Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Adventures of Duffy Dean, Detective (XII)

Believe me, I don’t mind mixing it up. Not that I am a violent cat, really. I am a lover, not a fighter. Unless someone gets my dander up.

I jumped up from my seat and headed out into the main salesroom and saw that the front window had been smashed. It looked like someone threw a trash can threw it. Cameras and photography equipment was scattered about. The I saw the Hulk, accompanied by Flame, approach the front door. “Phil, get outta here.” I didn’t have to tell my friend twice, and not a second too soon, as the Hulk’s bulk busted the front door. So much for locks.
Clearly I had to deal with him first and I pick up a stanchion and slammed it into his ugly mug. He fell backward and I could see blood blossoming on his face. I stepped back just in time to deflect a paw coming at me with a switchblade, and I caught Flame with a hefty kick to the solar plexus. I grabbed his arm and snapped it back, and I heard a deep howl squeal out of his mouth. He wasn’t being smart now. Hulk was quickly back back in action and swinging like Brock Lesnar, so I clipped him in the knee, which staggered him, then hit him again with the largest telephoto lens I could heft. It was as big as a telescope, and it was lights out for the Meow Mountain. He crashed to the floor. Flame, arm hanging akimbo, was now aware that it was me and him and that he probably couldn’t fend me off. I didn’t feel like any more fisticuffs, and wasn’t in the mood for a knife fight, so I pulled my piece. Flame froze like a frightened feline. He shiftily looked left and right. I thought I heard some sirens off in the distance. Then. . .the lights went out.

I came to face down on the floor. My head ached from the conking. Someone had blasted me hard. I tried to get up but I wobbled like a sailor on shore leave. The Hulk was still collapsed in the doorway. Cameras and equipment were strewn about, and all drawers and shelves were cleaned off. Several policemen surveyed the damage, but no one seemed interested in providing medical aid to me or my assailant. Then I saw a pair of orange paws peeking out behind a cabinet. I tried to think hard if I had gotten in a lucky shot.

“Duffy, Duffy, Duffy. What am I going to do with you?” Detective Tom was coming out of the back room. “Always a disaster waiting when I hear you have been involved in something. What do you think they were looking for?”

I grumbled a hello, but every syllable clanged painfully inside my head. “Whatever it was, I hope they didn’t get it. Where’s Phil?”

“In the back. Someone roughed him up pretty badly. He said you and he were going over a planned photography stakeout when the bully boys came in.”

“That’s right.”

“So, it looks like you were handling them ok. Why’d you have to kill them?”


I looked again at Hulk and I saw a neat round hole in the top of his head. I staggered up and then looked at Flame. He had a small hole too, right between his eyes. My gun was in the center of the room.”

“If I check the piece, will there be two missing bullets?” Tom asked.

“Don’t know, but I didn’t shoot them.”

“No, I don’t imagine you did, though I am sure the murderer would love for us to believe you did. Phil said several more people came in, but he thought you were already out by that time, since he would have heard you mouthing off to them. Whoever got you, did it from behind. Why they didn’t just finish you off, I don’t know. Maybe they thought we would take care of it.”

“Is Phil ok?

“Yeah, he’ll be fine. A few bruises. They busted up the place good though.”

“Can I see him?”

“He’s at the hospital, where we are going to send you in a few. “
“You gonna arrest me?”

“No, I think the evidence points to a frame, and I know you would never shoot a downed man, no matter how much you disliked him. At least he didn’t know what hit him. I just can’t understand why they were killed.”

I mulled over the demise of my tormentors. Then it hit me. “Because they were injured and would have had to get treatment, and you guys would have been asking questions.”

The realization that my words might be true drew a deep breath. “These guys are really serious. I can’t imagine Wabo doing this.”

“What about Sattar?”

“Mmmmm. Don’t know. I’ll have to check him.”

At about this time the pain got more intense and I could feel my head splitting, and I slumped back to the floor. I could feel Tom grabbing me and trying to hold me, but it was no use.

I must have blacked out, because when I awoke, I was on a gurney and the sterile white lights of a hospital ward blazed above me. A really hot nurse was checking a bag, and it took every painful muscle in my face to eke out a quick wink in her direction. Hey! Priorities. As I was slowly able to take in the room I saw Phil sitting in a corner, reading a magazine. He looked up as I stirred.

“Did they get the film? Or the police get it?”

“Neither. I put it in an envelope and dropped it into the to-be-developed bin. Neither group even thought to look in there for some reason. I’ll fish it out when I go back and survey the damage.”

“Who was it? Did you tell them anything?”

“They roughed me up, but I kept telling them the same thing I told the detective. Surveillance planning. I don’t think the thugs bought it, but the coppers seemed to.”

“Did you see them?”

“Two of them. American shorthairs. Fairly big. One brown and white, the other black and white. They could have been brothers though. Tough cats. They worked on me a bit, but they knew not to go too far. They could have ended me. Not sure why they didn’t kill you, since I think they killed the two other ones.”

“Maybe because they still need information from me, in case they didn’t find the film. That thing is dynamite. Are you covered in all this? I’ll try to get you some money from my savings.”

“Don’t worry about it. I’m covered.”

Cutie nurse came in and said I was going to have some stitches, and she smiled as I felt myself going back under.

[Join us tomorrow as we continue The Adventures of Duffy Dean, Detective on this radio channel.]

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