Philip Marlowe: The Feminine Touch — Part 3 ||
Trust No One!
So far in our story, Marlowe has heard several points of view. He got Pepper Riggs talking by pretending to be a journalist writing up Pepper’s act on the Wall of Death for Spot magazine. It seems that Pepper would like to bring Adrienne into the act, so the other stunt drivers could definitely be feeling expendable — like they could easily be replaced by Adrienne. That makes Adrienne a threat to them, whether she sees herself that way or not. Marlowe also overheard a conversation between Jess Hadley, who runs the show, and Moon, the motorcycle mechanic. Through that talk, he learned that there was a lot of mistrust and suspicion within the group. No one knew who to trust.
In today’s scene, Marlowe gets Adrienne talking. He tries to find out what her motives are and how far she is willing to go to achieve her goals. Marlowe finds out that Adrienne sees Lou Bryant, one of the other stunt drivers, as “excess baggage”. When we pack our bags for a trip we often take more than we needed. We often wish we hadn’t packed so much, but continue to carry it anyway. It’s too valuable to throw away. But we promise ourselves that we will pack light the next time we go traveling. How much does Adrienne value Lou? Is she willing to carry him even when she doesn’t think he’s doing enough for the team? Or is he of no value at all?
Moments later, tragedy strikes. Everyone sees Lou go down. Everyone knows that that risk was always there — that’s what made the show exciting, but no one really wanted to watch it happen. It could have happened to any one of the stunt drivers. They all took the same risk every time they performed. Too bad for Lou. It was a tough break for him. To the casual observer, it looked like a tragic accident, but Marlowe was sure it was no accident. It was premeditated murder! But does he know enough about all the players to pinpoint the murderer?
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Marlowe seems to think it was Pepper Riggs who monkeyed with Lou’s bike so that it would break down in the middle of the act. Do you suspect Pepper too? Do you think Adrienne was in on this murderous scheme? Please leave a comment below.