Biography of Private Investigator Philip Marlowe Part 3

About the famous private investigator Philip Marlowe, history and biography of the Raymond Chandler character.



Although in 1939 Marlowe told Gen. Guy de Brisay Sternwood, "I'm unmarried because I don't like policemen's wives," he had numerous erotic encounters with women over the years. In 1939 he spent one night necking in his car parked high above the Pacific Ocean with Vivian Sternwood Regan, who wanted very much to sleep with him. When she found out he was playing along in order to pump her for information about a murder, she flew into a rage and had him drive her home. When he walked into his own apartment later that night, Vivan's sister Carmen was lying naked on his bed, giggling.

In 1949 sweet young Orfamay Quest came all the way from Manhattan, Kans., to hire Marlowe to find her lost brother, Orrin. In the process of discovering that Orfamay had fingered Orrin so that a gangster could gun him down, Marlowe also learned that she was exceedingly easy to kiss. He later discovered that her sister Leila, a film star better known as Mavis Weld, was being blackmailed by Orrin, and that Mavis was even easier to kiss. And he found out that Mavis's roommate, a B-film actress named Dolores Gonzales, was as much fun to kiss as either of the Kansas girls and even more accessible.

In 1953, working on a double-barreled case which involved uncovering the truth about one disappearance and two apparently unrelated murders, Marlowe met Mrs. Linda Loring. Her sister was one of the two murder victims in this case. Linda was the daughter of a powerful multimillionaire and the wife of a physician whose specialty was prescribing uppers and downers for his high-society patients. Linda and Marlowe met over drinks a few times, and when she determined to divorce her husband, she spent a night in Marlowe's bed. When she left in the morning, Marlowe never expected to see her again. But his night with Linda was clearly more than just another trick to him, and he realized that to "say good-bye is to die a little."

In 1958, after a simple tailing job led Marlowe to discover both a murder and a murderer near Del Mar, Calif., he broke one of his unspoken rules. "When I want your beautiful white body," he said to Betty Mayfield, "it won't be while you're my client." Minutes later she was saying, "Take me, I'm yours--all of me is yours. Take me. "And he did.

But when he returned home from Del Mar, he had a phone call from Paris, where Linda Loring had been living since their brief encounter. She told him she loved him and wanted to marry him, and--tacitly--he agreed. She invited him to come to Paris on her money, but Marlowe refused: "Sure, you have the money for 500 plane tickets. But this one will be my plane ticket. Take it or don't come." She accepted, and for Marlowe "the air was full of music."

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