Raymond chandler — the long goodbye
That night, Terry would have told me the story of his life if I'd asked him. If I had asked, and if he had told me, it might have saved a couple of lives. It might have.
Terry Lennox is a drunk. Philip Marlowe, private detective, knows it's always a mistake to try to help drunks. But then, Marlowe is always on the side of losers. Perhaps that's why he decides to help Lennox get away when he's in trouble.
But then the body of Sylvia Lennox is found. Marlowe can't believe that Lennox killed his wife, but the police certainly do. Suddenly, wherever Marlowe goes, whatever he does, Terry Lennox's strange life seems to follow him around.
It will stay that way until Marlowe can find some answers. But to find answers, you have to know what the questions are . . .
Raymond Chandler is one of the greatest of all modern detec¬tive writers. He turned the tough American crime story into a kind of art. He was born in 1888 in Chicago, Illinois, but was brought up and educated in England. After fighting in France during the First World War, he returned to the United States and took a managerial job with an oil company. He rose to a high position in the organization until he was sacked in 1932, for not taking his job seriously. It was then that he decided to write for a living. By 1938 he had written sixteen stories. The hero of his first novel, The Big Sleep (1939), was Philip Marlowe. This was a great success, and Marlowe appeared in several other books, including Farewell, My Lovely (1940), The High Window (1942), The Lady in the Lake (1944), and The Long Goodbye (1953).
In his last few years, Chandler suffered from depression and ill health, and began drinking heavily. He died in 1959.
Chapter 1 Bus to Las Vegas
The first time I saw Terry Lennox he was sitting in a Rolls-Royce in front of a fancy restaurant, and he was very drunk. He had a young man's face but his hair was white as snow. You could see he was drunk by looking at his eyes; otherwise he looked like any young man who had been spending too much money in a place that was there to take your money.
There was a woman beside him. Her hair was a pretty dark red and she had a distant smile on her lips.
'I have a wonderful idea, darling,' the woman said, trying to be nice. 'Why don't we take a taxi to your place and get your little car out? It's a wonderful night for a ride up the coast.'
The man said 'Awfully sorry, but I don't have it any more. Had to sell it. 'He spoke clearly.
'Sold it, darling? What do you mean?' She slid away from him, but her voice slid even further.
'I had to. Had to eat.'
'Oh, I see.' A piece of ice wouldn't have melted on her now.
Right then, the car door seemed to open itself and the young man fell off the seat and landed, sitting, on the ground. So I went over and stuck my nose in their business, although it's always a mistake to interfere with people who are drunk. I picked him up and put him on his feet.
'Thank you so much,' he said politely. I thought I heard an accent.
'He is so English when he's drunk,' she said in a hard voice. 'Thanks for catching him.'
'I'll get him in the back of the car,' I said.
'Sorry, mister, but I'm late for an appointment.' She started to drive off. 'He's just a lost dog,' she added. 'Perhaps you can find a good home for him.' And then she was gone. And the guy was asleep in my arms.
I carried him to my car. He was heavy. As I put him in the front seat, he woke up and thanked me again, and went back to sleep. He was the politest drunk I'd ever met.