There really wasn’t much I had to do that day, I was just fantasying what it would be like to be naked in a hot tub with Greta Garbo, while waiting for a new case to walk in the door and offer me lots of cash to solve whatever it was they needed. I wasn’t in the mood to be particular, my landlord had threatened to remove me from my apartment if I didn’t come up with the rent money I owed him for the last six months.
It was on a Tuesday as I remember that it all started, perhaps the most baffling case I would ever have. I was sitting at my desk in my third floor office in downtown Los Angeliess. The weather had been hot and muggy all week and I had to keep the windows open for some fresh air, the flies buzzing around my trashcan were beginning to be annoying, I could hear the traffic below and smell the smoke from the burning forest fires near San Jehovah 80 miles away. It was going to be a long week I thought as I sat there with my coffee flavored bourbon, trying to figure out how I was going to come up with the money to pay that sleaze bag landlord of mine, J. Houston. The thought had crossed my mind that maybe I should have Quido pay him a visit and carefully, in his unique manner, explain things to Mr. Houston, but all that was about to change. Oh, my name is Sam Edaps, I’m a private eye, and this is the case I call “The Case of the Black Monkey”.
The door to my private office opened and in stepped Gretchen Holly, my secretary.
“Sam, there’s a woman out here who wants to see you about a new case.”
“Thanks sweetheart, give me a moment then send her in.”
The woman before me was in her early thirties and dressed in an ensemble that looked like she had slept in it the night before, or maybe she had had a backseat rumble party with a passing stranger, either way it was wrinkled as much as a chewing gum wrapper that had been in the gutter too long. It was black with what appeared to be cat hairs littered on her arms and down to the hemline, obviously a cat lover. I’ve always been wary of people who like cats so I immediately took a dislike to her, and felt I wouldn’t be able to believe a thing she was about to lie about. She wore a pink wide brimmed bonnet that had yellow and blue asters on it, and she had on yellow and red striped ducky sippers. More signs that she was a little off center. She kept on sneezing and sniffing, and blowing her nose with a monogrammed hanky that had a print of Elvis on it, seemed like the appropriate thing to do to me. From her slurring of her words I knew she was high on something, probably an addict overdosed on Nyquil and Luden’s cherry flavored cough drops.
She told me her name was Brigid O’Savanna, she said she was in Los Angeliess to locate her missing sister, she hadn’t heard from her for three weeks until last night when she got a E-Gram from her at about 11:00, I thought this was odd since Yahoo was down for two hours last night, but I let her continue. She said her sister sounded as if she was in a panic and that she needed help because she had become involved with a man calling himself Thursday Monday, Brigid O’Savanna then explained that she had arranged to meet her sister at the corner of 5th and Walbash that night and she was hoping I would go and help her sister get away from Thursday. I agreed to her plan and charged her 2 hundred dollars for the inconvenience she was about to put me through. She protested about my fee at first, until I explained that on Tuesdays I always went bowling and it was the league finals, and there would be prize money for the winning team. After I explained my situation to her, she agreed. I thought maybe she agreed a little too fast, that maybe I could have asked for 3 hundred and some backseat rumbling on my couch, but I let it go. But I would charge her for any medical expenses I would have should I catch that damn cold of hers. She brought the cold in and she can pay me if I should catch it. After all that’s want I do, I catch things. I’m a private eye. It’s what I love about this job.
Later that evening I waited at the corner of 5th and Walbash, for Thursday or Brigid’s sister to show up. Nobody came. All that came by were a couple of Hungarian midgets. I thought this strange because I was told that they were all deported to Toronto. I waited until about 8:30, then left, standing on the corner of 5th and Walbash was getting me nowhere. All I got for my efforts were a couple of proposals for adult games by some of the pickle warmers near Sam’s bar. It was still early enough for me to go bowling, luckily I always keep a spare bowling ball in the trunk of my car. My team took first place in the league tournaments that night, good thing I went, the fifty dollar prize money I received would come in handy for buying more bourbon tomorrow. It was a long night.
I arrived back at my apartment around 2 am and made my way up the fire escape and through my bathroom window which I always keep unlocked just for such emergencies. I called Brigid O’Savanna’s hotel to find out what kind of game she was playing and to tell her she wouldn’t be getting her money back, I’d done my part. I let the phone ring for about five minutes then I talked to the desk clerk, seems that Brigid O’Savanna had checked out at about 4:00, just a little over 30 minutes after my meeting with her, the desk clerk had no idea where she had gone. My nose was starting to tingle, I think she may have given me her cold. It’s going to cost her a lot more now.
To be continuied...