___This case takes place about a year-and-a-half after the first one. I was engaged at this time, to a beautiful young lady called Jeannie. She had golden hair, light brown eyes that sparkled when she smiled, and to top it all, a wonderful, friendly personality.
___Jeff glared at his partner. "Are you going to get on with the story, or fill your book with stuff about Jeannie?"
___"What do you mean, 'story'?" Marty demanded crossly. "Anyway, if I want to compliment my wife, I shall - these are MY memoirs!"
___"She isn't your wife - she's your widow," Randall returned.
___"Stop it! I'm only as dead as I feel - and I feel as alive as you are!"
___"The phrase is 'only as OLD as you feel', Marty. Anyway, you ARE dead, and Jeannie is alive - and that's that. I know it's a hard truth, but you have to live with it... in a manner of speaking... and so does she."
___Hopkirk scowled and decided that the best course of action was to ignore him. "Anyway... Let's get on with the case."
___Business had been pretty quiet, recently. My partner and I were getting a bit frustrated and restless, as I recall.
___"Yes," Jeff interrupted. "You kept calling me, and then saying 'oh, forgotten', when I asked what you wanted!"
___"What about you? You kept calling me names!" Marty returned, equally as childishly.
___"No, I kept asking you to shut... be quiet."
___"Anyway, I'm not going to put that in, thankyou very much!" Marty snapped.
___"Oh, I see. You'll mention me crashing my car - without mentioning that it wasn't my fault! - but you won't admit to behaving like a three-year-old!"
___"Anyway..." Hopkirk turned his attention back to the typewriter.
___We were just about to go for an early lunch, in an attempt to break the monotony a bit, when a young lady entered the office. She was small - smaller than Jeannie - and quite pretty. Not as pretty as Jeannie, but I have never met a lady that was. Jeff seemed to think that she was something special, though (you should have seen the stupid look on his face!) and in seconds he was sending me off to make her a cup of tea, as if I was just the servant!
___When I returned, Jeff was talking with her quietly. I set the cups down between them and went to the window, pretending not to be the slightest bit interested in what was said. The young lady's name was Trisha Heath, and she suspected that her husband was having an affair.
___"He must be mad," I heard Jeff remark. Typical! There are times when I'd like to hit him!
___"Oh, Jeff, you're sweet."
___There are lots of words that I would use to describe my partner, but I can assure you that 'sweet' is not one of them! Anyway, Jeff was out to please this pretty little lady, so he accepted the case. I wasn't best pleased, but I doubt that mattered much to him.
___Mrs. Heath gave Jeff her address, along with her husband's name and details, and information of the most likely places to find him. That done, she left.
___"Well, Jeff, I hope she pays well," I remarked, moving to his side.
___"As a matter of fact, Marty, she pays very well. So you can stop looking at me like that."
___Like what? I just didn't like the way he'd accepted the case because the client happened to be a fairly pretty girl. I know Jeff only too well - he's very quick to allow a pretty face to cloud his judgement! I decided that it was probably best to bite my tongue - he wouldn't listen anyway.
___"Anyway," Jeff began packing his camera equipment into his briefcase. "I'd better get a move on. Do you want to come?"
___Oh, so suddenly I was his equal, was I? "No thankyou, Jeff. I have plenty of work to keep me occupied here. Besides, someone has to be here to answer the phone - and I'm not going to make Jeannie do it again, like you did - it isn't fair!"
___"Suit yourself," Jeff shrugged and grabbed his coat, stuffing his cigarettes into one of the pockets. "Stay here and sulk."
___As Jeff left the building, a car sped away. With his mind on other things, he paid it little or no attention. Though he didn't know it at the time, he was going to regret that before very long.
___By luck more than anything, my partner came across Mr. Heath as he sped through town. Doing his best to avoid being noticed, he followed, but the runaway husband didn't even stop until he was home. Disappointed, Jeff was forced to head for home himself.
___On entering his apartment, Jeff poured himself a large whisky and kicked off his shoes. He then slumped in an armchair with a weary sigh - followed by a yelp, as he leapt up again. He inspected the chair, and found that he had sat on a tie pin. He snatched it up and inspected it, thinking back, trying to work out where it might have come from. It wasn't his, and he was pretty sure that it didn't belong to me. He hadn't had any guests that day, and he was quite sure that it hadn't been there that morning (though with the condition he had been in that morning, he might have failed to notice a brass band!). He then made a careful search of the apartment, but there was nobody to be seen, and nothing appeared to be missing. He decided to mention it to me in the morning, and went to bed.
To Chapter Two