“It was long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, when that dame strode into my office. I’ll never forget it. I could tell she was going to be trouble from the second I laid eyes on her in that all white get up, and her hair done up in buns on either side of her head.”
“Are you Sam Spade?” she asked like I was nothing more than the help, and she was some sort of royalty that I was supposed to bow down and worship.
“That’s what it says on the door, darling. If you can’t read, then I’ve got a hunch things aren’t going to go too well between us.”
I smiled. I thought it was one of more charming ones. Apparently, her royal highness didn’t agree. She just glared back at me icily and sat down in the chair without me even offering her a seat. So this was how it was going to be?
“Leia what?” She didn’t like me cutting me off. Probably wasn’t used to the underlings giving her any lip, but this was my office, and I do business a certain way.
“Can we just leave it at Leia?” she asked with a slight smile. “I think that would be better for both of us. I assure you my money is good, last name or no last name.”
I didn’t like it, but I needed the business, and the talk of money always got my attention. There were several past due bills under the blotter on my desk, so I figured I had to at least give the dame a chance to state her business.
“I don’t like it, but I’ll let it slide for now…Leia.”
“A friend of mine told me…”
This time, she cringed when I cut her off. I saw a little color in her cheeks and I liked it. Always good to know what buttons can be pushed in case of an emergency.
“His name is Marlowe. Phillip Marlowe. Now can I finish my story without having you cut me off before I can even finish a sentence?”
I snickered. This one was feisty. I had a real soft spot for feisty. “I can’t make any promises. You see, I am curious and suspicious by nature and like to ask lots of questions. It’s what makes me a good detective.”
I smiled again. Still no effect. Was I losing my charm?
“Mr. Marlowe told me you have some experience with tracking down falcons.”
She paused, waiting for the interruption that wasn’t coming. Instead, I raised an eyebrow and reached for the pack of smokes on my desk. The Maltese Falcon case was a real sore spot for me. I’d usually treat that sore spot with something hard over very little ice, but the bottle in my desk was empty, and the cigarettes were within arm’s reach.
“That might have been true once, but I’m out of the rare statue recovery business now, sister. I guess Marlowe steered you wrong.”
I offered her one from the pack, but she shook her head, causing those odd buns of hers to do a little dance. I decided to hold off on the smoke and wait for a drink.
“Doesn’t ring a bell, but then again, I’m more of a Ford man myself. If someone stole your ride, maybe you should talk to the authorities or the insurance company.”
After all, I was a private dick, not the finder of lost vehicles.
The look on her face told me this was not the answer she was expecting. This was a broad who was used to snapping her fingers and having men in much fancier suits than mine jump to do her bidding.
“Help me, Same Spade, you’re my only hope…”
She was going the damsel in distress route. Now I really wished that bottle in my desk wasn’t empty. I’d pour us both a drink, really turn on the charm, and figure out a way to make miss no last name the next Mrs. Spade.
“What’s so important about this Falcon? If it’s making the Kessel Run in that kind of time, I’d guess it’s a smugglers ship. I’m pretty good at reading people, Leia, and you don’t look like a smuggler. So either come clean, or get out of my office so I can take a nap. I love the truth, but I’m also a huge fan of naps, so it’s up to you.”
“It’s not so much the ship I’m looking for,” she shot back as her lips quivered. “It’s the man who owns the Falcon.”
Now we were getting somewhere. A looker like this so crazy about a guy that she needs to hire ole Sam Spade to find him? I’ll play Cupid as long as the price was right, and judging from the looks of her, she had the funds to make this well worth my while.
“I wouldn’t have taken you for the type who falls for someone who ran afoul of the law.”
“He’s a scoundrel and a rogue, but he’s my scoundrel and rogue. I don’t know what it is about him, but I’m drawn to him. It’s like a tractor beam, and I’ve given up trying to fight it, Mr. Spade. So are you going to help me or not?”
The way she smiled when she said it told me she was on the up and up. This really was a case of a woman looking for the man she loved.
“Does Captain Solo know you’re looking for him?”
She nodded. “The thing of it is, I’m not the only one trying to hunt him down. Because of these other interested parties, he has to remain in hiding.”
“Would these interested parties be bounty hunters with ties to the Empire?”
She nodded again. “Please help me, Mr. Spade. You’re my only hope.”
Why did she keep saying that? It wasn’t like I was the only private dick in the galaxy, but I was the best when it came to finding Falcons.
Something about her made me want to help her. Maybe it was her royal airs, the crazy hairdo, or the way she seemed like she wasn’t exactly telling me everything. I felt like there was this unseen force pushing me to help her.
None of that mattered, though. I needed the money, and she looked like the kind of woman who would pay handsomely for my services.
“You’ve got yourself a detective, Leia. I’ll find your Falcon for you…”
You won’t need to hire Sam Spade to find me on Pinterest…