Smoke Screen

“The police think I shot Thursby,” he said.

“Who is he?” she asked, separating a cigarette-paper from the packet, sifting tobacco into it.

“Who do you think I shot?” he asked.

When she ignored that question he said: “Thurby’s the guy Miles was suppose to be tailing for the Wonderly girl.”

Her thin fingers finished shaping the cigarette. She licked it, smoothed it, twisted its ends, and placed it between Spade’s lips. He said, “Thanks, honey,” put an arm around her slim waist, and rested his cheek wearily against her hip, shutting his eyes.