Mr. Elvis Werner was a stout man in his late fifties who had a pinched face and stern scowl and Marco knew this was definitely going to be a difficult day. He smiled blandly. "Good morning Mr. Werner." He greeted. "No solicitors." Mr. Werner sniffed and moved to close the door. "Wait!" Marco held the door open."Your sister sent me here. She asked me to ask you about a dreidel." Mr. Werner scowled even deeper. "Tell Elise I have nothing to do with that blasted dreidel!" He moved to close the door again when a woman gently pushed him away and opened the door wider.
"Don't be so rude Roger," she chastised and turned to smile at Marco. "I'm sorry, he hasn't had his coffee and stimulants yet. What's your name?" "Marco Stokoe, ma'am. I'm a private detective and I've been asked by Mr Werner's sister to inquire on a missing dreidel." Mrs. Werner nodded. "Of course. Please come in." She opened the door wider and ushered him inside. Their house was a well furnished manshionette, a much nicer place than anywhere Marco's been before. She led him to a couch in the living room and Mr. Werner sat opposite him on a large armchair. "I'm going to go and make some tea. Be back in a minute!" Mrs Werner chirped happily before leaving the room.
Marco got out his notebook. "So you don't have the dreidel?"
"I believe I made that clear," Mr. Werner grumbled.
"So why would your sister think you have it?"
"Because she thinks everything remotely bad is my doing. If her plants withered, I would somehow be responsible for it. She treats me like the Devil Incarnate."
"Wonder why," Marco muttered under his breath. "And why does she think that?" He asked aloud. Mr. Werner seemed to hesitate but Mrs Werner butt in, "Oh him and Elise have been at each other's throats since Roger gave away their company. It was the family business you understand." She set down the tea tray and Marco took a cup and saucer.
"Hmph, she was always so foolishly sentimental. The business was on its last legs and it was better off for everyone." Mr. Werner said as he angrily bit into a scone. Mrs. Werner shook her head. "Such a shame too. It was such a lovely music shop." She turned to Marco. "They sold music instruments, beautiful old classical ones. Though Roger was right, they were too expensive to keep and they had to sell it off after their parents finally passed away." Marco nodded and jotted this down in his notebook.
"Thanks." Marco said shortly and put down his half full cup. "I think I've heard enough." He got up and closed his notebook and stood up to leave. "Let me walk you to the door." Mrs Werner offered. When they reached the doorway she said, "I'm sorry about Elise. I'll help look around for the dreidel here, though I doubt he could have it. But you never know. Do you have a card?"
Marco rummaged in his jacket pockets to take out one of those extremely professional looking business cards Robin had made for him as a joke. He handed it to her and she thanked him. "Call me if you find it. Or if you need help." She smiled. "Oh, I will." For a scary moment, Marco thought she was flirting with him but dismissed this as friendly politeness. It was late morning and Robin would be driving back to the station so he headed off there.
Chicago PD was both a real hassle to be in yet surprisingly lax with civilians meeting officers at work. Or maybe it was just him. Robin was chatting with his partner Blevins as they were passing around a donut box. "Well aren't you two walking cliches?" Marco remarked as he sat in Blevins' empty office chair. "But can you blame us? It's double glazed!" Blevins defended and offered some to Marco. "Besides Mr. Private Eye, you're no more a cop than any of us." "Just because I consult doesn't mean I'm an actual cop."
"Good thing too, or else you wouldn't be rolling in cash."Robin snarked and told Blevins, "Get this, Marco got nearly a million bucks to find a freaking dreidel!" Blevins laughed and asked, "So what? Did you get it?" Marco shook his head. "So this old lady thinks her brother might have taken it so I headed over to interrogate him. Real douchebag, I think you would like him Robin. His wife said she would check if it's somewhere in their house."
"So do you think he had it?" Robin asked.
"Well, I've been made to believe he's not much of a sentimentalist. Sold off his family's business when they weren't doing too hot financially. But he does seem like the petty type."
"Damn. So now what, wait until she finds it and come over?" Blevins asked. Marco shrugged. "If it was something more pressing I would have maybe sneaked around. But I'm not willing to do any B & E. Today."
"I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that." Robin joked. "But you know what this means Marco?"
"What?" Marco asked but he had a sneaking suspicion of what was coming next.
"Drinks on you tonight!" Robin and Blevins yelled in unison and patted his back. Marco rolled his eyes. "Drinks are always on me dumbass. Easier to blame your alcohol addiction on a single guy when questioned by your wives. Acting like I bottle feed you idiots booze." He grumbled but they just laughed at him.
Later that night they did go for drinks and Marco had reluctantly splurged with getting them the good Scotch and tequila instead of Jack Daniels and he really shouldn't have because now they were basically wasted and all he could remember was them laughing stupidly about something then getting a cab home then collapsing on his bed.
Last night was a mistake. His splitting headache agreed with that sentiment. After hobbling to the bathroom's medicine cabinet and swallowing some Advil, he felt somewhat better. He went back to his room and checked his phone. The first sign that something was amiss was the fact that he had more than six missed calls with three coming from an unknown number. But the second sign was what got him hurriedly dressed and groomed and quickly pouring food for Blanca before rushing for the police station.
A message from Robin. Get here quick, Wernen's been found dead.