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[QUOTE] Sometimes simple is best. [i]It was around 6:30 when Spoon finally rolled into the Hotel Onsy. "Dusty old place," he thought. But then, they all were. What was Ishmael doing running Red Crown like this, sending him off to tired old flophouses when he was on duty, he wondered. "Checking in, mate? Nice weather today," chirped the strangely bulldog-faced hotel owner from behind the counter. His accent struck Spoon as more British than French. "Cool it, pops, I'm just here to hit the hay between cases, don't need any small talk," Spoon growled. If he could just figure out where that dame Ms. P had disappeared to, he was sure she'd spill the beans on where his missing partner Bradley had been seen last. Unfortunately, everyone on his hallway seemed to have some logic puzzle they wanted solved. "Buncha simps and glamor queens, but guess I was asking for it, coming to a joint like this." But why was the annoyingly cheerful owner so insistent that he avoid Room 102, which he kept calling the "yogurt room?"[/i] [/QUOTE] Maou wasn't going anywhere, but the elevator music kept playing anyway. That's just the kind of place Hotel Cafe M was, between the moping old men and the expats, a place where nothing seemed to move. But Maou liked that. A man needs rocks, and this grand mouldering lady was the hardest there was in the windy old port city of San Francisco. The impish Thai man was sitting at the lounge bar, playing with his beer again. He had a named that would cramp your hand to write and would make your tongue whirl to say, so everybody called him the one thing he wasn't: "Rich". He didn't mind. A real product of the land of smiles, that guy. "Maou! Nihao!" For a Thai guy, he spoke a lot of Chinese. Weird Chinese, though: not the Chinese you hear in Chinatown. Maou brushed the dust off his hat and sat down next to Rich. The dust of Tenderloin doesn't come off of anybody who lives there, but some manners must be observed. "Professor, give me something cold", Maou said. Nobody knows why the barkeep and owner of the Cafe M is called "Professor", he certainly wasn't a man of books, let alone a man of God. Still, the drinks that needed to be cold he kept cold, and that counted. The Professor nodded, and poured out something cheap. He'd always pour cheap ones for the people that he already knew couldn't afford the good ones, but he did it as far below the counter as he could so nobody would see. Nobody questioned your drinks here, though the Professor's service was something else, and that counted, too. Maou's tab was as restless as he was, but a drink would help him settle down, at least for a while. "You eating, Rich?", Maou asked. "I'm eating rich!", the Thai man beamed. [:jojo_tobecontinued:]
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