“Hey George, c’mere.” When Mike called, you came.
“What? What do you want?” The ‘party of the second part’ was George “Big Nose” Hamlin. One finger or the other was always up-it. George was the closest thing to an actual friend Mike had. Mike viewed George as his “right-hand man.” Uh, yeah. Let’s not go there… The catch is, this wore on George’s nerves—George, get this—George, get that.
In a low voice Mike said, “D’ja hear from Eddy?” Eddy was Eddie “Jellyroll” Massie. He liked gourmet eating. But then, he liked all eating—especially those cheap “raspberry flavor” jellyroll cakes you get at the convenience store.
“Naah.” George sat down on the sofa and picked up the well-worn paper. Yesterday’s paper. Who reads that? If you knew the guy, even that was preferable to talking to Mike.
Mike was seated at his Baldwin. He liked pushing the ivories. He was partial to classical. He was partial to French. A cascade of notes from “Reflets dans l’eau” issued from his nicked and callused fingers. There was no air-conditioning and it was a hot, muggy day. “George, get me some water.” They all knew Mike drank, not whiskey—water. Chilled water. Imported.
Mike reached into his left pocket and pulled out the key and handed it to George. Mike was paranoid. Whenever he was indoors he locked himself in whatever room he was in. George unlocked the door and left. A couple of minutes later, he re-entered with a glass of ice cubes and the unopened water. After re-locking the door, he handed it to Mike. Mike opened the bottle, poured the water over the ice, and took a large swig.
Mike never said “Thanks.” It was another of his qualities. “Thanks” was expected by Mike, but never given by him. He was, after all, the provider. He was the “Boss.” Mike put the glass down at the left end of the keyboard. After “Reflets…” he began playing “Sarabande.”
Suddenly, panic in his eyes, Mike keeled over! George was on top of it. “Boss, boss!” But Mike was dead.
Thumbnail MysteryWhat happened? How did Mike die? What do you think? Think you know the solution? Click this link. Look at the bottom of that page for the answer.
Note: You might also enjoy Thumbnail Mystery 2: How the Bee Doth Sting