“What do you think Cap wants, Gill?
I’m hoping it won’t take long, Dill. I got to get home and change the décor for Wendy’s visit. I’m not sure how she’ll take the multiple nude female posters. Granted, they’re all in good taste,” said Gillis scrolling through the photos on his iPhone and finding them all irreplaceable.
“What’s the difference between going to an art museum or your apartment? Either way, you’re going to see the tasteful display of the female body,” queried Pickle.
Gillis glanced over at Pickle. He put a hand on his shoulder, “Thanks for the pep talk, Dill. I’m going to let you in on a secret few men know. I need your promise you’re not going to blab about it to anyone.”
“It’s in the vault, Gills,” said Pickle crossing his heart.
“Not good enough, Dill.”
“I can’t swear on my mother’s grave because she’s not dead. What about if I swear on my aunt Lorraine’s grave? I got some really good swears I’ve been saving up,” said Pickle.
“I appreciate the offer, Dill.” Gillis lowered his voice to a whisper. “I’m going to ask you to swear the male blood oath. This will lock you into male cave of secrecy,” cautioned Gillis.
Pickle’s jaw dropped open. He grabbed hold of Gillis’s wrist, “The blood oath? This is the most sacred of sacred oaths in the manhood. If I violate it, I’ll be kicked out of sports bars, strip clubs, and not allowed to watch porn or drink beer and spill it on my shirt. I won’t be able to throw my clothes on the floor or wear the same boxers for a week. Many men have taken the oath, Gills. Few have held true to its commands,” said Pickle wiping away the beads of sweat forming on his forehead.
Gillis nodded, “That sums it up, Dill. It’s a leap into the unknown. Can you man up and take the blood oath? If it ever leaked out to the other side, that is women, there’d be an uproar the likes of which the world has never seen. Can I trust you, Dill?”
Before Pickle could respond, Gillis’s smart phone chirped. He checked it and saw the banner announcing a text from Wendy Flox. The secret and male blood oath were told to circle until given permission to land. Gillis held his smart phone toward Pickle, “Wendy sent me a text. It wouldn’t surprise me if she’s sexting me. Put your seatbelt on, I’m going to check it out.”
“You got to read it to me, Gills. If it’s a photo, can you forward a copy to me? I wish some of your luck with the ladies would rub off on me,” said an envious Pickle.
“It’s a curse I live with,” said Gillis.
Before he could open Wendy’s text, Captain Courageous opened his door slamming it against the wall.
“Get in here, stat!” Courageous’s voice sounded as it came from a bull horn turned up high and echoed against the walls.
“You talking to us, Cap?” asked Gillis keeping one eye on Courageous and the other eye attempting to read Wendy’s text reply.
Courageous burst out, “There is no one else in here but the three of us. Who do you think I’m talking to?”
“Beg your pardon, Cap, but that was the question I was asking you. Have you been checked by the department physician for the onset of dementia?”
Courageous banged his fist against the door jam. He half turned and pointed inside his office with his outstretched hand looking like a gun. He continued to stare at the two detectives.
“Cap, don’t squint. Try smiling it will make the world seem brighter. You’ve got a rough job and Pickle and me see our job as making your life a lot easier. No need to thank me. Seeing you turn up the corners on your mouth and smiling is payment enough. Is that it? Can we leave?” said Gillis.
Pickle said, “I’m not much into mind reading, Gills. I think he really means he wants us in his office, pronto.”
“Do you mind waiting a sec, Cap? I got a reply text from Wendy. I’m pretty sure she sent me a nude photo,” said Gillis.
“Now. Not one second later,” bellowed Courageous loud enough to make the photos hanging on the wall shake.
“I’m on your side, Cap. A bit of advice I picked up on educational TV, get centered and try deep breathing,” said Gillis.
Courageous involuntarily reached for his gun. He realized he didn’t wear a shoulder holster in his office. Good thing, he thought. I’d kill them both. He followed Gillis and Pickle into his office and walked around his desk. When he was behind his desk, he stretched out his six feet four inch frame and crossed his arms over his chest letting them rest on his belly. He glared at Gillis, then at Pickle. Courageous started to speak, then stopped. He pounded his right fist on his desk. The picture of his family toppled over onto the floor cracking the glass frame.
Courageous took a deep breath, and said something that sounds like, “Hail Mary …”
“Excuse me Cap, football season is three months away. You remembering the pass Donigan threw to Michaels as time ran out in the Super Bowl? Or, was it the Orange Bowl?” asked Gillis
“I think it was the Cotton Bowl, Gills,” said Pickle.
“Thanks Pickle. A grooming tip, Cap. The top button on your shirt is undone and your tie is not pressed tight to your neck. I believe your third chin is getting in the way. It’s the little things that block promotions.”
“Gills is right Cap. We got your back. We’ve been working on finding Till’s killer. The subject of interest or is it the noun of interest, no, I think it’s the verb of interest is one Folsom Sampson. I don’t trust a guy who does a comb over.”
Gillis elbowed Pickle. Pickle turned toward Gillis. Gillis mouthed, “The Cap does a comb over.”
“Let me walk that one back a couple of steps, Cap.” said Pickle. “I’m talking about not trusting a guy who does a comb over from the back to the front. You, obviously do your comb over from the right side to the left. I got to tell you, Cap. It leaves a lot of forehead showing. You need to buy a rug. You know a hair hat. Personally, I recommend you spend a little extra and invest in hair implants.”
Courageous reached into his drawer and pulled out his angina pills. He turned the bottle upside down in his mouth and began chewing them.
“If that’s candy, Cap, it’d be a nice touch for department morale if you offered us a piece,” said Gillis.
Somehow, Courageous was able to control himself. He said, “Why do you think Mister Sampson is the prime suspect?”
Pickle tapped Gillis on the arm, “I got this one, Gills.” He turned his head to face Courageous. “Easy as two plus one or is it one plus two, I’m always getting those two mixed up. I’ll figure it out later, Cap. No need to give me your secret memory trick. Here’s why Sampson is the prime suspect. How did he know Till was dead? I didn’t tell him. Did you tell him Gills?”
“I didn’t tell him, Dill. It tells me one thing, Cap. There’s a leak in your office. We’ll help you find it and plug it. Even if it means beating the crap out of your secretary if she’s spilling the nachos, know what I mean? We always thought you were doing her. Maybe she’s Folsom’s mistress. If that’s the case, we’ll stack the evidence against him and send him up for life so you can have Clara for yourself.”
Courageous was now sitting in his chair, his head lying sideways on his desk. He was mumbling, “Six hundred twenty-one more days until my retirement. That’s all. Is it too much to ask dear Lord to have these two migraines reassigned?”
“Migraines can be a beast, Cap. I think you have hummus intolerance. Maybe you’re constipated. That’ll do it. Have you tried avoiding gluten free foods. It’s the new rage. All the stars are binge loading on white processed bread, donuts, cakes. You name it, there’s a shortage of the gluten foods. Wished I moved my 401k into glutens,” said Pickle.
Courageous forced himself to an upright position. He ran both hands across the top of his head.
“If you use gel, Cap, it’ll keep your comb over in place all day long,” said Gillis.
“Not a word. Not a single word unless I ask you to speak. Nod your heads if you understand,” said Courageous.