Wednesday, April 10, 2013
The Adventures of Duffy Dean, Detective (II)
Dinner at the Chateau Cheetah was memorable. Kitty Boo Boo, resplendent in velvet and diamonds, picked daintily at her goose pate, while I took on a huge prime rib, rare. We shared martinis and then a bottle of Hazlitt 1852. Her eyes shown as bright as her jewels in the flickering glow of table candles. Quiet renditions of Cat Stevens songs, covered by the blind piano player and his jazz trio, flittered about the room like hummingbirds.
After sharing post-dinner cordials, while I puffed on a giant Cuban cigar, I turned to Kitty and asked, “So, doll, tell me what you need. Why did you seek me out?” My mind imagined many delectable responses to my query, but instead she looked down and murmured, “I have to find it. I just have to!”
“The statue. The onyx Drakones Indikoi.”
I scoffed. “You mean the supposedly famous carving of Indian dragons? Everyone knows that that piece of art is a myth. Never existed. It was just a scam to get archeological funds from a gullible public.”
Fire flashed in her eyes, and her cute Persian nose crumbled in disgust. I thought for sure I was in for a cat fight. Her whiskers flickered like antennae on an overexcited roach. Her fur ruffled and her pearly white teeth broke the edge of her sultry mouth. But like a skilled seductress, she quickly gained control of her anger and the stared confrontationally at me.
“No. It exists. My papa stole it from the Baghdad Museum during the fall of Saddam and snuck it to the States. He had to have had help from government insiders, I am sure, someone in the CIA or the Army, but I don’t know. He never told me. But he said only a few cats knew of it, or where he had hidden it. But he told me. And it cost him his life.” Water began to well in her eyes, and my feline heart ached. A perfect crystal tear formed and then fell to the starched white linen. “The found him horribly beaten and murdered. Those rats, I want them dead and his treasure returned. They tore out the wall behind which it was hidden. He fought hard not to give up the secret location, but he failed.”
“Because you are the only one I can trust. I don’t know who in the government or from overseas knew about it, but either it was an inside job or someone spilled the beans. But it has to be an outsider.”
“This sounds like a job beyond my skills.”
“But Duffy,” she purred. “ I know you have a lion heart and mad skills. Everyone says you are the best. I may not be able to pay you, but I will make it worth your while.” A bolt of electricity turned my muscles to rubber. How could I refuse a damsel in distress?
“I need to see the scene. Can we go there?”
“Of course. I can take you tomorrow.”
“Then tomorrow it is. I’ll pick you up at 10.”
[Join us tomorrow as we continue The Adventures of Duffy Dean, Detective on this radio channel.]