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Chapter Seven: Murder and Her Missing Beau

Film star Mae West once asked, "Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?" In the case of this photograph, we can confidently say -- it's a gun. There is real danger here -- and not just from smoking in bed. But there's also danger in assuming too much.

So look closely at the languid young thing on the bed. She may be holding that hand mirror as if to check her lipstick -- but her eyes are turned to the side, the better to see that gun being pulled. She doesn't seem alarmed. Perhaps she's secretly changed the bullets to blanks. Or maybe she has a .22 caliber surprise of her own, under the pillow.

There's another reason to suspect the cad with the gun is making a big mistake. On the back of the photograph is the title, in pencil, "Murder and Her Missing Beau." That's "Her", not "His".

Another pencil notation on the back says "T.P.C. - July." I wonder: could that be a reference to True Police Cases, a monthly magazine from... yes, Fawcett Publications?

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