Inverted buildings shook the change out of Gregson’s pockets. The ground looked different upside down; it was certain death. His fortune was hanging from a thread and Gregson regretted his days of over-eating, putting tension on the wire.
“Gregson, hang on!” Murphy yelled.
A cable dropped next to him and his friend descended. “Close call.”
“You have no idea. And now I have a fear of heights.”
“That’s something we can work on, but first, let’s get down from here. Can you identify the woman?”
“She was beautiful, that’s all.”
Murphy clipped him in and they repelled to the street. Gregson got rid of his lunch on the sidewalk. “I just need to sleep,” he said.
“How do you feel?” Murphy asked.
“I feel like the woman won.”
“That happens, sometimes.”
“What did she steal?”
“The Heart of Sumatra.”
“Is he one of the special forces guys?”
“No, it’s an uncut gem worth 30 million.”
Gregson and Murphy walked down the street together. They hit the climbing gym and Gregson worked the vertigo out of his system. It was like bleeding fear from a demon.
“You know what, Murphy. I still have to conclude my business with the wife who hired me for the stakeout on Summer Street.”
“I thought your mark stole your pictures?”
“She did, but this camera isn’t so old. It has negatives.”
“Really…? Well, finish up your business and let’s play golf.”
Gregson went back to his office and scheduled the appointment. “I need a secretary. All great PIs have secretaries,” he mumbled. A few hours later, the woman showed up.
“You said, you have negatives?”
“Something like that,” Gregson offered. The middle-aged wife had body. Gregson studied crime, but he preferred to study the female form and there was something about her that didn’t add up. He reached for his silver six-shooter under the table.
“Not so fast, old man.” The woman pointed a .38 at his chest and ripped her face off. It was Jessica.
“Boys with their toys,” she laughed and grabbed the camera.
When she left, it was oddly peaceful. It was like a whirlwind entered and exited.
“Okay, pick her up,” Gregson said over his radio. He knew the nature of a cunning psychopath. She wanted to play games with the greatest to pull off the greatest crime. Gregson looked at the tracer on his computer screen that was lodged in his camera. A red dot was surrounded by blue dots.
“Captain Styles to Gregson. Gregson come back.”
“This is Gregson.”
“We have her and the Heart of Sumatra. Case solved. The queen will be very happy; you may even get knighted.”
“Really?” Gregson asked. “Sir Gregson of Chess-field. I like the sound of that.”