Episode 5 of “Witt Keplar, Private Eye”
The Miss Metro Classic beauty contest was being held at the old Sportatorium, a venue formerly used by a regional pro-wrestling circuit. An aging structure, replete with aluminum siding and faded signs hawking “Premium Seats – Includes 1 Case of Beer,” the Sportatorium seemed, to Witt at least, like the perfect place for a low-class exposition of vintage female form. As Witt and Guthrie drove up, a young parking attendant stopped the car, saying they would have to park in the public lot. Witt would not have anything of it.
“Hey kid, where’s the VIP lot? We’re here with Mr. Vetski.” Witt thought he would try the old Trojan horse trick by name dropping. His ploy apparently worked, since the young man almost tripped in his haste to move a temporary barrier, allowing Witt and Guthrie to park next to the arena entrance. Witt’s fire engine red, ’66 Pontiac GTO muscle car stood out among the many black sedans and luxury SUVs.
“Do you think they will notice us?” Guthrie asked.
“I think your red Mountie suit will attract more attention, if you ask me,” Witt replied.
The Canadian winked, retorting “I’m counting on it, actually. By the way, do you have a plan? If not, well, I’ve thought of a plan, if you would like to hear it.”
Witt wasn’t one to think too far ahead when he worked. One time he was admonished by his captain for discharging a weapon in a crowded department store. When asked why he endangered so many civilians, Witt replied that honest people would either run or hit the deck; bad guys would stay to fight. It was Witt’s quick way to find out who to shot. Charges were not filed against him, considering he broke up a major crime ring. But that was “P.V.” or pre-Vetski, as Witt liked to say.
“Well, look Guthrie. You’re an alright guy and all, but I don’t know how much experience you have with the likes of Ivan Vetski. He’s very, very smart for a criminal and as you’ve seen, he plays for keeps. I think we should just go in, make our presence known, and see how his minion react. Worst case, we will have broken up their plan. What do you think?”
Guthrie Oaks knew that being a Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officer so far from home would put him at a disadvantage with local law enforcement, or in Witt’s case, local private eyes for hire. He expected misconceptions, stereotyping and general mistrust, so when an opportunity to prove his worth came about, he knew he would have to capitalize on it.
“How about this option,” Guthrie said. “I’ll get myself onstage with the beauty contestants and try to find out if anything sketchy is going on there. You work behind the scenes and search the area. There are plenty of dark corners in a place like this, and that’s where rats like to hide. If Vetski has something going down, “that” is where it will start. I’ll jump in as your back-up when you need it.”
“You are going to get onstage – with the contestants? And how do you think you are going to do that? And why shouldn’t it be me on stage?” Witt was starting to think with his lower anatomy, rather than his brain.
“You’re hardly dressed the part. Besides, that contestant heading our way looks pissed, and – she looks pissed at you – not me.”
Witt Keplar felt his anxiety level start to skyrocket. It was Victoria, and yes, she looked pissed. Extremely well-dressed, perhaps, voluptuous certainly, but very angry all the same.
“Witt Keplar – if you do anything to ruin my contest, I will shoot you myself!” Victoria moved the high-cut slit of her gown to reveal a revolver strapped to her thigh.
Before Witt could reply, the Mountie offered “Excuse me, Ma’am – I was just removing this man from the Sportatorium. I’ll be back inside in a few minutes. Say – you aren’t Miss Industrial Boulevard, are you?” Guthrie had taken a quick look at Victoria’s sash, hoping she would not have noticed.
“Why, yes! Are you my escort?”
“Indeed,” the red uniformed Mountie replied. Offering the stunning woman his arm, he added “Shall we go inside?”
Witt could only look on with amazement as his new partner walked away with a beautiful woman – right into Vetski’s den of iniquity.
A news van pulled up. The same van that had been at the steps of the courthouse earlier in the day. A familiar voice beckoned.
“Mr. Keplar! Mr. Keplar! I thought about what you said – about the money. You were right, it’s not worth it. Mr. Keplar, I think I need some help – and you’re the only person I can trust. Will you help me?”
The newscaster told Witt how Vetski had gotten her a position on the news team in return for favorable press. Now the mobster was pressuring her for more, adding threats of retaliation if she didn’t cooperate. The woman was in too deep and now wanted out. She knew Vetski had something going on at the beauty contest and figured Witt would be here.
Looking at her nice set of gams, he asked “How hard is it to operate that camera?”
- Intruducing Witt Kepler, private eye. (djlutz.wordpress.com)
- If Murder wasn’t a Crime (djlutz.wordpress.com)
- If you can’t say something nice, just shoot. (djlutz.wordpress.com)
- Episode 4 – Where did you park your horse? (djlutz.wordpress.com)