Satisfactory

28. august 2011 at 14:50 | Thalia Contostavlos
Just a short one piece ...
Warnings: none
Disclaimer: I don´t own anything


.........I sat behind my table, grinned at Wolfe and started typing.
.........Wolfe didn't share my good mood. "I want to see Mr. Michaels this evening."
.........I shrugged. "I´m not keeping you."
.........He shook his head. "No, but you're not helping either. I want you to bring him."
.........I looked at him, a sheer surprise written on my face. "Just like that? Bring him?"
........."Don't make me think that you're surprised."
.........I watched him read a book and grinned again. Yes, I wasn't surprised. I'm used to this kind of chores. To bring someone unreachable, persuade someone uncompromising or get something inaccessible. It's an everyday matter. However, that doesn't mean that it became an easy thing to do for me. Quite the opposite, in fact. Wolfe knows that I can do impossible things, so every time he wants a little bit more from me. I resumed typing.
.........After a few minutes Wolfe turned at me and sighed. "Just get him, Archie."
.........I looked up from my Underwood. "We don't even know if the bullets match, sir. The police wouldn't say anything."
.........He studied me for a second and then growled: "You'll just have to ask them then."
.........I laughed. "Oh yeah, that's a piece of cake. I'll just prance in there and they'll tell me. No offence sir, but they'll know that I'm after something by the time I walk in. I don't usually like to spend my time at the police headquarters."
.........The only answer I got was a barely discernible shrug. I was just about to remark something when the phone rang. I picked it up.
........."Nero Wolfe's office, Archie Goodwin speaking."
.........There was a growl on the other side before the caller started speaking. "Goodwin, we need you here at the headquarters. The DA wants to talk to you."
.........I grinned at the receiver. "Good afternoon, inspector. One day we're going to have a little chat about phone etiquette. You should always introduce yourself first."
.........That got me another growl, so I let it slide. "What does Mandelbaum need?"
........."God knows, I told him that once you're here, you'll clam up, but he insisted on seeing you."
.........I laughed. "Tell him I'll be honoured."
........."I bet you will."
.........After I hung up I smiled at Wolfe. "Well, the dilemma is no longer a dilemma. I got an invitation to the party."
.........Wolfe smiled. "You have more luck than brains, Archie."
.........I disagreed, but didn´t say anything. I just went to grab my hat and coat and left.
.

.........The house was full of people. There was a bunch of reporters in the lobby along with a group of grumpy police officers and some lawyers. Behind the main desk was Sergeant Collins speaking on the phone, and behind the corner were prison cells full of honorable citizens and unjustly accused gentlemen. On the other side, the bullpen was almost empty. There was a fistful of Sergeants writing reports and that was all. I went up the stairs and knocked at a wooden door with bold gold letters saying: "DA Mandelbaum" on it and heard a muffled voice say: "Enter." Mandelbaum was one of the few people in New York that said "Enter" instead of "Come in". I'm not complaining, just stating a fact. I entered the room and grinned. The DA was sitting behind his desk, sergeant Stebbins in a leather chair in front of him and inspector Cramer on a windowsill, a cigar in his mouth.
........."Sit down, Mr. Goodwin." He waited until I did, before continuing: "Now, tell me, what do you know about our ongoing investigation?"
.........I was in a pickle. I needed to say something, so my question about the bullet wouldn't sound out of place, but I couldn't tell them much.
........."It's not much, sir. We're only just getting started."
.........Mandelbaum nodded. "But you have to know something, right?"
.........I shrugged. "Nothing you wouldn't already know. I mean, we do know that both Mr. Keems and Mrs. Clumsy were shot, but other than that we're pretty much in the dark."
.........The DA nodded again. More curtly this time. "So there's nothing worth mentioning to us?"
........."I don't know. Is there?"
........."You tell me, Goodwin!"
.........I heard Cramer snicker silently and I shot him a look to see if his cigar was still in place. It was, so I turned back to the attorney who looked considerably angry.
........."I have ways to make you talk you know, Goodwin?"
.........I grinned at him, looked around and sized up the other occupants of his office. No one was paying me too much attention, so I decided to give it a shot. "Alright, there is actually something bothering me."
........."And what is that?"
........."The fact that the bullet that killed Mr. Keems matches the one that killed Mrs. Clumsy."
.........I saw Cramer open his mouth to protest, but Mandelbaum was faster: "Whotold you that, Goodwin? That's not public information!" I was already standing up. "Goodwin! Who told you that?" I bowed to my audience and blew a kiss to .........Cramer who was shaking his head in resignation.
......... "Thank you for your cooperation, gentlemen. See you later."

.........I was debating whether to call Wolfe and letting him know about my success or not but decided against it. I would get him a toy to chew on first. After a few minutes, I was mounting the stairs to an old brownstone in West Forty-sixth Street, the home of Mr. James Michaels and ringing the doorbell.
........."Who is it?" asked a male voice from behind the closed door.
........."It's James Michaels." I said.
.........The door flew open. "I am James Michaels."
.........I smiled. "I know, I just needed you to open the door. My name is Archie Goodwin, I work for Nero Wolfe and I need to talk to you." I said pushing my way in.
........."A-about … about what?" I don't know exactly why but he somehow reminded me of Rowcliff.
........."About the death of Johny Keems."
.........Michaels frowned. "I don't want to talk to you. get out."
.........I did the exact opposite and walked further in the house. The smell of a cigarettes was apparent in the air. "You know, it really doesn't smell good in here, but I know a place where does."
.........He was hot on my heels. "I don't care. Get out."
.........I turned around to face him and shook my head. "No, sir. If you don't want to talk about Johny Keems, we can talk about Mrs. Clumsy."
.........He looked confused. "Mrs. Clumsy? Why her?"
.........I shrugged. "She's a wife of Mr. Edward Clumsy, your bookmaker. She's dead." He looked truthfully stunned. I sized him up. "You don't read the papers?"
.........It was his time to shrug. "Not everyday. She was … was s-she killed?" he asked, still reminding me of Rowcliff.
........."Come and ask Mr. Wolfe."
.........He smiled. Then he thought better and laughed. "You are really funny, Mr. Goodwin. I must say that I want to go with you even though I didn't leave my house for the past two weeks. What am I to you though?"
.........I folded my arms and lifted my shoulders. "To me? Nothing. But Mr. Wolfe wants to see you."
.........He nodded. "But for what?"
........."I haven't the slightest notion, I'm just a delivery boy, but I bet it's something big."
.........He laughed again. "You make it sound so interesting. Where does Mr. Wolfe live?"
.........I shook my head. "That's no way to go. I came to get you, so you are to come with me. But you are going to like his house, without a doubt."
.........He didn't say anything, just went to the hall to grab his hat and coat. I smiled to myself.

.........I walked into the office and sat down in the red leather chair. I was trying not to smile.
.........Wolfe looked up from his Hotel du Golf. "Archie? What did you find out?"
.........I pursed my lips. "Well, except the fact that the District Attorney Mandelbaum is just a nodding dummy, not much."
.........He scowled at me. "You're beaming, Archie, what do you have?"
.........I grinned. "The bullet that killed Johny came from the same pistol that killed Mrs. Clumsy."
.........Wolfe looked pleased. "Very well. And Mr. Michaels?"
........."In the front room, sir."
.........Wolfe raised his eyebrows. "Satisfactory, Archie. Satisfactory."
.........I can´t explain the feeling that I have, when Wolfe says ´satisfactory´, my heart misses a beat, my knees go weak and my head spins. However, I don't let anything on, I'll give you hundred to one that Wolfe doesn't have a clue about it.
 


Comments

1 Neish | Web | 2. september 2011 at 20:01 | React

Aspoň když ho nebude chtít někdo poslouchat tak tu hlavu někde strčí :D

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