It was 4:59 on a wintery Monday afternoon. The light bulb in the dollar store lamp on my vintage desk began to flicker, so I toggled it off and wheeled my antique chair over to the main light switch for more illumination. Normally I’d be packing up to leave the office for the day, but I still had a stack of case files to ponder.
After I’d solved a fairly high profile case involving a missing mom last Christmas, https://nananoyz5forme.com/2016/12/06/the-case-of-the-missing-mary-2/, my caseload had skyrocketed, and now I found myself in the enviable position of being able to turn down cases.
I stuck my tongue out at the dart hole riddled photo of Donald Trump that I’d taped onto the back of the office door before backpedaling to my desk, deftly grabbing a bottle of Glenlivet and a fairly clean glass from the bottom drawer to toast the five o’clock hour.
Sighing, I opened the manila folder on top of a hefty stack.
“Boring,” I muttered as I read the first case.
“Mundane,” I grumbled upon reviewing the second.
“Gag!” I choked, reading the third, tossing it in the trash can just as a timid knock sounded at my door.
“I’m closed!” I called out. “Office hours are nine to five. Come back in the morning.”
“Okay,” sniffed the disembodied voice, followed by what sounded most assuredly like a whimper.
“Damn,” I thought. “Wait. Hold on. Let me unlock the door.”
With a wistful look at the bottle of scotch, I drained the glass and shoved it and the bottle back into the drawer, promising to visit with them later. I might’ve whispered a word of endearment, but they’ll never tell.
I stood and smoothed my navy dress, stepped into my heels, and crossed to the door expecting to find an elderly woman in need of advice about her late husband’s will. Instead, a highly recognizable giant of a man stood across the threshold, his tear-stained cheeks incongruous on his jowly face.
“Shhh!” He motioned. “I’ve heard Mr. Noyes handles difficult cases discreetly. No one can know I’m here.”
“Of course!” I reassured him. “But, I’m the private investigator. It’s Ms. Noyes.”
His eyes went wide and he began to back away, but I took the bull by the hand and hauled his fat ass into my office.
“You’d better get in here and tell me what’s got YOU so upset. After all, your side won and now we’re all screwed. I need to hear your story, dude.”
A look of resignation on his face, the governor of New Jersey took a look around my modest office and snorted, “What a dump!”
“Hey!” I snapped. “I’ll have you know everything in here is an antique.”
“If by ‘antique’ you mean ‘yard sale reject,’ I guess you’ve got a point.”
I wasn’t going to be distracted by the governor’s insults, though, so I pulled a battered side chair up to my desk, indicating he should take a seat. To his credit he settled his backside onto the moth-eaten upholstery and gave me a pleading look.
“Look, I wouldn’t be here unless I had no other choice. I need help, but you’ve got to promise to keep my name out of the papers.”
“Deal,” I nodded, settling my myself behind my desk. “But if I agree to take your case it’s $200 up front and I bill at $150 an hour. You pay any travel expenses.”
“Sure,” he said. “Sounds reasonable. Will you take a check?”
“Absolutely not,” I snorted. “You don’t have the best record when it comes to paying your debts. And then there’s the whole Bridgegate debacle. Let’s stick to cash, shall we?”
Slyly, he chuckled. “Fair enough.”
I steepled my fingers underneath my chin, hoping to exude an air of intelligent curiosity, while internally I was chomping at the bit.
“So what can I do for you, Governor?”
Again he looked like he could burst into tears. “I’ve misplaced something. It’s imperative that I locate it with as little fanfare as possible. But at the same time my constituents need to know I have it.”
“Okay….” I said, beckoning him to continue.
“Listen,” he began. “You know I ran in the Republican primaries to be my party’s nominee for president.”
“Yes. I’m aware.”
“Honestly, I felt like I was the best candidate. I smiled and waved. I did my research. I knew stuff. Important stuff.”
“Then this Trump character, a freaking reality tv star, won the nomination. It was humiliating.”
“For all of us,” I murmured.
“But he promised me some awesome perks if I’d help get him elected. Maybe I’d head up his transition team, get the juicy chief of staff post. All I had to do was sell my soul for a few pieces of silver, stand behind him at rallies, be his surrogate on talk shows.”
“Oh crap, Governor,” I moaned. “I can’t get your soul back. You know as well as I do that deals made with the devil are unbreakable.”
“I was pretty sure you’d say that,”he sighed. “But do you think you could help me find my dignity? I’m fairly sure I had it before I dropped out of the race.”
“Governor, pay me my retainer, and I won’t rest until your dignity is back in your hands.”
A smile lit up his face giving the Governor a boyish appearance.
“Honest?” he said. “You promise?”
“Absolutely. Just give me 24 hours. I know exactly where to begin looking.”
Governor Christie forked over $200, shook my hand, and left my office looking ten years younger than he had upon entering. There was a spring in his step that shook the wooden floor as he practically skipped down the hallway.
As soon as he left the building I locked the office door and dialed the number of a well-placed friend in the medical community. He answered on the third ring.
“Bill,” I said. “It’s Leslie.”
“Long time, no talk,” boomed the big, friendly voice. “What’s up?”
“Could you put me in touch with the president-elect’s proctologist? I need his help retrieving something for a client.”
Follow up: My intuition was dead on. Thanks to my contact, Trump’s people scheduled an appointment with his proctologist. Subsequently, Christie’s dignity was recovered. Apparently it was way, waaaaay up Trump’s ass, along with that of other prominent Republicans. The proctologist assured me that’s where they’d remain until said politicians came looking.