The Hard Case
by Jeff Burton
I leaned back
in my chair with my feet on the desk and poured
myself another scotch. It was a little early in
the day for the breakfast of champions but I
needed all the help I could get. My one man
detective agency wasn't faring too well. In the
last three weeks the only cases I had were the
cases of scotch whose last inhabitant was sitting
on the desk in front of me. It was half empty. I'm
that kind of guy.
twerped. It used to buzz but we couldn't afford
the buzz anymore and had to send the it back by
registered mail. My secretary, Miss Dulcet, spoke.
As usual the sound of her voice rearranged my
'Sam, you have
a new client waiting to see you.' That was a
sentence I wasn't expecting to hear, but then
again 'Your camel has stolen my watch' was
another sentence I wasn't expecting to hear and I
didn't. So much for philosophy.
'Shoo them in,
Angel, shoo them in.'
stepped into the room. It was followed by the
most beautiful woman I had ever seen swathed in a
heady cloud of blossoms and spice. That fragrance
told a story. I think it was the one about two
Jewish tailors and a lion. My heart played a
bossa nova and my liver played bongos on my
diaphragm. She moved sinuously up to my desk, her
hips telegraphing an invitation in sign language
that would have seen her jailed in five states.
Her hips could have been harnessed to power New
Jersey homes for a week. She sat. I wished she'd
used the chair. She showed a shapely expanse of
thigh. It was a shame it wasn't hers.
'Where did you
find that?' I asked her.
'It came by
post just this morning,' she said. Her voice
sounded like angels eating roast beef. 'I'm just
so frightened, oh I do hope you can help me, Mr
Shakespeare.' She started to cry.
Angel,' I calmed her, 'We'll sort it out. You'd
better start in the middle, I bore easily.'
The story was
simple enough. It was the same story told for
thousands of years wherever men, women and
poultry gather. It was a story of passion. It was
a story of love. It was a story that featured
marsupials. We all know how that goes. I knew
that before long I'd be in the thick of it. I
hoped to one day finally be in the thin of it,
but that day was a long way away. This was going
to be a tough case.