It’s JJ today, hey! Welcome to Day Four of the 99-cent promo for Can You Hula Like Hilo Hattie?. It’s our first official—paying—case. We’ve recently opened the Triple Threat Investigation Agency and Rey, Linda, and I are out to prove we made a wise decision about becoming professional P.I.s.
We’re hired by WP Howell, an elderly millionaire to discover what Carmie, his young and very pretty wife, is up to. He’s thinking “affair”, which will make a divorce that much easier.
“But there’s more, my dear. It’s not that I simply want to prove she’s an adulteress . . . but . . . it’s possible she may actually have something on me. As such, I’d like to ensure we keep each other’s dirty little secrets.”
“What is it she may have on you?”
There was a hint of annoyance in the smirk. “Let’s see what you and your associates uncover.”
“If anything” hung at the end of the flat comment. Fair enough. Time—and detecting ability—would tell. “If all we discover is that she’s having an affair with the pool boy, it will help your divorce outcome. If there’s nothing else to be discovered, then . . .”
“You’re suggesting you’re not up for the task?” Another smirk.
“You yourself said ‘may’. It’s quite conceivable there’s nothing to find,” I declared, refusing to be intimidated.
“Let’s say it is more than ‘may’.”
He was testing me. Fine. “Then, we will uncover it.” I sounded and appeared ten times more confident than I felt. But I was good at researching and ad-libbing, so why not apply on-camera skills to something that went beyond weather reports and community events? I leaned back and mirrored his smug smile. “You do realize that your wife could get very p’o’d if and when something comes to light? The phrase ‘payback time’ comes to mind.”
With an expression devoid of emotion, he tilted his head to one side and then the other. “That’s entirely possible. If you find out the ‘may’ concerning me, so be it. I’ll laud your talents to everyone I know. If and when you find something on my wife, yes, it will definitely get her ‘p’o’d’ as you eloquently worded it. But it will also be enough to maintain her silence.”
I regarded him closely. “Why do I have the impression you know what it is and the last few minutes of conversation have merely been . . . an evaluation of some sort?”
“All right Jill, yes, I do have an idea, but I don’t know for a fact.” The smile was droll. “Let’s call this little one-on-one a getting-to-know-each-other moment.”
I bowed and brandished an arm like a page might before his king.
William laughed heartily while I merely watched and waited to see what else, if anything, would be revealed. “You’ll start Monday. I’ll pay six-hundred dollars a day, plus expenses. You have ten days. Take photos, as you see necessary. Send a findings report at the end of each day. If all proves acceptable, I’ll pay a two-thousand-dollar bonus at the end of the assignment. Should you discover the ‘may’, I’ll pay an extra ten-thousand each and you’ll forget about whatever you’ve unearthed once you’ve delivered.”
“That seems satisfactory,” I managed to say without having my eyeballs pop out of their sockets. “And all the éclairs and tea cakes we can eat?” I added in jest, feeling a need for lightheartedness.
“I’ll have Sonie pack a box.” He rose.
The meeting had officially ended.
Before we can find out what Carmie is involved in, she’s found murdered—floating in the sapphire waters of the Pacific. There is a long list of possible killers (she’d annoyed a few folks over the years). Add gang members and drug dealers to said list and you have one heckuva challenge!
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