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The Detective Hawk Saga - Case 1, Episode 2

The Detective Hawk Saga - Case 1, Episode 2

The Detective Hawk Saga - Case 1, Episode 2

If you missed it – catch up on Episode 1.

 

7:08 pm –  June 19th 1942 – Renwick’s Diner, Downtown Bird City

I stepped into the Diner not quite knowing what to expect.  This greasy spoon diner had been around for years and all types of unsavory characters were usually there.  I nodded to Alice who was working behind the counter and I walked to my usual booth in the back of the diner. 

“What you havin’, Mr. H?”  Alice asked, gliding over to my table in the way only a swan can.  Again, I wondered how a bird like her ended up in a place like this.

“I’ll take a slice of pie and a cup of coffee”, Alice grinned, my usual, she brought it over.  Then I waited… I kept looking at the clock and glancing around at the other customers.  I really don’t like sitting around here for too long. I’ve crossed too many birds in my investigations, sitting around eating pie can be dangerous.  

I looked at the clock again – where was that damn Jay bird. 

At about quarter to eight, the door swung open and Jimmy the Jay sauntered in.  His eyes shifting left and right surveying the scene.  He was always a shifty character.  He’d been hovering around the outskirts of the Bigglesworth gang for the past few years.  He was small time though, made me wonder if this information he supposedly had was any good.  Jimmy glanced over to where I was sitting a sneering little smile appeared on his beak. 

“Do birds only flock at night?” Jimmy said as he approached the booth and perched opposite me. 

“Only if the time is right,” I sighed in response.  This was the stupid code Jimmy had made me agree to when Flamingo had set up this meeting.  How did she have this type of connection, even with the Daddy angle…

“You really shouldn’t try to stand out so much in a place like this… that red hat and trench just sort of screams detective” he twittered. 

“Well you shouldn’t look like crooked beaked, the shifty rat that you are”, I shot back.  “Flamingo said you had information about what’s going on in this town, so spill it!” 

“Well, you see, it ain’t that easy…” Jimmy started talking “I’m going to need some… some assurances.”

I narrowed my eyes, “What kind of assurances?” 

“That if I talk, you won’t turn in me in to the cops” he said.  I nodded, begrudgingly. 

“So… you are interested in this board game caper?  Well… Bigglesworth’s got a big plan.  You know a whole big thing, he thinks it’s gonna make him a kingpin ‘round here…  Thinks he’s gonna round up all of them board games…  He’s been storing games all over the place… You know old man Hopper?  The one from the Feed & Seed?  You know he’s dead now, right?  God rest him… he was a good guy… a really, really good guy…  too bad he met his end like that, don’t ya think?”  

“Get to the point!” I spat at him though a gritted beak. 

“Hey!  You wanted to know all about it – I’m tellin’ ya all about it!”  he shook his head “Bigglesworth has got ’em all over the place.  You know, everywhere…  There’s a big ’un.  That’s what I’m tryin’ ta tell ya.  He ain’t just been storing them in one place.  The big ‘un is down in the Mercado, in the cellars…  Under Hopper’s old place…  The Feed & Seed – that’s what I’m telling’ ya.  When Hopper died Bigglesworth moved in.  I ain’t saying there’s a connection there – I just know Bigglesworth moved in…”

“Anything else?” I impatiently demanded.

“Yeah… Guard birds.  They got guard birds down there.  They are lazy guard birds.  Mostly always sleeping on the job.  But better go early in the morning just to make sure they be sleepin’…”

“Right.  Now get out of here, before I find a reason to turn you in!” Jimmy the Jay practically flew out of the diner and away into the night. 

I polished off my pie as I started thinking it over.  Bigglesworth is storing the games under a grain store…  how original…  I rolled my eyes.  I left some cash on the table, with a nice tip for Alice.  Then headed out into the night to make a plan.

6:34 am – June 20th 1942 – Bird City’s Mercado District

I had gone home for some sleep before taking on whatever I was going to meet in the cellar of the Feed & Seed.  It had already been a rough couple of days and I figured I should get some rest while I could, who knows where this was going to end up.  

I had the cab drop me off a couple of blocks away.  As I rounded the corner of Pine and Clead St, I could see the Feed & Seed in front of me.  To the left side was a small padlocked door.  That must be the cellar.  

I crossed the street, looking around to make sure no one was watching me and pulled out my trusty lock pick.  A jiggle or two and the lock snapped open.  I removed the lock and chain as quietly as I could.  The door silently swing open…

This really is a bad idea, I thought.  What if I go down there and someone comes along and locks me in, I’d be trapped.  Leaving that thought linger in my bird brain for too long was never very good. 

“C’mon Hawk, you’re not scared, are you?” I muttered to myself.  No, no I wasn’t.  With a deep breath I started down into the dark cellar.  It smelled musty.  A mix of wet feathers and mold…  a wonderful fragrance to start the morning.

I couldn’t hear anything.  I took out my flashlight and started to peer around the large room.  Grain, seed and grain, that is all I could see.  This was a storage cellar for the store above…  Jimmy had lied to me…  Jesus, how did I fall for that?  Jimmy lied and Flamingo sent me to him…  

I heard claws on the wooden floor above my head.  I had to get out of here fast – this was a set up!  I flew up the stairs and just as I reached the top I smacked straight in Mr. Timmons, the new proprietor of the Feed & Seed.  

“Oh, Hawk, I say…  Um, can I help you?”  Mr. Timmons blinked at me in confusion.  

“I… I, errr…”  I’d just broken into the guys cellar and he was asking if he could help me, was that suspicious?  I went with a heavy handed approach, just in case.  “Yeah, I’m on a case.  I got a tipoff that you are in it up to your eyeballs.  You got a deal with Bigglesworth and are storing stolen boardgames in you basement!”  

“Me? oh no, Sir…  I do love board games… but I can never seem to get them anymore…  everyone’s sold out…  few stores even closed up cause they can’t get stock…” he said “It’s been terribly sad… all the birds flocking about with no games to play, it making them all so unhappy.  I keep hearing about all the new, exciting games, but none has them…”

“The way I hear it, you and Bigglesworth know all about what’s happening to them” I said, trying to intimidate him. 

“I’ve no idea what you are cheeping on about, Sir…  I mean…  all I’ve ever had in my cellar is my seed and grain” he continued.  I believed the old rooster.  I didn’t think he actually had any gangster in him really.  

“You know, I did see some bird eyeing up this place the other day.  Just staring at it as I was closing up, from under the lamp post across the street, as though they were waiting for something…”

“What did she look like?” 

“It was a He – a Blue Jay…” his voice trailed off

“What?”  I would have bet my life it would be her…

“Blue Jay with a crooked beak.  Couldn’t miss that…” Timmons replied

“Damn it Jay and Flamingo are in the together…” I said, “I can’t believe how they played me!”

“…What was that?” Timmons said looking at me “He was very pretty…”

“Timmons, Anything else you can remember?” I looked at him

“No…  Oh, yes…  before I locked up he got in a cab and left.”

“Right, thanks.  Call me if you think of anything else. ”  I handed him my card. “I saw a cab up on the next corner… I’m going to see if I can catch it”.

 

8:17am – June 20th 1942 – My Office

I got out of the cab and entered the building.  As I was walking down the hallway to my office I noticed the door ajar.  I pulled  my gun from it’s holster.  I didn’t like this one bit.

I walked slowly down the hall not making a sound.  I poked the door with the muzzle of the gun and it swung open slowly revealing that damn pink dame perched on my couch.  

I kept my gun out and walked into my office and leaned on my desk, carefully placing the gun within reach.  “What are you doing here?  How the hell did you get in?  And why the hell did you and that damn Jay set me up?”  

“Wh… Wh…  What?”  she looked completely shocked.

“Cut the act, lady!” I shot back.  “I know when I’m being treated like a dodo.  What the hell are you playing at?”

“What are you talking about?” she demanded.  

“Jimmy the Jay” I stared at her “Your ever so helpful contact?  He sent me on a wild goose chase down at the Mecardo!  You know nothing about that?”

“No, I do not!” she was indignant. I was starting to feel like I was off my game for the second time this morning.  “Daddy always says ‘he who squawks the loudest always knows more than the others’.  That Jay Bird is a squawker and he owes my family, I really thought he would help.”

“Why is it every time I do something for you I feel like I am just chasing my tail feathers?  I don’t believe you” I raised my voice accusingly.  

“Well you ought to” she fired back at me ” because I seem to be the only one here who is trying to help!” she stood up, distractingly slowly… “And another thing…” she moved right in front of me and looked me straight in the eye.

“Don’t you dare raise your voice to me again because I will not stand for it…” the air between us crackled with electricity.

“Don’t you tell me what I can and can not say…”  Our eyes locked, I felt the pull of my attraction to her.  I wanted to kiss her.  I was going to… 

The phone rang, the moment was broken, she stepped away and I reached for the phone.  “Hawk – speak.”  I barked.  

“Oh, yes, um Sir, it’s Mr Timmons, I remembered something.”  I carefully put my gun away.  “Yes, of course, what is it?”

“That pretty Jay bird, I remember where he asked his taxi to go.  He told the driver he wanted to go the the Aviary Club before he hopped in.  Is that helpful?”  

I turned around and looked at Flamingo.  She had her back to me, powdering her beak but I could see she was peering at me though her tiny compact mirror.  I raised an eyebrow and replied to Mr Timmons “Very helpful, thank you very much.”

“What is it?” she asked as I hung up the phone.  

“A lead. I think that Jay Bird has been playing us both.”

“We need to go to the Aviary Club.”

To Be Continued…