Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Adventures of Duffy Dean, Detective (XIII)

My head still hurt and I was nursing both a brew and the recent memory of a delightfully therapeutic visit by the cutie from the hospital, as I recuperated from the fight and injury. It was peaceful at home, and I tried to get my mind off troubling aspects of the case. I was reading one of Karen Brissette’s fun food forays, which always make me chuckle, when I heard the slightest scratching on my door. It didn’t sound like that of any of my hunnies, so I quickly retrieved my weapon from under the cushion and clicked off the reading light. Then came a light rapping, definitely against the door, but clearly not meant to raise the attention of neighbors. I wondered why it would be so light. If it were one of my recent adversaries, I am sure they would have simply kicked down the door. Nonetheless, I clicked off my safety.

I crept over to the door, unlatched it, and then opened it a crack. When I looked down I saw huge brown eyes, dark muzzle, and brownish body of a female pug, one I was not familiar with. Cute, in a doggy way. She looked up at me with a devilish grin. I then noticed another white pup, set off back against my privacy fence, who was apparently serving as a lookout. I didn’t sense that there was danger here, despite the unusual nature of this visit.

“Detective Duffy Dean?”


“I am Detective Sophie Steshenko, and back there is my partner Delilah Steshenko. We are from the Atlanta Police Office. Can we talk?”

“Want to come in?”

“No, actually, we prefer staying out here.” All I could think of was that I was now dealing with my own canine Cagney and Lacey.
“You are more than welcome.”

“Safer here.”

“OK. You don’t sound like you are from Atlanta? You talk like you might be from my old stomping grounds.”

“Yeah, originally from New York. I had heard about you up there too. You were shacked up with some chicka named Sarah. We used to hear about your parties. Anyway, we decided to come down and visit Atlanta. Heard it was a swinging place for pooches, and we needed a change of pace. We got recruited onto the force and have been working local crime for a while. Mostly counterfeit doggy treats, leather-collar crimes, fixed greyhound races, that sorta stuff.” She had a mischievous twinkle in her eyes, and I could tell she might be a naughty girl. I had to banish those thoughts, however, in light of what I had seen on the film, now safely hidden in a place it would never be found. I wasn’t surprised at all that she was from the City that Never Sleeps.

“So, what can I do for you, dollface.”

She must have been one of those feminists, as I saw her brow furrow slightly, and Delilah’s paw gripped her sidearm a little tighter. “No offense,” I quickly added.

“Don’t worry about it. We’ve heard of you. Quite the reputation as a ladies’ man. But you are also well respected and regarded among detectives as a stand-up guy, even if you are a feline, so we thought we would risk approaching you on a sensitive matter. Normally we wouldn’t be coming out of Dogtown here to chat, but we are on a troubling case, and we heard through the grapevine that you might be working an angle that might dovetail into ours.”

“Maybe. Tell me more.”

“Well, usually, like most activities, interspecies cooperation is relatively rare. It happens, and sometimes folks get along, but usually it is frowned upon. That goes for criminals too. Not much trust, ya know whatta I mean?”


“So, anyways, we started noticing an unusual trade of animal tranquilizers being stolen and shipped out of Atlanta. Apparently the sellers haven’t cared much about their markets, as long as they can move the stuff. Cash is green for everyone. There has also been an uptick (she smirked as she said this) in finely ground catnip dip, canine cannabis, and exotic universal flea powders. We think a local dog gang, the Wolves, has been dealing with someone down here. But recently rumors have revealed that some sort of mistake or error in judgment on behalf of a renegade splinter group may be jeopardizing the illicit dealing, and the Wolves have been anxious to eliminate that potential problem. Then we heard you were handling an unusual case and had come up against some strong-arm tactics, and I decided perhaps to reach out to a fellow investigator. Maybe we could trade information and shut down some bad activities.”

I was liking her even more. She sounded smart and confident, and clearly she was willing to go the extra mile to solve her case. I stepped out and sat of the porch. “How can I help you?”
“Well, we have an idea who might be the local connection, but we needed confirmation.”

“Does the name Wabo strike a bell?”

“Hot damn. We thought he was involved. But it goes higher than that. We think someone on your local council may be more than just a plant by organized crime. We think he is actually the big bosses, protecting shipments and taking a healthy cut.”
Sophie sat on her haunches, and wiped her brow. “It sure gets muggy down here.”

“Yep. Famously hot.”

“We have an undercover source who has tipped up that a shipment will be coming into town here, and it will be monitored closely. The locals are extremely motivated to shut down whatever threat has emerged to their secrecy. If we could cooperate and bust the whole group while the deal is being made, we could close this case on both ends. We don’t know how close they are to squelching their problem.”

“I can assure you that isn’t going to happen. I happen to know what is bothering them and I have the item tucked away in a safe place.”

That brought a wide grin to Sophie’s mug and a little drool to her lower lip. I could see she wanted to rain down a little mayhem on the bad guys. Even the relatively stoic Delilah practically quivered at the thought. “I think we can work together.”

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

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