I'm a gumshoe, it's who I am. I get things done, I find things out and I finish the job. The law? That's for the fuzz. It's Their Law, not mine. All I'm saying is that I see it as being more flexible, that's all.
The schmoe sat in front of me was your regular law-abiding Joe Q Public. He had the look about of him of a glass of water - long, shiny and damp - and he was determined to pour out his tale of woe. Seems that he and his sister had been left quite a substantial sum of money when his parents perished in a night-time fire caused by an ill-advised cigarette.
"Well, Momma always said Don't Smoke In Bed," chimed in Rufus, the invisible dragon living in my head who only I could see and hear (don't ask).
"Yeah, Momma also said never to talk to the dragons in your head," I silently replied. It always makes a client nervous when you start having the conversations with your internal head dragons out loud.
This Joe, whose name was Joe coincidentally enough, was still pouring out his tale so I cocked an ear back. Seems that sister dearest (Flo - that's parents for ya) had absconded with the loot before they'd had a chance to luxuriate in their filthy lucre.
"The last thing I remember her saying before she vanished was "We're Going Wrong," opined Joe. "Three days later, I find out all the money's gone."
"Let me guess," I drawled, "a little birdy paid a visit And Your Bird Can Sing." Being a gumshoe means talking the talk as much as walking the walk.
"Actually, my accountant phoned to ask if I was mad, signing all the cash over to Flo like that."
"Close enough," I muttered. "Was she behaving strangely at all?"
"Well," damped Joe, "Bernie said that when he asked what she needed it for, she said she didn't need it. 'All You Need Is Love', she said."
Aha, I thought, the picture's beginning to form. Sister dearest has a secret beau, a secret beau in financial trouble who needs bailing out and she has the funds to do it - as long as she claims the whole lot for herself and leaves poor old brother Joe out in the cold. As sure as a Satellite Beats a lonely orbit through the dark night sky, I knew I was onto something. Sure, it was An Ugly Story but it was one I saw all the time and, if I didn't have this case all figured out, I'd take my hat and Eat It.
Time was a-wasting and I needed to get on the Groovy Train before the trail went cold. I got a list of Flo's favourite haunts from brother Joe and set out to beat the mean streets.
After a few hours of fruitless questioning, I stopped in at one of her regular haunts, Loveblind, a seedy little club on the East side. As soon as I positioned myself at the bar, one of the local skanks sidled her way over.
"You gonna show me a good time, big boy, or you gonna cry yourself to sleep tonight?" she oozed at me.
"I'll Cry Instead," I demurred, sidling an equal distance in the opposite direction. When I caught the bartender's attention, I began to squeeze some info out of him. Seems Flo had been coming in here regular and talking to man named Risingson who'd been coming here equally regularly. He reckoned himself a reverend and ran a mission over by the dock, place by the name of When Doves Cry, and he'd been gradually adding a lot of regulars to his flock.
A little undercover work at the mission brought some real enlightenment (and not your airy-fairy religious kind, neither). Seems the Reverend Risingson had been persuading the local waifs and strays to donate their worldly possessions to his private church for a place at his own personal paradise - a thirty-acre ranch located just outside The City.
There was nothing else for it. It was time for me to go in like a Wild West Hero and rescue Flo from Shangri-La. It might also be time to start getting ready for some hat chewing...
To Be Continued...
What Was All That About?:- Well, if you're not sure, go here. See? Clear as mud.
Their Law - Prodigy
Don't Smoke In Bed - Nina Simone
We're Going Wrong - Cream
And Your Bird Can Sing - The Beatles
All You Need Is Love - The Beatles
Satellite Beats - Fantastic Plastic Machine
An Ugly Story - The Muppets
Eat It - Weird Al Yankovic
Groovy Train - The Farm
Loveblind - Jamiroquai
I'll Cry Instead - The Beatles
Risingson - Massive Attack
When Doves Cry - Prince
Wild West Hero - E.L.O.
Shangri-La - The Rutles
(Yes, out of the thousands of tracks on the iPod, it picked out three Beatles songs and a Beatles spoof. Go figure.)