He makes movies. I didn’t ask what kind. He was just another ex-pat sitting at a bar on the Rue Monge— pretty nondescript. We struck up an acquaintanceship. We’d get together mostly to play chess at a club of sorts in Mont Parnasse or have a few at the American Cafe along with a clientele of regulars. Mostly ex-pats who bragged about their former lives; really laying it on thick for the local girls.
He didn’t talk much about himself but he did give me good tips on how to get along in a strange city. He let me in on a great bargain in his building. The flat was twice the size for the same amount of money I was paying in Mont Martre. Though it came with a dark cloud hanging over it: the girl who lived there was murdered and found dead in the bathroom. Hey, that didn’t bother me any. It seems he knew the girl. She was in the movie he recently made. Lucky for him she was killed after he finished shooting the film– next day actually. I didn’t think anything about it at the time. But it did activate some neurons in my brain and popped up a few days after I moved. And when it did, I knew, without a doubt, what had happened. And, look at me– hanging out with a suspect and even moving into his building.
That’s why I wasn’t surprised when the police showed up at my door. The inspector brought along a cop in uniform. I let them in, why not? Sure, they asked me about him. I told them everything, except my suspicions. Would not have looked too good for me. They have laws about accessory to murder. So, I kept my mouth shut. During the course of the questioning, I asked the inspector what kind of movies the guy made. He was into film noire, very noire, apparently. The murdered girl had old bruises and ligature marks on her neck, along with the ones from mortally garroting her. And the cops suspected that was the finish of his film– strangling her to death with the camera running.
I thought it could’ve been an accident. I heard those gaspers went too far once in awhile. The Inspector thought otherwise. That kind of film makes a lot of money. The more I talked with the Inspector, the more nervous I became. I should have told him about the girl. Then, maybe, the police wouldn’t have taken me into custody on suspicion of murder. He did a nice job of setting me up. He left evidence in my old flat and, naturally, I didn’t have an alibi. She was dead. I was sleeping with her soon after meeting him. She was my first gasper. Of course, she had a different name for my benefit: Gloria Desmond. Why didn’t I catch that? He had been playing me right from the beginning. And I let him.