Customers. In most businesses you needed them.
The P.I. business is no different. But every now and then there was the feeling you’d be better off without one.
The blonde sending up smoke signals in my office was a case in point. She struck me as too wise to truly believe that a man who could stray from his wife couldn’t also stray from his mistress. She was nervous about something too, and I wasn’t convinced that it was concern for her illicit lover’s well-being. She was holding something back.
Still, my encounter earlier with Alvin reminded me that I couldn’t be too picky. So I had agreed to take her case, once she flashed the requisite dough and agreed to cover expenses. I did insist on getting her name first though.
“Thank you, Mr. Murphy. Delilah Ambrosia. Thank you so much.” She gave me a screen-test worthy smile of gratitude while pumping my hand. “And you will be discreet won’t you?”
“As discreet as an angel.”
I got some more details and sent her on her way.
The guy she was looking for shouldn’t have been too hard to find. He was a big shot by the name of Lionel Tucker. Lionel owned a few night clubs. Some fine dining types. As well as a few not-so-fine dining clubs, where the dancing girls were as friendly as you could afford. He was a slick player and I had seen him around but always at a distance. Lionel Tucker was a cool cat, one of those guys who walked around without touching the sidewalk. But in my experience, guys that high often had a finger in the gutter. There were rumours of mob involvement and various rackets. Still he got to sleep in a big old house at night, with a pretty wife, wearing matching pajamas, and apparently he got to go home with the likes of Delilah Ambrosia too. I suppose you couldn’t blame a guy, but didn’t mean you had to like him.
Luckily for me, you didn’t have to like a guy to find him either. It was a healthy paycheck and I didn’t mind the excuse of a few more meetings with Ms. Ambrosia, even if it was just to better suss out her angle. I’d do some digging first thing in the morning, just as soon as I’d had a shower and got some shut eye.
But first maybe one more drink.