This is the second in this series of the comical adventures of Sylvester B Stilldumm, entrepreneurial investigative engineer. Coincidentally, the title of the first entry in this series, is “Lethal Purse, 1”
Lethal Purse 2
OK, first off, I got no plans for any purses in this story, so you can forget that title right now. The guy who thinks he writes this series has a twisted sense of humor, so ignore him. What I want to tell you about is a caper that will show all of you out there in Doubtville, that I, Sylvester B Stilldumm, am not dumb, despite all evidence to the contrary.
I have quite a dossier tucked under my belt, which can be inconvenient, when I‘m not actually on the job. I find if I simply have a second belt, say of Jameson, then I don’t notice the displaced first belt. But on with my story. I would say that we should begin at the beginning, but it was actually after the beginning, that the whole thing got started, not earlier, as has been suggested. I can only assure you that if that sounds confusing, it’s because I am on my fifth belt of Jameson, but promise I will stop. I’m out of Jamie.
I’d been doing surveillance on the rate of police activity around a notorious hangout for the Armed in Blue. I’ve heard it called “Hell’s” before, but usually with a “Winc” in front of it. The Blue can pound those doughnuts back with the best of them, but is it really true? With the best of them? Who would win a pig-out if there was serious money riding on it? I don’t know about you, but those cop are lightweights. They can’t seriously train for the doughnut-eating championship, not while they’re working! Those damn uniforms get in the way, as well as those stupid radio calls.
But I was finished with the surveillance, and twenty pounds heavier, when I ran across an old pal I used to work with back in the day, before he got popped for bringing in cocaine by the ton, through Miami, and spent the next twenty years behind bars. You never met a better bartender in your life, than Riley. He worked the Caribbean, staying one step ahead of the feds, for years, until I came into the picture. I was hired out of LA, to roll into town, and kick some serious butt, and I started with this case, because it was the top one on the list, and I am a by-the-list kind of guy.
I list to the left, generally, but it depends on the rate of pay. I was getting paid a mint to find Riley, because there was the matter of the missing money. What missing money might that possibly be? It’s just a wild stab, but when someone deals with cocaine by the ton, usually money is weighed too, because there is too much to count. If some should happen to go missing, it may be because there is plenty to go around. But the owners get so perturbed when their money goes south of the border, or goes anywhere else for that matter.
I’d run across characters like Riley before, and I knew his type: type seventeen. There was nothing mysterious about his breed, that some common sense, and a bundle of loot to his bookie, wouldn’t solve. I caught up to him at a swank restaurant on an island which shall remain anonymous for the duration, so as not to take a chance on revealing where my cut of that money I was talking about, ended up. After, all, I ain’t in this business for my health. Otherwise, I might not be for long. It’s a tough racket, this eating at Micky D’s, but the alternatives down here are limited.
“What’s it going to take to shake you, Stillbum?” He didn’t waste time, Riley.
“That’s Stilldumm, to you, Pal. You better keep a lid on the mouth of yours, or at least stick a sock in it, before you seal your doom, whatever that means. You can’t shake me, because I’ve been shaken by the best, and you can’t top what they pay me. Unless you’d lie to try, in which case, I am always willing to listen to a business proposition. Try me.”
“StillGum, I don’t need to try you to buy you. You think I don’t have the money? Well, you’re wrong, because I don’t. Need to buy you, that is. It’s more that I need to buy your silence. There’s a difference. It’s just a matter of price.” Riley knew how to use persuasive arguments. I will admit that he had a point there, but if he parted his hair on the right side, I didn’t think it was that noticeable.
Buying my silence wasn’t really like buying me, was it? I mean, if you go to the liquor store, and buy a bottle of Jameson, or maybe a couple, whatever, you’re not buying the proprietor of the liquor store too, are you? No! Therefore, I think the point Riley made is valid, and I will be dropping by in the morning with a wheelbarrow, to take away the price of my silence.
After that, he’s on his own, and since he can make a decent Rum Daiquiri, he’ll make it down here. As I said at the start of this story, Sylvester B Stilldumm, isn’t.