The Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler

The Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler

Phillip Marlowe, a private detective, wants to make some money. He wrote a detective novel and sent it to a publishing house, which prints the horror novels. The editor invited Mr. Marlowe for a meeting. During the meeting the detective understood one thing. The editor was interested in his detective skills. She proposed a deal: if Phillip solved a difficult case, the novel would be published. The case was connected with the disappearance of publisher’s wife. The detective accepted this proposition. There was one thing confusing him. The wife had left with her lover. Despite of this Marlowe started an investigation as he urgently needed money. Suddenly he was caught up in a complicated story.

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The Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler

The man in front of me was tall and strong, with thick dark hair. He sat in an expensive chair behind an expensive desk, and looked at me with cold grey eyes. He didn’t have time to smile.

‘OK, Marlowe,’ he said. ‘So you’re a private detective. One of the best in Los Angeles, I hear. I have a job for you. I want you to find my wife. Think you can do that?’

I sat back in my chair and lit a cigarette slowly.

‘Yes, Mr Kingsley,’ I said. ‘I think I can do that.’

‘How much?’

The Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler

‘Twenty-five dollars a day. Half a dollar a mile for my car. And a hundred in my hand now, before I do anything.’

He looked at me, and I looked back at him and waited.

Then he smiled. ‘OK, Marlowe, you’ve got the job. But don’t talk about it to the police. I have an important job here.’ He looked round his quiet, expensive office. The hot July sun didn’t get into this room. ‘I want to stay in this job, and I can’t have any trouble with the police.’

‘Is your wife in trouble?’ I asked.

‘I don’t know. Perhaps. She sometimes does very stupid things, and she has dangerous friends.’

He gave me a drink and told me the story. ‘I have a house in the mountains, near Puma Point. Crystal went up there in May. She often meets her men friends up there.’ He looked at me. ‘She has a lot of men friends… you understand? But there was an important dinner down here on June 12th, and Crystal didn’t come back for it.’

‘So what did you do?’

‘Nothing. Because of this.’ He gave me a letter and I read it.

El Paso, 14th June

I’m leaving you and going to Mexico. I’m going to marry Chris Lavery. Good luck and goodbye. Crystal.

 

‘I wasn’t very unhappy about that,’ Kingsley said. ‘She can have him, and he can have her. Then two weeks later I heard from the Prescott Hotel in San Bernardino. Crystal’s car was there and they wanted money for it. But yesterday I met Lavery, here in town. He didn’t know anything about Crystal, and he last saw her two months ago. So where is she? What happened to her?…

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