It was a day like any other, city bustling, papers being sold, and car drivers yelling and screaming at each other. I walked into my office threw my hat on the coat rack and sat down for a nap.
“Mr. Wickom!” yelled my secretary, “Do you have any rent money? The landlord keeps calling and leaving messages, I don't know how much longer I can stall before he throws us out. Speaking of money when can you pay me? It's been 2 weeks!”
Janny is her name, she’s a good soul, and probably deserves a better job than she has now. I hired here years ago with a newspaper, and she has been extremely loyal. Even in the face of danger sometimes “As soon as I get something you’ll be the first to know. Besides the landlord has been threatening to throw us out for the past 2 years.”
“Well he sounded serious this time.”
“You said that last week,” I mumbled.
This was a usual day for us, I sit in the office and sleep. She takes calls from the landlord and whoever else calls during the day. That’s just how things are for private investigators. I was getting ready to leave for home that day when she walked in. A beautiful blonde with a face that could be mistaken for a model.
“Are detective Calvin Wickom?” she said, her voice flowed like water.
“Yes, yes I am, and you are?”
“My name is Judy Jacqueline, and I have a case for you.”
Now this caught my attention, so I walked to my desk and got out my pen and notepad.
“So what’s the case?” I queried.
“I’ve had something stolen from me, a diamond.”
“Any reason why you didn’t go to the police?”
“Personal reasons,” she looked away quick.
I knew there was something more to that story, but I needed the money so I didn’t ask.
“Do you have any leads to who stole it?”
“Yes, it had to be a professional I kept it in a safe, and when I went to check on it, it was gone with no trace of tampering.”
“Hm, anything else?”
“No, but I’m assuming that this is the part where you tell me how much you charge?”
“Well, I have a base price of 250 dollars up front, and a 5 dollar per day fee until the case is closed.”
“Alright that will work,” she pulled out here purse and gave me the 250, “When will you start?”
“First thing tomorrow,” I replied.
As I drove home I had a feeling that this case was going to be nothing but trouble.
. . . . .
“Do you have rent today?” Said Janny as she walked in.
“Yeah, I got money from a client after you left yesterday.”
“Really? How much did you charge her up front.”
“250. Here take some for whatever rent, and then some for yourself.” She picked up the money to 20 for rent the 15 for herself.
“Alright, I think that covers for what you’ve missed this time around.”
“I’m going to talk to Sam,” I got up and grabbed my hat, “Need some information from him.”
“Okay, well have fun.”
I headed outside and began to walk to where Sam usually hangs out. Shady Sam was the guy to talk to when it comes to shady dealings, he almost always knows the when, where, and what is being dealt. I have gone to him before for information, and he has always been reliable.
I met Sam years ago when I was actually investing a case for him. He was accused of a crime he didn’t commit. No one believed that he didn’t do it. So I decided to take the case. I was not only able to prove him innocent, but also find the real culprit. Since then he does favors for me, sometimes more than he wants to.
“Sam!” I called him out while he was talking to someone. He turned saw me and ran around the block. I began walking along the block parallel to his and waited on the corner at the end of the street. Then as he began to run by I grabbed him by the collar and stopped him.
“Hey, hey, hey, Calvin long time no see, huh?” he said as he squirmed from my grasp.
“I have a case, and need some information.”
“Look, let go of me and we can talk like men, huh?” I let go and he fell to the ground.
“Okay that’s better,” he began brushing himself off, “Now look last time you got information from me you told me that was the last time, and my credibility with my employers is lowering due to your need for this information.”
“Look I’m just trying to do my job, now here,” I supplied him a 20, “does that help at all.”
“What do you need?”
“My clients diamond was stolen and she wants it back.”
“Okay look, I haven't heard any dealings about any diamonds, but there is a jeweler down on 27th that runs a shady shop.”
“Thanks, Sam.” I began to walk back to office. Still thinking that there was something more to this than a stolen diamond. It was late afternoon by the time I got to 27th. Soon after I saw the store. I parked outside and walked up. Something was wrong though, the door was kicked down, and something smelt awful, all the drawers looked like they had been cleaned out. Then I saw the jeweler, dead on the floor. Something was going on here much bigger than a diamond.
As I exited the shop and was about to go and call the police, a car pulled up, saw me, and took off. I tried to catch up with it, but it speed around the corner. Luckily though I got it’s license plate number, 8K67PQ. I decided to go home and figure out my next move in the morning.
. . . . . .
When I got up the next morning I knew what I had to do. I needed to see another friend of mine, Detective Dan Daniels. He’s a cop and the competition in a sense but still a friend, and one who helps out with cases once in awhile.
I met Dan in my early days as a detective. We use to partner up and share information on cases, and still do. Our first together involved a cold case of his about the death of a woman's son. We were able to find new clues and eventually find the culprit.
I didn't’ know who called me, but I did know it wouldn’t be good.
“Are you here to turn yourself in?” It was Dan.
“What are you talking about?”
“Calvin, we got witnesses saying you were roaming around a crime scene last night!”
I realized my mistake at this point, “Oh, shoot, I was there working a case, I was about to call the police, but I got sidetracked and forgot.”
“Alright, but I’m going to have to take you statement about this.”
We went to his office and I told him that I was there looking into a case. Then the ME on the case confirmed that I was on the crime scene hours after the initial murder.
“So what’s this case about?” Asked Dan.
“A women had a diamond stolen from her.”
“Actually the reason I came here was to talk about the case in the first place. I have the license plate numbers of that car I was chasing and I need to know who was the drive.”
“The diamond wasn’t at the jewelry store?”
“No place was cleaned out when I got there.”
“Alright well if you give me the plate I will look into it and get back to you.”
A few hours later the phone rang and Janny patched it through to me.
“Hey, Calvin, it’s Dan I got that license plate you asked for. It belongs to one Butch Bushmen, and I did a little digging and he is a known thug for Giovanni Italiano.”
“Well, then things just got a lot more crazy.” Giovanni Italiano is the most notorious mob boss in the local area. Known for dozens of crime, but whenever he’s tried something goes wrong. Like a witness conveniently goes missing or goes missing.
“Look promise me Calvin be careful, huh? This guy has long list of “possible crimes”
“Yeah, will do, thanks Dan.” I hung up the phone and took a big sigh. Hoping that this case was really worth it.
I knew that my next step was to go to Giovanni’s and once again I needed to go to Shady Sam. As I was about to leave the office I decided to grab my gun just in case. I began the walk over to Sam’s apartment, and when I finally arrived I noticed the door open. Rushing over I pulled out my gun and crept into the room. The first thing I see was a man standing over Sam’s body. Turning around he notices me and my gun he bolted to the window. Jumping out onto the fire escape by the time I looked out he was gone.
“Sam!” I yelled as I went over to him, “Where were you hit?”
“Stomach,” he croaked, “It was one of Italiano’s boy’s.”
“Yeah, thought so.”
“Ha, ha good work detective.”
“Look wait here I’m going to find a phone to call a doctor.”
“Wait, I’m not going to make it Calvin. I need you take my case go after the guy who killed me. Sorry, I can’t pay much though,” he began coughing, “Italiano lives in the Village Park penthouse on 5th, sorry I couldn’t do more for you. Good luck… detective...,” he died there in my arms.
I got up and phoned Daniels, and told him my statement. I decided to go home after that.
. . . . . .
The next day I knew what I had to do, I was going to find Giovanni Italiano and I was going to bring him in. I grabbed my hat and gun, and drove over to Village Park. I bannged on the door of Italianos only to be greeted by a old italian women. Yelling at me in italian.
A man appeared behind her and made her go back into the apartment.
“Sorry about that, how many I help you?”
“Are you Giovanni Italiano?”
“Yeah, who’s asking’?”
“Private Eye Calvin Wickom, and I need a word for you.”
“Well then by all means come in.”
“Now, what would you like to talk me about?”
“I know what you did to that jeweler and Shady Sam, and that you took have the diamond that belongs to Judy Jacqueline.”
“Oh, really, what evidence do you have against linking me to these crimes?”
“One of your thugs car was at one of the crime scenes, and Sam before he died said it was one of you boys.”
“So you have no physical evidence whatsoever?”
“Maybe not yet, but this just got personal for me, and I will get you.’
“You know what detective, I did order those murders and the whole diamond theft, but I know you won't be able to find evidence. So why don’t you go home and give up?”
“Well if I don’t get you for this I’ll get you on the next, or the next, or the next. I will not give up.”
“You’re a brave man detective, but a foolish one. Now if you will kindly leave my dear mama is almost done with dinner.”
I left the apartment angry with the arrogance of the man, but smirking knowing he just caused his own destruction.
. . . . . . .
The next day I went back up to Giovanni’s apartment, and knocked on the door.
“Detective Wickom? Interesting to see you again so soon.”
“Come to tell me that you’ve given up on you case, or maybe to threaten my more like many have in the past. I warn you these people have since disappeared.”
“No I just wanted to talk a bit more.”
“Well, then come in.”
We went back towards the living room like yesterday. I began walking around the room.
“You know a good device I have always found useful, a tape recorder. Good for making notes to yourself.”
“Hm, I believe I have one around here myself.”
“I’ve actually used them before in a few cases,” I could see him suddenly get tense, “criminals confessing to their crimes without even realizing that they are being recorded.”
“Oh, but I did.”
Suddenly he whipped out a gun from his jacket, “I’ll kill you before you give those tapes to the police.”
“Well see the problem with that is that I already give them to the police. Hell, they are on their way here now.”
He began to run towards the door when he stopped as Detective Daniels can in the room, gun drawn.
“Drop the weapon Giovanni!”
From the look on his face he knew that it was over. He dropped the gun, and with that the great Italian criminal organization was over.
After Dan left taking Italiano with him I grabbed the diamond. I had figured out the hiding space when I was explaining the who recording device to Italiano.
I headed home after that with the satisfaction of solving the case.
. . . . . .
The next day I went into the office and called Judy Jacqueline and told her to come to the office. She got to the office in only a few minutes.
“Have you found it?”
“Yes, I’ve got right here,” I pulled it out of one of drawer, “but I’ve got a problem.”
She suddenly got tense.
“What’s the problem?”
“See when I was looking at the diamond last night I began to wonder ‘How could someone afford a diamond this big and not be known to the general public, and especially me?’ So I did some digging around late last night, and found that a certain diamond had gone missing from the Clarkston Gemology Museum a couple towns over.”
“Alright yes I took the diamond, and if you don’t tell anyone then I will split the profits with you and we could go our separate ways.”
“See that proposition does seem nice, but I am a man of conscience, and I couldn’t live with the guilt. That’s also why my friend Detective Dan Daniels is listening through the closet door over there. Dan, you got enough of a confession to pin here for the crime.”
Dan came out of the closet, “I’d say so, man Calvin you on role 2 criminals in 2 days.”
Dan took out his handcuffs for Judy, and arrested her.
“I’ll come by with that reward later.”
As they walked out of the office I reflected on the cost of this case. The pure loss of life, but also about what we gained. The end of a criminal organization, but at what cost?