Private Investigator – Chapter 6
Frank Francis is a private detective. A private eye. A private dick.
Chapter 6 – I See Your Face Before Me
In walked a dame. She walked like a dame, talked like a dame. There was no gettin’ around it, folks. This lady was a damn fine dame.
I was expecting Albert Garaventa that morning as I’d hired him on as my bodyguard to continue our investigation into his fixed boxing match. I was slouched over and sloppily dressed as usual. No need to impress that big galoot. So when the galoot’s ravishing girlfriend sashayed in I was taken by surprise and quickly corrected my posture. I straightened up so fast a disc popped in my back and I let out a feminine squeal of pain that I clumsily transitioned into a manly cough.
“Albert’s busy today so he sent me instead, Detective.”
I scoffed as I rubbed my strained back disc. “But you’re a girl. Who’s ever heard of a lady bodyguard?”
Olivia St. John came around my desk and kicked me so hard in the junk that I tasted it.
“You’re hired,” I squeaked.
We arrived in Newark to interrogate the referee who was in the ring that night for the Garaventa/Gutierrez match. If anyone could tell something was fishy that night, it would be him. Unless Dorsey had gotten to him first. I let Olivia drive while I iced my groin with some frozen peas.
“Sorry about your boys, I’m just tired of men questioning me because I’m a woman.”
“If you keep wearing those pointy heels, Tommy Dorsey can’t touch us.”
“So you really think Dorsey is behind all this?”
“I know he is. But without any proof, we don’t have a case. This ref is our last chance.”
Referee Christie Browne was slung up in bed with both arms and one leg in casts and his mouth wired shut. Over the course of five excruciating minutes, he slowly scribbled “H-E-L-L-” with his left foot, but before he could get to the “O” we turned and blew the joint.
That evening at a pub across the street from my Hoboken office, Olivia and I were drowning our sorrows. The place was deserted and the barkeep Tony was mopping up as a crooner belted out an old standard from the jukebox.
“What are we gonna do, Detective? Dorsey keeps silencing anybody who knows anything about the match. Is he just gonna get away with this?”
“Not if I can help it. I’m afraid I’m gonna have to go straight to the source.”
“You’re gonna go talk to Tommy Dorsey?”
I nodded bravely, as long as you didn’t see my knees wobbling like a palsy patient under the table. “Just need a few more swigs of liquid courage.”
“Thank you so much for taking on Albert’s case, Detective. I don’t know how I’ll ever repay you.”
“Cash would be fine. Or a check.”
Olivia smiled warmly, her freckles glinting in the dimly-lit bar booth. “How about a dance?”
“Okay, but I’m really gonna need a cash payment after this case is–“
“We’ll–we’ll pay you.”
Olivia St. John took my hand and rested her head on my shoulder as we gently swayed to the crooner’s sad tune. As her bosom sighed against my chest, my heart raced and I felt a feeling I hadn’t felt in a very long time.
I had a boner.
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