The meeting finally adjourned and Mulwray packed up his apologies and folders and headed out. I slipped easily in behind him. Mulwray ended up at a kebab restaurant in the arms of a beautiful and very young blonde. A Suicide Girl dressed for church. I snapped some photos of Mulwray hugging the dainty dame and uploaded them straight to my tumblr.
The reddit crew would be disappointed I didn't get any ass shots, but she looked a little young and I've been gun shy ever since that Anderson Cooper thing. I received the Bitcoin payment for the case from Mrs. Mulwray before I'd even made my way back to the office.
My easy case took a turn when my pictures of Mulwray ended up on Gawker. Dog Run Romeo: Mulwray Caught in Affair with Underage Girl? The question mark is a gossip blogger's secret weapon. The problem with Hamilton Nolan's account of events wasn't so much the facts - he had the imbroglio over the dog path down perfectly - it was the inset picture. The photo of Mulwray's spurned wife was not the woman who hired me.
I dialed the number the dame gave me and got the Fairway Catering line. A shrieking woman told me in a sheer Brooklyn accent I needed at least two blintz trays if I was really going to make a party. I told her all I needed for a party was a thumb drive full of chip tunes and a programmed light show. Possibly a gut rehab loft apartment. She wasn't buying it, so I decided to play things her way.
I figured if I bribed her with the fruit platter, she might lead me to the fake Mrs. Mulwray, but an hour later, two blintz trays, a fruit platter and a cake that read Happy Bar Mitzvah! arrived on my doorstep. I appreciated the increase in my food security, but I have poor impulse control around cakes. What can I say, I was a fat kid growing up and once a fat kid always a fat kid no matter how many holes you drill in your child-sized Ferragamo belt.
I ate the cake in one sitting and searched the packaging for a clue. Nothing. I was about ready to vent my frustration in a string of blistering tweets when the door to my office banged open. In marched the prettiest five-foot-five-inches of Manhattan real estate I'd seen since my friend SKippR's studio apartment with a partially obstructed view of Central Park.
The dame was a red-faced blonde dipped in vintage sleeveless. The kind of satiny stuff that shimmers in the glow of the dual-display I use for my freelance graphic design work. I mostly design covers for my own 8-bite house mixes, which I then sell at my shows, which I advertise with posters I also design. I also do work as my own agent and secretary, time allowing, and I give great massages.
"You have no idea what you've done, Mr. Picotreau," she said, waving an unlit cigarette.
"Please," I said, flipping the no-smoking placard face-down on my desk and lighting her cigarette, "I divorced my parents at sixteen and changed my last name to Glansberry no matter what the Internet says, but I prefer you call me by my stage name. DJ PI."
She waved her hand at me as if swatting the world's sleepiest fly.
"After those pictures hit the Internet my husband disappeared. I fear the worst. I fear you have driven him to something terrible. So tell me why I shouldn't sue you."
"Because I'm the only man who can find your husband," I said. "And I won't rest until I put things right. Now, what do you know about Fairway Catering?"
She told me all about a guy named Jack Squat who ran a little business called bupkis. I was used to rolling snake-eyes. I promised the real Mrs. Mulwray I'd find her husband before her lawyer could draw up that lawsuit.
"You'd better hurry," she said, stabbing the bent L of her cigarette out inside my peeing turtle cloisonné ashtray. "My lawyer is quite good and I pay him by the case, not the hour."
I figured Fairway Catering was wrapped in this somehow, but I had to find Hollis Mulwray first. My dad lent me 800 dollars for rent and I couldn't afford to have this woman suing it out from under me, at least not before I could launder my Bitcoins through a burrito shop in Portland. How else was I going to pay for that Latvian Fletch Lives poster? I can't afford more negative feedback.
"Really, Holmes!" I dropped into my seat, shocked. "You are remarkably tall! What are you, six foot six? Six foot eight?"
As the 19th century diver approaches a giant clam, a flash of brilliant golden light flares from within the shell. I emerge in a swirl of bubbles and do the timeless universal underwater hand signals for the following: ZODIAC KILLER, KKK, BLOOD OF YOUTH
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