Beware the Elevator Shaft

Everyone is cheating and no one is faithful. The married rich man’s hard, cynical girlfriend kisses him unsentimentally on the nose and shoos him out the door so her boyfriend, his louche, handsome failson, can slip out from behind the curtain for a kiss more passionate, a clinch more clinging.

All a lie, of course; he’s got a wife on the side and they’re planning to murder the old man and pin it on the girlfriend. They don’t know, unfortunately, that they’re being watched by the old prospector and his burro, or caught on film by the freelance nature photographer, but they’ll find out soon enough when the two collide in the apartment hallway looking for blackmail.

“After you, old man,” says the photographer, a blonde roughneck with his camera bolted to a rifle stock.

“Tarnation,” mutters the prospector. “Ain’t this beat all.”

The burro says nothing, but it has dark designs on the sugar in the prospector’s pocket.