The Maltese Sparrow

Chapter Seven

By Douglas E. Gogerty

One of the things about being a private detective is that you seldom get plenty of sleep. You stay up late following leads, and someone calls you early in the morning. It is the nature of the business. Thus, when I answered my phone, I put on my most professional voice despite my grogginess.


"Is dis Dwayne Thompson -- da wingtip?"

"Who wants to know and why?"

"Lets us just say dat I'm a friend lookin' out fa his best interests."

"He doesn't have any friends like that..."

"It sounds ta me like yous is da wingtip all right."

"So what if I am?"

"I haves a message fer ya -- er him -- uh -- whatever."

"Okay pal, spill it."

"Spill what?"

"The message."

"Oh right! You should leave off da Maltese Sparrow case."

"Who told you to tell me that?"

"It was a little birdie!"

"A birdie?"

"In other woids, I ain't tellin'."

"Oh! And, if I don't stop investigating this case, then what?"

"Dare'll be serious consequences."


"Serious consequences!"

"Serious consequences."

"Dats what I said."

"Like what?"

"Like what what?"

"Like what kind of consequences?"

"Oh! Like -- um -- er -- I don't know! Dat ain't my department."

"That's not your department?"

"No. I'm in da communicatin' department. Someone else handles the serious consequences department."

"Someone else."

"But trust me, the consequences will be serious."

"You just deliver the messages."

"Dats right. I'm good at da communicatin' thing."

"And you are?"

"My name is -- hey! My name is not important."

"Okay Mr. Not Important."

"Yous a funny man."

"Thanks I try."

"Anyways, leave off da case or else."

"Okay. Thanks for calling and have a nice day!"

"Yous too."

I hung up the phone wondering what that was all about. Surely I could not be getting close. I was nowhere with the case. Why would someone try to chase me away? Was I getting close and not aware?

It was at this point that I remembered the note on my mirror. It was time to decipher the chicken scratching. I looked at it and squinted. I turned the left and right. I tilted my head right and left. I held it in the light. It was possibly the worst writing I had ever seen. However, the best I could tell it read, Stop the investigation. It was either that or Slap me in a vest you gator. It could go either way.

That was potentially two warnings to stop this case. I must be getting close, but how? What was I missing? I had to think on it, but I should not do any thinking on an empty stomach. That could be really dangerous. Thus, I showered and made myself presentable to the public. Then I headed for Rick's Café Amé ricain.

It was a popular place for my client to go, there was a person of interest there, and they served food. It was the perfect combination. It had the added bonus of being across town, so it was quick and easy to get there.

Maxine was not there, so I was given a table for one in the back facing the wall. I turned the table around so I could keep an eye out for Maxine. My server came to my table and said, "My name is 2m@3R&t4jJnsp^82jioljidf348lll, and I'll be your server today."

"Hello Marty, do you have a waiter by this name?" I pointed to the name 2m@3R&t4jJnsp^82jioljidf348lll on my slip of paper.

"That is my name sir. Have we met?"

"My name is Dwayne Thompson, I'm a private investigator. It is my business to know things and ask questions."

"I see. Are you going to order something? I cannot answer any of your questions unless you are a paying customer."

"I'll have scrambled eggs with bacon -- baked beans, sausage and spam -- lobster thermidor aux crevettes with a mornay sauce served in the provencale manner with shallots and aubergines, garnished with truffle pate, brandy and with a fried egg on top and..."

"Sir, you will have to stick to what is on the menu."

"Oh! Sorry. What do you recommend that is breakfast-ish?"

"We have a lovely crab cake and mucilage combo plater."


"Mucilage is a gooey polar glycoprotein, an exopolysaccharide if you will. Thus, the dish is a polymer produced by most plants and some microorganisms served with goat cream and the sap of the humonkulous tree."

"That sounds good. I'll order that with a fermented goose liver smoothie."

"Very good sir."

Marty put my order in with the kitchen and came back to answer my questions.

"Your brother was in my office when he died. Do you have any idea of what he was doing in there?"

The Larsentient stared straight ahead and said, "Sir, my eyes are down here, but I do not know what he had gotten himself into."

I had the feeling he was not exactly honest with me, so I asked him, "What are you afraid of?"

"I am terrified of giant birds -- just like everyone," Marty replied with a cold stare.

"I see. Do you know how Maxine is tied into all of this?"

"Maxine? Oh! You were the guy in here yesterday looking for her."


"That is when we met!"


"That's right. Anyway, Maxine is just a customer."

"So, her and your brother weren't mixed up in any shenanigans."


"You know -- monkey business -- hanky-panky -- frolicsomeness..."

"Come again?"

"Were they involved in any type of scheme that would be a danger to one life or the other?"

"Is that what that means?"

"In essence."

"Huh!" he remarked with a blank look on his face and then continued, "My face is down here, but I really did not get involved in my brother's affairs."

"Why does everyone want me off this case?"

"I have no idea about which you are talking."

"I'll pretend that sentence made sense. Do you have any idea who would kill your brother?"

"Do you think it was murder? They said he died of the flu."

"I'm just spit-balling here."


"Never mind. If Maxine shows up, would you bring her here?"

"Certainly sir. Your food should be ready shortly."

Marty left without shedding much light on my case. Hopefully, Maxine would show up so I could ask her a few more questions. Daniel Butler was known to come here as well. If I were lucky, I could get all my work done in one location with the bonus of eating something!



Haha, I loved the phone conversation part. Thanks for posting. :)

Thanks Kevin. I am glad you enjoyed it. Thanks again for reading.

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This page contains a single entry by Douglas Gogerty published on December 21, 2008 10:06 PM.

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