I had the missing black monkey now, and I figured that somebody would soon be contacting me about it. This could be a big cream filled donut day for me. I just had to play with my gahoneys right and I’d walk away clean and with enough cash to pay off all my debts, then Gretchen and I could take off for some fun time in Aruba. She’s a fun gal, especially when she has six or seven Mai Tais in her, and great looking in a towel. I stayed in my office that night waiting for the inevitable phone call, it came about 50 minutes later. It was Clara Cairo saying that she had found the body of Margo and knew that I had the statue, I told her I did and asked her how much she was willing to pay for it. She said that Mz Fattaman wanted to meet me and discuss terms, I agreed and told her I would meet them at my apartment in about two hours and to bring Brigid and plenty of cash with them, I wouldn’t accept any checks, credit cards, or three week old donuts. She agreed to my terms and I then returned to my apartment to wait.
A little after 9:30 Mz Fattaman, Clara Cairo, and Brigid all arrived at my apartment. Mz Fattaman was a rotund woman in her late fifties with too much makeup on and wearing a grey jogging outfit than had the team logo of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the front, she had 12 strands of pink pearl necklaces around her neck and walked with the help of a cane that had a carved amethyst toad on the handle. Clara’s perfume was again overpowering, so I opened my apartment windows to let in some much needed fresh air. Brigid was wearing the same cat hair covered outfit that she wore when she visited me the first time, she looked a little more worried about the way things had turned out for her. She didn’t seem very grief stricken by the death of her sister, or maybe no one had told her yet. I made everyone a drink of tomato juice and relish, no reason to waste the good stuff on these characters, and then asked Mz Fattaman how much she was willing to pay me for the return of her black monkey. She said she was willing to pay $10,000 in cash right now for the return of the black monkey, I just smiled at her, and then cold-cocked Clara to the floor, there would be no gun play in my apartment. Mz Fattaman was now defenseless and would get no protection from Clara. I told her that I had searched Google for clues about the black monkey and I knew how much it was really worth. A shadow of worry and despair now crossed Mz Fattaman’s face, she offered $55,000 for its return, no more she said. We thumb wrestled for a higher price and then after losing three out of four rounds I mentioned that I could send them all to jail for the murder of Margo and the smuggling of Hindu Wicca Warcraft artifacts, after that we agreed to $70,000 cash. This was ending up to be a good case for me.
Mz Fattaman said that she didn’t have that much on her and that she’d have to have a courier deliver it from her bank in the morning. I didn’t quite believe her, do to the fact she looked well padded to me, but I agreed to her plan and said that after the courier left I would have the black monkey brought here. As we waited through the night I kept a steady watch on the heaving breasts of Clara and Brigid. I was the only one with a gun now, having frisked them all earlier. I think Clara enjoyed it too much though. It was around 10:30 the next morning that the bank courier arrived with Mz Fattaman’s money, I then called Gretchen and explained to her where the package was and that she needed to hurry over to my apartment with the package. I could only hope that she understood me, it was early, and she was after all a blonde.
Gretchen arrived at my apartment at a little before noon. She smelled like she had just eaten a BigMac with onion rings, I asked her about it, and she said she preferred Whoppers. I’d have to test her on that later. I took the package from her and quietly told her to go back to my office and that I would soon be there. Mz Fattaman was overly excited about seeing the package, her blue mascara was dripping and leaving a stain on my carpet, she could recognize that the newspaper wrapping was indeed from Egypt. She clumsily handed over my cash and took the package from me, then unwrapped it in a blur of paper shards, like a drooling kid on Christmas. The others watched in excitement as the black monkey was slowly revealed.
“No, no!!!” Mz Fattaman uttered in anguish. “It’s the wrong monkey, this is Mr. Zippy. You fool we’ve been chasing the wrong monkey.”
“You, you, did this, you bungled this you greasy fat woman,” was Clara reply as she started to weep and tear out her orange dyed hair, years lost on a fool’s quest.
“No, this can not be!! Come Clara we will start again. My money if you please, Mr. Edaps.”
“The moneys mine fat woman, I delivered the black money as I promised.”
“Ha, ha, so you did, perhaps this will persuade you.”
Mz Fattaman then pulled a two shot derringer from the top of her cane, maybe not as powerful as my 45, but none the less it would be enough at this close range. I handed over the money to Mz Fattaman, but I kept two thousand.
“Expenses and for my silence,” I said.
“Indeed, well played Mr. Edaps, come Clara we must go.”
“What about me?” Brigid asked of Mz Fattaman.
“You may come too, I may have need of your treacherous ways. A most interesting little game, Mr. Edaps, ha, ha.”
I waited for about 15 minutes to make sure they were gone. The cash in my pocket was beginning to give me a growing excited feeling. I then headed back to my office to meet Gretchen. I was careful in watching my back, always suspecting that Cairo would be following me, thinking that perhaps I had tricked them. But they were gone, off to Egypt again I suppose. Not a bad couple of days work, I thought to myself. I had enough now to pay off my landlord and maybe some left over to pay my tab at Jimmys. Maybe I’ll just wait for the next case to come around before I pay Jimmy. Gretchen was there, faithfully waiting just as I told her to. She seemed hypnotized watching the goldfish go round and round in its bowl.
“Anybody been here dollface?”
“What?, what?, oh, ahh, No, Sam its been quiet, no phone calls or anything. What happened to the rug?”
“It’s a long story sweetheart, I’ll tell you about it later.”
“Come with me, I have something to show you.”
We went into my private office and I unzipped my trousers and took out the key I had hidden there. Gretchen giggled with excitement. Then I unlocked the bottom drawer of my desk and took out a package wrapped in an old banana colored bandana. I unwrapped it carefully, revealing the real black monkey. Last night I had opened the package that Margo had delivered to me before her death and found two black monkeys inside. My search on Google had given me enough information to realize which one was the most valuable, so I kept it and rewrapped the worthless one for Mz Fattaman, my plan worked perfectly.
“What is it Sam?”
“It’s the thing that E-bay is made of…………”