Richard Butler, PI – Chapter 9 (a meeting with the Italian Diplomat)

Richard Butler rushed through the halls of the O’Connor estate with such speed that Clancy struggled to keep up. Of course, this was not uncommon, as Clancy often failed to keep up with the ace private eye, both mentally and physically. Clancy’s speed came mostly just when behind the wheel of the car.

“Butler! Hold on, wait!” he cried, in between gasps for air.

“No time for waiting, dear Clancy, we’ve got a case to crack!” Butler declared as he showed no indication of slowing down.

“But sir,” Clancy persisted, “Joel and Junior went that way!” Butler slowed to a halt and turned to find Clancy pointing a clear one-hundred and eighty degrees away from their current bearing. Butler sighed.

“Clancy, we don’t just approach them like that!” he said, bemused. After seeing Clancy’s overly perplexed face, Butler explained “come on, you know how we do it. We assemble all the suspects in a room, I go through my process of detection, give them the major clues, throw in a few false leads to lower our guy’s defenses… then, we nail him.”

Clancy laughed at himself, “of course, how’d I forget about that part?”

Butler smiled. “Don’t beat yourself up over it. This is the most important play of the game, we need to be focused. The last thing we need is for him to slip out of our fingers now.” The detective and his assistant continued walking in their original direction, “Clancy, I need you to gather the suspects up for me. Instruct them to be in my office in two hour’s time. Tell them… nothing. Just that I require their presence.”

With a serious look on his face, Clancy firmly nodded and went off to begin his hunt. Before he had gotten a few yards away, Butler whipped around and added, with a mischievous grin, “oh, and make sure our friend Inspector Bagley is there. This is something he needs to see.”

With a delightful grin, Clancy scurried off to begin his task. Butler continued walking towards his office. He had two hours — two hours of peace and quiet — to prepare himself for the grand finale.

At least, he should have.

As Butler entered his supply closet, he felt the distinct feeling that he was not alone. This was not unlike the feeling he got while tailing a suspect, but this time it felt as if he was on the other end of the situation. Butler held still, listening for any sounds that might tip him off to the exact location of this person, but the drum of the washing machines masked any hint he might have gotten. With the ease and finesse of a tightrope walker, Butler crept over to the pile of towels towering in the corner of the room — a perfect spot for an unlucky intruder to find himself hiding.

Butler reached in, found a collar, and pulled out, to his surprise, none other than the Italian Diplomat.

“Well well,” Butler said, “what have we here? Sent by the mafioso to knock off the detective?”

“That is a stereotype you fool!” the diplomat stammered, “I am Italian, not mafia!”

“Maybe so, maybe not. But that doesn’t change the fact that I just caught you hiding in my office,” the detective smirked.

“It’s none of your stinkin’ business!” the Italian Diplomat said as he threw his hands up in the air.

Butler, slightly amused and leaning towards annoyed, replied “considering this is my office, I rather think it is!”

“I was, uh, looking for something!”

“Uh huh. Somehow, this isn’t working to make me less suspicious,” Butler remarked as he pushed the Italian Diplomat into the chair. He sat on the desk and asked, in a manner which clearly wasn’t a question, “now, why don’t you tell me all about it. From the beginning, please.”

From the beginning, the Italian Diplomat told Richard Butler, private detective, the story of how he ended up hiding under a pile of towels in the detective’s office. He trembled, stammered, and sweated through the whole thing, but he made it through just the same, details intact. Butler listened intently, asking questions here and there for clarity’s sake, but mostly he let the diplomat speak and allowed his own mind to process. It wasn’t often that such vital clues just waltzed into his office (or even broke in), but that’s what had happened and Butler wasn’t about to question it; he had caught a lucky break. The Italian Diplomat’s story had unraveled everything he had learned about the case, but the detective’s brilliant mind took those strands and wrapped them back up into a nice bow. Now, he finally saw the big picture.

“Alright signor,” Butler said, “here’s the deal: I need you to stick around. Pretty soon, we’ll be having a little get-together in here. Everyone who was at the dinner, and lived to tale the tale of course, will be in attendance, as well inspector Bagley.”

The diplomat nodded.

“Now, I’m sensitive to your… situation. But I’ll need you here to help catch this killer.”

“And… you promise I’ll be safe?” the Italian Diplomat asked.

“The cops will be here, I don’t think anyone will try and hurt you,” Butler assured. After a quick affirming nod from the diplomat, Butler said “alright, let’s do this.”

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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.

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