Reggie Brown’s very first major case. The case that put him on the road to fame, earned him his first pay cheque and raised his status from hack to super sleuth.
The Case of the missing Chord.
It was a bright and cloudless day when Reggie Brown PI sat down with Rupert and Beccie to pass on his memoirs.
He had browsed the Sunday paper and was ready to put pen to paper.
He had been told never to start a story with a cloche.
“Beccie darling, what does story telling have to do with women’s hats?” he asked his dishy PA.
Glancing at his manuscript, Beccie hugged Reggie. “Oh you silly billy you”. “The word is cliché not cloche”.
Puzzled, he looked at the typewriter keyboard and noticed that the I and the O were located side by side. An honest mistake.
He had, long ago, determined to keep a detailed diary of his life’s adventures.
Never one to let sleeping dogs lie, he had left a note for his Mum on the kitchen table. “Mum can you buy me a diary please”.
“What’s this nonsense Reggie?” asked his dyslexic Mum. “What on earth do you want with a herd of cows?”
“Diary, Mum, it’s like a note book” he had spelled it out for her as she galloped off to the shops.
He was a sturdy fellow with an athletic build who had fallen easily into his chosen career of Private Investigator.
With a keen eye, dogged determination and acute hearing he was the very model of a dapper dashing detective.
Suddenly a thought crossed his mind.
“Honey bun, do you think I should take the case of the Missing Chord?” he asked Rebecca.
“I’m not too sure” she said, “musicians are always short of money and perhaps Rocco can’t afford your fees”.
It was a cleft stick, but it would be base not to offer his old chum his help. He drummed his fingers a moment before giving Rocco a bell.
“Hi Rocco” he said, as his pal answered the phone. “I’m frightfully busy at the moment, but I think I can spare an hour or two to help you orchestrate your investigation into the Missing Chord and I could even lend you some of my notes”.
“Oh brill, Reggie”, said Rocco “I’ll be over at your place in a jiffy”.
Moments later Rocco bounded into Reggie’s office.
“How are you doing, you old dog you”, shrilled Rocco, cocking his leg against the aspidistra in the corner.
“Don’t let Rebecca catch you doing that”, said Reggie; “she’s very house proud”.
Rocco winked – “I hope you don’t mind Reggie, but I parked the Jiffy next to your Trice.”
Reggie pulled out his dog-eared notebook. “OK Rocco, tell me about the missing chord.”
“Well Reggie” he said, “I hope I am not barking up the wrong tree, but I have noticed that an important chord and some notes are missing from my new score.”
Puzzled, Reggie cocked his ear, “Your new score?” he asked.
“Yup” said Rocco, “I have been commissioned to write the musical score for the re-issue of The Lady and the Tramp”. “I had Mimi von Platzhond in mind for the part of the heroine” said Rocco.
“But she’s such a bitch” cried Reggie, “she’ll be sniffing around the male lead in a trice”.
“Well, you know Reggie, you might be right”, said Rocco. “I showed her a draft of her part the other day” he added.
Quick as a flash Reggie said, “I bet she stole some of your notes, the high ones probably. She could easily have nicked the chord at the same time.”
Rebecca came into the room with a tray of milk and biscuits.
“Hiya Rocco, are you still up to your old tricks?” she asked, an oblique reference to Rocco’s part time job as a magician. Rebecca had been Rocco’s stage partner until Reggie had stolen her heart at the Berkshire SPCA dance.
“Hey buddy”, reflected Rebecca, “do you remember when we used to sing together?”
“Do I ever”, chuckled Rocco, “mostly on dark and stormy nights”.
“How’s your girl friend ‘the Clanger’?” Rebecca asked Rocco “she sings, doesn’t she? She’d be terrific as the heroine in the movie”.
“Oh no she wouldn’t”, said Rocco “she’s no Lady and she won’t be my wife. She’s so pushy and she’s always nosing around my private stuff”.
Reggie retorted “well you can always drop ‘the Clanger’, there are plenty more fish in the sea”.
“You’re such a brick Reggie,” said Rocco as he sped off in his Jiffy, armed with Reggie’s notes.
Later that evening as Reggie and Rebecca settled down for the night, Reggie remarked “this business with Mimi is very difficult and interviewing her has to be handled with care and tact, she has many contacts”, he added.
“Many contacts?” huffed Rebecca, “a different colour for each day, that’s all she is, bling bling”.
“Now steady on there old girl, she is rather famous you know”, Reggie said.
Rebecca looked at Reggie; there was a tear in the corner of her eye. She was thankful for the calm and ordered life they led.
“It’s a shame about poor Rocco, he is such a rover, he’s never really settled down”, she said.
“When we worked together on stage he told me about the time he said to his Mum that he wanted to be a musician when he grew up. He was very unhappy when she replied “what ho, my boy, you can’t do both’”.
Reggie compared Rocco’s chaotic life with the comfortable pied a terre that they had built together and his heart swelled with love and pride. He snuggled up to Rebecca and sighed, “there’s no place like home”.