Cry for the forgotten, Part I
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New York City was caught in the midst of a heat wave the sweltering hot and humid air was thick and filled with the stench, of the filthy streets below. The odors of putrid unwashed bodies wafted through the open window, its stagnant aroma settling in the confines of the small office.
The metallic hum of a small nine-inch fan filled the air while it turned faithfully unable to bring relief to the stifling air. It was 1937 and New York, was a contrasting playground for the criminal and the rich and famous. They mingled around each other suspiciously, like city rats circling decaying debris in a seedy unlit alley.
A maniacal little ruler was making waves in Europe, as he slowly built an army with a twisted view of the world and his own brand of justice. In Spain, a bloody civil war managed to sweep the country by storm as brother turned against brother and the color of red flowed through her waters. An innocent man died in the electric chair for the murder of the Spirit of St. Louis, only son, while his wife stood faithfully by his side and continued to profess his innocence against deaf ears.
The US Olympic track and field team swept the games in Germany as a young man of color caused the great master German race to fall before him and tremble in his path.
The gilded era and roaring twenties were well forgotten and a thing of the past, as a young nation began its slow ascent from the plague and onslaught of the great depression.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt assumed his second term and a new deal was forged for those lost in the destitute and poverty of financial ruin, his politics of restoring pride and confidence into a decaying economy was widely received and heralded.
The rich were getting richer, while the poor began their slow climb from the wallows of filth and poverty that held them captive for the past several years. For some the new war being waged in Europe opened new doors and opportunities, a welcomed change as industries slowly began to expand.
For other forgotten denizens, there was little a town like this provided. They fell to the ground and the rats quickly stepped over them mercilessly and counted their money on the way home. The poor creatures lacked the strength and courage to climb out from the abyss and fell helplessly to the predators.
She sat in her chair her feet propped up on the desk, thick beads of perspiration, flowing freely down the side of her classic face. The penetrating vibrant blue eyes with flecks of gray were focused on her small delicate hands, as she twirled the rubber band between her fingers.
Wisps of shoulder length jet-black hair, caught against the small breeze of the fan, floating gently in the air before settling and sticking to her sweated brow.
Her frame was small, though far from delicate, she emanated a powerful presence, far more commanding then her small form. She was a private dick for five years assuming the failing business from her no good husband that ran out on her four years earlier.
Hobbes Johnson was a classic loser from the wrong side of the tracks, a low life cad, who went through her money, like a wild bull elephant on a full charge. Cat, took over the business after Hobbes ran off with his secretary one hot June day, it was the only thing left from their pathetic union and her former opulent lifestyle.
Cat, considered it a blessing, released from the bond of a two-timing loser who was going nowhere fast. When she read his note, she actually laughed aloud, her cowardly ex-husband finally showing some backbone and getting something right in his life. She felt pity for his secretary and new wife, there was little doubt in Cat's mind she received the better part of the bargain.
She was lost in her own thoughts, the relentless heat temporarily forgotten, as she pondered the whereabouts of her driver Eugene. On occasion Cat used him as a front man for her business once in a while she came across a client or two that preferred to deal with a man.
It didn't much matter to her what the client felt or thought, to Cat "opinions were like assholes, everybody has one and they usually stink."
What mattered to Cat, was if they could foot the bill, money was still scarce and the public hated to let it go, but for a smart woman like her there was always an opportunity waiting.
With practiced patience, she slowly began to build the flailing business her husband left behind, now four years later it was a small but thriving little enterprise. Her keen instincts soon realized there was a certain market she could make money in.
The rich needed babysitting and the sky was the limit, their pockets were growing deeper and their arms getting longer, sparing no expense to keep their dirty laundry from being aired publicly.
They required discretion and Cat, was quick to offer it, she excelled in retrieving their little lost kittens from the neighbor's tree, very quiet like and for a nice handsome fee she would make sure it never hit print.
Eugene, was the former husband of Hobbes secretary and unlike Cat, he was still in love with his former two-timing wife. Over the past four years, he took solace in hitting the sauce, the bottle cold, indifferent like his former wife, it helped him to numb his senses and forget life for a little while.
Cat, took pity on Eugene, when he appeared on her doorstep four years ago, begging and pleading for help in finding his wayward wife and her two-timing husband. The feverish stare of desperation, clouding his otherwise baby blue eyes, she could tell he was still hopelessly in love with Lanna.
His voice was strained and broken and it was obvious to her, he was devastated by the betrayal, what a chump, Cat thought. There was little she could do, Cat had no intention of wasting her time looking for two losers that rightfully belonged together.
Instead she took Eugene in as her driver, her penance for the damage her no good husband caused. It was over a week, since she last heard from Eugene. She sent him to 59th and Central Park West to pick up the payment from the father of one of the lost kittens.
The kitten found herself in the arms of a local drug dealer popping skin and floating away too never never-land. Cat, brought the package home, but not before breaking the dealer's right arm and giving him 48 hours to leave town.
The grateful daddy dug deep into his pockets and came up with a healthy bonus that would cover two months rent and then some. There was no doubt in Cats mind Eugene spent the money on one of his weeklong binges.
In time she'll get the call from one of his local haunts were they'll beg her to come and collect him, but not before they made sure to run through his pockets and use up every bit of her dough first.
She'd show up at any one of the numbered joints and find him passed out underneath a table and usually in his own bile. The next three days would be spent with him sweating out the DT's and with Cat ramming piping hot coffee down his throat.
Once sober, he would swear and promise this was absolutely the last time and beg for forgiveness. Then something would remind him of Lanna, he would fall off the wagon again, and the cycle would continue spinning slowly towards hell and darkness.
If it weren't for the fact that he was good behind the wheel, Cat would have given up on him a long time ago. The fact is she felt sorry for the poor slob and when he was sober, he was the best driver and scrounger she knew.
There wasn't a car built that Eugene couldn't drive. In her line of business, she needed a good driver, sometimes the kittens didn't want to return home and she was forced to whisk them away from their low life boyfriends or dope dealers.
At times Cat, needed a special item for a delicate job, Eugene was great at locating it discreetly, and making sure it was completely untraceable. Cat wasn't necessarily thrilled with her choice of profession, but it sure as hell beat starving.
The fact that her ex-husband was the one to thank for her newfound fortune was ironic in itself. It was almost a joke that Hobbes would actually be responsible for something good in her life for a change. Although it was four years since she last heard from Hobbes, she managed to be grateful for the new life she now had.
In the beginning Cat, was forced to pick up after Hobbes and she spent a good part of her hard earned money, paying off loan sharks and other low life scum that came banging on her door demanding payment.
She finally grew weary of the endless debts and threats and decided one day to do something about it. After stepping up to the plate and breaking a few bones, the threats stopped and the muscle men kept their distance.
Cat learned the hard way about dear old Hobbes, who had a penchant for the ponies and a weakness for women and like everything else in his life, he wasn't good at either one.
Cat, had no problems using force when diplomacy failed. She attended the best finishing schools in Europe and remained living there as an artist for years.
The great depression struck the United States and her father took a leap of faith with the rest of Wall Street, only to land forty stories later.
She returned from France and at the age of thirty-six, she was the new head of the household she found her mother and kid sister were thrown out into the streets like yesterdays news.
She managed to scrape together a few dollars and opened a small pawnshop were she was doing quite well cutting deals and making ends meet, until she met Hobbes.
Without a doubt, her whirlwind romance with Hobbes, was a spiraling decent into hell, he swept her off her feet with promises and dreams and before she knew it, he ran the business to the ground.
As a last ditch effort, he borrowed money from New York's less then reputable bankers and started the Johnson Detective Agency. His former contacts with New York's corrupt police force and the criminal elements he called friends served him well and he was able to land a few jobs.
For the first year, Cat played his girl Friday to his Cary Grant, but her presence soon began cramping his style and before she knew it, he replaced her with Lanna, a dark haired beauty with a fiery temper and a great pair of legs.
A year was all Cat needed, with her sharp mind and shrewd thinking she quickly learned the pitfalls of the business. The European boarding schools her daddy sent her too, taught her more than just how to run a household.
They granted her a certain independence and awareness into a less restrictive lifestyle, giving her the opportunity to experience life to its fullest.
Not all of her lessons came from the classroom, as she explored the many facets of Europe in general. She was an American ex-patriot that ran and kept company with the best of the literary and artistic community living abroad.
The more than open European attitude suited her fast-paced self-independence style and the freedom was something she would never have been accorded stateside. It was an easy decision for her to remain in France as she sampled the many pleasures of love for both men and women.
In her early academy days, men were in short demand the line standing twenty deep, for the nearest available man. It was no surprise that girls would be more than willing to explore the other pleasures in life.
A girl had to do what a girl had to do and she had to face it, some girls were better than others were. She found that her education and former family contacts, came in handy as she dealt with the delicate situations of the rich and famous some of whom she attended school with.
Unlike Hobbes, Cat could easily jump between the classes, her cultured background and exemplary diplomatic skills was appreciated by the upper crust, while her no nonsense attitude and spitfire independence was experienced first hand by the local sewer rats Hobbes called friends.
In time the rats learned to respect and admire her tenacity, she could drink and curse with the best of them and still act like a lady when she had too. A few of the underbosses offered her equity in their future business enterprises, if she would just cross the line and take over the daily management.
As much as Cat appreciated their request, she gracefully declined and made sure they didn't take offense. Their admiration for her grew and in time they took a protective role and ensured she would continue to flourish, throwing business her way, whenever one of the rich kids got in over his head and was afraid to tell daddy.
Her office was on 38th street and 8th avenue, nestled among the sweatshops exploiting the latest imports of immigrants, many of which were escaping the black spider of death that was enveloping their homelands with its hatred.
It was a sixth floor walkup and high enough to keep some of the stench at bay from the streets below. The window was tinged gray and hadn't been washed in this century it was opened halfway the skyline view obstructed by a brick wall cast in a dark brooding shadow.
Occasionally the winged rats would land on the still and stare openly at her, their soft cooing sounds mixed with the rustle of battered wings, as they bobbed their heads up and down and waited in anticipation.
Cat would toss them a few crumbs, which they would greedily fight for before scarifying it down or else they would tear after the garbage tossed carelessly out the window from the drudge next door.
Her office furniture consisted of a small oak desk and a squeaky green leather chair on rusted wheels, that leaned too far back for her own safety. There was a metal hotplate she used to brew her favorite black coffee, the strain of the hotplate caused her to replace a fuse or two every month.
A small green leather couch with uneven wooden legs that, she managed to balance straight, by stuffing matchbook covers underneath. A hard wooden chair was placed directly across from her desk, where occasional clients would make themselves comfortable as she listened intently to their tales of woe.
It wasn't the Savoy, but it sure as hell, help pay the rent and she wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth. She reached into the draw of her desk and pulled out a pack of Lucky Strikes, she tapped the unfiltered tip against her palm and popped it in her mouth. The luminescent glow of the lit match danced shadows across her classic face.
She took in a long drag and was exhaled it slowly, the large clouds of smoke billowed in front of her and swirled in various shapes and forms, she looked up and noticed when she walked in.
Through the distorted curled cloud of smoke, Cat could tell this was a special package. She slowly walked in, taking long provocative strides, her shoulders held high and her face slightly covered, the black pillbox hat she wore was slanted and a thin black veil covered the left side of her face.
She wore a tasteful black and white Channel suit that clung to her hips, the jacket was cut short and enhanced her ample cleavage. She wore high heel shoes made of black suede and her silk stockings were visible just below the knee. Her platinum blonde hair shone vibrantly against the natural light of the room.
Cat, tried to focus on the sight of the hidden vision distorted in a cloud of smoke, she found her thoughts began to wander and she cursed herself inwardly, as she disciplined her mind to take control over her musings.
I breathed in deeply when she stopped in front of the door and stared at me, she was sizing me up, like I was the only meal left on the menu, I swallowed deeply and lowered my feet from the desk, reflectively standing to get a better view.
She was tall, very tall, with a thin narrow waist and a heavy top that would make any schoolboy pant. She had long athletic legs and I could tell she spent her days on the tennis courts, probably practicing backhands with an over eager tennis instructor.
Her hands were smooth and delicate and you could tell she never worked an honest day in her life. She had long slender fingers with enough ice on them to freeze hell. This wasn't just any package off the street, this kitten came from top breeders and she was blue ribbon material and expected to win nothing less than best in show.
She was dressed in clothes from the finest courtiers in Paris and her kidskin suede shoes were worth a month's wages in my books. I pointed to the chair and she nodded to me without speaking.
She gracefully crossed the room and sat down, her back was ramrod straight, as she crossed her legs gingerly, a flash of smooth flesh struck my eyes before she tactfully pulled her skirt past her knees, I could tell she'd done this before.
Her glare was predatory and demanding and I felt a sudden chill creep down my spine. There was something about this kitten, maybe it was the soft pouty lips, or the icy blue eyes, but I could tell she had a story to tell. They all do.
She reached into her purse and pulled out a pair of smokes, I could see they were a Parisian brand, she placed one on a long fancy black and gold cigarette holder, then slowly raised it to those soft pouty lips, she paused and looked at me expectantly.
I quirked my brow in disgust and realized, this was one of those high maintenance kittens, I could tell she came from a long line of kittens use to being served hand and foot. I reached across my desk, lit her cigarette, and watched, as she took a long deep drag.
I couldn't wait to hear this kittens story, I'm sure it had something to do with a two-timing sugar daddy gone astray, I noticed she wasn't married, but a kitten like this has expensive kitty litter to pay for and I was hoping her sugar daddy had deep pockets.
I stared into her icy blue eyes and felt my heart race, I could tell by her stare she was trying to read me. She continued staring at me before she let out the smoke slowly. She reached into her bag again, pulled out a manila envelope, and tossed it on my desk.
She nodded her head and indicated I should pick it up and look at it. The fact that she still hadn't introduced herself was starting to piss me off. I got up, sat on the corner of my desk, and made sure I was right in front of her and peering down.
This kitten was in my alley now and I was the top dog around here, I learned over the years the hard way not to let the kittens get the upper claw. I pulled out the picture and took a gander at it and I have to admit, it wasn't what I expected.
The picture was of a woman in her mid to late thirties and she was dressed in an aviator's leather jacket, a white silk scarf hung loosely from her delicate neck. Her hair was cut short and just below her jaw line and she appeared to be either a redhead or brunette.
Her eyes had a furlong and faraway look as she stared straight into the camera and leaned warmly against the kitten. Her classic features were prominent and soft she was smaller in stature than the kitten standing next to her.
The kitten was staring at the classic face of the skirt, a look of regret evident in her forced smile. I could see the outline of a blue and white Cabin Waco YKS-6 airplane in the background.
It didn't take a crystal ball to know, this wasn't a mother daughter reunion, there was something going on between them and the camera caught it all.
I put the photo back in the envelope and looked into her eyes, the ice blue orbs locking onto me and waiting for me to say something.
"Interesting photograph, how can I help you Miss.....?"
"Annia, my name is Annia, no last name, Detective Johnson."
She had a deep sultry voice, that could knock the wind right out of your sails and I could tell by her speech, she was schooled in Europe, Switzerland perhaps.
"Very well, Annia, what can I do for you?" I was starting to lose my patience, the mystery beginning to gnaw at me, but I breathed in deeply and tried to stay cool.
"I am looking for that woman, as you can see from the photograph, it was taken a while back, a year ago to be precise. A detective Gaines was assisting me in San Francisco when the trail suddenly went cold. He believes she was headed to New York and recommended that I contact you, he says you're the best, Detective Johnson."
I was well aware of the private dick she was talking about, he was a young kid that worked for me several years back, before his old lady got an incurable itch to live in San Francisco. They headed out west and in a few months he set up shop in little Osaka, I heard he was doing quite well for himself.
"He's right, I am the best and I prefer to be called, Cat."
"I see, is that short for Catherine detective?"
"Nope, it's a nickname I was given in school, the others girls started calling me Cat, because I had an uncanny way of landing on my feet"
She nodded her head coolly, before she responded " Ah, so it was after a feline. Tell me detective Cat, do you also come out spitting and scratching when you land?"
"Only when I have too"
She smiled ruefully and raked me up and down again, she was acting like I was the last bit of catnip left on the shelf. This kitten was trouble and I've seen enough of them to recognize it a mile off.
There's no doubt she could certainly keep me warm on a long cold night, but I wasn't about to tangle with this one, her claws were too sharp.
"Can you tell me who she is, her name, her relation to you?"
"Her name is Katrina and she is my mentor."
Mentor now that was a first, I could tell by the way she spoke her name, the skirt was more than her mentor. I loved the way the rich and beautiful had a way of sugar coating everything, I also noticed she wasn't much for providing information.
"I'm afraid, I 'm going to need a little more than that, Annia, why don't you start from the beginning."
She took another drag of her cigarette and locked onto my eyes again, I could see by the way she was scanning me, she was looking for something, maybe a flaw or chink in my armor.
I straightened my shoulders and stared back fiercely, I saw when her eyes flickered slightly and a mild sadness touched those pouty lips. I was tempted to take her in my arms and smooth away the darkness, and then I shook it off and waited for her to begin.
Her eyes grew suddenly dark and a shadow crossed her porcelain features, I knew then, this was going to be a long story. She drew in a deep breath and expelled it slowly, then tilted her head downwards and stared at me through hooded lashes.
"Her name is Katharine Janeson and she's a brilliant physicists from San Francisco. I came to work for her four years ago as an assistant. We were working on a high security project for the government, a scientific breakthrough that would change life, as we know it. She was ready to publish her findings, when she suddenly disappeared. I hired detective Gaines to assist me in locating her after the government stopped looking, she was more than just a mentor to me, she was my friend."
I chuckled inwardly that was a pretty way of putting it, I guess under the right circumstances a lover could be called a mentor. Still, it was her personal business and I wasn't in this for the glory, as long as the money came stamped from the US mint, she could call her mama if she wanted too.
I knew she was waiting for me to say something, so I made sure not to disappoint her.
"What were you working on?" I watched her carefully to see if she was going to spill the beans.
"It dealt with modern physics detective, a very complicated subject matter, I don't need to get into the specifics, you wouldn't be able to understand it."
I could tell from her arrogance she had a big chip on her shoulder and I was the right person to knock it off. I didn't exactly sleep through all of my classes in those fancy schools, the truth is, I was pretty good in science and it bothered me she would imply differently.
"Why don't you amuse me" I had no intention of letting her off the hook so easily.
"Very well if you insist, our research dealt with quantum physics and we were expanding on the EPR correlation, our work was being monitored by the OSS.
"So, in other words, ` you were looking deeper into the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen theory, in that entangled particles which were once in contact can exhibit individual random behavior correlated to classical statistics?"
I could see by the flicker of surprise across those icy blue orbs that I hit my mark.
"I have misjudged you detective, my apology" I could see by the way she quirked her left eyebrow I caught her off guard. She looked at me with a newfound respect.
"No need to apologize, it happens all the time" I was hoping she couldn't tell I was being smug and sarcastic.
"We made an astounding breakthrough a little over a year ago. A breakthrough detective, that would change the way we view our world. Simply put detective, life as you know it would be radically change. In our research, we identified quantum markers and singularities regarding quantum teleportations. My mentor, detective, discovered that in fact we can scan a quantum signature without changing its original mass."
She finished the last of her cigarette and grounded it in the ashtray, her eyes rising to meet mine as she watched me intently for a response. I was rather impressed by her statement the least thing I would have taken this kitten for was for a brain.
"I would think you could do a lot more than just resolve our current mode of transportation."
Her eyes flashed in appreciation when she realized I understood what their research pertained too.
It was obvious to me this experiment had a lot more to do with then just identifying quantum markers. If the government was involved and the Office of Strategic Services was sanctioning her work then the payoff was a lot bigger and this job just became a whole lot more dangerous.
"Tell me detective, where did you gain your knowledge of quantum physics? It is a new field being recently explored."
Now it was my turn to be in the hot seat, a while back I became friendly with a talkative government agent, We'd spend half of the night tripping the light fantastic in a cheap bar in Chelsea and the rest with him yapping in his sleep. He wasn't the best lover I had, but he sure as hell was the most informative, I made sure never to let him know about his bad habit.
Nonetheless, his nightly speeches were enough, that I grew curious about this new law of physics and quickly consumed every paper I could on it. I had the opportunity to listen to Einstein and Jon Von Nuesman lecture on their theories, one unequivocally proving the others theory correct.
"Let's just say I have low friends in high places, but for the record I got an "A" in science once in high school" I was hoping to sound sincere.
I could tell from the look on her face, she didn't quite believe me, but she was classy enough not to call me on it.
"I see, I was wandering Detective Johnson, if you can help me find my mentor" Her voice cracked a little and I felt sorry for the kitten.
I cleared my own. "If anyone can find her, than I can, it isn't going to come cheap though and I need more information."
She nodded coolly and reached into her purse again, this time she dropped a wad of brand new sawbucks big enough to choke a horse. I tried to look unimpressed, but the fact of the matter is she got my attention.
"Will that be sufficient Detective?"
"Let's just say it's a good start, now what more can you tell me about her disappearance?"
"I believe she was forced against her will, I believe kidnapped would be the better term"
Now there's a surprise, I thought wryly "By whom and why?"
"If it isn't by a hidden faction within your own government, then I would think it is by the Germans."
"What makes you think the Germans have something to do with this?"
"I don't, that is what the OSS is saying" she added distastefully.
It felt like I was pulling teeth her answers were short and sweet, it was pretty obvious to me the kitten had a less then stellar relationship with the OSS, I was beginning to like this case less and less.
"What makes you think, she didn't leave on her own and just doesn't want to be found?"
"She would never do that."
"Because she would never leave me or her work behind, I know her detective."
It was obvious to me this kitten had it bad. She was carrying a torch for her former mentor and just maybe the glow was blinding her vision, still a job was a job and at this point, I couldn't help but notice the bankroll she threw on my desk.
"Alright, when was the last time you saw her and where?"
"It was April 10, 1936 at 11:30 PM, we were completing our theory and cross-referencing our notes to be sure. We were scheduled to introduce our findings to a team of fellow scientists and physicists at Princeton University. It was a clandestine meeting arranged by the OSS. Katherine was working late in the lab, she ordered me to go home, she wanted to go over the last of the calculations one more time, she promised me she would follow me immediately. She was scheduled to return to the house at 12:30 AM, she never made it, someone or somebody intercepted her along the way."
"How do you know she didn't make it home and packed a few bags, before skipping town?"
Some how I knew I was reaching, but I had to ask, its not like this kitten was forth coming with information. Unlike my other clients, who were quick to spill their guts all over the place without reservation.
This one, was as cool as a cucumber, perhaps it had to do with her choice of partners that were banking this little project of hers, but I couldn't help to notice that she held her cards real close to her chest and a lovely one it was, at that.
"Because, I lived with her detective and I waited for her to arrive, when she failed to arrive by 12:30 AM, I called the lab, to see if she was detained, there was no answer. I drove back to the lab and found her car was running, but she wasn't around, her briefcase with her notes were missing. I called the local police, but they were unable to shed any light on the situation. The next day a branch of the OSS appeared and began their investigation. They interrogated me for two months, I assume, they suspected I had something to do with it at first, they never did identify themselves by name, but I know they were sanctioned by the highest levels within your government.
"How do you know that?"
"Because they kept referring to a Mr. Donovan, on the phone, it doesn't take a genius to figure out he's William Donovan the head and founder of the OSS, Detective Johnson. After six months, they gave up on trying to find her, they said that more than likely she was dead or that she defected to the Germans. It was then that I hired Detective Gaines to assist me in locating her."
"What exactly did detective Gaines find?"
She threw another envelope at me and nodded that sultry head of hers again. I saw when she swallowed deeply, it was obvious this information was a little too hard for her too accept.
I gathered I wasn't going to be pleased with the answer myself. I hated it when a job was cloaked in secrecy and underhandedness. It only made it more difficult, which went hand in foot with the level of danger to my physical being. I knew I was going to need some extra muscle for this and made it a point to contact my old friend, Tovu, I knew his special services would be required.
"You can see for yourself, it's all there. I know that somehow my mentor is still alive, just as I know that you will be able to assist me. I know detective Cat, that you will succeed were the others have failed."
"Thank you for the vote of confidence Annia, however I really need to know where the government stands in all of this, why did they stop their investigation?"
"Because they have determined that Katr--, I mean Dr. Janeson was captured and turned over to the Germans and is currently assisting them"
"Are you saying she isn't?"
"That's exactly what I'm saying. Dr. Janeson hates the Nazi's and she's well aware of their politics and objectives. My mentor is a humanitarian detective, she would never assist the Germans, she would die before she would let that happen."
The kitten was concerned that I wouldn't be able to locate her mentor. I couldn't help but notice that she spoke of her as if she knew she was alive. I have to admit the mystery got my attention.
"So what do you think happened to her?"
"I think she was kidnapped, in an effort to prevent her from publishing her findings."
"What makes you think she isn't dead?"
"Because two weeks ago a Dr. Charleston sent me these, he claimed he found them in the morning mail, it's her findings detective, the ones that she disappeared with."
She tossed another picture on the table and I could tell right away it was the skirt, her face looked thinner and an dull edginess was present in her eyes, but there was no doubt it was the same person.
"Where was this taken?"
I could see the pain that quickly flashed through her eyes and for a moment I really felt sorry for the kitten and jealous too. It's been a long time since someone felt that way about me and I was beginning to envy the skirt.
"I'm unsure as to where, but I received it a little more than a month ago, the date and headline on the newspaper were accurate for that evenings edition."
"Did they ask for a ransom?"
"No, no one attempted to contact me."
"Who do you think kidnapped her?"
I watched for her answer intently, I wanted to make sure her eyes wouldn't flicker to the left, a sure sign that she was lying if they did. Her gazed remained steady and when she answered her eyes became longing and sad.
"I don't honestly know, detective, you're my last hope in finding her"
Her voice cracked a little and I could see she was trying hard to contain her strength and dignity, this kitten had it bad and that made her less than reliable for me. I was hoping I wouldn't need her in a pinch, because she was too emotionally attached and could easily become a liability instead.
"Alright, I'll bring myself up to date on this file you gave me. Where can I reach you if I have too?"
"I'm staying at the Ritz-Carlton, room 534, you can contact me there."
"I'll do that."
She rose from the chair and I found myself rising automatically from the edge of the desk to meet her. Her icy blue eyes locked on to mine and she took every inch of my face into her memory. I noticed a hungry look flash briefly through her eyes and found my heart skipping a beat.
The warning bells rang loudly in my head as she leaned in seductively and whispered into my ear.
"I eagerly await your response detective."
Her breath was warm and sweet against my ear. I closed my eyes, swallowed deeply, the room was suddenly hot again, and I felt myself getting a little dizzy. I snapped my head up and looked at her.
She pushed away from me, turned gracefully towards the door, I watched and admired her retreating form, and her seductive movement captured my imagination and sent shock waves through my spine.
There wasn't a rise or fall of that incredible body I didn't commit to memory, I could tell the skirt was one lucky dame, I'd give my right arm to have a kitten like that panting over me if I was lost.
She turned and gave me one last stare before she headed towards the stairs, I knew she caught me watching and from her smile I could tell she approved. I smiled ruefully at her, letting her know I was aware she caught me and didn't care.
Hell when you came in a package like that, you get use too being hawked and I could tell she enjoyed the way I stared.
I sat down and picked up the file, it was an inch thick and contained a dossier of the missing skirt. I had to admit she came with some impressive credentials. She was a child protégé and held two doctrine degrees from top universities.
By the time she was twenty-one she obtained her second doctrine in the field of physics and studied under Einstein and Rosen at Princeton. The skirt was forty-one years old now and Next To Einstein, she was considered one of the most brilliant physicists of all times.
It appeared she made quite an impression in her field and she managed to gain the interest of the OSS, who suddenly became a major contributor to her research.
Her field was relatively new and her theories were considered brilliant and radical, she spent the last five years working with her assistant in proving her hypnosis.
It appears that the kitten was no slouch in the brains department either, her own credentials boasted the finest schools in Switzerland and Germany, she had her doctrine in advance physics and engineering and managed to gain the coveted spot of assistant to Dr. Janeson. For a moment, I wondered how much of that had to do with her intelligence or her beauty.
The kitten was right about the skirt, she was a humanitarian and she spent a considerable amount of money in supporting human rights, particularly abroad. During the early rise of Adolph Hitler, she stood in full opposition to all that he represented and gained the ire of the maniacal little ruler.
According to the dossier, she was living in Germany from 1928 - 1933 where she first began her research in quantum physics. In the early rise of the Hitler regime, she was outspoken in regards to the treatment of her colleagues, many of whom were of Jewish descent.
She protested their treatment and often voiced her opinion openly, as she quietly assisted many of them to flee the country before they could be detained. The Germans became aware of her practices and since she was an American, they deported her and threatened to have her arrested immediately if she attempted to return.
She returned to the states and settled into the family estates in San Francisco were she continued her verbal assaults and lobbied against the krauts and their policies. She took it personal and made sure the world understood Hitler's true agenda, I wasn't sure if her charges and accusations were correct, but if they are, may God help us.
According to the dossier the skirt also seemed to be a bit of a thrill seeker, she managed to indulge in extreme sports and the higher the risk the more she reveled in it. Her latest fad was flying which she started a few years back and when she wasn't in the lab she was up in the air.
She recently made a new acquisition of a 1936 Waco airplane, which she used every chance she could get and performed her own repairs and upgrades.
The plane was specifically designed for speed and not safety and it appears the skirt made a few enhancements to the engine increasing its speed velocity. There was no way on Gods green earth the skirt would leave that beauty behind, flying and engineering was in her blood and she would never be able to walk away from it that easily.
I made it a point to find out what happened to that plane of hers since she vanished and to go over all of the flight records. I wanted to make sure the skirt wasn't just hiding out after all and using the plane to get around. I noticed the plane was maintained in a small private airstrip in the Napa valley.
She came from a well to do old San Franciscan wealthy family and spent most of her adult life avoiding the press. She never bothered to marry, but she did manage to break a few hearts along the way. For the past five years she kept away from romance or was it just men in general? I would think the kitten had something to do with that.
She's listed as being 5'6' tall with shoulder length red hair and blue eyes, weighing in at about 110 lbs. and was last seen wearing a blue dress and white lab coat, she disappeared while enroute to her home at approximately 12:15 AM on April 10, 1936.
According to police records there was no sign of a struggle, her car was found with the engine running and the lights turned on, an obvious clue to any first grade detective that something was wrong.
Yet, the San Francisco Police Department was quick to absolve any evidence suggesting foul play. For some unexplainable reason, they concluded that she staged her own kidnapping.
What they based that theory on was second hand knowledge and rather flimsy and shoddy police work, pertaining to a phone conversation her secretary overheard, it occurred to me they were told to look the other way.
The next day the OSS showed up on site and went through all of the evidence with a fine toothcomb. According To Gaines, the OSS felt that the skirt staged the whole thing with her assistant in an effort to avoid submitting her findings to the committee.
Before her disappearance, the good doctor managed to become embroiled in an argument regarding the usage of her findings. It appeared the government had a different use for her discovery and the good doctor wasn't in accordance with it.
The night of the disappearance she was overheard arguing on the phone with someone and abruptly departed after ending the call. The OSS deemed that she staged the entire episode and that Annia was her willing assistant.
My first order of business was to find her former secretary. I needed to make sure I understood what happened on that evening. Seeing how the secretary was the last to see her alive, this was the place to start.
I also needed more information from the kitten I wanted to know when the OSS finally closed the case on the good doctor. I also made it a point to contact an old friend I have in the OSS, a former musician with a gift for numbers that made him a master at encryption and code breaking.
I met Harold while venturing into the small obscure Parisian bars along the river Seine. Harold would play his clarinet and we would discuss jazz to the wee hours of the morning.
I realized this was going to be a tough case. There were too many players and angles from which this case could be approached. It was obvious I needed to start narrowing the playing field down a little and I needed to get a hold of Gaines as well and have a long chat.
My gut instinct told me, the kitten could be excused there was something about her body language that told me she was being honest. There was also, something about her body that made me want to believe her.
Then there was the OSS and their role in all this, from what I know of the covert agency I doubted they were willing to drop the whole matter so easily.
If they felt the kitten was involved in it, that meant someone had a tail on her, something I could easily find out if I could only get my hands on Eugene.
I was certain Eugene wouldn't mind the distraction and the kitten might be enough to keep him distracted for a week or two. Long enough for him to dry out a little, otherwise I would have to check him into a hospital while he dried out.
Then there was this Dr. Charleston who couldn't be completely discarded, it could be he was dropping a red herring and attempting to defer the attention from himself while he was in it knee deep. I made a mental note to have another in-depth discussion about this Charleston with the kitten.
Then, there were the Krauts this was the angle I hated the most. I didn't exactly turn a blind eye to the world around me and my former bohemian lifestyle in Paris let me know, exactly were the politics lied as far as Germany was concerned.
As the days passed more and more headlines described the hypnotic effect an otherwise dull little man had on an entire nation, his nightly speeches bringing a tired and weak audience to believe in anything that he spewed.
It's easy for a country starving and weak to believe the fault lies elsewhere, that some other group is responsible for their woes. After all, to admit the problem lied within them would only mean to admit their own weakness and failure and that would never do.
The nondescript little man excelled in using his voice and speech patterns to manipulate and render his audience at his mercy. It was obvious to me it wouldn't be long before we would enter the war against him.
A sudden chill entered my body and though the heat was stifling the room, I couldn't erase the coldness that crept in. In the upper corner of the wall, I noticed the looming shadow of a black spider and I shivered slightly before standing and leaving the office.
I left the office with the intent of heading towards a seedy little bar on 14 St and 9th avenue. I was determined to find Eugene. There were at least six such haunts he had a habit of visiting and this was the first on my list.
I completed reading the dossier on the Janeson woman and my natural curiosity and sense of adventure immediately emerged. She was intrigued by the mystery that shrouded the enigmatic woman I was hired to find.
I placed a call into Gaines and after the usual courtesies I got to the heart of the matter, it appeared the kitten hired him a year ago to locate the missing scientist.
Gaines filled me in on the missing blanks in the dossier and it appeared that the OSS was less than truthful in their claims about dismissing the case. One late night a month ago, Gaines was visited by two spooks that managed to perform a stellar fandango on his rib cage and other body parts.
They threatened him and his family and ordered him to forget about the case, forget the skirt ever existed. They hinted his life would be less than comfortable if he didn't pay heed. After two weeks in the hospital and a lot of screaming from his wife, he finally conceded and decided to drop the case.
However, not before, he picked up a hot tip on the skirt from a contact in the local law enforcement agency. He followed it to an airstrip in the Napa valley. He was closing in on the skirt when he saw her being whisked away by two guerillas in a less than lady like fashion.
Gaines later discovered it was the skirts private estate in the Napa valley, after dodging four over protective guard dogs he climbed up a tree and noticed the skirt being dragged into a plane.
He overheard the skirt cursing like a drunken sailor and flailing at her captors like a cornered bobcat, with little effect, he suspected the skirt was doped. The plane took off to parts unknown but not before he was able to jot down the call letters.
Through a contact he had in the FAA, he discovered the flight plan was scheduled to eventually land in a small airport in Westchester county NY. He contacted the kitten and told her trail went cold, but not before giving her Cat's name first.
He warned me to be careful, that the skirt was knee deep in espionage and reeked of trouble, it was all I had to hear I couldn't help passing up a challenge. He mentioned the two guerrillas were speaking in a different language and it could have been German.
I began to wander as too what was really going on, the kitten mentioned the Germans were interested in the skirt and from the description I got from Gaines, the goons were right out of Hitler's manual for the ideal German. I was beginning to suspect the kitten knew more than what she was alluding too.
After all she did spend some time living in Germany with the skirt I was beginning to wander, if she had something to do with the disappearance after all, if she didn't then she sure as hell knew who snatched the skirt.
I have to admit, I felt my skin crawl a little the more I thought about the case, I was tempted to pass it up, but the wad of bills resting comfortably in my pocket was making it difficult.
I needed to find Eugene and clean him up I wanted to make sure he'd stay sober long enough to tail the kitten. While I started hunting down the skirt, it was my own insurance policy and it behooved me to know what the kitten was up too.
I noticed I picked up a couple of tails when I exited the office, the fun was just beginning and it was only two hours since I was officially hired. They were dressed in black and stuck out like sore thumbs in their dark suits on a hot and steamy August day.
I hopped into a checkered cab and ordered him to take 9th Avenue down to 14 St., I kept looking back to see if my tails were still following me.
The two spooks were in a black Ford sedan three cars back, the taller of the two was the driver, I guess they thought they were being inconspicuous.
I was glad I had my trusty roll of quarters in my pocket. I didn't think to bring along my rod and made a mental note not to leave home without it the next time.
For the moment I wasn't concerned, I knew these spooks always operated under the cover of night, the way I figured it, I had three more hours before I could start sweating about it.
I'd been in worst situations and always managed to come out on top, hence my nickname Cat. I was grateful my claws were sharpened and ready to strike if need be. After locating Eugene, I was going to head up towards Harlem and pick up Tuvo.
Tuvo was a legend in Harlem, he ran a tight team of muscle and the clients were lined up around the block to obtain his services, we became tight friends when I saved his kid from a lowlife pusher.
He appeared on my doorstep and was my first case when I took over the business after my husband left. He said he needed a delicate matter handled with discretion. He thought I was classy enough to assist him and he was already aware of my ability to defend myself.
He wanted me to locate his daughter, a dark skinned beauty that was swept away by a lowlife Mick with a fancy brogue and a mean temper. He was unable to locate their whereabouts and was concerned for her safety.
I took on the case, there was something about his sorrowful eyes that tugged at my heartstrings, I also needed the money the rent was due and the wolves were breathing at my door.
I managed to locate the couple in two days, Eugene drove me down to Brooklyn and I cased the joint before I acted. I waited until nightfall before approaching the scum.
He had her loaded on smack living in a cheap tenement house by the Brooklyn Navy yards and selling her wares to the local dock worker's. I located the kid and her trick and I broke down the door, the pusher came in and got a little hostile and I worked him over too.
Tuvo arrived on the scene and took over the rest of the lesson plan. I drove the kid to a quiet little hospital I knew in Long Island that specialized in her type of case.
The kid was cleaned up and has been smack free for over four years now. Tuvo has remained a grateful and loyal friend he always offers me a free hand whenever I need it.
He's suspicious by nature and whenever I show up, he makes sure that he handles me personally. Something I was always grateful for myself, seeing how many bullets I dodged with him watching my back. I started to think of him as my lucky charm and we've been close friends since then.
I paid the cabby and exited out and stopped to light a smoke, through the pane glass window of a local pawnshop, I noticed the sedan parked a half block back. I continued walking when the two spooks exited their car.
I entered McClooneys pub and the stale smell of urine and cheap drinks smacked me full force in the face. I stepped in and walked over to the bar, the bartender was a fat slob named Mike.
A drunken patron made a play for me and I shoved him quickly to the side, I stared at him and saw when his legs began to tremble. He mumbled a feeble apology and ran towards the bathroom, I could tell from the stain in his pants he was too late.
"Hey Cat, what brings you here?"
"The usual, have you seen him?"
"He was here a couple of days ago and left with some blonde skirt, haven't seen him since. Can I get you something?"
I threw two bits on the bar and asked for a coke, he nodded at me in contempt but quickly grabbed the change. He knew the coke was only worth a bit.
He poured me the coke and I looked at the glass, it was greasy and slimy, much like the bartender himself. The door opened and the two spooks walked in and sat in a table at the rear.
I leaned over to Mike and whispered quiet like.
"See the two spooks that just walked in?'
He chomp on his cigar and waited a minute before he answered, his breath was hot and putrid like the rest of his body.
"Yeah, what about them?" he licked his lips in anticipation. The slob had an uncanny way of smelling money a mile off.
"I want you to introduce them to my friend Finn, there's a fin in it for you."
'No problem Cat, I'll take care of them myself"
He bit down on his cigar and waddled from behind the bar, wiping his grimy hands on his sweat stained tee shirt. He walked over to the table and eyed the spooks speculatively.
"What can I get you two fine gentlemen?"
"A coke and a water" the tall thin spook answered.
"This ain't no soda shop buddy, you either drink or get the hell out, you can buy your soda pop at the corner drug store."
Mike made sure he farted loudly as he pulled his tee shirt up and scratched his wide girth. I was snickering under my breath, the smell of his gas was overbearing from where I was standing the two spooks must be gagging by now.
I heard the tall spook choke before he answered. "What is she drinking?"
I knew the spook was referring to me, since I was the only dame in the whole joint.
"Coke and Irish whiskey."
"Then I'll have what she's having."
"What about your girlfriend?" Mike hissed and stared down at the smaller of the two spooks.
The smaller spook had a deep and dangerous voice, the hairs in the back of my neck stood and I could tell immediately, he was the more dangerous one of the two. I was grateful to Mike at the moment. I wandered if he knew about the insight he just gave me.
"I'll have the same" Mike snorted at them both and waddled back to the bar. He stood in front of me with a shitty smirk and nodded towards the smaller spook, I knew he picked up on him.
I winked at him and passed him a sawbuck instead, the extra information was well worth the five bucks, he quickly palmed it in his thick greasy paw and continued mixing the Mickey.
I started nursing my coke, I knew it would be a while before I could make my exit, it would take a least twenty minutes before the spooks would feel the affect of the Mickey.
Mike waddled over and placed the two drinks in front of the spooks, then he reached behind and scratched his wide ass.
"There's a two drink limit in this establishment" Then waddled away before the tall spook could respond.
I kept an eye on my watch and drank the rest of the coke, I had two minutes and I knew beforehand about the back door exit. I headed towards the ladies room and noticed when the tall spook tried to stand up.
He started towards me and quickly stumbled against a belligerent drunk that decked him and sent him crashing to the filthy floor. The smaller spook stood immediately and I knew I was in a tight spot.
It seemed that the Mickey had less of an affect on him. The belligerent drunk took a swing at the small spook, which he managed to duck effectively.
I was already out the back door when I heard the crash of broken glass. It was obvious to me that the drunk was flung through the window.
I entered the Chinese restaurant next door, nodded to the chef, there was a crap game going on, and they all stopped and looked at me.
I was lucky they knew me. These guys had no qualms about slicing your throat and betting your mother how long it would take you to die. The owner quickly recognized me and hustled me to a back room, as he waved a cleaver at the others and they continued their game.
"What you do here Cat?"
"I need to hide out for a few minutes, I have a tail."
"No problem you stay here, what he rook rike."
I chuckled lightly he had a cute way of making his "L's" sound like "R's."
"You can't miss them pop, they're wearing black suits."
"Black suit? What they crazy white ghost?"
"No pop, just dumb."
"You stay here, I send my good for nothing son to see"
He quickly shuffled out, screamed a bunch of curses at the gamblers, and grabbed his son by the ear, kicking him swiftly in the rear and screaming at him in Cantonese.
The kid looked at me menacingly before he scurried out and went on his errand. The kid returned after twenty minutes assuring me the two spooks took off in the car and headed uptown.
I peeled off a fin and tossed it to the kid, he smiled a wide toothless grin and bowed a hundred times before he scurried to the back of the kitchen, there was no doubt in my mind he was going back to rejoin the game with his new windfall.
I exited the restaurant and made a quick change of plans I decided to head up to Harlem first and see Tuvo, if I was lucky I could get his soldiers to pick up Eugene.
I hopped into a cab and threatened to beat him within an inch of his life if he didn't take me to 123 and seventh. The driver flew up the streets like a bat out of hell and tried his damn best to put a little fear in me.
After slamming me into the front seat for the third time, I lost my patience, leaned into him, and whispered in a low threatening voice.
"If you want to make it out of Harlem alive, I suggest you adjust your driving."
I could smell the fear rising from his already foul body, as he swallowed deeply and then slowed the cab down to a more respectable speed and I managed to enjoy the rest of my ride unmolested.
My mind was spinning quickly as I realized the spooks were becoming a lot more aggressive in their defense of keeping the skirt from being located. I knew my second stop would be at the Ritz Carlton, room 534.
I exited the cab and climbed the steps to a brownstone the door was immediately opened by a dark skinned guard. He was wearing brown pants and spats, with a freshly starched short sleeve white shirt and a brown tie, he weighed about 340 lbs. and it was all muscle, he smiled warmly at me.
"Hey Cat, good to see you."
"Nice seeing you Tiny, how's the wife."
"Still alive Cat, but I pray every day."
We both laughed as I entered the cool hallway and climbed the steps to the first landing. There was another guard dressed the same as Tiny, except his hardware was proudly displayed.
He stood and hugged me warmly, the cool metal of the gun pressed against my side and into my ribs. He had his trademark toothpick tucked in the side of his mouth.
"Cat, long time no see baby, damn woman you're looking good"
"Good too see you Miles, is he in?"
"For you sugar, he's always in."
"Thanks Miles, you're looking good as usual."
"Hmm, but not as good as you mama, I could slop you up with a biscuit"
"Miles, you're a man after my own heart"
"Cat, that's what I keep telling you."
I smiled as he opened the door and let me in, Miles was Tuvo baby brother and he looked over me as hard as Tuvo did. Tuvo was an enigma to say the least.
He was a cultured black man of about fifty that was a college graduate with a love for opera and classical music. The sound of Mozart's fifth symphony filled the room that was tastefully decorated in dark mahogany furniture.
He stood as I entered and crossed the span of the room his arms opened wide as he enfolded me in his embrace, his wife standing and joining him as she patiently waited her turn.
I looked up at him and returned his warm smile, his wife cut in and hugged me as well placing a light kiss on my cheek.
"Cat, it's always a pleasure seeing you"
"You too my friend"
"Is this business or pleasure?."
Tuvo was one to never waste his time with words, I smiled my crooked grin and he knew right away that I was there on business. His wife bowed her head elegantly and made her polite excuses as she left us alone.
We walked to the living room, sat comfortably, as he proceeded to pour a warm almond tea, and passed it to me.
"What is it that brings you too Harlem Cat?"
"A case I'm working on, it could get a little rough Tuvo. I'll understand if you can't offer me assistance."
"Cat, your more family than you are friend, now tell me what's this about?"
"I have a client that is looking for a missing scientist a Dr. Janeson."
"The Dr. Janeson of quantum physics?"
I should have known Tuvo would recognize the name, it never ceased to amaze me how he was so profoundly aware of the scientific breakthroughs around us. I often wondered what his life would have been like had he not been born a man of color.
It never mattered too me that Tuvo was colored. I was never one to place any importance one these matters. I always judged a person by who they were and not what or where they came from. Of one thing, I was certain, I was a better individual for knowing this intelligent and well-cultured man.
"One and the same."
"I heard she disappeared a year ago, she was presumed dead are you saying she isn't?"
"According to what my client showed me this afternoon, I'd say she's very much alive."
"Do you know where she is?"
"I know she touched down in an airport in Westchester a week ago, but there's more."
"You have my undivided attention, please continue."
"It's quite possible she may have been kidnapped by the Germans."
"As in Hitler's SS?"
"It's possible, I know there's quite a German contingency here in New York, hell they all settled in the eighties on First Avenue. I suspect she may be sequestered in some safe house there."
"Is she there on her own accord?"
"To the best of my knowledge no, according to her dossier she's adamantly against the Hitler regime."
"Who hired you?"
"Her assistant, Annia no last name."
"Ah, then that would be Annia Hansen."
"I have to ask, how do you know that?"
"Because I attended a conference once in San Francisco and I had the pleasure of meeting them both. I was very intrigued by their research, they are both very brilliant scientist."
"It appears that's the case and Dr. Janeson is leading the team."
"That maybe so, but I can assure you that the real brilliance lies in Dr. Hansen"
"She's still young but I assure you of the two women she is without a doubt the more brilliant of the two. I was able to determine that in my discussions with her. Don't misunderstand me Dr. Janeson is a force to reckon with, but Annia, Annia still lacks the confidence that only time will give her, in due course I have no doubt she will surpass Dr. Janeson. I would think that is why she chose her as her assistant, I'm sure she noticed her well hidden brilliance as well"
"Tuvo, you never cease to amaze me with your wealth of knowledge. What do you know about their research?"
"Only that it was most intriguing and very radical, I believe they both managed to see past the normal boundaries of quantum physics. Somehow they managed to develop and prove that quantum singularities can be manipulated and disassembled, the last I heard they discovered a way of reassembling matter."
"Yes, well that's the one part she managed to leave out of our interview this morning. However she did allude to the fact that they managed to identify quantum markers and singularities for teleporting."
"Then in effect she did tell you, however she was being cryptic in her description, something that is not unusual among scientist."
"I wonder why they would kidnap one and not the other? I mean if they're such a formidable team, why separate them?"
"Perhaps it has more to do with using one against the other. It's possible the kidnappers may not have all of the answers and are using Dr. Janeson as leverage against Dr. Hansen."
"Oh God, this case is starting to give me a major headache, did I fail to mention that the OSS is involved in this as well?"
"I'm already aware of that fact, I noticed they were both heavily guarded when I attempted to approach them at the conference."
I chuckled lightly "Maybe Dr. Hansen should have come to you instead."
"I doubt that I could ever assist her as well as you could."
"Thanks for the vote of confidence."
"My pleasure, so how can I help you in this matter?"
"Are you saying that you're in, despite what I just told you?"
"If the Germans are involved, I would welcome the opportunity to show Hitler that Jessie Owens isn't the only man of color that can make the great master race crumble"
"You are a great man Tuvo, I often wander what my life would have been like had you not come into my office four years ago."
"And I often wander, how I would have survived had you not found my daughter."
"How is she?"
"She has just completed her third year at Howard University and has chosen her major in science. If you stay for dinner you'll be able to see her yourself."
"I say, that is great news and you know I can never pass up a home cooked meal, you must be very proud of her."
"I am and I have you to be thankful for."
"No need to be thankful we're all family."
"That we are Cat that we are. How is it that we managed to get off the topic on hand, I'm sure you don't wish to be bored with my obscure life"
"It isn't a bore or bother and I love having these philosophical discussions with you, it keeps me honest"
"Is there any matter that can't wait until after dinner?"
"Just one, I need someone to find Eugene for me"
"Dear God, you're still wasting your talents on him, you'll never rehabilitate him you know"
"I just hate to give in Tuvo, you know how I am by now."
"I'll have Tiny go out and find him."
"Dear God not Tiny, I want to find him Tuvo not scare him to death"
"Maybe a good scare will teach him a lesson, besides I'm sure he'll require a bit of cleaning up so to speak, before he's more presentable?"
I raised my hands in resignation and for a moment felt sorry for Eugene, then I thought about the money he spent and figured he deserved it.
"Alright send Tiny, maybe a little fear will help to keep him honest."
'I imagine Tiny should check the usual places"
"I've already checked McClooneys, so he can take it from there."
"Fine, I'll make sure he doesn't return without him. Is there anything else before we have dinner?"
"Ask and you shall receive."
"I need a place to stay tonight, I had a run in with a couple of goons today from their dress I'd say they were OSS."
"You can stay here tonight, while I arrange for new living quarters for you until this is over. I just acquired a new house in midtown that should suit you fine, I'll make sure to have a few guards posted."
"Thanks old friend, I knew I could depend on you."
"Always Cat, always."
Continue to Part Two