Private Dick


The hall looked empty as we approached the door of the old man's apartment and I quietly twisted the knob.

Then, I saw a blue flash in my eyes and I staggered backwards. Then my head felt like an elephant had danced on my skull wearing high heels. Next thing I remember was crawling on my hands and knees. I could hear Cynthia talking like she was a hundred miles away.

"Hey, chump. Wha'd you go an' do that for? I just got him trained. You try'n' to mess up a whole week's work?"

A deep voice tinged with a boxer's slur boomed out, "Come on, wassa nice dame like you want widda monkey like dis?" It was the accountant's overpaid bodyguard.

Through a haze I could see him walking towards Cynthia holding a ugly looking metal bar in his picnic ham-sized hand. I fell towards him and kicked at the back of his knee causing him to tumble backwards. Cynthia stepped forward and swung her dainty little foot right between his legs. When her foot stopped between the inseams of his trousers, the goon rolled over and groaned loudly. I snatched the bar from his mitt and thumped him in the head one time just to even the score before I staggered to my feet.

"Where'd you learn that move?" I managed to ask as I shook the cobwebs from my head.

Cynthia stood looking down her pretty little nose at the goon's crumpled body. "Coney Island... under the boardwalk."

This beautiful lady continued to amaze me. She was one cool drink of water.

I had a pretty good idea who was on the other side of that door: the old man's young bedroom garnish and the last member of this conspiracy. The door was locked but my size-eleven-Florsheim passkey worked on most kinds of locks. I stepped through a pile of wood splinters to see the member of the gang with the dirtiest job clutching a robe to her naked body.

"You could've knocked."

"I wanted to catch the show." I could see why the old man fell for this little tart, even though he had enough money to buy the whole bakery. She was sleek as a sailboat in a bottle. The robe landed at her feet to reveal her impressive rigging.

"Is this what you came for?" There was a smile on her lips that meant only one thing: she was ready to set sail.

"No thanks, doll. After you got used to that old geezer goin' fifteen rounds with me... you'd have me up on charges: aggravated assault."

"I'm not afraid of championship caliber," she cooed

"Well, you'll never know, sister."

"Hey, I ain't no nun," she snapped.

"At's good. 'cause a habit like yours'd be easy to break." I shot back.

Cynthia stepped through the doorway, where she had been waiting to confront her step-mother.

"So my old man ain't enough for ya, huh? You trying to bag this one, too?"

"You think I couldn't," the younger girl squared a shoulders to Cynthia and dropped her hand to her naked hip. I could see this was going to get ugly, but part of me wanted to watch these two scrap: the dirty part of me.

"Relax and I'll get you to the coppers before breakfast." I gathered up the robe from the floor and took Trixy's elbow in my hand. "I hear it's the best meal of the day." She didn't like being pushed, I guess, and she yanked her arm away from my grasp. Cynthia took two steps forward and smacked her step-mother square on the nose. Blood began to flow from Trixy's face like the waterfalls at Niagara.

"Hey, honey. The man said 'relax.'" With all that I adored about this woman, sometimes she plain scared me. While Trixy knelt on the floor trying to stop the bleeding from her swelling nose, Cynthia nodded coolly and said, "She won't give you any more trouble."

That crazy beautiful blond didn't even look at me: she was eying this kid who married her old man for money and "vanished" him. If she were a man she would've been the toughest guy I knew.


With the company sold, Cynthia took her share of the company--a share that could provide her with a "5th Avenue" address for the rest of her life--and turned over the money headed for Argentina to some farm in Israel. I told her she was crazy but she insisted she didn't want blood money on her hands. Then she tugged at my shirt and asked me if that's what I fought for in Europe. I told her I was fighting because somebody was trying to kill me. That was reason enough. She sent the money anyway.

Then it came time for Cynthia and me to settle our final accounts. I wasn't necessarily looking forward to parting company but the job was over. She stood in front of my desk, dressed to kill, just staring at me for a minute. Finally, she pointed her pretty little chin at me and smiled slowly.

"Armstrong, I gotta business proposition for ya." I loved it when she talked dirty.


Cynthia pulled me into the office by my tie. I was trying to get used to the hundred-dollar "monkey suit" I was wearing. This one suit cost more than my wardrobe.

"Quit squirmin'."

I shrugged off her order.

"Hey, what's the door gonna have on it, now?" I eyed an old man painting on the glass with a brush as she led me through the door.

"I thought 'C & H Armstrong' had a nice sound." She stopped, turned and let a smile spread across her pretty face with that.

I cocked my head. "Why do you get top billing?"

Cynthia's hand dropped to my zipper and she did that "special thing" she does.

"You gotta question, you take it up with management, Mister Armstrong."

I sighed in resignation and shook my head.

"Nah. 'C and H' sounds good, Misses Armstrong."

"I'm glad you approve." With one hand on my zipper and the other still using my tie as a leash she pulled my face close to hers, "... 'cause it's you an' me from now on, partner."

I could think of worse things.

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