Craven Danger on the Run - Part Six
Craven Danger pulled out his pocket knife and went about the business of cutting down the scarecrow.
“How long ya been hangin’ up there?” said Betty.
“Since just before sunup,” said the scarecrow. “The ransom money was stuffed inside the scarecrow that was here before me. My abductors thought it amusing that I take his place.”
“If I was the kidnapers,” said Sidney. ”I‘d have put you in my trunk, shot you full of lead, then pushed the car off a cliff. Nothin’ personal, but If ya gonna do a job, do a job right.”
“Who is this man?” said the scarecrow. “And why has he been let out of the asylum?”
“No offense, mister,” said Sidney. “It’s just something I think about when I’m ridin’ around in my cab. Like, what I would do if I saw a runaway bus full of screamin’ school kids?”
“Well?” said Craven. “What would ya do?”
“Me?” said Sidney. “I’d pull over and call the police. What am I gonna do with a runaway bus full of screamin’ school kids? I’m not Superman, ya know.”
“Are you sure he hasn’t been sent here by my abductors,” said the scarecrow. “To torment me into my grave?”
“Pay no attention to Sidney,” said Craven. “He’s got run-a-the-mouth disease. There’s no cure yet, but we’re sure hopin’”
“First of all,” said Betty. “Let us make our acquaintances. The man cuttin’ your ropes is Craven Danger, and I’m his wife Betty. And together we’re Twin Dangers, Private Investigators. The man who’s afraid to be left alone with his own thoughts, and thinks he has to share them with anything that’s got a pair a ears, is Sidney Green. Sidney’s a cab driver and our part-time chauffer. His dog is FDR.”
“Short for you-know-who,” said Sidney. “But if I went around calling him Franklin Delano Roosevelt all the time, I’d be out of breathe before I got around to sayin’ what I wanted to say to him in the first place.”
“I find that hard to believe,” said Craven.
“Enough, you two,” said Betty. “Let’s get down ta business. We’re very much interested in helping you find your kidnapers.”
“Yeah," said Craven. “We’re cheap and we’re willin’.”
“We’re not call girls, Mr. Danger” said Betty. “What he’s tryin’ ta say is, our rates are reasonable and we’ll work real hard ta solve the case.”
“Well,” said the scarecrow. “We do want to keep this private. My father has insisted on no police involvement for fear of retaliation. I don’t seldom agree with father, but I’ll honor his wishes in this case. But I must tell you that the case is solved. I know who the kidnapers are.”
“Oh, this is just swell!” said Craven. “Is there a cloud over my head? ‘Cause I could really use a good bolt a lightenin’ to put me out of my misery!”
“Calm down,” said Betty.
“Calm down?” said Craven. “How much do we charge for a case that only lasted three minutes?”
”Don‘t feel so bad, Mr. Danger,” said Sidney. ”It‘s not as bad as that case where you was followin‘ the wrong people for six months and was finally arrested for bein’ a peepin’ Tom.”
”Didn‘t I tell you never to bring that up?” said Craven.
“Not to worry, Mr. Danger.” said the scarecrow. “Even though I know who did it, we still need to find them. My father wishes to deal with them personally. They know things my father doesn’t want made public.”
”By the way,” said Betty. ”What’s ya name? We can‘t go around callin‘ ya scarecrow.”
”My name is Rutherford Rockport,” he said. ”My father is Randolph Rockport. The tuna tycoon. He’ll be here any minute. He’s to retrieve me at noon.”
“Rockport tuna?” said Sidney. ”It‘s FDR‘s favorite. Me? I can‘t stand the smell of the the stuff. I have to put a clothes pin on my nose every time I feed him.”
”Try puttin‘ a clothes pin on your trap,” said Craven.
“Enough a that,” said Betty. “So tell us, Mr. Rockport. Who done it?”
“It was the Butler’s,” said Rutherford. “Blance and Boris.”
“The Butler’s did it?" said Craven.
Just then a long, black limousine pulled into the open field and was headed there way.