Where You Left Them, Part I

“I tell you something, Mr. Chalk, this is not the kind of place I usually meet my clients for the first time.”

Sunlight glanced off the chandelier. A waiter stood several paces away, armed with a bottle of wine. A private dining room in the city’s most expensive restaurant.

“You’re moving up in the world, Mr. Lensker,” said Chalk. “This is my playroom, and if you’re going to work for me you’ll have to adjust to the décor.”

Lensker sat back and regarded his lunch companion with a raised eyebrow. “Solving the Smith case really got me some attention then?”

Chalk nodded. “Your talent is useful to a man of my considerable resources.”

“Well don’t tease me,” said Lensker. “What’s the job?”

Chalk’s shoulders tensed and he leaned forward, voice dropping to a conspiratorial timbre.

“I’ve lost my shoes.”

Lensker’s eyes narrowed. “I’m aware you have enormous wealth, Mr. Chalk. But that does not give you the right to waste the time of those of us who must work for a living.”

Chalk held up his hands.

“I am not joking, Mr. Lensker,” said Chalk. “I am a careful man. I know the exact totals of all my accounts. I know the whereabouts and contents of every shipping container that bears my name. I know the contents of my fridge and the scuff marks on each of my thirty sports cars. But,” he concluded, “I can’t find my shoes. That worries me greatly.”

To be continued…


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