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Spadina Literary Review  —  edition 15 page 16


Ian Allaby, Private Eye

The Case of the Alumnus Delinquent

by Calumet Reed

I was hanging around the office with nothing much to do except once or twice I took note of how fast I was running out of whisky. The late afternoon sun painted the room a fiery red. Suddenly the phone rang. It was Sally, my admin assistant.

“The landlord called about the rent,” she told me, reproachfully.

“I’ll get right on it,” I promised.

I yanked the blinds down. Might as well call it another completely wasted day. I figured I would take Sally for a burger at the Duck and the Hare, check out the Leafs, see how bad they are this year. My credit’s still good there, at the Hare.

Suddenly the phone rang again.

“It’s Carter Bacon,” said Sally excitedly. She patched him through.

“Javelin,” I articulated into the phone, “Tony Javelin, P.I.”

Carter Bacon was president of the university alumni association and he sounded desperate. Bacon had been tossing business my way pretty regular since that time I spotted him emerging from a leather bar that I was staking out on the Winters Divorce Case a few years back. According to the papers Bacon is running for parliament next election, stands to be in cabinet. He’s a married man, big on family values.

After the usual pleasantries, Bacon spells out the job: some deadbeat not living up to his alumnus pledge. As usual I get my retainer plus 25% of the shakedown.

“I need results in three days. That’s the deadline for this year’s drive. I’m counting on you,” he said.

“What’s the stiff’s name?” I said.

“Dillon K. Looby.”

I let go a long whistle. In this town the Looby name stands for electronics, groceries, pharmaceuticals, you name it. It stands for big bucks.