The sign on the door said I was on my lunch break, but she walked in anyway. I had my feet up on the desk, I was trying to take my traditional afternoon nap. When she walked in the door, I tipped up my hat and took a look, then sat up and situated myself.

“Are you a detective?” she asked.

“That’s what it says on the door, doll” I replied. I got a good look at her. She was all curves with a white blouse, a black skirt and silk stocking legs that went all the way down to the floor. She was definitely a working girl - I could see the black from the carbon on her slender hands as she took a manila envelope out of her purse.

“I need help with my husband,” she stated, “I think that he is in some trouble.”

Looking at her, I couldn’t imagine why he would ever jeopardize himself. If I was going back to that, I would definitely be looking both ways when I crossed the street. I grabbed the envelope and let the contents fall right onto my already messy desk.

“What do you think he’s into?” I asked, but there wasn’t any question. I could already see that he’d gotten in with a bad crowd. The receipts on the desk were hand-written and of the kind that would cost you your kneecaps if you left them unpaid.

“Gambling. I was worried when he started coming home late from work that he was cheating on me, but then I found these.” Her voice was like a well-tuned clarinet, intoning the melody straight into your heart.

“I’ll see what I can do.”

I gathered the papers back into the envelope and grabbed my notebook and a pen from the drawer that was permanently stuck open.

“Tell me the whole thing from the beginning.”