The case of the silver box (aka son of Y.A.R.N.)

people were interested in a sequel to Sealemon’s great idea?

May I propose:

“The case of the silver box”

Chapter I

Stan Spardini stared gloomily out the window at the frigid rain pouring over North Beach. Would the San Francisco sun make an appearance today? He threw a savage glance at the envelopes filling the inbox. With one swift gesture, he swept them into the trash. The creditors would just have to wait for the unlikely event of one of his deadbeat clients to find themselves in a generous mood and send him a few dollars.

After a few moments of reflexion, Sam decided it would be wiser to head down to Guido’s grill. His decision was aided by the sight of the empty gin bottle on the desk and the fact that his last cigarette was down to a stub. Home was out of the question; on the off chance Brigid was there, he knew a long discussion, probably ending in tears, would be unavoidable. Carefully locking up his trusty revolver (good old Sally, he murmured ;), he stood up, when through the frosted window marked “Private Investigator” he saw a shadow and noticed the door handle slowly turning…

La franchise ne consiste pas à dire tout ce que l’on pense, mais à penser tout ce que l’on dit.
H. de Livry

Sam picked up the gin bottle. It was entirely possible that it was Joey “fishhook” Lingugidi, the mob torpedo he had put away back in '78. He had heard that Joey was finally up for parole.

Sam stood to the side of the door, bottle upraised, as the door opened, and a hand with a pistol in it poked through the doorway.

You say “cheesy” like that’s a BAD thing.

And in walked a woman. Not just any woman, but the woman Stan dreamed of when he fell asleep over his scotch and water (hold the water) on the long nights when he didn’t bother to go home.

This woman seemed to have been designed by an architect with a full set of French curves and no straightedge. Everything about her billowed and rolled like a shipwrecked sailor’s dream of the homeward sea. She was dressed in black from high-heeled feet to veiled head. In one hand she held a gun, and in the other she held a small, silvery box.

Stan looked the vision up and down, from the tiny feet in those high, high heels, over all the lush real estate in between, up to the veil that didn’t quite cover the waves of rich brown hair. She aimed her gun carefully at Stan’s forehead and waited, but she didn’t seem inclined to speak. So Stan said…

“Well, well, Margaret… no, it’s “Celeste,” now isn’t it?.. I see you decided that the life of the convent wasn’t your scene. Never struck me as your natural habitat… Care for a drink?” he coolly asked, shifting his weight onto one leg and twisting off the cap of the gin bottle. “Gin and tonic, like old times?”

Celeste cooly takes the drink, leaving a ring of perspiration on the bar. “You’re sweating dear,” the man said with all the inspiration of morning glory. “You’re so perceptive Father O’Rourke,” Celeste gingerly cooed.

We live in an age that reads to much to be wise, and thinks too much to be beautiful–Oscar Wilde

As she let her dress slink slowly off her legs. "
Celeste said" I have a confession to make. I alwasys liked Episcopalian priests. I like a man who can drop to the ground and worship on cue. Wit that she turned away and slinked out of the room.

You want brilliance BEFORE I’ve had my coffee!!!

Stan screamed “Noooooooo!”

Then he ran to the rust-stained bathroom down at the end of the hall.

“No man should look that good as a dame,” he thought, as his breakfast saw the light of day again.

Just then he realized he’d left the silver box behind. His head spins around in time to see his bookie walking toward him. “Damn, this is not my night,” he reflected as he wiped gumbo off his shoe. He slowly closes the door before his bookie, who is distracted by an able bodied escort, can spot him. “Got to get back to that box!”

Stan slowly ducked around the corner and stealthily crept back to his office. The unexplained mystery of why “Celeste’s” twin brother, Cecil, would appear in his office dressed as a woman, took secondary place in his mind to the intrigue of the mysterious object that Cecil was carrying.

But once again, fate was not on his side. On re-entering the office, the first thing he saw was Cecil’s lifeless body sprawled on the carpet. The hole between the eyes told a sordid tale. Stan could see his forced desk drawer from which his gun would missing. Something told him one of the bullets from his gun was now inside that body. He quickly searched the pockets, but the silver box was missing.

Just then, his sharp eyes saw on the floor a dropped class B clove cigarette, that he recognized immediately from his avid reading of The Straight Dope. Stan knew only one tobacconist in the city sold that particular brand…

Jackie’s Wacky Tobaaconie.
He left in a huff and a surry and a cab and went to Jackie’s
He opended the door to Jackie’s and thought"Why does a such a great looking dame smell so bad?"

He auntered to the counter and asked “Clove cigarettes, who and why?”
His eyes met Jackies’s as she replied “dunno, I was off that day and because they wasnt someone to feel sorry for them.”

You want brilliance BEFORE I’ve had my coffee!!!

And most people called him Mr. Signorino. Stan called him Slug.

Stan slogged through stinging snow to Slug’s store. “Say,” he said to the kid at the counter, “is Slug around?”

“Mr. Signorino is…not available for visitors.”

“Tell him the man who saved the Siamese is here to see him.”

“Okey-dokey, Smokey, but I don’t think he cares about a cat…”

“It wasn’t a cat, kid. Now go tell Slug I’m here.”

Scratch that one, then. Took too long to compose.

Slug slithers out from the back. His hand’s look crippled and frail, petrified into a position as if holding a pencil. “What’s all the hubbub, Bub?” Slug is pressuring Stan for the cause of all the commotion.

“Slug, don’t you remember your ol’ pal, Stan?”

“I don’t have any pals, Pal!” shrugged Slug.

Stan tries again, "You remember from the old…

… traveling carnival? The guess-your-weight booth? You look like you’ve gained about two and a half pounds."

Slug’s cloudy eyes sharpened to a glimmer of recognition. There was an uncomfortable pause.

“What’s this all about, Stan?”

Stan thought for a heartbeat about how much to reveal. Slug was a good man to have on your side in a fight but on occasion he paid homage to his nickname. Stan took a breath.

“I’m looking for a dame. Drop-dead redhead. Hole right here.” Stan jabbed a finger into Slug’s forehead. “She has something of mine.”

Slug grunted and his face twitched for an instant. He said nothing, but jerked his huge head back and to the left. Stan followed his hulking form down a long hallway. They passed several heavy doors and an old cigar shop indian. The hall grew steadily darker.

Slug stopped suddenly and pulled back a purple drape blocking the end of the hallway. Stan began to choke on a century’s dust. The dust settled slowly, and Stan saw…

Celeste’s brother Cecil, now in manly garb, and looking a lot healthier than the last time Stan had seen him.

“I thought you were d-d-dead,” stammered the usually unflappable Stan, now decidedly flapped.

“Then I guess you don’t know the secret of the silver box,” smirked Cecil.

“There are no secrets around here, silver box or not,” Stan interjected. “I see from the scratches around the lock, that you couldn’t even get it open.”

Stan, being an avid boxer in seminary days, drew his fist back like Ali taking a shot a Bruce Lee.

“Stop fools,” demanded Slug. “Take it to the streets if you want to kill each other, but the box is staying here!”

“I’m sorry Slug, but I need it,” Stan advised.

Slug grabs the box as Cecil bolts for the door. He never even saw Slug pull out his…

rabbit from the battered old silk top hat that was Slug’s trademark sartorial eccentricity. Stan gaped in surprise, but by the time he recovered his wits, Cecil’s footsteps could be heard receding down the hallway.

“Still up to your old tricks, eh?” Stan laughed, but his mind was racing furiously. Could this have anything to do with the curse of St. Philomena’s church, when with Celeste’s help he succeeded in solving the theft of the holy reliquary? But why would Celeste and Slug be collaborating now?

“Well Slug, it’s just you and me now”, but the words had scarcely left Stan’s lips when he was filled with terror by the sound of a blood-curdling shriek. It was unmistakably the voice of …

Scream Queen vixon Cin, pronounced Sin, the darling of Hollywood B movies. She was just happening by when the counter boy recognized her.
“Do it again, do it again!” he pleaded.

“Aaayyyyyeeeeee!” she screamed again.

“What the hell is going on?” demanded Slug.

“Slug? Slug, is that you?” inquired Cin. She was pleasantly surprised. “Slug, you slimey rat, I see you let go of your pencil and picked up a little fur!” She runs her hand across the rabbits head. “I guess I owe Lucky Lenny five bucks.”

“How you doing Cin? Been a long time,” replied Slug.

"I know haven’t seen you since…

We live in an age that reads to much to be wise, and thinks too much to be beautiful–Oscar Wilde