DELETED SCENES: Where’s Arlo? and Lion’s Lair

 

It has been a while since I posted a deleted scene, so… here are two for you.

Both of these scenes are from chapter 7 again, and they are both consecutive. In the end I felt that it was a bit too Scooby Doo to have Clarice and Johnny playing detective so I cut most of these two scenes. In the final manuscript both of these scenes are combined and even so, only a few scraps remain.

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9.  Where’s Arlo?
Johnny inched the black Corvette forwards another half a meter and sighed.  LA traffic.  “Why don’t you ask your Mom for help?” he said.

Clarice sniffed.  “She’s a retired beat cop from LA County.  We’re dealing with the LAPD.  She’ll be no help to us there.”

Johnny adjusted his sunglasses.  “If you say so.” He looked back at the traffic light, which was cycling to red for the third time since he’d stopped there.  They sat in silence until it went green again.  Johnny rolled the Corvette across the intersection and stopped with his rear wheels level with the opposite traffic light.

“So, what are we going to do?”

“What we’re going to do is find out where Earl Tuckson lives,” said Clarice, “and then we’re going to pay him a visit.”

They went back to Clarice’s apartment and broke out the phone books.  There was no Arlo Tuckson listed for LA or San Francisco.  On the supposition that he had an unlisted number Clarice put Kranz to work, using whatever resources he had to see if Tuckson was signed to any agents, record companies or studios.  He turned up nothing.

“Well,” said Johnny, hefting a Yellow Pages volume, “We could always hire someone to find him for us.”

“He’s a washed up rockstar, not an outlaw.  How difficult can it be?”

“Well, how do you suggest we go about this?”

“Deduction,” said Clarice.  “If we can work out where he lives in I’m sure we’ll be able to find him.”

“He’s not in LA?”

“If he was in California or New York, Kranz would have found him.”

“Right.”

“Where’s the box from that guitar he sent me?”

“We recycled it.”

“You remember where it was postmarked?”

“Didn’t look.”

“Me either,” said Clarice.  “Did I throw out the note?”

“Yep.”

“Damn,” said Clarice.  She rubbed her eyes. Slowly, a smile spread across her lips. “Philly.”

“What?”

“The flowers.”

“What?”

“The flowers that were delivered after that gig at Sovereign Bank.  That was him.”

“How do you know?”

“He said so.  At the signing.”

“Okay,” said Johnny.  “Let’s check it out.”

Clarice had already dialled for directory assistance.

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10.  Lion’s Lair

Earl Tuckson lived in a shabby apartment block in North Philadelphia.  The brick and concrete exterior was cracked and crumbling.  The carpet in the lobby had been orange and brown in the seventies, but now it was grey with black patches.  One of the elevators appeared to be running, but they took one look inside it and opted for the stairs.

“Do you think we should be armed?” said Johnny, his footfalls banging up the bare concrete shaft of the stairwell.

“What the hell for?” Clarice’s sneakered feet made no sound.

“Well, you know…Tuckson’s gone from being a nutcase to an actual kidnapper.”

“Tuckson’s a musician, same as you and me,” said Clarice. “He’s not a hardened criminal.”

“He kidnapped Enrique.”

“Enrique’s a skinny little drunk. Tuckson is huge. ”

“Okay,” said Johnny.  “So we’re just gonna knock on his door and politely ask if he’ll give us back our bass player?”

“Not exactly.” Clarice shoved open the door on the fourth floor landing and strode out into the hallway.  Johnny followed.

Clarice marched straight up to the door with the numerals 404 affixed to it.  When she was a couple of paces away she drew her right knee up and slammed the heel of her shoe into the door, just above the knob.  Wood splintered as the lock broke free of the doorframe and Clarice went inside without breaking stride.  Johnny shook his head and followed.

Tuckson’s living room contained a tiny TV set, an expensive hifi, a sofa, a pile of empty beer cans and a tower of stinking pizza boxes.

“Check the bedrooms,” said Clarice.  “I’ll try the kitchen.”

The first bedroom was every bit as tidy as the living room.  An unmade double bed, a lamp without a shade, a bookshelf made out of bricks and scraps of lumber.  The second bedroom–the only clean room in the house–was filled with guitar equipment.  Axes, amplifiers, cables, tools, cases, pedals, stands, sheet music.

Clarice was still in the kitchen when Johnny joined her there.  She was standing beside the fridge, reading a dog-eared piece of paper that had her initials written on the back in flowing cursive.

“What’s it say?” asked Johnny, leaning against the doorframe.

“He’s waiting for us at… sounds like a high school gymnasium. He says no cops.  ‘Bring your best guitar’.”

“A school gym?”

“Summer holidays,” said Clarice.  “No one else there.”

“Should we call the cops?”

“You saw how much help they were in LA.”

“This isn’t LA.”

“Yeah, well.  In LA, I might have been guilty of assault.  Here in Philly, we’re definitely breaking and entering.”

“Clarice, Tuckson is dangerous.”

“Bullshit.  He wants a guitar showdown, not a shootout.”

Johnny rubbed his eyes. “What is wrong with this guy?”

“Who cares?” said Clarice.  “I just want my bassist back.”

Johnny raised an eyebrow.  “That’s all?”

“Well,” said Clarice, “If I have to administer some more grievous bodily harm, I guess it’ll just be too bad.”

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<– PRIOR DELETED SCENE

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