Relay Novel: Detective

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Something about the dame left the hair on Jake’s neck standing at attention. She was built like the Hoover Dam, for one thing, with more legs than hundred-year-old brandy in a gallon snifter, and a red dress that hid them the way a palm tree’s leaves hide its trunk. The easy way she handled his .38, delicately loading each bullet into the chamber before slapping the cylinder back into place, spinning it, and sighting along the cold steel barrel made Jake’s pulse beat like an epileptic jackrabbit, but did not fit well with the school-girl front she put on. Jake would have to ask around about her - he didn’t like getting involved with any frail who expected that waving her gams at him would make him stupid. Not that these gams couldn’t make a brain surgeon drool in his patient. “My fiance Carlo never liked guns,” she purred, “How ironic that he accidentally shot himself nine times while cleaning my six-shooter.” Ironic wasn’t the half of it, thought Jake. This skirt was trouble, and no mistake.
“So what do you say, Mr. Harcourt, will you help me find my missing sister’s wothless silver locket?”
“I guess I’ll take the case, sweetheart” Jake shot at the tomato, and immediately regretted it. “I get a hundred dollars a day, plus expenses, not counting Sundays, federal holidays, and Kwanza.”

“A hundred dollars a day?” she took a long draw off of a short cigarette, and squelched the but in the ashtray on my desk. “I can get a trained monkey to do your job for less.”

“Sure you could, doll, but that would be cruelty to animals. Besides, monkeys make lousy patsies.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about!”

“Sure, you know. Listen, I wasn’t born yesterday under a pile of rocks in the heart of the milktruck district in Muncie, Indiana. I’ve seen enough chippies like you take some poor sap for a ride on his own bus fare, and as far as I’m concerned you can muffle that gaff because I don’t roll over so easy, see?”

“No, I really don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“You got me pegged for a pigeon, and that don’t feature. But I’m gonna take your c per diem and walk the chalk, put the kibosh on your case and sharpshoot myself a sweet piece of change while I’m at it, otherwise I’m not worth the tenpenny nails on that shingle out there. Or maybe you still think I’m a piker, and I’m gonna cherchez les gams right to the Westinghouse hotseat. I guess we’ll see.”

“I’m going to back away towards the door now.”

Well, she didn’t. I watched her leave, like a deer in headlights watching a tennis match on a thirteen inch court.
After she left, I wondered what the hell cherchez les gams meant while I worked on getting my customary squint back.
I had to get moving- She only had $75.00, so I had to solve this little caper fast.
I stepped outside to head down to the spoon where “Carlos” was last seen alive and immediately realized two things- it was colder than a re-animated IRS agent’s heart out, and this skirt was still a problem.
I scrammed back inside to change into some pants, and came out swinging, just not as much as I had in the skirt.