We trailed Hammett all over San Francisco. We started at 891 Post St where Sam Spade's detective agency was based in the Tenderloin. Then on to Burritt Alley to see the site where Spade's partner was killed. A plaque marks “On approximately this spot, Miles Archer, Sam Spade’s partner, was done in by Brigid O’Shaughnessy.”
This is a view from Dashiel Emmett alley
With still no sign of Hammett we broke for lunch at Lori's Diner, on Powell to compare notes. We gum-shoed it down to the Flood Building on Market Street, where Hammett was employed as a private dick for the Pinkerton's.
Near Union Sq. we bribed the doorman of a downtown hotel where Hammett was known to stay. There's even a suite named after him. . .
Around the corner is Hammett's favorite hang-out, John's Bar & Grill. Still in business as a restaurant and now the HQ of the Hammett Society. The author is said to have written much of 'The Maltese Falcon' at a booth here.
We went inside and smooth-talked the dame on the front desk. She let us go upstairs and find the famous falcon itself.
Pinkerton's were on to us so we high tailed it through the Stockton Tunnel and laid low in North Beach. We had a tip-off that Hammett liked to drink at Tosca cafe but we lost him in the crowd. We sat outside a cafe and observed the wild-life on Broadway.
He was elusive, kept to the shadows but we're gumshoes and we'll find him. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon ...