Rose—A “Dinger, PI” Short: Part 2

Before she left my bed and office, Rose spilled some of the dope I’d need to have a hens’ teeth chance of keeping her husband off the cooling board. A few hours’ digging the next day told me the rest of what I needed to know, and it wasn’t pretty.


Delbert “Dell” Nicholas was a grifter, a two-bit gambler, a cheap drunk—choose your poison. Pushing fifty, he was twice Rose’s age. Which goes to show that God moves in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform. I’ll be damned if I could understand it. But then, I wasn’t the creator of this fucked-up world. At least I could find solace in that. Dell was currently employed as a blackjack dealer at the Last Frontier, one of the first joints on the Strip which had left its heyday behind a few years back. Like most of the clubs in Vegas, the Last Frontier was neck-deep in mob ties. And Manny Divino was one of the club’s top gorillas. That spelled bad news for Dell Nicholas. Very bad news.

Roses’s chump of a husband was either stupid or had an overriding death wish. It was no secret that Divino’s moll at the time was Gloria Wainwright, daughter of a ship builder back east who’d made a fortune building Liberty cargo ships during the war. How the hell she ever wound up in Sin City and in Manny Divino’s bed was anybody’s guess. But facts are facts, and Dell Nicholas wasn’t long for this world without some serious intervention—preferably divine which I was in no position to supply.


 So, the next evening I did the second best thing. I walked into the Last Frontier, found Nicholas’ table, and joined in the fun. I was barely keeping my head above the breakwater when a doll wearing a revealing, tight white dress strolled across the casino floor and slunk up next to the dealer. She wrapped a slender gloved arm around his neck and kissed him like a long-lost lover. After whispering some sweet nothings in his ear, she retreated a step and cast loving glances his way. Nicholas turned a couple shades redder in the face, but maintained enough composure to keep the game rolling. All the while he kept sneaking sidelong glances at the Lady in White who kept her adoring eyes batting in the dealer’s direction.


Fifteen-twenty minutes later Lady Luck brushed her luscious lips against my cheek. I went on a winning streak for the next half hour where I couldn’t lose for trying. I’d turned my couple hundred bucks into some real dough. Hell, if I kept this up for another few minutes I could close shop and retire in Malibu or wherever the hell I chose.


And then it hit me. Nobody, especially this Marine who’d been nailed four times by enemy fire from the Nips, could be this damn lucky. I was being played like an out of tune piano. As I continued to win, egged on by the cheering crowd who’d gathered around the table, I glanced around the casino entrances. That’s when I spotted Manny Divino. He was leaning against one of the arched doorways, wearing a white muslin suit and fedora, and grinning ear to ear. His trimmed, penciled mustache rose at one corner with his smile. Pure evil smirked across his handsome mug.

I figured then that I was neck-deep in shit, sunk there by my recent, one-time lover, Mrs. Delbert “Roseanne” Nicholas. Semper Fidelis my ass. I felt like the fool I was. I’d stepped into it by letting my guard down. It was a shit-sandwich I’d have to eat myself.

I half expected Rose to show up, smirking and snuggling against Manny Divino. I imagined her patiently waiting for her lover boy’s plan to unfold, where the hapless Dell Nicholas and I would wind up in a common shallow grave somewhere in the vast desert on the outskirts of Las Vegas. We’d be coyote or wild pig food before we were ever missed, or our sun bleached bones were discovered.


And then she did. Rose wore a deep scarlet dress the color of blood that she planned on siphoning from her husband and me. She slid under Divino’s arm, cigarette trailing smoke as she snuggled that delicious, betraying body against his side. Even from across the casino I could see the haughty smirk playing across those delicious, red lips that had entertained me so delightfully just last night. And for the moment, I was stunned.

{To be continued}


8 thoughts on “Rose—A “Dinger, PI” Short: Part 2

  1. So the plot thickens and the description of the situation continues to be deliciously written. The dames are bad girls and this is so much fun. But we never know if a dame is going to turn out to be in need of help or just a pretty unreliable doll. The freedom of losing political correctness is great for the story. The writing is yummy. Dinger is going through lots of training about the world and that is most interesting. I like the development of the story with the freedom and loose possibilities that range here without using supernatural creatures. It’s nice to move with the characters as they grow and as the plot…………..well, thickens. Great read. The writing in all these is beautiful and sleek.

    Liked by 1 person

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