Noir: Lost and Found

I’m on my way to pick up the detective whom my associates selected, Nicholas Beretta. I might have sent an agent to bring him to a meeting. Instead, we will ride together; and that will be our meeting. I must enjoy this Cord 812 while I can; it’s for sale.

Rani Grabstein (but I am Randall Stone now, I remind myself), what an excellent motorcar you possess. And, like women you have had, how little you will miss it. Sleek and low, and unencumbered by running boards, it has front-wheel drive. It has disappearing headlights. It even has a built-in radio. What fun it will be to show it off to Mr. Beretta, before it’s gone.

For this car, and everything else of value, must be sold immediately. Thousands of my people are being held hostage in a nation that hates them. My friend the German banker, Hjalmar Schacht, has a plan to get them out; it will require a great deal of money. So the Bete Noire is essential to our plan.

Maryanne—such a setting for my dusky bauble. Where is she now?

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