The Black Diamond has been stolen! The rare gem was purloined by a proficient plunderer who perfectly planned the pilferage – and that’s easy for me to say!
Dick Spanner, the biggest name in the smallest field of wisecracking robotic private eyes, was soon on the case. Like a broken watch, he wasted no time getting to the museum to look for clues.
The first place he checked was the chamber of horrors, but it was a dead end. Next he moved on to the antiquities gallery, but there was nothing new there. Naval history had him all at sea and the vintage car displays left him tired.
He didn’t bother to check the prehistoric wing, after his last encounter with a pterodactyl he didn’t want to be left dangling again.
Spanner pondered about how the thief could have escaped until his gears were numb, then he returned to the scene of the crime. He cast his eyes over the wide variety of precious gems in the other jewel cases, then retrieved his eyes and placed them back in their sockets.
It was strange – none of the other jewels had been taken, yet any one of them could have commanded a king’s ransom.
He looked more closely at each of the cases.
The shining rubies were all still there – he could take that as red. The dazzling sapphires blue him away and the brilliant emeralds, present and correct, reminded him that he’d need to solve this case if he wanted to earn some green of his own.
Spanner scratched his head, then made a mental note to buff out the scratch later. As he moved back to take in the whole scene, he almost toppled to the floor.
What might have been a stumble in the dark turned out to be a step in the right direction – there was a trapdoor in the floor.
Cautiously Spanner opened it and descended the ladder inside. He might have been going down, but things were looking up.
The long climb left him rung out, but the end was in sight. It was a subway tunnel. Spanner felt that he was indeed on the right track and that this new lead was the rail deal.
With full steam ahead, he raced along the line (making another note that he was in dire need of some training), then he reached an abandoned platform.
Stealthily, he pulled himself up onto the platform and crouched low behind some wooden crates. Hoping he hadn’t just boxed himself in, he peered around the edge of one crate and saw a figure emerge from the darkened ticket office.
The name on his jumper was Phil Ferrar. A name like that really took the biscuit and, if Spanner’s guess was right, a priceless gem too!
Spanner went for the 45 in his pocket and stepped out from behind cover, “It’s over, Ferrar! I’ve got you covered!”
He drew his weapon, but it wasn’t his trusty 45!
“Jumpin’ Jehoshepher!” he exclaimed, “A boomerang! This thing’s really come back to haunt me!”
The criminal dived off the platform and hurried along the tracks, but Spanner wasn’t about to let him tunnel his way out of there.
He took careful aim and hurled the boomerang after the target. The curved stick spun through the air, right over the felon’s head. Still running, he glanced up at just the wrong moment and tripped over a crooked sleeper. Falling in a crumpled heap between the rails.
“Guess he figured on being a track-star too!” Spanner mused.
A quick grill session at the 10th Precinct seemed like the perfect way to make the thief confess. But he didn’t like grilled food, so instead Spanner and Lieutenant O’Grady interrogated him.
It seemed like he gave in after no time at all (whether the broken watch was at fault again, who can say).
The priceless gem was returned to the museum and the case was closed. Unfortunately, it was a maximum security case and Spanner had left his book inside. But that’s another story…
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