"There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch."
Before there was Philip Marlowe, there was John Dalmas, a character very much like Marlowe. (In some later editions of this short story, the protagonist's name is actually changed to Marlowe's.) Here, he investigates a series of murders in classic hard-boiled fashion.