Reformed burglars never rest
Sleuth About Town
"Brr... I'm cold."
Those were the first words that came out of Elizabeth March's mouth as she entered the hall of the well located house in London. Luckily, the place was warm and cozy.
Empty, too. She wondered were all the servants were.
Well, they'd show up, eventually. She could bet they were in the kitchen, talking and playing cards. She didn't mind. They deserved their rest and some fun.
With that in mind, she moved to the living room, dragged a chair near the fireplace and sat there, just staring at the roaring fire.
Much was in her mind. Her past life as a burglar still haunted her. All the wrong things she had done still lived in her nightmares. The woman let out a tired sigh. All that was in the past now.
She had a new life. An agency. Friends. A new name.
Yes. A new life.
It could be a better one, if she didn't have to carefully hide her past from everyone. She had to mind every word that came out of her mind. Every letter she received. Every phone call...
She sighed and got up, reluctantly.
"Miss Elizabeth March?"
"Yes. Who's there?"
"Just a friend who wants you to know that dreams may shatter like glass..."
"What, what do you..."
He had hung up, and so did she.
She was still standing by the phone, trembling, when she heard the footsteps. She didn't turn around. It was probably just one of the servants. Yes, it was Gerald, her butler.
He had asked something whose meaning she couldn't reach. Maybe how she was.
"Sorry, Gerald. I'm fine. I was talking on the phone, and felt slightly light-headed."
She forced a smile to the man. He smiled back.
"Maybe you should take a bath and rest, ma'am.", the man suggested, carefully.
"Not now. I've got a phone call to make. After that, I'll do what you say."
She watched as the man left the room and picked the phone back up. She dialed a number, hoping the person on the other side was home. (...)
Detective Marc Lacrimosa walked up the steps of the house. He knocked three times on the front door. A young attractive woman answered the knock.
"Yes?" she asked.
"Are you Ms. Elizabeth March?" he asked her.
"Yes I am. Are you the one that was sent over here?" She asked Marc.
He nodded and she invited him in. Marc removed his fedora as he entered the house. It was beautiful on the inside. Compared to his appartment on the other side of town, this place was like a mansion.
Elizabeth offered Marc a seat and he accepted it. Then they got down to business.
"So," Marc said after a moment of silence, "how can I be of service to you?"
Sleuth About Town
Elizabeth welcomed the man into her house, seeing that he was comfortably seated before taking her own seat, right in front of him. Her eyes measured the man, looked at his posture and his eyes. After that, she looked satisfied. He seemed to be trustworthy.
"Well, it's not that complicated for a good detective. I have certain... facts in my past that I don't wish to see spread out to the public. But someone who knows about these facts thinks differently. He doesn't ask me for money or anything else, which makes me believe that this is not about blackmailing. I'd say it's about ruining the life I have created for myself."
She let out a deep sigh, looking tired and unhappy.
"I need you to find out who is doing this to me, and why."
Another sigh, and she gestured for a bottle of scotch and a glass, placed within the reach of Marc's hand.
"Help yourself, if you like, and tell me your price and if you have any questions, please."
She seemed to be straight-forward, just business, but her light green eyes were clearly scared.
Marc reached into his pocket and pulled out a metal flask instead of reaching for the glass of scotch. He took a swig of the whiskey and swallowed hard.
"Help yourself, if you like," She said gesturing to the scotch, "and tell me your price and if you have any questions, please." She sounded deperate.
"My price goes for what ever you think is reasonable. As for questions, I have just a couple of questions." Marc said.
"What are your questions?"
"1. You say there are certain facts in your life that you do no wish to discuss. That is understandable but I need to ask you if you have any idea at who might be doing this. Who else might know about your past that is wishing to ruin your new life?
2. What is there address?" Marc asked.
She looked at him puzzled as if to think "a price that I think is reasonable?"
She opened her mouth to speak.
Sleuth About Town
She sighed as she watched him take a sip of his own flask.
"Suspicious, are we?", she murmured softly.
"All right. I find reasonable that you tell me how much you charge for a day's work..." She answered calmly. "If I find your price too high, then I migh negotiate."
Another sigh. She looked tired.
"All right, to your questions. One, I used to develop some not so honest activities with a group of people. All of them know my past, and two of them have motives to want to see me in a hard situation. I'll give you their names and addresses."
She stopped talking and wrote down two names and adresses, her hand trembling all through the process.
"There you go. Anything else, by now?"
Marc took the paper with the names and addresses.
"We'll negotiate prices when my work is finished." He said. When a look of shock came over her face, he smiled and said, "I don't charge too much. I"m cheaper than most detectives."
He pulled out his pocket watch. It was almost dark outside. Night time was dangerous. He'd have to begin his work in the morning. He stood up holding his fedora.
"Ma'am," He said sounding concerned, "I think it would be best if you stayed in a hotel or at a friends house. If you need to, I know people who can make sure you get the utmost protection if someone is trying to hurt you not only mentally, but physically too." Marc reached into his pocket and pulled out his card.
"This is my card. It has my office address on it. If you need anything, you can reach me here." Marc handed it to her. He put on his fedora, said good bye and stepped out side.
The wind was cold, turning his cheecks red as he walked in the cold weather. Reaching into his other pocket, he pulled out his pipe, filled it with tobacco and lit it, making his way back home to get some sleep. Tomorrow, he'd start his newest case since catching Charles Craig. (see disillusioned detecitives)
Sleuth About Town
She gave no answer as the detective told her what he believed she should do. She nodded and smiled to herself. "What friends?", her mind asked her. But a hotel would be nice.
She took the card and finally read the name on it. A deep sigh went through her lips. She was tired. Forgetting her problems for a moment, Elizabeth took the man to the door and closed it.
Five minutes later, she was upstairs packing her suit case. Ten minutes, and she was out on the street. She took a room in a small hotel and went inside. She'd think about all the matters in the morning.
"Pierce, I believe your room is right across the hall from mine! That's convenient!" Molly said, clapping her hands. They parted ways then; Pierce turning the key to his room and Molly turning the key to open her door-- and coming face to face with a strange woman!
"What on earth are you doing in my room?" Molly gasped, her tone scandalized. Pierce whirled and dragged Molly behind him, slipping seamlessly into his role of protector.
"But...this is my room! How do you have a key?" the woman demanded. Molly noticed she had dropped a card in frustration; it was gusted into the hall, where Molly picked it up.
"Marc Lacrimosa..." she read, then snapped her head up. "Is Marc working for you? He's a good friend of mine! I'm a detective as well. This is my bodyguard, Pierce."
She handed the card back to the woman. "Well, this is a matter easily cleared up by the front desk. Lets have Pierce go down, and you can tell me all about the case you have Marc on."
"Miss Maltese, you shouldn't be so trusting..." Pierce said in a stiff voice, wondering why on earth the woman bothered hiring a guard when she insisted on throwing herself into potential peril at every opportunity. But he didn't mind it that much, he found. Molly Maltese was a charming, lovely woman. He knew countless chaps who would kill to have his position.
With one last tense look about the room, he spun on his heel to go speak to the concierge and have the mix-up settled as quickly as possible.
Marc woke up the next morning after a long night's sleep. He wasn't off to a great start to begin with. He had over slept and was late getting to his office, where he reviewed his case file. The night before, he was called to a woman's house named Elizabeth March. There, she'd given him two names of people that he should talk to.
One of them was a man named Tim Robinson-a former mafia trooper who used to work with La Cosa Nostra; now just a gangster of the streets. Marc read that Robinson and March had some ties to each other and something happend, (he didn't know what) that made him want to black mail her.
The other was a man named Mike McDaniel-another gangster of the street who once worked with Ms. March. Something also happend that Marc didn't know about causing him to dislike Elizabeth as well. The files of each person had her name as working with them but there was nothing that could point out exactly what happend as to what would cause them to try and threaten her like this.
After some consideration about who to go talk to first, Marc decided to go talk to Tim Robinson first. Reaching into his desk, he pulled out his subnosed .30 caliber revolver, checked to make sure it was loaded, holstered it, and grabbed his jacket and trench coat and fedora.
"I'll be back in a couple of hours," Marc said to Grace, his secretary. "Hold all my messages." He walked out the door to and made his way to Tim Robinson's house.
The next morning tried to ring Marc but only got his secretary.
"Grace, darling, it really is of the utmost importance that I speak to Marc." Molly explained patiently, but Grace was unrelenting, telling her she would take a message.
"Couldn't you possibly just tell me where he went?" Molly cajoled, absently adjusting Pierces tie when he came to stand beside her. But Grace refused.
"Bloody hell, woman, Marc should be proud. I doubt even the most insidious German could crack you! Tell him to call me at once; I've just been apprised of the case he's on!"
She hung up and turned to Pierce. "Lets go get some bloody breakfast."
While in the lobby of the hotel Molly bumped into an old friend and fellow detective Charlie Cain.
" Charlie! what are you doing here?" Molly asked across the crowded dinning lobby.
Charlie smiling and looking around replied " Molly this is London I live here and right now I'm having breakfast. Please join me...You to Pierce."
The friends talked and caught up on current events then Charlie asked " So Molly whats going on?"
" Charlie what makes you think something is going on?" Molly asked by trying to keep a plain face.
" Hey I'm a detective and besides I know you. Tell me whats up." Charlie said enjoying his eggs and bacon.
"Ok, look Marc is working on a case I just got wind of. Now I'm trying to get ahold of him to see if he wants any help." Molly said with a playful pout.
" Marc huh? Well fill me in maybe I can help." Charlie said wiping his mouth with his napkin.
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