Kathleen Kaska
11 min readSep 14, 2023

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Chapter Three

“My name’s Sydney Lockhart. Remember that in case whoever killed the man in my bathtub at the Arlington Hotel comes after me.”

Murder at the Arlington: A Sydney Lockhart Mystery

Murder at the Arlington

Before I could pick up the phone and report my discovery, someone pounded on my door. The shrieking maid must have found Mr. Hairy Legs before she slammed into me when I stepped off the elevator because when I opened the door, the house detective pushed past me and rushed into the bathroom.

“Don’t touch anything,” he shouted. “The cops are on their way.”

A tall man with a respectable paunch and glistening black hair raced in behind the house detective. Lingering over him like a putrid fog was the lime scent of cheap hair tonic.

“Miss Lockhart, please come out here. Are you okay?”

“I’m fine. Who are you?”

“Hamston Charles, hotel manager.”

Probably thinking I was one of those weak females who swooned at the sight of blood, he grabbed me by my elbow and dragged me into the hall. I jerked free and stepped back inside. “I guess this means I can’t stay in this room,” I said.

“Miss Roberts, my secretary, is arranging another room for you right now. Same view, just one floor below. Listen, I must insist you — ”

He sidled in front of me as my elbow made contact with his solar plexus, a little harder than I had intended.

“ — come out into the hall,” he gasped. “I’ll have the bellboy bring your things. Your room-service order is being delivered there right now.”

If Mr. Charles had ideas about whisking me away before I learned anything about the murder, he had another thing coming. Besides, it was my chance to write a real story, one that could prove my worth as a reporter. I had no intention of writing fluff the rest of my career.

The man in my bathtub had obviously died from loss of blood — his jugular was slit from his right ear down to his throat.

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Kathleen Kaska

Author of the Sydney Lockhart mysteries and the Kate Caraway mysteries. I blog about, “Growing Up Catholic in a Small Texas Town.”