A Kangaroo In A Dinner JacketMonday, October 01, 2012
I opened the other envelope. It contained a photograph of girl. The pose suggested a natural ease, or a lot of experience in being photographed. It showed darkish hair which might possibly have been red, a wide, clear forehead, serious eyes, high cheekbones, nervous nostrils and a mouth which was not giving anything away. It was a fine drawn, almost taut face, and not a happy one.
On the back there was clearly typed material. ‘Name: Eleanor King. Height five feet four inches. Age about 29. Hair dark reddish-brown, thick with natural wave. Erect carriage, low distinct voice, well-dressed but not overdressed. Conservative make-up. No visible scars. Characteristic mannerisms: habit of moving her eyes without moving her head when entering a room. Scratches palm of right hand when tense. Left-handed but adept at concealing it. Plays fast tennis, swims and dives beautifully, holds her liquor. No convictions, but prints on file.’
‘Been in the coop,” I said, looking up at Miss Vervmilyea.
Chapter 1, Playback, Raymond Chandler
There was nothing to it. The Super Chief was on time, as it almost always is, and the subject was as easy to spot as a kangaroo in a dinner jacket. She wasn’t carrying anything but a paperback which she dumped in the first trash can she came to. She sat down and looked at the floor. An unhappy girl, if I ever saw one. After a while she got up and went to the book rack. She left it without picking anything out, glanced at the big clock on the wall and shut herself in a telephone booth. She talked to someone after putting a handful of silver into the slot. Her expression didn’t change at all. She hung up and went to the magazine rack, picked up a New Yorker, looked at her watch again, and sat down to read.
She was wearing a midnight blue tailor-made suit with a white blouse showing at the neck and a big sapphire blue lapel pin which would probably have matched her earring, if I could see her ears. Her hair was dusky red. She looked like her photograph, but a little taller than I expected. Her dark blue ribbon hat had a short veil hanging from it. She was wearing gloves.
Chapter II, Playback, Raymond Chandler