Courageous sat at his desk, his head bent low, his two hands pressed against the sides of his head. Not Margaret, my faithful wife and companion, is she really having an affair with the mayor? Courageous was having a hard time wrapping his head around. Sure he and his secretary, Clara, were banging each other’s bones. That was different. He was a man and he reasoned it was a well known fact men are the weaker of the two species and easily succumb to temptation. Hell, he thought, just ask Adam. What if Gillis was right? No, he couldn’t be. Margaret, his wife of thirty-seven years, was faithful, church going, Bible studying, compassionate woman who believed in the mayor and served as his confidant. What’s wrong with that? And, so it it went in his mind until Pickle butted in.
“I know what you’re thinking, Cap. We’re one step ahead of you,” said Pickle. “If you was looking more streamlined as opposed to looking like the Goodyear blimp, the Mrs might want you to have some horizontal refreshment instead of the mayor. You can’t blame her, she’s given you the best years of her life and all she gets is a guy with erectile dysfunction. Here’s my suggestion, have your stomach stapled, get a coffee enema. Starbucks may give you a discount if they’re introducing it. And, the big one, take three months off and go to a Tibetan monastery to master the karma sutra.”
“Are you insane?” Courageous said staring at Pickle.
“Cap, I can’t comment since I’m not a psychologist. Gills took a course in psychology. Gills am I insane?” asked Pickles sincerely.
Gills looked at him. Thought it over. Then said, “This is the way I see it. The most brilliant who walk among us are often criticized because their thoughts are so advanced. I see you so far out in front of the human race, Dill, not everyone understands you. Only, the most brilliant and sensitive people, like me, will get an inkling.”
Courageous watched the repartee between Gillis and Pickle and pondered what kind of hell he was living in.
Adding to Courageous despair, Pickle said, “No need to worry, Cap. I have it on good authority the mayor doesn’t have gonorrhea.”
“How do you know all this? Never mind. Don’t tell me. What about Sampson’s book?” Courageous muttered indistinctly.
“What book, Cap? I use an iPad to read my books. Books are old school. You’re better off donating your books so you can get a tax write off before they completely lose value. Sampson would be smart if he did the same thing. He’s got all these old books sitting collecting dusk in a book case. I’d gladly toss them in the trash for him,” said Gillis.
“If the police union wasn’t so strong, I’d fire you both. That’s what I’d do. I’d fire you both,” shouted Courageous
“Awe, you don’t mean that, Cap. That’s the stress your under talking. Pickle and me understand you have to satisfy two woman, your wife and Clara. That kind of stress can drive a man over the edge. Care to tell us how close you are to the edge? I’m trained to talk jumpers back to safety. I learned to do this when you assigned Pickle and me to psychological counseling. Changed my life. Changed Pickle’s too,” said Gillis
Courageous desk phone rang. Courageous held up his hand palm facing Gillis and Pickle, and put the phone receiver to his ear, “Yes. When? Keep it quiet. Don’t use police frequencies. I’ll send Gillis and Pickle over. It’s their case.”
“There’s been another killing, decapitation, and gutting. On the way out, stop by burglary and see if Clara is helping Santiago. Tell her I need to talk to her.”
“Give my best to Mrs. Courageous, Cap. Do you want Dill and me to get some photos of the Mrs and the Mayor? It’ll be helpful in your divorce. We’ll do it on our off time for free.”
“Get out. Get out. Get out,” screamed Courageous.
Gillis and Pickle left Courageous’s office.
“What was that, Gills?” asked Pickle looking back at the closed door.
“It sounds like he threw his revolver at the door. It’s a good thing he has us, Dill. We knock his stress down to a manageable level. Throwing things at the door is something I suggested to Cap when he felt overwhelmed. He must have had a stressful phone call right after we left.”
Gillis pulled his pickup truck out of a handicap zone knocking the rear bumper off of the handicap van in front of him.
“You gonna leave a note saying you hit him?” asked Pickle.
“Why?” asked Gillis. “If anything, whoever it was who parked there can go get three estimates and overcharge their insurance. They’ll get the bumper fixed and have a few bucks on the side.”
“Gills, you always think of the little guy,” said Pickle.
“It was the way I was raised,” said Gillis.
“Gills, we got to solve the case. The pressure’s getting to Cap. I’d hate to see him have a nervous breakdown. Deep down he loves us. He’s like a father to me. How about you?”
“I know what you mean, Dill. Cap’s coming apart right in front of us. The cookie’s crumbling. Humpty Dumpty’s falling off the wall. The egg yolk broke. He’s driving a six cylinder car and only two cylinder’s are firing.”