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  • Jaden looked up to see a tall drink of water. He was a young, good-looking man dressed in the fashion of the day. As it turned out, he hadn't found her by accident.

    "Tubby told me you were looking for me. Let's sit down."

    Tubby was the owner of this juice joint. Jaden went with Teddy Williams to a somewhat quiet corner of the room. In a Speak Easy the idea of quiet was a relative term. In general they were noisy due to the amount of alcohol consumed and not necessarily of the greatest quality. Jaden had entered this Speak Easy through the back of a theatre, a trap door, and a slide. Some Speak Easys were called Ham N'Eggers as food would be the primary cover. Some were called Blind Pigs after the practice of charging patrons to go to a back room and see a blind pig and get a "complementary" drink. Others were called Blind Tigers such as a pool room where you pull out a drawer in wall and a drink would magically appear. This was prohibition. People were creative. In North Beach it could be quite dangerous as gangsters were actively involved such as the Don Juan of North Beach. One of Jaden's friends had been briefly involved with him. It was just a year ago he had been found in his apartment riddled with bullets.

    Initially Jaden had thought she would flirt with Teddy to get him to open up. However her plans changed after meeting him. He seemed to know what she was up to. He had already guessed this was about the Eleanor Abbott murder.

    Jaden started, "Look, I'm a friend of Max who is a PI working on the case. The Chinese community is paying a lot for the defense of Nora's houseboy, Lok. I understand you were Nora's honey man."

    Teddy tipped his hat back from his forehead revealing little beads of sweat. The room was hot and smoky as well as noisy. "The police have already cleared me."

    "So, you have an alibi for that night, after you dropped her off?"

    "Yes, I have an alibi."

    Jaden thought for a minute while fingering the string of pearls around her neck. "Another woman?"

    Teddy dabbed at his forehead with a monogrammed handkerchief. "I didn't say a woman."

    Jaden's dark eyes widened then squinted to see into Teddy's eyes that seemed expressionless. It was like staring into a tunnel that had no light coming in. She was starting to understand why her feminine wiles weren't working.
  • Teddy smiled a wry smile as if to acknowledge Jaden's thoughts. "I liked the old lady. I really did. She was a hoot. And she knew a lot of important people. I needed that. It's important when you're in the theatre. I didn't need to hurt her or steal from her. She would have given me anything I asked for. But as I said, I just needed the exposure to her class of people. But now it doesn't matter."

    "What do you mean, why doesn't it matter? Because she's dead?" Jaden fanned herself with her small beaded pocket book.

    "What I mean ....", Teddy continued, "is I have been fired from Green Street Theatre. Tonight was my last night. Even though the police cleared me the theatre feels I'm a liability now."

    "So, where do you go from here?" Jaden was feeling somewhat more understanding, if not interested.

    "I have an uncle in Hollywood who runs a talent agency. He's offered me a job. Once the trial is over, I'm headed there."

    "Oh," Jaden was thinking what a waste this evening was - on all counts.

    "Listen sugar. You seem like a nice girl. If you want to help your friend out, I suggest you tell him to look into Nora's business manager and lawyer. Those two are likes snakes and both stand to gain by her death, especially her business manager, Hamilton Jefferson. Recently Nora was really mad at him about his fees on a real estate deal and had threatened to change her will."

    Jaden nodded her head. At least he had thrown her a bone.

    "How about a dance before you leave?" Now Teddy was grinning.

    Jaden agreed. She guessed anyone who played on both teams was a good dancer, and she was right.
  • Photos: sydneyflapper.tmblr, retro waste.com
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