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Leon Mendoza had been floating in the East River for three days when his corpse was fished out by the police.
“Whoever killed him nearly botched the job,” Inspector Wilson told a battery of reporters. “The killer first attempted to strangle him with Mendoza’s own bow tie. Apparently when that didn’t work, he resorted to a forty-inch piece of tarred hemp rope — the kind used for marine purposes. It did the job properly.
“Mendoza’s pockets were empty,” the inspector continued. “When found, he had on a white shirt with French cuffs and blue trousers, but no jacket.”
An hour after the first editions hit the streets, Neil the Nose was banging on the inspector’s door. He had, as usual, information to peddle.
“I found this,” the grimy little informer said. He held out tie clasp fashioned in the shape of a catboat. On the back was engraved, “To LM from GB.”
“LM is Leon Mendoza and GB is Gwynneth Baltrow, his old flame,” volunteered Neil.
“Could be Gwynneth,” conceded the inspector. “We’ll never know. She committed suicide last month. Where’d you find the clasp?”
“That bit of information will cost you,” snapped Neil. “I figure if you knew where he lost the clasp, you’d know where he was attacked, and if — “
“Enough!” roared the inspector. “I’ll pay — with this”
He drove the toe of his shoe into the seat of Neil’s pants.
“He deserves worse,” commented Malcolm, opening the door as Neil’s flew by.
Why was Neil given the boot?
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