It was late; Dain saw the sun was setting. In all his years of working as a private eye, Dain Bramage never had a tougher case. Being in San Francisco where people tend not to co-operate with detectives, private or otherwise, did not help Dain’s investigation. While he was deciding whether to grab the bottle of bourbon out of his desk drawer, there was a knock on his door. A woman barged into his office. His secretary, Collie Flower, apologized, “She wouldn’t let me announce her,” she stammered. “It’s alright, sweet buns. Let her in.” A woman of impeccable dress and culture stood in front of Dain.
“Okay, toots, why did you barge in?” Dain began. “I am the Countess Chic Kensoup from Taiwan,” the Countess began. “You certainly don’t look Chinese,” Dain stated. “I eat a lot of pork fried rice. The title is honorary. I really need your help. I asked around and I was told you are the biggest private dick in San Francisco,” she said. “I think they didn’t use the word ‘private’ when they told you that,” Dain offered, “But have a seat, I was just going to pour a drink. You care for a bourbon?” Dain was already pouring a stiff one. “I don’t drink,” responded the Countess, “I need to take my medicine.” Dain poured a second drink. The Countess spilled the bottle of pills on Dain’s desk. She picked one of the blue pills up. As she popped it into her mouth she asked for something to wash it down. Dain handed her the extra glass of bourbon. She took a large swig, picked up her pills and sighed.
“Would you like some music while you tell me the story?” Dain asked, “I have great songs on my IPOD.” The Countess Kensoup looked serious, “Dain. It is 1933. They haven’t invented the IPOD yet.” “My bad,” Dain offered, “How about the Victrola then?” He proceeded to put on a Billie Holiday record. Nothing happened. The Countess pointed to the power cord that was not connected to either the wall or Victrola. Dain plugged it in. Billie was singing, “Hit Me Baby One More Time”. “Now tell me what is up,” Dain said, “I see you finished your bourbon.” The Countess explained, “It does go so well with the Quaaludes I just took. Okay, then. My husband and I decided to take a cruise to China. What good is it to be a ‘Countess’ if you’ve never even been there?” Dain was puzzled, “I thought you said you were from Taiwan.” Countess Kensoup leaned forward and whispered, “I live on Taiwan Avenue in the north part of ‘Frisco. Pretty close.” Dain whispered back, “Pretty close to here, but not Taiwan. Why are we whispering?” The Countess said, “Sometimes walls have ears.” Dain sighed, “Another belt of bourbon?” She nodded.
“We were about to get on the ship and then it happened,” she explained. Dain asked, “What happened?” The Countess continued, “The first mate took his megaphone and hollered “All aboard who’s coming aboard’, and then honked “All ashore who’s going ashore” Dain asked, “So he both ‘Honked ‘n’ Hollr’ed?” “Exactly,” said the Countess, “But my husband was nowhere to be found. Gone. Vanished. Disappeared. Poof.” Dain interrupted, “I love your thesaurus abilities, but what do you think happened to him?” The Countess whispered again, “I think he was rubbed out because he is a Duke,” she began. “A Duke? The Duke of Taiwan?” Dain questioned. The Countess continued, “No, he is the Duke of Earl. It’s a small island near Taiwan. We wanted him to be a Count, but our funds ran low. But someone might want his title for something. We’d sell the rights for a song.”
Dain poured another drink. “I don’t mean to pry, but could your husband have a girl on the side?” The Countess said, “He did a long time ago. But not now.” Dain asked, “What’s her name, and do you have her number?” The Countess stated, “Yes. Her name is Horenomore. It’s Chinese, I think. Her number is Adams 2-7890.” “What’s your husband’s real name?” Dain asked. “Bolla Chilli,” she answered. Dain dialed the phone. “May I speak with Bolla?” he enquired, “Hi Bolla. This is Private Eye Dain Bramage. I have been hired by your wife to find you,” Dane was listening, “No you needn't hide. This is not ‘Hide ‘n seek’. Your wife is worried. Oh I see. Well, never mind then. Right, I will tell her.” The Countess asked, “Well?” Dain sipped the bourbon. “You could have told me you were really playing hide ‘n seek. Bolla says you always cheat, but this time he’s pissed. That’ll be $20 for time and expenses.” The Countess asked, “What expenses?” Dain pointed to the bourbon. “And leave a decent tip."
Same time. Same blog.