Richard Butler, PI – Chapter 6 (a roaring inconvenience)

Butler and Clancy raced back to the kitchen, where Butler had left his ledger after signing in the guests. This case, which had only moments ago seemed dry enough to kill a camel, was now on the verge of tying up. The detective now had two suspects with motives to kill. They also both had opportunity, as their scuffle over O’Connor’s plate at dinner would have provided ample time to covertly slip some poison into O’Connor’s unwilling drink. Butler wasn’t sure about the means — he knew one of them had poisoned O’Connor, but the nature of the poison in question was still a mystery. It didn’t matter though, all he needed was enough evidence, and a clever plan, to coerce a confession out of the murderer.

The detective and his assistant arrived at their destination to find what could only be described as a roaring inconvenience.

“Inspector Bagley,” Butler sighed with disbelief. The end of this investigation was in sight, yet just out of his reach. It seemed a few more hurdles still stood in their way.

“Oh, crackers.” Bagley said, with disbelief to at least match, if not surpass, Butler’s.

“That’s us, inspector. As a matter of fact, we’re about to crack this one wide open,” Butler replied snidely. It took a moment for Bagley to catch on, before he snapped back:

“Alright, I don’t have time for your wisecracks —” these words had only just left Bagley’s mouth when he realized his mistake. But it was too late, and there was no way to corral those words back; Butler had already leapt on the opportunity.

“Really, inspector, you’re too kind,” Butler continued, and while still in control of the conversation, asked “Inspector, what are you doing here in my kitchen?”

Bagley laughed. “Wouldn’t you like to know?” Then, ignoring the implications of his own snide remark, Bagley went on to explain what exactly he was doing. “It’s called doing my job, Butler, not my fake job I pretend to have, or some job I’m deluded into thinking I’m really good at, my real job. Something you should consider. I’m going over every inch of this house,” he said as he inspected a sizable crack on the food preparation table, “and I’m going to find this killer.”

“Get in line,” Butler responded dryly as he went to the cabinet that held his ledger. He swung the doors open, but instead of finding the solution to this case, Butler was greeted only by disappointment. The cabinet was as empty as Bagley’s head. Butler whipped around to face Bagley and asked “what did you do with my ledger?”

Bagley smiled, knowing that with this he had won a battle, albeit a minor one. “You mean the one we took as evidence?” Before Butler had a chance to get any words out his mouth, Bagley cut him off with a preemptive retort: “and don’t even try to tell me it’s not evidence! Why else would you want it? I’m not an idiot!”

“Well, it couldn’t be because I’m a butler. I have a job to do, you know. That didn’t die with Mr. O’Connor.”

“Yeah, I’ve got a job too,” Bagley said, “and it’s to not give up evidence, so you can just forget about it!”

Butler stood there, eyes closed and breathing deeply to avoid losing his calm amidst Inspector Bagley’s lunacy. He sighed and glanced over at Clancy, who seemed at a loss for what to do. But that was okay, Butler figured. It might even be best if Clancy just sit this one out and let Butler handle the inspector.

“Inspector, I understand that you have a job to do — and I respect that,” Butler said, “you as a person? Not so much, but I have great respect your job.” Butler strode over to the table and leaned imposingly on it. He lowered his voice, stared down Inspector Bagley in the eye, and said “but I don’t appreciate it when you get in the way of my job. Either one of them. So no more cracking the table where I set plates and no more getting in the way of my inspecting. Now give me back my ledger so I can do my job.”

Bagley snarled, stood up straight and turned his back to Butler. He walked to the door, opened it, and looked back at Butler.

“No,” he stated, “I won’t give it to you. But I tell you to come follow me. You have keys to everything in this house?”

“Indeed I do, how about I trade them for the ledger?”

Bagley made no recognition of Butler’s offer. “Then I expect you to come with me and co-operate. Don’t make me put up a fight, because I will!”

Butler was not afraid of Bagley’s attempt at intimidation, but after giving this a quick consideration, he agreed. However, before he left to endure the torture that was co-operating with Bagley, Butler leaned in close to Clancy to give him some classified instructions.

“Clancy,” he whispered, “I need to you go back and find where they’re keeping the ledger. Take it as quietly as you can… by any means necessary.” Clancy, eyes wide with determination, nodded.

Butler turned around to go follow Bagley. Right as they had almost left the room, into the safety of Bagley not knowing their plan, yet the danger of occupying the same room as Bagley for an extended amount of time, Clancy turned around and complicated things with this question:

“Wait! What will I do with it without the note?”

Butler closed his eyes and breathed deeply once again. However, he could not maintain his calm well enough for this comment to blow over. Bagley uttered the two words Butler was afraid of.

“What note!?”

Sighing a sigh of defeat, Butler lifted the suicide note from his pocket and held it in the air, where Inspector Bagley snatched it from his firm grasp. Bagley laughed. He didn’t get many opportunities to one-up Butler (although he’d never admit to this), so he savored each one he did get. Bagley stopped laughing once he opened and read the note.

“Huh.”

Bagley took a moment to process this information, before shrugging and instructing “Okay, Butler, come with me — and watch yourself, I don’t want to see you pulling clever!” Bagley turned around and left the room, not even looking back to make sure Butler was following. This small victory had given him a renewed sense of arrogance.

“Don’t worry,” Butler said to no one in particular, as Clancy had already left on his covert mission and Bagley was a few strides ahead, “With my hand, I don’t need any cards up my sleeve.”

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About thomasbwhite
Writing, Photography, Jamming, Violin-ing, Hiking, Musing, Reading, Learning, Sketching, Frisbee-ing, Rambling... just a few of my favorite things.

2 Responses to Richard Butler, PI – Chapter 6 (a roaring inconvenience)

  1. JeffR says:

    I love the story! I always love a good murder mystery… and it’s easier to read in small sections like this. I like the idea of your blog by the way. I thought about making a writing blog, but I think I do enough writing for school and myself. Good job!

    -Jeff

  2. thomasbwhite says:

    Thanks for the feedback!

    Also, I understand completely. Ideally, I’d be updating more than once every two weeks, but school keeps me pretty busy as well. Maybe this summer I’ll have more time… maybe.

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