Just The Way It Is
Fairview was dying. Mass production and neighboring Bentonville, with its flashy bars and gambling joints, had resulted in a fast approaching demise for Fairview. The police were in the hands of the politicians, and the politicians were in the hands of an extensive gambling organization in Bentonville. And in Bentonville, Harry Duke had a reputation. Since he was a gambler and he had killed a man once. So no one messed around with Harry Duke. Until someone tries to make it look that Duke had slit a man's throat one night. And once Duke became involved in the affairs of Bentonville, things began to change. The extraordinary thing was that although the gambling organization in Bentonville had been in existence for six years, it took three days to pull it down. Just three days...
Timson was sprawled across the bed, his head thrown back and his hands clenched. He had a big throat wound which glistened in the light. The sheets were red and there was blood on the wall, at the head of the bed and on the carpet.
Duke took a deep breath, feeling his skin prickling and his stomach flutter. He walked very cautiously to the bed and touched Timson’s hand. It was cold and clammy like a damp clay. Duke guessed he’d been dead for sometime.
(from Just The Way It Is, 1944)