Insert Chassis Albuquerque: The Butterfly Effect - Chapter 3: "Susan Strychnine's Apartment"

The Butterfly Effect - Chapter 3: "Susan Strychnine's Apartment"

Upper 5th Avenue, seventh floor.
A butler opened the door of the massive apartment; behind him, a lot of opulent revelry was underway.
People waved when they saw Wolffe at the door. Wolffe didn’t wave back, he didn’t know them.
“Susannah Strychnine…?” he said.
“Madam is expecting you…?” the butler asked.
“I have an appointment - Detective Wolffe Gunstormer.”
“Of course, Detective - please wait here…” the butler said politely and made as if to close the door.
“Why should I wait out here? I’m here already, aren’t I? I’ve kept up my end of the arrangement - Susannah Strychnine meet all her invited guests out in the hall?” Wolffe said.
“Of course, Detective, please come in,” the Butler said and stepped aside. “May I take your hat and coat?”
“I’m a Detective - you never watch any of the detective shows on TV? Ever seen any of those guys without their hat and coat? You may see them without one, either the coat or the hat, but they’ve always got the one, either the hat or the coat. Incidentally, usually the butler’s in on it - you in on whatever’s happened here that your boss needs to see me…?”
“No, sir. But I’ll fetch Mrs Strychnine for you now so she can explain,” the butler said, closing the door behind Wolffe.
“And let’s hurry up about it, I’m armed,” Wolffe called after the little man.
It was pretty cramped inside the apartment. There was a boxing ring in the living room and a fight was in progress; a guy in a tuxedo serving cold beer from a fridge waved Wolffe over.
“What can I get you, sir - you seen the baby…?” he asked.
“Gimme a whiskey.”
“You got it, and, hey man, you probably wanna see the baby,” the guy said.
He’d only been inside a few minutes. A number of people had already wandered up to ask if Wolffe had seen the baby yet.
To be exact, they all asked if he’d seen the baby.
“Very smart, very clever - for a one year old,” they’d all observed.
Wolffe did not cut deep with money or his efforts to mingle with Mrs Strychnine’s guests.
Besides, in 20, 30 years these people would be nothing - their entire lives would be a dead-end cul-de-sac where all that happened was cars pulled up to turn around and leave disappointed by the semi-circular barrage of sameness (of course, Wolffe had been wrong before, so in hindsight this may one day have proved to be untrue but that’s all he had to go on for now - suspicion. And if all we’d had to go by were his suspicions, the world would be safer place).
He hit the head and then sat down at one of the roulette tables.
A butterfly flew by.
Wolffe was certain, it wasn’t a moth.
The croupier, a foreign women, said something, it was hard to discern what exactly. It sounded like she was saying: "Skin your rats, please, skin your rats…!" but she was actually saying: "Place your bets."
By the time Wolffe had worked out what she was talking about and leaned over to place his bet, she said: "Nah moor bats, nah moor bats please…!"
40 minutes later there was still no sign of Susannah Strychnine. Wolffe had to hit the head to take a leak again. He’d a mild bladder infection from either a sexual encounter or some milk that had gone passed its expiry date. Leaning over the bleak, empty white bowel, Wolffe's watery reflection stared up at him. The great shit stain on the side of the bowl he’d spied earlier was gone and a new one, of greater, more significant proportion and color had taken its place on the opposite side. He updated his notes - what did Susannah Strychnine want…? One thing was apparent, having a lot of money obviously keeps people very busy because there was still no sign of her.