“The trail’s gone cold,” Dzinski said into the telephone. “To the best of my knowledge, he boarded the Warbling Finch, and set off for South America.”
The voice on the other end of the line rose into a hurried scream and then the line was quickly cut.
“Yes sir, I hope you have a wonderful day as well,” he said into the dead receiver.
He hung up and looked over his desk at the young man pacing the office. He dressed like a dockworker, faded denims and suspenders and heavy boots. His hair was long and slicked back, but wasn’t used to being combed that way. The young man had to be constantly smoothing it out with his left hand. Over his lip, he wore a thick moustache, almost better suited to an ancient colonel.
“You mind sitting down,” Dzinski said, “The carpet’s already so threadbare, your pacing will likely start sanding down the floorboards.”
The stevedore smiled nervously, sat down, pulled a bent cigarette from his breast pocket and lit it.
“Sorry about that. It’s just I’ve never been any good at intrigue. I get nervous. Everytime I’ve tried to lie, about halfway through, I blubber out the truth.”
Dzinski lit a cigarette of his own.
“Your father isn’t too pleased. He said he wasn’t going to pay me,” he said holding his arms wide, in order to illustrate his next point. “As you can see, I don’t need the money. It’s really just the principle of the thing.”
“Don’t worry about him,” the young man said, crushing the cigarette under his boot and digging into his pockets. He stood up and pulled out his roll and laid four hundred-dollar bills on Dzinski’s desk.
“That should cover your fee,” the young man said.
He reached his hand across the desk and Dzinski stood and shook it.
“So, where are you headed?” he asked.
The young man winked and shuffled away, closing the door gently behind him.