Summary (Masterplots II: Short Story Series, Revised Edition)
Hugo Candless, a wealthy and powerful Los Angeles attorney, is playing squash with an employee, George Dial, at the Delmar Club. He goes outside to board what he thinks is his limousine. As his cigar smoke fills the passenger compartment, he reaches for the window handle and finds that there is none. There are no door handles or communication tube either, and as the limousine follows an unfamiliar course into the hills, the odor of almonds fills the passenger compartment. Candless is being killed with cyanide gas, the kind used to execute criminals in Nevada.
Meanwhile, George Dial visits his girlfriend, Francine Ley. He tells her to leave her other boyfriend, a gambler named Johnny DeRuse, for him, but Francine points out that George does not have enough money. George tells Francine not to worry: He has information about Hugo Candless that can get him some money. Candless double-crossed a Reno gangster, Zapparty, whose half brother was on trial for murder. The lawyer took twenty-five thousand dollars to defend the gangster’s relative but instead made a deal on another case with the district attorney and allowed Zapparty’s half brother to go to prison and be executed.
While George and Francine are talking and drinking, they are watched by Johnny DeRuse, who has come in quietly. After a time, Johnny bangs the door to make it appear that he has just entered, strides past the couple, and goes into Francine’s bedroom, where he begins packing...
(The entire section is 1126 words.)
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