Posts Tagged ‘Tulip’

Life

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August 10th, 2010 Posted 9:49 am

“Oh, no,” Tulip said. “My car won’t start and I have to get back to work.” She sat behind the wheel of a little car in the motel parking lot. The car made whirr-whirr noises. I knew those noises from adventures in the Porsche. Bernie got a look in his eye. I got the idea he was thinking of taking out the tools, a move I’d seen many times, never successful.

But Ray beat him to it. “Let me have a look,” he said. He popped the hood of Tulip’s car, huddled over the engine, and after what seemed like a very short time, said, “Try it again.”

Tulip tried it again. Hey! It started right up. Ray closed the hood.

“Thanks, Ray,” Tulip said. She gave him a sort of look, hard to describe. “But what if I break down on the way?”

“That won’t happen,” Ray said.

“But what if it does?”

“Uh,” Ray said, “I could go with you.”

“Would you really?” said Tulip. “That’s so nice.”

Ray turned to Bernie. “I’ll call you later,” Bernie said.

Ray got in the car with Tulip. They drove off. Bernie gave me a quick pat. “Life is full of surprises, Chet.”

And that was just one of the great things about it!

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A Name From The Past

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August 6th, 2010 Posted 9:21 am

Tulip raised her tiny nose to the air, sniffed once or twice. A tiny, turned-up nose, no way it could be capable of anything, right? But then came a big surprise.

“Do you smell anything?” she said.

Bernie had a much bigger nose, although I’d known for a long time it was pretty much useless. He too sniffed the air. This was getting interesting.

“Um,” Bernie said. “Maybe floor wax?”

Floor wax? Tulip’s motel room was carpeted wall to wall. But you had to love Bernie, always the smartest human in the world.

Tulip shook her head. “I smell Sagebrush,” she said.

Impossible to miss sagebrush, of course, one of the strongest smells out there. Absolutely no trace of it in Tulip’s room, trust me.

Bernie sniffed again. “Well, maybe a tiny bit,” he said.

“I’m not talking about the plant,” Tulip said. “I’m talking about the cologne.”

“Cologne?” said Bernie.

“Sagebrush Cologne,” said Tulip. “For men. Ratko practically soaks himself in it.”

“Ratko?” Bernie said.

“Ratko Savic,” said Tulip.

We knew Ratko, me and Bernie; Ratko with his long drippy nose and fondness for knife play. Where had we found out he’d made parole? Oh, yeah. In a bar not far from the fairgrounds – won’t name the owner, right now, but I think it’s in To Fetch A Thief.

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Cologne And Me

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August 4th, 2010 Posted 8:52 am

Was Tulip’s motel one of those no-tell motels? I didn’t know, wasn’t sure what it even meant, exactly, but no-tell motels come up from time to time, especially when we’re doing divorce work. We hate divorce work at the Little Detective Agency. What we like are missing persons cases, which we had now, on account of Astrid Jason was missing. Also, Albie Rose was in a freezer, so maybe it was more than a missing persons case.

But right now, Tulip was saying, “I had Astrid’s two suitcases right there, at the end of the bed.” We searched the little room. No suitcases.

Lots of women wear perfume. Not sure why. Is it meant to go side by side with their normal smell? Because that’s what it does, at least to me. Some men these days – certainly not Bernie, who has the best human smell there is – are wearing cologne. Cologne’s kind of like perfume but you don’t get this male deer – yes, I’ve had an encounter or two, a story for another time – musky thing in perfume. What I was smelling now was cologne, then, a musky kind, but mixed with mint. I know mint from the mint juleps that Otis DeWayne, our weapons guy, makes from time to time. Do humans really like that musk and mint mixture? But I guess that wasn’t the point.

“Chet? What’s that barking about?”

I recognized the cologne; in fact, had smelled it kind of recently. Who had been wearing it? Oh, yeah: Foster.

“Chet?”

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On The Job (Revised)

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August 2nd, 2010 Posted 8:41 am

Tulip was staying at a dusty little motel that reminded me of the place where we first came across Marvin Winkleman’s wife. And the guy she was meeting out there, which turned out to be a big surprise. That’s in To Fetch A Thief, so forget it for now. The point is Bernie and I drove in the Porsche and Tulip drove Ray in her car.

“Wow,” Tulip said, when we were all together outside her door. “Astrid doesn’t look nearly old enough to have a full-grown kid like Ray. Full-grown man, I should say.”

Sometimes when humans get uncomfortable they shift from foot to foot, men more than women and young men like Ray the most. Ray was doing it now. “She was pretty young when she had me,” he said.

“And she’s such a good dancer, too,” said Tulip. She unlocked the door and we went inside. “Hey,” she said. “That’s funny.”

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