A Close Shave - Part 1 - A Craven Danger Mystery
Betty Fletcher climbed the stairs to the second floor office and heard the jangling of the telephone. She unlocked the door and hung her coat on the rack.
“All right!” said Betty. “I’m coming! If I move any faster, this day would be over and I’d be lockin’ up and goin’ home. I ain’t even had my coffee yet.”
Betty sat at her desk and composed herself. She straightened her stack of Movie Star magazines and blew a kiss to the cover picture of Clark Gable. She then took a deep breath and blew a raspberry at Vivien Leigh, his co-star in Gone With the Wind, who shared the same cover.
She kisses like someone’s grandma, thought Betty. If I was in that movie, Rhett woulda never walked out that door.
Betty picked the receiver up off its cradle.
“Good morning. Craven Danger. Private
Investigator. Betty Fletcher speakin’. How may I help ya.”
“Is Mr. Danger in?” said the woman on the other end.
“Ninety nine point nine percent of the time, yeah,” said Betty. “Only not this mornin’. He’s out gettin’ a haircut and a shave. Though why he’d wanna get a shave at the clip joint he goes to I couldn’t tell ya. He always comes back lookin’ like he had a fight with his cat. He’ll have more Band-Aids on his face than he’s got hairs on his head. But I’d be happy ta help ya.”
Betty scowled at Vivien Leigh again and stuck out
“That boy never did have much sense,” said the woman.
“Excuse me?” said Betty.
“This is his mother, young lady,” said Mrs. Danger. “I was hoping to speak with Craven.”
“Oh,” said Betty. “And you don’t know how much I’ve been wantin’ ta speak ta you,” said Betty.
“Really, dear?” said Mrs. Danger. “Then why don’t you two come over for dinner this Sunday. That’s the reason I’m calling. He hasn’t been to see me in weeks. I do realize he has several big case loads, as he calls them. Then there was that meeting with J. Edgar Hoover in Washington, DC. But there should always be time for a Sunday supper with your mother.”
Hoover? thought Betty. The only Hoover he knows is sittin’ in his closet. And from what I seen of his carpet, he don’t know it too well.
“I’ll have him there, Mrs. Danger,” said Betty.
“Don’t you worry about nothin’.”
“Oh, that would be wonderful,” said Mrs. Danger. “This Sunday at six then.”
“Sunday at six it is, Mrs. Danger,” said Betty. “I’ll even bring ya dessert.”
“That would be lovely,” said Mrs. Danger. ”I just love pumpkin pie this time of year. Not that I‘m hinting or anything, dear.”
“Just call me Betty, Mrs. Danger. And pumpkin pie it is. Me and you is gonna get along just swell. I can feel it.”