Double Indemnity: ‘Twas the Night Before Murder
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‘Twas the night before murder, I entered the house,
Phyllis Dietrichson lived there; her spouse was a louse.

I noticed her anklet and started to drool.
I knew she was trouble; I wasn’t a fool.

“You move pretty fast, Mr. Neff,” she opined.
“How fast was I going?” I asked, then she chimed:

“Ninety miles an hour, you’d better slow down.”
“Give me a ticket, and I’ll get out of town.”

“Suppose I let you off with a warning,” she joked.
“Suppose it doesn’t take, baby,” I choked.

“Suppose I whack you over the knuckles,” said she.
“Suppose I bust out crying.” This game was quite creepy.

But we kept it going as long as we could;
She knew I was trapped, and that wasn’t good.

“Oh, Walter,” she said as she poured the ice tea,
“Insurance I need, double indemnity.”

  
 
She hated her husband and wanted him dead,
And visions of Phyllis danced in my head.

“We’re in this together; it’s straight down the line.
And all we have to do is get him to sign.”

That part was easy, no problem all.
But Keyes was the one that we had to stall.

He smoked a cigar clamped tight in his teeth,
And the smoke encircled his head like a wreath.

Keyes knew all the tricks in the insurance game,
All the suicide types, and he called them by name:

By hanging, by drowning, by shooting and leaps,
By drugs, shock, and fire…death is for keeps.

Outsmarting Keyes would be hard to do,
But I wanted the money, and Phyllis Dietrichson, too.

I went to the house, and I gave him the pitch,
The whole thing was easy, went off without a hitch.

He ranted and raved, saying “Where do I sign?
“Right here, Mr. Dietrichson. On the bottom line.”

With the form in my briefcase in the back of the car,
I knew in a moment it wasn’t over by far.

And just when the plan was about to play out,
Dietrichson broke his leg, the stupid lout!

Our plans were in chaos for a week or two,
But he had to take the train, or we’d be in a stew.

Phyllis called from a phone booth with the latest news.
Dietrichson would depart on the eight-twenty-two.

The plan was in motion; there was no turning back.
I’d hide in the car and await the attack.

He hobbled on crutches; a suit navy blue,
Got into the front seat; he hadn’t a clue.

Three honks was the signal; I killed him like that.
Phyllis didn’t bat an eye; she was cool as a cat.

In Dietrichson’s garb, I boarded the train,
Blue suit and crutches, we looked just the same.

I made my way back to the car observation
And jumped off the train with no trepidation.

We placed the dead body along side the track
Then drove away calmly and never looked back.

“Accidental death,” the cops said the next day,
But Keyes’ “Little Man” had something to say.

Keyes suspected foul play and just wouldn’t let go;
Wrapped up in tissue paper and tied with a bow.

His eyes how they twinkled, his suspenders how straight,
He discovered our plan, but it wasn’t too late.

That night I knew everything had gone wrong,
I found out that Phyllis had lied all along.

I wanted to kill her, but she had a plan, too.
In the shadows she shot me, then said, “I love you.”

“I’m rotten to the heart,” she moaned with a cry.
“We’re both rotten, baby,” then I watched her die.

In cold blood I shot her; on the parlor floor she lay,
But I was bleeding, too, and I had to get away.

I went to Keyes office and confessed the whole thing,
From the anklet to the gun, on a Dictaphone machine.

During the confession, Keyes entered the room;
He stood there in silence with despair and gloom.

As I died in the hallway, in the dim, dingy light,
Keyes said, “You’re all washed up, Walter. Good night.”

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