“Gus Mackie and the Lost Heiress” Preview Chapter 1

Posted: December 5, 2014 in Uncategorized

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Fritz was sniffing the opened box that was delivered by UPS and I hoped he wouldn’t pee on it. The box had contained my new computer which I was trying to set up on my desk. I wasn’t very computer literate, so I would have to depend on my daughter to help me get it running properly. I had a computer from my old office, but it still had Windows 98 on it. It did the job for what I needed, but some websites I would go to refused to cooperate with Win98. So I was forced kicking and screaming into the 21st century by technology.

Fritz snorted and tried to get in the box. It was just a little too small and it tipped over, dumping him on the ground. He recovered and went to his doggy bed and sat staring at the box. Fritz was a German Shepherd that I found out was formerly in the military police K-9 corps. He came to me from a case of a missing princess and he saved my life twice so far. I hoped he would always like me enough to save my life again.

I had the evil computer hooked up and flipped the switch to start it. Well, not actually a flip, more of a push, once I found the stupid power button. The screen winked to life and started to ask me a lot of questions about how I wanted to configure it. I had no idea what it was asking, so I risked killing it by hitting the power button again and shut it off. Angela could help me answer all the questions.

I sat back in my new office that I moved into from my slum office in Detroit. I was still in Detroit, but in a better class of neighborhood. I hoped it would bring in more clients needing my help as a private investigator. I mostly did spousal cheating cases, following the husband or wife to get photos of them cheating. I worked through divorce lawyers even though I didn’t like lawyers. But they paid well, so I tolerated them.

I wonder what my friend Bernie was up to. He was a Detroit Police homicide detective and a full-blooded Sioux Indian. I know the politically correct thing to say is Native-American, but Bernie told me he didn’t care. He had told me was proud to be an Indian. He often called me white man, and I didn’t find it offensive. At least he didn’t call me by other less than savory names.

I was watching the parking lot through my large front windows as I noticed a young woman walking past. She looked homeless by the clothing she was wearing and the ratty back pack she carried. Detroit had many homeless people. Michigan was fifth in the nation for homeless with an estimated two point eight million of them. A lot of them were families who were forced out of their homes by the evil banks. They were more interested in money than seeing a man, wife and three children living in their car.

She looked fairly young and I wondered what fates brought her to this situation in life. She stood looking at my new sign in the window stating that Gus Mackie, private investigator worked here. I wonder what she would need a P.I. for. She went to the door and opened it slowly, like she was afraid someone would stop her. I stood and went to the door, opening it for her.

“Please, come in, do you need a private investigator?” I asked as she stood just in the doorway. She looked frightened, and hesitated. “Listen, I don’t bite, really. Maybe I can help you? Come in where it’s warm, at least.” It was December in Michigan now and cold. She was bundled up in a raggedy winter coat, with a cap on, but she still looked cold. She had slight dirt smudges on her face and hands. She looked like she hadn’t washed in a while. She looked to be in her late twenties and was fairly attractive under the dirt.

I thought maybe she just wanted to warm up and not want a P.I. to help her. I didn’t care, she looked like she needed warmth. She just stood there and I wished she would do something. It was cold standing with the door open. I was watching her and she suddenly smiled at something behind me. I looked back and saw Fritz standing nearby, watching us.

“Pretty dog. Does he bite?” she asked meekly.

“Only if you aim a gun at me,” I replied. “I’m sure you don’t have a gun.”

She smiled at me now and moved forward into the building. I let the door close as Fritz came up to her, sniffing her clothes, which could use a good washing. She scratched Fritz’s head and he nuzzled her hand. He turned and went back to his bed and sat watching us.

“Please, come and sit.” I said steering her to my client chair. She sat and thanked me. I went around to my desk and sat. “Can I help you with something? Do you have something that needs a private investigator?”

She sat quietly and the opened her coat and reached in. I hoped it wasn’t for a gun. Fritz was watching her carefully and came closer. She withdrew her hand and pulled out a locket on a chain around her neck. She lifted the chain over her head and put the thing in the palm of her hand. She studied it for a moment, then held her hand out to me.

“Do you want me to take it?” I asked, since she wasn’t saying much. She nodded her head and I reached over and carefully lifted the chain from her palm. The locket looked old and the chain was turning green from wear. I looked to see how to open it.

She said, “It opens when you push the small button on the side.”

I saw the button and gave it a light push. The locket popped open, and inside were two photos that looked very old. One side was a man, and the other, a woman. “Who are they?” I asked.

“I think I’m related to them. I’m not sure, but I’d like you to find them if you could.” She reached in her coat pocket and took out a small bag. She opened it and dumped out coins and a couple dollar bills. “I can pay you to find them. This is all I got, but I can beg for more if this isn’t enough.”

It was making me sad to see her giving me all the money she had. I scooped it up and put it back in the bag. “No, you don’t owe me anything. I haven’t done a job for you yet. We can talk about this later.” I handed it back to her. She thanked me.

“Why do you think these people in the locket could be related to you?”

“I was very young when I was put in a foster home. I vaguely remember them,” she said and paused. “I think they were wealthy, but heard that I wasn’t wanted because their daughter had me without being married. So they abandoned me.”

*



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