A Touch of Lavender - Part 1 - A Craven Danger Mystery
The stranger approached the office door. There was no light coming from the other side of its glass.
Craven Danger - Private Detective, read the hand-painted block letters.
The frosted door pane was cool to the touch as the stranger pressed her lips to the glass, leaving a bright violet imprint over the ‘i’ in Private.
She then slipped an envelope under the door and stepped back.
I hope I made the right choice, she thought.
As she climbed down the one flight of stairs to the landing and stepped out into the street, the stranger noticed a couple approaching.
“I ain’t never going to that park again,” said the man.
“Oh,” said the woman. “If you ain’t a sissy. Then I don’t know what a sissy is.”
“I coulda been killed!”
“If anyone’s gonna get killed,” said the woman. “It’s that chipmunk. He musta died laughing, watchin’ you run outta the park like that.”
“He bit me,” said the man.
“He was goin’ for the peanuts,” said the woman.
“If ya wasn’t such a greedy schlub, ya woulda thrown the poor thing a couple a nuts and not have ta be whingin’ like a garlicky baby.”
“That’s colicky,” said the man.
“That’s what I said.”
“Oh, never mind,” said the man.
“C’mon upstairs,” said the woman. “I’ll getcha a Band-Aid and a lollipop. Woulda like that little fella?”
“Ah, shuddup,” said the man. “It really hurts.”
The stranger stood at the curb and watched as the couple made their way up the front steps and into the building.
Good God, thought the stranger. I wonder how she puts up with a man like that? Are all New York men like that? I sure hope my private detective is made of sterner stuff.
The lovely stranger then walked back to her hotel to sleep. She only hoped that the cab driver had given her sound advice on this Craven Danger fellow.
“Oh, he’s the best,” the cab driver had said. “Why, I’m his personal chauffer, almost”
Betty Fletcher stood there in the hallway staring at the office door, while Craven Danger pulled his finger out of his mouth and examined it closely.
“I see you have a secret admirer,” said Betty.
“How’s that?” said Craven.
Betty pointed out the bright violet lipstick impression on the door.
“Some detective,” said Betty. “It was right under your sniffer.”
“I was nursin’ my finger,” said Craven.
“Well, put it back in your mouth,” said Betty. “At least it’ll keep ya from whinin’”
When Betty opened the door and flipped on the light, she noticed the envelope on the floor.
“I wonder what this is all about,” said Betty.
As Betty tore open the envelope, Craven grabbed at it and managed to get a paper cut to go along with the chipmunk bite.
“For the love of Mike!” said Craven. “You did that on purpose!”
Betty guided Craven’s finger back into his mouth and told him to sit on the sofa.
“I’ll read it to ya,” said Betty.
“Well read fast,” said Craven. “Before my finger falls off.”
Betty went to her desk and fetched the sleeping pills from the top drawer.
“Here,” said Betty.
“What’s this,” said Craven.
“A couple a aspirin. To put you outta ya misery.”
“Ya welcome, Mr. Danger. Now close yer eyes and relax. In a minute ya won't feel a thing.”
When the snoring commenced, Betty pulled the note from the envelope.
“Ooh, smell that lavender stationary,” said Betty. “So far so good.”
“Ah, look at all the pretty flowers, Betty” moaned Craven. “I can’t believe we’re gettin’ married. And in a church and everything.”
“What’s in those sleepin’ pills?” said Betty. “Maybe I shoulda put him out sooner.”
When Betty unfolded the note, five hundred-dollar bills fell at her feet.
“This letter’s gettin’ more interestin’ all the time,” said Betty. “I’m almost afraid ta read it. It could only be down hill from here.”
But read it she did. And her observation would only prove correct.