When he reached his desk, Edward tried to appear normal but inside his heart was pounding with fear. Who could have taken the beautiful lady of the bench? Where was she? Would he be able to help her? He looked at the note again,
“Dear Sir with the Kind Eyes,
Please help me! I have been taken against my will. There are 2 possibilities for where I am being kept – please contact Nicole or Cheeky. Please, I beg of you, rescue me before it is too late!”
Edward stared at the note, looking for answers. Wait, were there numbers mixed into the letters of those names? How clever, unless you were specifically looking for them, you would never notice those numbers. They were superimposed on top of the letters. Quickly, Edward dialed the number on the name Nicole. No answer. Then he tried the number on the name Cheeky, again no answer. Now what? These clues were not proving very helpful to him at all. He couldn’t do nothing, time was passing by all too quickly.
Then Edward had a thought, what about a private investigator? Maybe someone with experience looking for missing persons could help him. He quickly called up a search for private investigators on his computer & then narrowed it down to investigators in his area. He had 2 to choose from. Edward called the number for the first one on the list & got an answering machine. Edward quickly hung up. He didn’t have time to wait for someone to call him back. He moved on to the second number on the list.
“Is this Blake Carver, the private investigator?”
“Yes, yes it is. Who is this?”
“My name is Edward Hotspur & I need help locating someone who may have been kidnapped!”
“Edward Hotspur! Listen, I need help! Are we really going to be picky about my name?”
“Hawtspur? Never heard of you. How did you get my number?”
“I looked you up on the internet! Can you help me or not?”
“Ok, ok, hold your water there. Now what is it you need?”
Through gritted teeth, Edward spat out, “I need your help finding someone who may have been kidnapped! How much longer are we going to go round in circles?”
“Ok, ok I think I’ve got it now. Who is it you want to find? Your wife?”
“Well, that’s the tricky part, you see I don’t really know this woman. At least, I don’t know her name or anything else except she is in trouble.”
“Ok, so you don’t know her name or address or anything? But you want to find her? You know I don’t help men stalk women!”
“I’m not a stalker – this woman left me a note asking for help! Look, can we meet? I might be able to explain this better if I show you the note.”
“Ok, I’ll give you 5 minutes to explain yourself & if I don’t like what you’re saying I’m leaving.”
They arranged a time & place to meet when Edward was finished work. Edward finally hung up & leaned back with a sigh. Ok, he had made a start, at least he was moving forward in his search for the missing woman of the bench. He put the note from the woman into his pocket to make sure he didn’t forget it. What about a description of her? When he’d first seen her he was struck by how much she resembled Selma Hayek. So he called up a picture of Salma Hayek & printed it off to take to his meeting with Carver. The rest of the afternoon dragged on, but finally it was time to leave & Edward fled the office like it was on fire. He raced down the roads to make his appointment with Carver.
When he walked into the cafe, Carver was not at all what Edward was expecting. He was tall & skinny as a rail with close cropped hair & horn rim glasses. He looked like an overgrown teenager.
“Yes, you must be Carver?”
“Ok Hawtspur, your 5 minutes begins now . . .”
Quickly, Edward outlined his problem. He talked about how he came to know the woman of the bench, he showed Carver the note & the picture he had printed out.
For clarification Carver asked, “Do you think this woman is actually Salma Hayek?”
“No, not really. But the resemblance is spectacular!”
“Ok Mr. Hawtspur, you’ve convinced me you only want to find this woman to save her. Maybe I can help you out after all. First, I think I will make sure this isn’t the real Salma Hayek. Once, I’m satisfied it’s not, then I’m going to take this picture & go round to all the businesses in the area around your work to see if anyone knows who she is. It sounds like we’re on a short timeline, so you’re lucky I just finished my previous case yesterday & I can get to work immediately on this.”
After ironing out a few more details about payment & reports Carver & Edward parted ways. Edward finally headed home, feeling slightly more hopeful about the fate of the lady of the bench.
TO BE CONTINUED . . .