The Case Of The Missing Kyoto Accord Chapter Seven
People have a lot of misconceptions about detective work. You hear private investigator and you normally think of tough talking guys, beautiful dames etc. Well the first might be true in my case – I tend to talk tough – some would say to make up for the deep-seated insecurities I have about myself, but since I don't tend to hang out with people who talk like that it doesn't matter what they say.
Besides if you can't have the pleasure of talking out the side of your mouth now and then what's the point of doing this type of work? Nine times out of ten you're doing just what that asshole flatfoot said: gathering evidence of infidelity for one or other parties in a marriage. People say we cause divorces, but what a client chooses to do with pictures of her husband playing spank the monkey with a young woman in maid's outfit is up to her not me: P.I.'s don't cause divorces, people do.
On occasion we do run across some genuinely beautiful women but in most cases I only get to see them through the telephoto lens on my camera or in the developing tray in my darkroom. I don't even keep copies of the prints. Once you start and word gets around, and don't kid yourself it will, you'll find yourself one day with more trouble then you can handle as certain parties might be tempted to try to get rid of incriminating evidence.
Oh I've been tempted on occasion, but a few seconds contemplating my body with extra holes in it, or foreign objects sticking out of it laid out on a slab cures me of the thought. I don't like contemplating mortality at the best of times, and my own just isn't something I'm prepared to mess around with no matter how tempting. Dying for an 8"X10" photograph just seems like such a waste.
The one that really gets me, and I blame the Goddamn Brits for this with their drawing room murder investigations is the great public revelation of the killer. It's really that crazy old bigoted bat Hagatha whose to blame for it you know. Even her pansy Belgium hero is treated like dirt and made out to be an object of ridicule in spite of being the one to always put "the cads" in jail.
Anyway all her books end with the whole cast of characters gathered together in the drawing room where the detective reveals who did, where, and with what motive. I've had people come to me for divorce case investigation and they look almost devastated when I hand them the envelope with the photos, videotape, and nicely written report. They want some of that drama that they see in the b- movies, like I'm going to pull aside a curtain revealing their soon to be ex busy humping away with their paramour or something.
If only, my life would be a lot more fun if I had opportunities for a little bit of that action – I mean the drawing room mystery revelation action not the soon to be ex humping her paramour in my office. Although I'm not saying a live sex show wouldn't liven the place up now and then – I've never been really one for taking my work home with me.
But as I was thinking about all that had gone in the previous weeks with Dr. Magneson being killed, right behind my eyes so to speak, my conversations with various interested and interesting parties, and knowing that I had solved both the problem of who murdered the good Doctor and the disappearance of the Kyoto Accord, I saw this could be the perfect opportunity for me to act out my own drawing room revelation. I had the requisite parties: a mysterious femme fatale, a couple of rough customers, and a pretty ingénue. With the four of them and my two buddies from the cop shop it would be a tight fit in here, I wasn't even sure I had enough chairs or coffee cups to go around, but it could still work.
It would also be a good way of ensuring the murderous one didn't get the opportunity to have me alone and perform open-heart surgery through my spine like what had happened to the good Doc. The two cops were my security against being folded, mutilated and spindled after I'd confronted the killer. I've never understood the idiots in the B movies who go alone to the killer's house and expect him to surrender meekly when confronted with the truth of his perfidy. They always seem so surprised when he or she pulls a gun on them or puts the knife through their heart. What did they expect anyway, that confronted with the truth a cold-blooded murderer would give themselves up out of remorse? Sheesh, what idiots.
Nope I was going to make damn sure that I had heavily armed and dangerous people in the same room who were on my side. If things started to get ugly I wanted to make sure that the ugliest people in the room were with me, and I couldn't think of two uglier guys then McIntosh and Gates. Anyway they seem to enjoy their work and I'm sure the opportunity to arrest someone in such public circumstances would tickle their fancies – if a cop has a fancy to be tickled.
They were my first call and although I can't say that they were happy to hear from me, at least they didn't ask me to come over and play with their rubber hoses and phone books. Taking that as a sign that our relationship was improving I ran my idea by them and in spite of a lot of grumbling and swearing on their part they said they'd be there.
I think part of it was that under those gruff exteriors beat the heart of sadists who got their jollies out of arresting people in as public and humiliating a manner as possible. Since this had the potential of it being me, at least in their eyes, being the one publicly humiliated and arrested – if I fell on my face they guaranteed I'd get something in return for wasting their time – that was enough incentive for them to assure me of their cooperation on the day.
Then it was a matter of me persuading four out of five of the other interested parties to show up. I knew the fifth, being Dr. Magneson, had a previous engagement with a six foot hole if he wasn't still spending time in a one size fits all bag slotted away in the oversized filing cabinets they stowed the bodies in down at the city morgue. That left my three friends from the Health Food emporium and Dr. Magneson jr.
It was my pretty friend who answered the phone on three rings and I have to say her voice brightened considerably when she heard my dulcet tones on the other end of the line. When I mentioned that I also wanted her too bring along the two others her voice registered disappointment, but I convinced her of the necessity of their presence by saying I needed to go over out conversations together again because I think that I'd managed to figure out who our culprit was.
She sounded a bit cheerier after that, and I felt even cheerier when she suggested she and I could maybe have a more private discussion afterwards. She said something about making it up to me for having been the cause of my headache that day. Maybe, she said she could work the kinks out of my shoulders. I could almost hear her blush down the phone line when I said I had several kinks that I bet she didn't even know existed, but I'd love for her to help me work them out.
That's the type of conversation that always warms the cockles of my heart, not to mention certain unmentionable, in polite conversation, body parts. Anyway I'd have to quell thoughts like those if I wanted to prevent the blood rushing from my head leaving me incapable of thinking along any lines but one. I was dealing with a cold-blooded murderer and needed to have whatever limited resources I possessed at my disposal.
The final call I had to make was going to be the toughest – it wasn't that I didn't think la Morgenstern wanted to find out who killed her papa, but I just wasn't too sure how well she'd react when I told her the threesome from her dad's clandestine meetings would be showing up. Surprisingly enough that didn't turn out to be much of a problem, what did was her trying to convince me to tell her in advance who the killer was.
After all, she pointed out very reasonably, it was her dad someone had tried to open with a single bladed can-opener. The only way I could forestall her was to ask if she thought she'd be able to sit in the same room as the person she knew to be her father's murderer without giving the game away. She had the good grace to realize the sense in that and promised she would see me at the appointed time: High Noon on that coming Monday.
That had been McIntosh's idea, and I could hear Gates cackling in the room behind him. I didn't mind the image, me facing down the lone murderer, but I was kinda of hoping to avoid the fireworks of the original. I'm not really cut out for the Gary Cooper type rolls – Groucho Marx maybe – by not Gary Cooper. Still the fate was acomplis as the French liked to say, and in just two days the clock would strike and somebody would be going home in a pumpkin for murder.
When the day of the great revelation dawned, it seemed only fitting that the weather in Ottawa was positively apocalyptical, with intermittent showers being relieved by sleet and hail. As I stood at the window staring, and trying to figure out if any of the bizarreness in weather had to do with climate changes, someone tried the handle to the office door.
When whoever it was realized they weren't going to get any satisfaction that way, a gentle knock on the door followed.
"Were not open! If you're having troubles with reading the sign it says office hours 11:00 am until 5:00 pm. Go away until a clock reads somewhere between those two numbers."
"It's me" said a very familiar and sultry voice of the Nordic persuasion.
"You"? I replied
"Me"! She said.
Sure enough when I opened the door it was her; The beautiful, ash blonde, Scandinavian who started me on this search when she showed up in the office all those months ago; Morgenstern. Although she was just as stunningly beautiful now as she had been the first time she crossed my threshold, something was going on inside that perfectly shaped head that was causing her enough distraction that she was marring the smoothness of her temples with unsightly creases.
She brushed by in a waft of fancy shower gels and other exotic feminine scents guaranteed to beguile and bewitch the male olfactory glands, and proceeded into the office. She didn't stop until she was perched on the edge of my desk looking back at me still standing there with the door waiting to be closed behind her. She held my gaze for a second before letting her eyes break the contact to look down at the floor. From another person I would have taken that as an apology, but in her case...Let's just say I'd never figured her for the humble type.
I'd never be able to prove it, but I'd swear during the moment of breaking contact she was able to do a quick scan of the room, ascertaining if she was truly the first arrival. She visibly relaxed when she released that nobody else was here – whatever it was she wanted to say obviously was meant for my ears only.
I'd say it didn't take me longer then a second to close the door, which meant my head must have been turned away from her for a little less then that, so I can only figure her purse had been open and she had this all planed out in advance - the only other explanation for the gun appearing in her hand as quickly as it did implied magic that I don't believe in - so I'll settle for the pre-planned approach.
I guess I'd find out soon enough what she was gonna settle for.