I'm Shell Scott, the Private Eye. Well at least I have a private eye when blondes, brunettes or redhead babes are involved, and I can always spot a hot tamale. You can see why I love my work, and when I heard that Chester Drum was operating my own game on the East Coast, I was in for some ride. There's only room enough for one and Drum was working on my turf.
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January 01, 2003
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Excerpt from Double In Trouble by Richard S. Prather
Me? I'm -- Shell Scott
HOLLYWOOD, 3:00 A.M., MONDAY, DECEMBER 14
I'M A PRIVATE EYE.
Most of you know me. You know I work out of Los Angeles and my cases are usually in the L.A.-Hollywood menagerie, that I'm six-two and two-hundred and five pounds, with inch-long white hair sprouting cropped-wheat fashion over my head and upside-down white V's I call eyebrows, that I like bourbon-and-water and rare prime ribs, that I'm happy-go-lookie and my favorite hangouts are women.
You've gone along with me while I got slugged on the head -- and the heart. While I met unbelievably lovely women and believably unlovely men, chased and got chased, shot and got shot, invaded nudist camps, and even flew through trees like Tarzan and dangled from airborne balloons.
There was much of the same this time. Much of the same -- plus something more. This time I met Chet Drum.
Most of you know Chet Drum, too, the private eye who works out of Washington, D.C., with the world his beat. We didn't just meet; we collided. And when Chet Drum and I collided, blood flowed like bourbon, guys died like flies, and we set off the wildest gang war this side of the Syndicate assassinating the Mafia -- with us in the middle.
But it all started when that beautiful blonde rang the chimes at the door of my Hollywood apartment.
The chimes going off bonged me slightly awake. I crawled out of bed and staggered around, grumbling, got my bearings and clumped in darkness over the bedroom's black carpet, over the living room's yellow-gold carpet with the thick shag nap that tickles feet -- and has tickled lots of feet -- and up to the front door. I flicked on the light, leaned against the door and closed my eyes.
Maybe if I didn't say anything, it would go away.
The chimes bonged again.
"Okay, okay," I said, cracked the door and peeked around it, trying to focus the one peeking eye.
"Mr. Scott? Are you Sheldon Scott?"
It was a woman's voice. I could see her sort of blurrily, and she was a tall one, ample, curving, protruding, projecting, sweeping and swooping -- in a word, stacked. All that, I could see from one sleep-doped half-lidded eye.
She watched the eye as if it fascinated her. Then she blurted, "It's dreadfully important, let me in." She even got off a word or two like "kidnaped ... awful ... ghastly." I got the fuzzy impression she was talking about her father. She sounded badly frightened.
But I wasn't about to let her in, not immediately. First I had to at least put some pants on. I sleep in nothing at all -- I'm a sleep faddist -- and I had tottered out there without even grabbing a robe. So I said, "Yeah. Just a minute." I shook my head. "What time is it?"
"Three o'clock in the morning."
"There's no such hour as three o'clock in the morning."