it. Clint joined her. Marshall had disappeared.
“The years I have put up with that old sonofabitch. All the horrible things he’s done to me. I saved his life many a time. I spent years watching out for him. Saw to it that he had proper care when he’d go on a drunk. I kept him alive through it all. I’m so mad I could spit.” She sat in the wrought-iron chair.
Clint handed her a fresh drink. “Marge, this incident could work out for you”.
“What the hell does that mean?”
“You’ve never had Thorton in a more compromising position.”
“Yes,” she said interested.
“You can take that cruise to New Zealand. See your sea-captain friend. Who knows, you might just stay.”
“What would I do for money? Thorton had me sign a quitclaim
deed on all his property. I’m screwed.”
“Here’s your opportunity. Get a blank check. Write it for a hundred thousand dollars, paid to you. Push it under the door for his signature. If he signs, you’ll let him out.”
“Why didn’t I think of that?” She asked excitedly.
“You’re too upset.”
“Do you think he’ll do it?”
“Does he have a choice?” … to be continued…