A Dozen in Denver
By José Rodríguez
Copyright 2012 José Rodríguez
I only mind other people’s business when I am paid to do so. My P.I. shingle hangs from the scratched door of a beat up building near Larimer Street and Broadway. Graffiti and bums greet my customers when they come knocking on my door. These people don’t come to me because I’m a great conversationalist or have a charming personality, or because my office is a landmark destination. They come because they want to find dirt on somebody else, usually a cheating spouse – I’m on the calling list of many a divorce attorney – or background checks on people who don’t inspire too much confidence. It is a cash only business because I don’t like traceable electronic transactions leading to my footsteps.
When Ms. Conley came to me, I couldn’t figure out why such a sweet and diminutive old lady would need my services. She seemed too nice and kind to be the type looking for cheaters and liars. I have learned that it pays more to be an attentive listener than a talker so I let her speak before guessing her motives.
“I want you to find a killer,” she said.
“I’m not a cop ma’am.”
“Cops won’t do anything. They say they are too busy.”
“For investigating a murder?”
She rummaged through her purse and my right hand reached into the open drawer next to my knee. By instinct, I grabbed my pistol. Nothing personal, but one can never be too careful. She pulled a photograph out from her purse and placed it on my desk. My hand loosened its grip on the gun and reached for the picture. It showed her next to an old robot. I looked at her with questioning eyes.