The big stooge was sitting behind his desk when I walked in. There were a couple sheepskins on the wall behind him, and a painting of some dame who wouldn'ta given him the time of day if his watch were broken. "What can I do ya for, Chuck?" he said. I hate it when guys say that. And how'd he know my name? Either he called everyone Chuck, or it was a lucky guess. Or--and this was the most likely explanation--I'd forgotten to remove my name tag after the Shamus Club luncheon.
"I'm a private dick," I told him.
"You look like someone who values his privacy," he replied.
"I've written a book."
"What's it called?"
"The Cock Crowed at Dusk."
"Dusk? I thought cocks crowed at dawn."
"That's the point. The cock was the clue that led to me closing the case."
"Who gets killed in this caper?"
"Plucky chick. Real looker. Slung hash at the Breakfast Nook."
"She cooked at the Nook?"
"We found her corpse at the Tick Tock Club."
"Lemme see if I've got this straight. In the book by the dick, the plucky Nook cook's corpse was found at the Tick Tock club, and the case was closed 'cause the cock crowed at dusk?
"Where'd you collar the killer?"
"Of course. Look, it comes across as dreck. I can't offer a contract, Chuck."