At six-twenty Rambeaux came out of the house wearing a tweed coat with a velvet collar. There was a young woman with him. It wasn't April. They walked to Second Avenue and caught a cab downtown. I drifted along behind them and caught the next one.Spenser goes on "The next morning I went over to the Hertz place on West 56th Street and rented a tan Toyota Celica..." Driving in New York may be difficult, but speaking 160 foreign languages is more difficult. It is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to discriminate against people with foreign accents and limited English proficiency.
"I can't think of a slick way to put this," I said to the cabbie, "but follow that cab." The driver turned toward me and said, "Where you go?"
"Follow that cab," I said.
"La Guardia?" he said. "Grann Central? Waldorf?"
"Allez-vous apres ce taxi?" I said.
He shook his head. Rambeaux's cab took a right turn on 75th Street.
"Never mind," I said and got out of the cab and started across Second.
"Som a beetch," the cabbie yelled after me, out the passenger window.
"Sonova," I said. "Son… of… a… bitch. Short i."
The cabbie pulled away, spinning a little rubber as he went. I walked back to the St. Regis. Follow that cab. It seemed simple enough. Used to work perfect for Richard Arlen.
[Taming A Sea-Horse ,Robert B. Parker, 1986]