I made a few stops on the way back to the nice side of Beverly Boulevard. Schwab’s Pharmacy. Photo processing place. I was cramming down a light dinner of hot dogs and onions with a Bromo chaser from Tail O’ the Pup when the phone on my car rang.
“What’ll they think of next?” I asked to the giant hot dog-shaped novelty restaurant as I answered the phone. “Harryhausen,” I said warily.
“Mister Harryhausen,” said Papa Bear, “They have my son.” I was worried about that. Seems I’d been followed. Whether they tailed me to the King Eddy or picked up Baby Bear off a tip off from Glenallen wasn’t important. “They’ve left a ransom note.” The mob wanted their dough and had their hooks in the Bear family.
“Mister Bear, I’m going to get your son back, safe and sound. I have a cunning plan that will fully justify the recommendation given to you by not one, not two but three little pigs. First, I need a couple of things…” Continue reading →
I splashed through gritty puddles that littered the alleyways even though it hadn’t rained in weeks. Baby Bear wasn’t hard to shadow. Knocked over trashcans, broken glass and other detritus made a descriptive trail. I followed him a couple blocks east and found myself in the middle of a shantytown.
Sid Row. Last refuge of the desperate. The décor was early American rat’s nest. It smelled of vomit and barbecued shoe leather. Times were tough. The residents weren’t just junkies and boozehounds. They were honest folk on the nut, and these makeshift tents and corrugated metal huts stretched out for blocks. If I didn’t find Baby soon, I’d lose him.