If you’re deep into Hammett, you know that he claimed Pinkerton’s Detective Agency once sent him out on an assignment to track down a Ferris wheel stolen from a carnival.
Supposedly happened somewhere in Big Sky country, circa 1920.
A quote that’s come down the years has Hammett quipping, “I didn’t think I’d find it parked in somebody’s backyard.”
One of his showstopper sleuthing stories, he told it to people in San Francisco, and Hollywood, and New York — usually doing slightly different versions.
The cut-to-the-chase version seems to be that he roamed around the countryside visiting each and every carnival, until he found a Ferris wheel without a legitimate Bill of Sale.
Believe the story or don’t believe the story (like Sam Spade, I neither believed nor disbelieved your story) but I think you’ll agree it’s not a crime you expect to hear much about, right?
Brian Wallace — always scouting the web for any mentions of Hammett or noir — or, apparently, stolen Ferris wheels — just popped me a link to yet another stolen Ferris wheel caper from just last month. Last month!
Jeez. I think we may have a crime wave going on here.