Maggie meets a Madame

Photo courtesy of Temsco Helicopter Tours Juneau, AK

Nick, it seems, had the misguided notion that he could just drop Maggie and I off at his place to quote, unquote, “get some rest”, while he headed over to the illustrious Miss Jenny’s bordello to find out if she could shed any light on the identity of the guy I had seen driving the old Ford F150 that was currently parading around town wearing plates that belonged on her Lincoln.

“Now you just hold on right there, Mr. Detective,” I jumped in when he got to the part about my being left out of the interview because any further investigative efforts were strictly a matter of police business. 

“If it wasn’t for me, neither you nor your brothers in blue would even know this guy existed. Are you forgetting I am the only one that even saw the guy driving the truck or the impressions left in Mabel’s soggy hall carpet? The very same carpet, mind you, that your two uniforms ran roughshod over, destroying probably the only shred of real evidence besides the thumb prints on poor, dead Mabel’s throat that make clear, foul play?”

As soon as I said it, I could feel the color drain from my cheeks. Maggie, as if sensing something had gone terribly awry, came out from underneath the kitchen table where she had been napping, and took her place dutifully at my side.

“Aha! Miss Garret! The truth comes out! You did touch the body didn’t you? I knew it! You and your over enthusiastic,  “Of course not! Anyone who has ever watched television would know that!” response when I routinely reminded you not to. I knew it! I knew it! I knew it!” 

There was nothing I could say in my own defense. So I told him the truth.

I had lifted Mabel’s head slightly from her chest when Maggie brought my attention to the odd angle in which it rested there. I had seen the bluish bruises on her throat. And I had failed to pass that information on, in favor of saving myself the indignity of having to admit I had failed to honor the first rule of corpus delicti- Never touch the body.

Sitting across from me at the table, his chin resting in the palm of his hand, Nick looked from me to Maggie, then back up at me. “I don’t know which one of you looks guiltier.” He said, a slight upturn in the corners of his mouth giving way to a rather indecisive smile. 

“If we are going to work together on this, I have to have your word that from this moment forward you will be totally and completely honest with me. No more dancing around the truth. Can you promise me that?” 

“I can.” I responded without hesitation. 

A strange calm came over me in the seconds that followed. Something akin to what I felt the moment I promised to love, honor, and cherish my now ex-husband-  but I shook it off. Now was neither the time nor the place to indulge in emotion. There was a murder to be solved.

“So then, that means you are taking me with you to interview Miss Jenny?” I interjected, boldly shattering the moment of silence that had fallen between us. 

“Ain’t no grass growin’ under your feet is there?” Nick said as he shook his head affably from side to side. “I’ll probably get suspended without pay for doing it, but yeah, I’ll take you over there with me. After all, who better to read a woman, than a woman.”

Intuitively aware a change of venue was forthcoming, Maggie made a beeline for the door. She was dancing in circles and yelping with ‘we’re going somewhere’ excitement before either of us even stood up. 

“Why not? ” Nick acquiesced without any encouragement from me. “How much more trouble can I get in?”

I grabbed my purse, and Nick, Maggie’s lead, as we headed for the door.

“C’mon ladies.” Nick voiced with just the slightest hint of uncertainty, “Let’s go meet a Madame.”

This is yet another chapter in the on-going saga of Maggie’s adventures. The story may be read in it’s entirety by following the Maggie’s Story category header.

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