Marlowe has been arrested on suspicion of homicide, though the most they have on him truly is accessory after the fact, and even that will have a hard time sticking...:
"Would you take the cuffs off, Captain?" I asked. "I mean if I made a statement?"
"I might. Make it short."
"If I told you I hadn't seen Lennox within the last twenty-four hours, hadn't talked to him and had no ideawhere he might be - would that satisfy you, Captain?"
"It might - if I believed it."
"If I told you I had seen him where and when, but had no idea he had murdered anyone or that any crime had been committed, and further had no idea where he might be at this moment, that wouldn't satisfy you at all, would it?"
"With more detail, I might listen. Things like where, when, what he looked like, what was talked about, where he was headed. It might grow into something."
"With your treatment," I said, "it would probably grow into making me an accessory."
His jaw muscles bulged. His eyes were like dirty ice. "So?"
"I don't know," I said, "I need some legal advice. I'd like to cooperate. How would it be if we had somebody from the D.A.'s office here?"
He let out a short raucous laugh. It was over very soon. He got up slowly and walked around the desk. He leaned down close to me, one big hand on the wood, and smiled. Then without change of expression he hit me on the side of the neck with a fist like a piece of iron.
The blow traveled eight or ten inches, no more. It nearly took my head off. Bile seeped into my mouth. I tasted blood mixed with it. I heard nothing but a roaring in my head. He leaned over me still smiling, his left hand still on the desk. His voice seemed to come from a long way off.
"I used to be tough but I'm getting old. You take a good punch, mister, and that's all you'll get from me. We got boys over at City Jail that ought to be working in the stockyards. Maybe we hadn't ought to have them because they ain't clean powderpuff punchers like Dayton here. They Don't have four kids and a rose garden like Green. They live for different amusements. It takes all kinds and labor's scarce. You got any more funny little ideas about what you might say, if you bothered to say it?"
""Not with the cuffs on, Captain." It hurt even to say that much.
He leaned farther towards me and I smelled his sweat and the gas of corruption. Then he straightened and went back around the desk and planted his buttocks in his chair. He picked up a three-cornered ruler and ran his thumb along one edge as if it were a knife...