A telephone rings in the darkness. Once. Twice. Three times.
Spade picks up the receiver: "Hello…. Yes, speaking…. Dead? … Yes…. Fifteen minutes. Thanks." (2.2)
Spade slowly and meticulously rolls himself a cigarette, gets dressed, and takes a cab to Bush Street.
Walking through a dark alleyway, Spade finds himself beside a 10-foot high fence that has been torn down and is now dangling precariously off a steep slope. Fifteen feet down the slope, there is a flat boulder, on which lies the body of Miles Archer.
Tom Polhaus, the sergeant who had phoned Spade, explains what he knows so far about the situation: Archer was shot eight times with a .38 caliber Webley-Fosbery automatic revolver.
Tom asks Spade whether Archer was out on the job, but Spade only says that Archer was tailing Floyd, leaving out any mention of his client's identity.
Spade then leaves to phone Effie and ask her to break the news to Iva, Miles' wife. At home, Spade pours himself a tall glass of Bacardi.
After his third drink, the doorbell suddenly rings. It's 4:30 in the morning (a bit late for house calls, in our etiquette book).
Tom and Lieutenant Dundy have come to inform Spade that Thursby was also killed, and that Spade is a suspect (cue: dramatic music). Although they have no evidence against Spade, they will be conducting an investigation into the matter.