Retired teacher Angela Potts had heard some surprising news in her life, but none more shocking than this. “Morton Lazlo?” she gasped. “Moving here?” Sheriff Charles Jones nodded. “Already moved, actually. Into the old Jenkins place.” “But…he’s a notorious mobster,” she stuttered. “Retired,” the sheriff emphasized. “Apparently, now he wants to live a peaceful life.” Angela scoffed. “That’s if his enemies don’t come here looking for him! That’s all we need now: organized crime, mob wars, hit men…” “Well, you can ask him all about it,” Sheriff Jones smiled. “He wants to meet you.” “Me? Why?” “Says he knew one of your kinfolk. You and me have been invited to call on him at two-thirty.” “You and I,” she corrected. “By the way, you’re invited to lunch at my house tomorrow with my sewing group. I’m trying to get rid of all my Thanksgiving leftovers.” “Sure, I wouldn’t miss that!” he said with a wink. his Morton At cruiser 2:28 Lazlo’s in the the sheriff new driveway residence. parked of A butler answered the door with a graceful flourish. “Mr. Lazlo has been expecting you both. Please follow me.” In the study, the former crime boss lay face down on a massage table, a white towel draped over him. Lazlo looked up and smiled. “You must be Ms. Potts,” he purred. “What a pleasure. Sit, please. You too, Sheriff Jones.” As they took their seats, a grim-faced and muscular young man in a sweat suit entered from another door. When he saw the two visitors, he paused. “My apologies, sir,” he said to Lazlo. “I thought you were ready for your massage.” “I will be, after I chat with my new friends. Don’t leave.” To Angela and the sheriff, Lazlo said, “Victor is my new massage therapist. I’m sure he’ll work wonders—my back is a mess.” “I’m merely a masseuse,” Victor said, lowering his eyes. Lazlo turned to his visitors. “And you are my welcoming committee! Thanks for coming to see me today.” “Our pleasure,” the sheriff said. Angela was too busy frowning at the man in the sweat suit to reply. “I told the sheriff it’s a small world, Ms. Potts,” Lazlo said. “I was an associate of your cousin, Hamp Smith.” She nodded, “I’m not at all surprised…” “Excuse me?” “I didn’t know crazy Cousin Hamp well, I’m afraid.” “Do you know his current whereabouts, by chance?” “I have a pretty good idea where he is…hamp died in prison a few years ago.” “Ah. I’m sorry to hear that.” “So were his creditors.” The sheriff cleared his throat. “Well, I hope you’ll like our town, Mr. Lazlo. . .” Angela went back to studying the massage therapist, who stood nervously some distance away. “Where did you get your massage training, Victor?” He flinched at her question. “At “Which an out-of-state school?” school.” Again he hesitated, his eyes darting back and forth. Before he could answer, Angela snatched the sheriff’s revolver from his holster and aimed it at Victor’s chest. “Hands up!” she said. “And keep ’em raised.” Sheriff Jones’s jaw dropped. “Ms. Potts? What are you—” “Search him,” she said, the gun rock-steady in her hand. Moments later, the sheriff found a ten-inch butcher knife in Victor’s back waistband, and Lazlo called his men to hold the would-be assassin’s arms while Sheriff Jones cuffed him. The following day, over their Thanksgiving lunch, the sheriff shared some news: “Mr. Lazlo’s decided to move back to the coast. Says it’s safer there.” “I doubt it,” Angela muttered, reaching for a drumstick. Sheriff Jones loaded his plate. “Lazlo took a fancy to you! So… are you going to tell me how you pegged Victor as an assassin?” Ms. Potts replied with a grin, “I just knew he wasn’t who he said he was.” — John M. Floyd Q: What gave Victor away to Ms. Potts?
“Can you get curds and whey out of a tuffet?”