~ FREE SAMPLE ~
- FBI Boys
All Art did was try to pick up this beautiful blondie, and whiz-bang, we get more trouble than I ever seen in my whole life!
And it all starts so innocent that day in Meyer’s salon. It is like this. Art is bringing old man Meyer his favorite cigarette case, which a big-shot gangster gave him a long time ago. It has Art’s full name, Arthur N. Holter, in diamonds on the front of it, and his address engraved on a gold shield inside. Art moved someplace else again, and is bringing the case to Meyer to scrape off the little gold shield and engrave the new hangout on. Which gives Meyer a good profit in money and gold shavings no doubt.
All right, so it is spring, and Art has been wearing that goofy expression you get this time of year. So while Meyer and I are discussing the blackout we had last night, Art is standing by the door, looking across the street where there is this flower shoppe. All of a sudden I see a little blondie walking down the street and go into this shoppe.
Art takes one look at her and his eyes go narrow in that way he has got which says my mind is made up, do not argue, and he says: “That is for me.” He starts for the door.
I turn to Meyer and throw my arms around to show Meyer Art is crazy in the head and there is nothing I can do about it.
Meyer, he laughs and says, “Hasn’t changed as long as I’ve known him. Still the same romanticist, I see.”
So I laugh and follow Art out in the street.
There is no use arguing Art out of trying to make a blondie when he sees one, so I follow him silently right in this here flower shoppe and there is the beautiful blondie saying to the character behind the counter, “Orchids for m’dme!”
Well, I do not blame Art. The baby is a dish. Great big blue eyes and lots of blonde hair she wears with bangs down in front of her head, and a mouth that is just asking for trouble. Which is Art’s favorite kind of trouble!
So after this blondie says, “Orchids for m’dme” she turns around and happens to look up at Art, who is immediately giving her the glad eyes. She blushes awful sweet and looks away quick.
At this moment the personality behind the counter says, “Can I do anything for you gents?”
I turn and look at him and almost fall over in surprise. This character is none other than Jos Stucci, a jerk strictly poison to Art and I.
It was like this. When Art was on the force, he sent this Joe Stucci up the river. When this Stucci personality come out of hock he got Art in a little framed-up trouble, which made Art resign from the force on account of because he had this hotheaded argument with Chief Brandt. But everything is all right, because if Art would of not resigned, he would have not started this private detective agency of his own with me, Kelly, as the partner. Besides, it was a case of hate at first sight between them two. Art always said that he would catch up with this Joe Stucci some day and give the rat what was coming to him.
“Well, well,” says Art to Joe Stucci now. “And what the hell are you doing here, may I ask?”
Joe Stucci smiles in that slippery way he has got and says, “Why Art, this is my flower shoppe, I am going straight. Crime does not pay no more. I love flowers. Flowers is beautiful. I am a law abiding flower shoppe owner now.”
Art gives him a sarcastic laugh. “A rat like you selling flowers; that is a hot one.”
“Why it ain’t neither,’’ says Joe Stucci like he has been insulted. “I love flowers. I am so happy here. Honest.”
“Yes, indeed,” says Art.
Well, the blondie is waiting, so Joe Stucci goes to the icebox and takes out this cellophane box with orchids on the inside, and hands them over to her. Her madams must have a charge account because I note she does not fork over any dough. She takes the box and goes to the door.
“And now,” says Joe Stucci, “What can I do for you, ha ha?”
Art grabs himself a rose and puts a buck in Joe’s hand. “If you are sincere, I am the last one to hold a grudge.”
“Why I am so honest now,” says mealy mouth Joe Stucci, “I would not think of giving a customer yesterday’s flowers even.”
Then Art goes out of the store, and right away he forgets all about Joe Stucci for the time being.
Art sure has got nerve. He goes right up to the blondie and takes his hat off and says, “Have I met you before someplace?”
She blushes nice and looks like she does not know what to do about us. She is a shy kid, and must of fallen for Art right off. And why not? Art is one hell of a nice-looking guy. He is tall with big shoulders, hardly no hips, no stomach and plenty of black hair. Everything just the opposite from me.
Blondie says she does not think she met him before, and Art comes back with a good line, then asks if he and Kelly can walk down the street a ways with her, since he is going in that direction anyway. She smiles bashful and says she does not mind in the least.
So, we walk along in this nice spring afternoon, and Art and this doll talk about how nice the weather is, and how she likes this and how Art likes the same thing, and after a while I feel like I am living on the moon.
I often wonder what would of happened if I never said anything like I did. Nothing I guess. You see, all of a sudden I want to say something and I speak out the first thing shows up in my brains, It is half a block past where Art lives, so I say, ‘“Are you going down to the office today, Art?”
Blondie turns to me and gives me a load of them big blue eyes,
“Office?” she says to me. “What business are you in?”
I smile and say, “We are dicks.”
“Dicks?” she says.
I do not mention before she has got a accent you can cut with a hatchet. Of course, she is one of the foreigners because she does not understand certain American lingo, like dick, for instance.
So I spell it out for her, “I and Art are private detectives,”
Wham! She slams on the brakes, and stands there looking at me like I am something disgusting. And her face gets as white as snow. “Detective!” she says like she cannot believe anything so terrible about two such nice guys. “What … what … do … do you … want of me … me?”
“Why nothing,” says Art. ‘‘I just want to pick you up.”
“Pick me up!” she hollers, and Art opens his mouth to explain what he means, but before he can get out one letter, she slaps the box of orchids in Art’s hands.
“Here! Take them! Please, I am innocent! Do not arrest me! I am innocent!” And she hotfoots it down the block.
Well! Art stands there with his mouth banging open looking down at the cellophane box with the two beautiful orchids inside. Then he shoves the box at me, and beats it down the block after her. The street is kind of crowded, and I could of told him it was no use chasing her. And like I figure correctly, he loses her. He comes back mopping up his brow.
“Can you tie that, she beat it around the corner. She is gone! I have lost that beautiful woman.”
“Better luck next time,” I say, and look at this thing in a practical way. “We just inherited two orchids. Let us each wear one and our friends will think we pay income tax.”
“This is funny,” Art says taking the box. “But this is funny.”
“Oh yes, extremely.”
“Why did she give me the orchids?”
~ End of Sample ~