Episode Three: Quin Returns

A familiar cab parked in front of a familiar hotel, the Bristol. The cabbie exited his driver seat, and popped open the trunk to release his fare.

Hey, is this your stop, Mac?” the cabbie asked.

The lump in the trunk sat up and took a hasty squinting look around him.

Yes, this absolutely looks familiar.”

It should, I brought you here yesterday, but you said it wasn’t the place you were looking for.” Warren the cabbie mentioned.

Yeah,” the young man said as he extracted himself from the trunk compartment, “but it didn’t look the same from the backseat of a cab. I can only recognize this place if I see it from the trunk of a car.”

The cabbie shrugged. “Whatever.”

He didn’t expect to receive pay from this fare (he knew better than that), so he put himself back into the driver’s seat of his auto and drove away.

Quin (the lump from the trunk) climbed the steps of the hotel and accosted the desk manager at the front counter, a tall pale man polishing the bell on his counter.


The manager spoke a few parting words into the phone he was talking on and hung up.

No, sir. Fritz. I am Fritz. There is no Hans, only Fritz.” he said.

Quin shrugged.

Well, be sure and tell Hans that I want to speak to him as soon as he comes in.”

The manager sighed and said that he would, but in the meantime, was there anything that he could do to help the good gentleman?

Yes, there is. I’m here to visit a friend of mine, a . . .” Quin consulted a slip of paper in his pocket. “. . . T. Radcliffe Tannenbaum. I believe he’s in room 1717.”

Fritz flipped a few pages in a ledger book and came back to stare at Quin.

I’m sorry, sir, but Mr. Tannenbaum has already checked out. I’m so sorry.”

Quin frowned.

When did he check out?” he asked.

Fritz looked at his ledger again.

This morning. Two hours ago, to be exact. Is there anything else I could do for you?” he asked.

You could give me the keys to room 1717.” said Quin.

Of course, sir.” the Clerk said. “That is your room? You have it reserved?”

No.” Quin answered. “Do you have the key?”

I’m sorry, sir. I can’t give you the key to a room that is not your own. Which is your room?”

I don’t have a room. I don’t want a room. All I want is the key to room 1717.”

The manager stared at Quin as if he might have been a sea monster in a previous life.

Is that all, sir?” he asked sarcastically.

A roast beef sandwich wouldn’t be bad, now that you mention it.” Quin answered.

In classic fashion, the clerk turned away and simply ignored him.

Quin is not the kind of person of whom it is good to ignore. Ignoring him just seems to make things worse.


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