It was about 10:30 on the morning of July 20th 1933, when Horace woke up. Sitting on the edge of his Murphy bed he wiped the sleep from his eyes. Carefully standing up he moaned in pain from the pounding in his head, giving him a reminder of his bender the night before.
Using the walls and furniture for support Horace stumbled across the office/apartment to the bathroom for his daily dose of aspirin, before getting down to work. Finally making it to his desk he flips through the stack of unsolved cases and cases he was fired from. With them just sitting there and his not making progress, Horace realizes that he isn’t making any money.
Pouring himself a cup of coffee from the percolator while smoking a freshly rolled smoke, he heard the elevator door slam shut down the long hall. Sitting back down at his desk fumbling with papers to look busy, the clip clop of high heels could be heard getting closer. Instantly he knew it wasn’t his bookie looking for payment. The thought of a new case and a chance to make some money flashed through his mind like lightening across the night sky.
“Yeah, it’s open, come in,” shouted Horace in response to the rapping on the glass window of the office door.
“Hello, Mr. Fish?” asked the blonde at the door with a raised eyebrow.
Within the first minute Horace had done a quick size up, by looking her over. A task he had learned from his years of working as a Pinkerton man. Standing there was a gorgeous women in an ankle length red dress, pearl necklace, gold earrings and red heels. Her head bobbed at her neck as if she was a living bobble head doll.
“No, actually it’s Trout, Horace Trout,” he snarled in disgust at being called a fish. “Something I can do for you, ma’am?” Motioning to the empty chair across from the desk.
“Well, yes sir. My name is Patricia Westfall perhaps you have heard of me?”
“Yeah, I heard of you.”
“Well my husband Donald is missing and I was hoping you might be able to help me find him.”
“Well, have you tried to calling the cops? I am sure they’d have no problem helping a rich socialite.”
“Yes, I’ve tried them,” she stated as she started to sob into a white handkerchief. “They told me there is no evidence that anything has happened to him. But, they’re wrong. You see, it was two nights ago when he disappeared from the study. The theory the police are working with is that he went out of town on business.”
“Yeah, what makes that wrong?”
“I just know he wouldn’t up and leave me in the night. Well you see, that night we had gone to Jack’s for dinner before the opera. After getting home he wanted to read for a while with a glass of brandy,” explained Patricia with a flip of her golden curls. “When I got up the next morning he hadn’t come to bed.”
“That unusual behavior?”
“No not really, he has a tendency to fall asleep when he reads. But, he wasn’t in the study the next morning. His book was laying upside down on the floor and the brandy was untouched.”
“And this makes you think something happened to him,” replied Horace, with a slight snicker in his voice.
“His books are prized possessions, he’d never leave one on the floor. I just know something had to have happened! Will you help me?”
“Give me a minute,” Horace stated as he got up and walked to the filing cabinet. “Strong thick coffee in the pot, if you want,” Horace spat over this shoulder as he thumbs through the file drawer. Over the years he has amassed a number of files on the lives and dealings of the local rich elites of society. Pulling the file out on the Westfall’s, he returns to the desk. “I’ll take the case. Terms are two hundred a day plus expenses, two day advance minimum. Take it or leave.”
“Your terms are fine,” Patricia stated as she searched her handbag with a smile of hope on her face.
“I need to see the study.”
“That is fine, Mr. Trout. Come by the house around two for some tea.”
“I’ll be there, I don’t do tea,” stated Horace as he slid the money into his dirty pants pocket.
Mrs. Westfall left with a look of disgust at how harsh Horace had spoken to her. In the back of her mind she was starting to have second thoughts about hiring him.
Gulping down the last sips of his coffee Horace made some notes in his note book. Grabbing his hat and coat he was out the door. There was some leg work he needed to do before heading to the Westfall estate. With the help of his network of informants, calling in his makers and paying off others, the information would fall into line.
I hope you all enjoyed. This is just the start of a story involving these characters. If you want to learn more about this world and see what the outcome of the case is please leave a comment. I would love to hear what everyone has to say and thinks about this world. As always please like a follow to learn more about the page content.
So until next week, sit back and relax with a good book.