September 6, 1924

Benny was sleeping downstairs on one of Saul's couches, so he was the one who answered the door at 3 a.m. when Munsey the publisher of the New York Sun showed up to tell us Butterworth had been kidnapped yesterday. Seems that Cal's pilot friend Smith, who he was sharing a hotel room in Pittsburgh with, got sapped on the head when he was in the bathroom and was able to whisper something to a maid before he passed out. And the Cal's boss came to us because he was afraid to go to the police about it.

What a mess. Here I was about to get married at sundown later, but there was no way me and Benny could let Cal stay kidnapped out there. Especially because we had a darn good idea who did it. That young and crazy table waitress named Gretchen who nearly kidnapped me a few months back had somehow lured Cal into the same trap of doom. Everything in Munsey's ransom note pointed to it, especially the part about the river cabin, and Gretchen had gone missing from her job when we called the hotel and asked for her.

So the plan was set. I left a note next to Rachel's pillow saying me and Benny had an emergency wedding errand and we'd be back before sunset come hook and crook, and then we grabbed a pre-dawn steam train to Pittsburgh.

There was one more Cardinals game at Forbes Field, and even though we were both tempted to catch it, we knew the wedding would never happen if we took it in. Smith was in the local hospital and wasn't much help being on all these drugs, but he did mention he smelled perfume behind him right before he was knocked out.

We rented a canoe from a place by the river and started paddling down it. I told Benny I'd recognize Gretchen's river cabin, but after an hour downriver we started seeing so many of other ones it was hard to tell them apart.

Then I saw her jalopy of a truck, and her crummy cabin beside it. We pulled right, hid the boat under some low branches and hopped out on the bank. I snuck up to the door and knocked. There was scuffling inside and I heard her creepy voice, "Who's there?" I said I was from the State Housing Board, and had an important paper to sign so she could keep her cabin.

I saw a curtain move, and heard her give a little gasp, and then she opened the door. "Vinny! It's you!" I could see Cal tied to a bed in the background, gagged up and wriggling in his long johns, but Gretchen stared at me with lust in her eyes, like she'd forgotten how I escaped from her and what she'd just done to Butterworth. "I knew you'd return someday..." she whispered, "Now we can wash away together."

"I don't think so, lady. Actually you got a friend of ours in there and I'm getting married later." Her eyes went wild. She stepped out of the cabin with a meat cleaver raised and Benny jumped out of nowhere and knocked her on the head with his canoe paddle. She crumpled to the ground and I jumped inside to untie Butterworth.

"That evil, evil harpy!" he shouted, obviously hungry, starved, and delirious, "How can I repay you?" I said we'd figure that out another time, but right now we had a wedding to get back to.

And so we did, after getting the police out to Gretchen's cabin, and after getting a giant plate of train food into Cal's stomach. We pulled into New York around 5 p.m., got to Brooklyn by six, and walked into the Ambrose Street Synagogue for the wedding the moment before the sun dropped. Everyone in the place turned and looked at the three of us in shock.

"Sorry we were gone so long," I said, "But we had to go over and pick up Cal!"

National League games today:

at PIRATES 5-11-0, CARDINALS 3-9-0
Sure glad we thwarted a kidnap instead of taking in this nightmare. The Cards take a 1-0 lead in the 3rd, and then with two outs in the Pittsburgh 3rd and no one on base, the Bucs do what they do best. Barnhart and Grimm walk. Traynor and Carey single. Cuyler gets his daily monster of a hit, this time a 3-run homer. Wright and Maranville single and the five runs decide the game. Bottomley returns from an injury to smack a 2-run shot off Cooper later, but there's no way St. Louis is coming back from that early clubbing.

at BRAVES 5-12-1, ROBINS 4-8-4
ROBINS 7-11-2,at BRAVES 2-8-4
Good thing Saul had this twinbill to distract him from us being gone all day, and he probably ran out of pigeons. Grimes turns in another in his never-ending series of awful starts in the opener, giving up two-out doubles all over the place. Johnny Mitchell throws two balls away in the 6th to give the Braves their winning runs. Ruether survives the second game with a great effort, and it's Boston's turn to stink up the field.

GIANTS 13-21-1, at PHILLIES 12-13-0 (11 innings)
GIANTS 11-15-1, at PHILLIES 3-8-0
By my count that's 52 runs and 74 hits we give New York in three days. Can't believe we missed the opener here, in which Cy belts three straight homers off awful Jack Bentley to give us a 10-4 lead, only to have the Giants tie the game in the 9th with four off Couch and win it with three more in the 11th off Betts. The second game is just your normal demolition of Glazner, with Frankie Frisch going 5-for-5 and Snyder adding a late homer.

at REDS 2-7-2, CUBS 0-5-1
A good old-fashioned pitcher duel at Redland Field, with Dolf Luque doing the honors for a change. Three more Chicago losses or Pittsburgh wins will finish the Cubs off for the year.

NATIONAL LEAGUE through Saturday, September 6
Pittsburgh Pirates8449.632
Brooklyn Robins7858.5747.5
New York Giants7758.5708
Cincinnati Reds7659.5639
Chicago Cubs6768.49618
St. Louis Cardinals6569.48519.5
Philadelphia Phillies5582.40131
Boston Braves3998.28547

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