Harry and Veronica go to the club
| Back at the Roundhouse, Officer Quinn was sitting at her desk. She appeared to be making every effort not to bounce up and down in her chair. Harry spotted his partner and stopped in the doorway but it was too late to turn around and run.
"HARRY!", shouted Officer Quinn loud enough to freeze and silence the rest of Homicide.
Harry rushed to her desk before the entire second floor found out the news, what ever it may be. Harry shushed her to no avail.
" I found him Harry. Our older white male dead guy. He was a General. One star. In the Army. The United States Army. In Europe. In the war."
" Very good work but too loud. Share with me in confidence Officer Quinn. There could be reporters or spies about."
"A joke, Dear. Just use your normal speaking voice is all I'm saying."
"I found him is all I'm saying. Look!" Quinn showed Harry a copy of a news paper photo with a younger living Army Officer looking on at a battlefield in France. The Man looked all business and he was heavily decorated. Obviously the battle was over and according to the caption the General's forces had won.
"Great. What's his name?"
"General 'Something'. I have it written down here somewhere."
Harry glanced around the office counting smirks but stopped at eight when Quinn yelled , "Here it is!"
Quinn flourished her papers and began her dissertation.
"General Arthur Bibber Retired. West Point class of 1911. World Wars I and II. Address on Rittenhouse Square. Very posh. Wife and two grown children. Wife comes from money. Wife was also in the Army. He was highly decorated for bravery. Promoted to Brigadier General but stalled at that rank. Rumors of excessive drinking allegedly held him back. Retired after the war under a cloud of a scandal which was never disclosed. I have more."
"Well done Officer Quinn. Now, would you prefer to inform a wife her husband is deceased or visit a night club?"
"Night club please." sighed Veronica. " Definitely Night club."
"We can't do both. It's getting late in the day. Head home and dress for a night out."
"What time?" Quinn asked.
"Meet me here at nine tonight but we're going Dutch so eat before you come. One drink only and leave it on the table, okay."
" How would you like me to dress Harry?"
"You can surprise me. You always do anyhow."
Quinn quizzically blinked at him then he left.
The entrance to Nosferatu the Vampire Club was, naturally, down a flight of broad stone stairs right out of a haunted castle. The inside was dark and darker. The walls were hung with black, shiny drapes that subtly reflected the low light. As soon as Harry and Quinn were seated at their table, a man came directly to their table to take their drink orders. They looked at the waiter then looked at each other then back at the waiter. He fit the description, perfectly. They were overjoyed until they looked around and found that all of the waiters fit the description. Right back to stair, chair, square One.
"What now Harry?"
"We sit, look and listen. I believe there's an orchestra. We may have to dance to get a good look around or go to the restrooms a few times each. Look for any unusual behavior or activity. Pick up your drink now and then. Make like you sipping it."
"Good because I don't drink." confided Quinn.
"I do but not tonight,"
Later Harry and Quinn started actually sipping at their drinks out of boredom. They were both surprised to find their glasses empty. Time dragged by painfully until the music began. Harry proved beyond a doubt that he couldn't dance a step. They ordered more drinks and Harry's dancing began to improve, at least it did to him. Quinn's feet hurt less. Later they moved around the dance floor gawking at everything but each other with no result but a few more stepped on shoes and exchanged frowns of disapproval. They concluded that their man was probably employed here. They all wore black clothes and capes. Most had dark hair and wore it slicked back. He must be one of the waiters but they had no idea which one.
On their way out they consulted the maître-d'. His name was, strangely enough, Garcon, Harry Garcon. The man had no idea what they were talking about until they mentioned the incident with Miss Comedone.
Garcon brightened noticeably, " Aha! That could only be Neville! Neville Staffordshire. We call him Nitty Neville behind his back. He might be capable of such nonsense. He never goes out in the daytime. Always wears his waiter attire. Never enters the men's locker room to change into street clothes. Some of the other waiters have told me that they've seen him wearing false teeth at work, false fangs actually. I've never caught him at it but I'd like to discuss it with him. He had a habit of leering at female customers with something akin to open lust until I made it plain that this was not tolerated here. Although I've not seen him do so since, one never knows."
Harry thought, "Gotcha!" Then asked, "Where is Mr. Straffordshire this evening?"
The maître-d' put on a comically sad face. "Unfortunately one of his nights off would be tonight. He will return two nights hence."
Quinn looked Harry the question, "hence?"
"Thursday." Harry said out loud.
"Precisely." stated Garcon and excused himself to deal with an unhappy patron.
"Doing anything Thursday night?" asked Harry smiling.
"Anything but dancing with you, Harry." replied Quinn shaking her head.
Outside the club Officer Quinn wander off toward her car parked down the block.
"Quinn.' called Harry.
She turned and said, "Say goodnight Harry."
"Thanks." was all he said and smiled. Damn. He was starting to like her.