Private Investigator – Chapter 1
Chapter 1 – In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning
The gun was pointed at my face, which is one of my least-favorite places for a gun to be pointed. Someone else’s face, fine; but mine? Thanks, but no thanks.
The gun pointed at my ugly mug was being held by Tommy Dorsey, who happened to have an ugly mug of his own; though I wouldn’t have told him that at the time because he was pointing a gun at my ugly mug. Better to keep the man pointing a gun at your face thinking he’s pretty as a peach, I always say.
“You’re as pretty as a peach,” I said.
“The fuck did you just say to me.”
I had to re-think my approach.
“Look Tommy, I don’t know what this is all about; but hows about you lower that gun and we talk about this like gentlemen.”
“Hows about I put a slug in your brain instead.”
I had to re-think my approach.
Tommy Dorsey was the biggest crime kingpin in New Jersey. My name’s Frank Francis. I’m a private detective. A private eye. A gumshoe. A private dick. You know now that I think about it, people called me ‘dick’ a lot, actually. Often even before I told them what I do for a living.
“Maybe you should be the detective,” I’d tell their puzzled angry faces.
Tommy had called me a lot of things that night; but ‘dick’ wasn’t one of them.
On second thought, yes; ‘dick’ was most definitely one of them. One of the main ones, to be honest.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
A few weeks earlier I was sitting in my office in downtown Hoboken early one morning when in sashayed a long-legged brunette. Nobody had ever sashayed into my office before. I usually just walked in and my secretary Dolly trudged. When I asked her not to trudge, that just seemed to make her trudge even more.
The aforementioned long-legged brunette was an exotic beauty. She had the twice-aforementioned long legs, jet-black hair, dark sultry eyes and freckled olive skin. She looked half-Chinese.
“You look half-Chinese,” I said.
“What?” she replied sultrily.
“What do you want. I’m busy,” I lied. Always make ’em think you’re busier than you are. Even if you’re just sitting there.
“You’re just sitting there,” she said. This dame was good. “My name’s Olivia St. John. And I think my boyfriend is in trouble.”
After she said the b-word, I lost interest. But then she said the c-word and I gained that interest right back.
“I can pay cash. I was told you’re the most affordable private detective in town.”
She was disappointingly correct.
“I’ll take the case.”
“I haven’t even told you what it is yet.”
“Lady, I’m a detective. I’ll figure it out.”
She seemed dubious. Seeming dubious is the most common reaction amongst people who speak with me. Seeming like they’re gonna punch me in the face is the second-most common.
“But just for your sake, why don’t you tell me what’s going on.”
“My boyfriend is Albert Garaventa.”
“Garaventa, the boxer? That bum?” I blurted out, stupidly. Blurting stupidly is my most common manner of speaking. Ninety percent of things I say are blurted stupidly. If I stopped blurting stupidly people wouldn’t think I was a private detective. They’d think I was a monk.
“I think Albert was forced to throw his last fight.”
This made a lot of sense to me; because I took a wash on that fight, as did most of the tri-state area. Garaventa’s career took a turn after that fight. Some said he’d never box again. I was one such person Another of my stupid blurts.
“Who made him throw the fight?”
I was on the case. Nobody throws a fight in my town. The fight was technically in Jersey City; but that’s beside the point. Tommy Dorsey was going down. You might be dubious because he’s got a gun pointed at my face at the beginning of this chapter. Why’s everyone always so dubious. Just makes me wanna blurt stupidly.
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