Java Jive with Craven Danger
"Hey, brother, can ya spare a dime? I'm a little down on my luck."
"Let's see," said Craven. "How about a buffalo-head nickel and two Indian-head pennies? Oh, and a safety pin. I was gonna use it to pin a carnation to my lapel, but I could never come up with the two bits to pay for the darn thing. Ordinarily I'd have loads of dimes to shell out to a guy what's down on his luck. But since I met Betty, it's been me that's down on his luck. Financially speaking, of course."
"My secretary. Betty Felcher. She's a beaut. Always on her toes, and in my pockets. In my pockets since 1945. Gee, whaddaya know, it's been almost two year now since she patted me down for her first pay check. Only I never did have no pay checks, owing to the fact that I never had no bank account. So, on occasion, she puts the moves on me and my pants. She's the best pick-pocket that ain't an actual honest to goodness crook. And she puts what little she gets into her bank account. There's gotta be at least a hundred bucks of my hard-earned dough just sittin' around collecting interest in that big 'ol bank vault on Third Avenue. We'll be on easy street in no time flat. I only hope and pray that this easy street everyone’s talikin’ about is in a low-rent district."
"And just how do you earn this hard-earned money of yours?"
"I'm a private detective. Craven Danger's the name. Snoopin's my game. 'Don't dare try to run from the man what carries the biggest gun!' Betty wrote that, but I threw in the 'what' to class it up a bit. She put an ad in the paper with those very words so’s we’d have clients beatin’ down the door to put me on the trail of some no good cheatin’ spouse, or a low-down embezzler who’s been stuffin’ his upholstered furniture with the company funds. But so far the only one beatin’ down my door is the salesman who sold me the door with the frosted glass. He says he’s takin’ it back on account of I ain’t paid for it yet. I told him he can’t take it ‘cause I just had my name painted on the glass. He told me to shut up or he’d hang me in the door's place and put a door knob where my teeth used to be. So, ya see pal, it looks like we're both down on our luck these days."
"Well, Mr. private detective, seein' as how I'm sprawled out down here on a subway grate with all my worldly belongings, I think I gotcha beat in the down-so-low-he-can’t-see-nothin'-but-up department.”
“Then what say you join me for a cup a Joe in my pal Sidney’s cab. He’s always got a thermos full a hot steamin’ java and a big bag a jelly donuts. The powdered kind. He’ll be pullin’ up in a minute. Ya got nothin’ to lose but a good time and some bad jokes.”
As the trio pulled away from the curb, Sidney rolled down his window and took in the smell of a city that ain’t too bad when it puts its mind to it.