“So here we are again,” said Bartholomew Blunt. “Waiting as usual.”
“True,” said Samuel Sharpe. “But what are we waiting for this time?”
Bartholomew glanced at him with a peculiar look. Did he not understand? They had taken their folding chairs and had decided to sit in the park overlooking the highway, watching the cars whiz by.
“Our dreams,” Bartholomew said. “We’re waiting for our dreams to find us.” He pointed with his chin. “Maybe they’re in one of those cars.”
“Why ‘our’ dreams?” said Samuel. “Why are you lumping your waits with my waits? Maybe we’re waiting for different things, you and I.”
“Of course,” said Bartholomew. “Forgive me. After all, the two of us, we never were or are anywhere near the same. Your hair was black. Mine was ebony. Now we’re both gray. You are five foot ten in height. I top the ruler at seventy-two inches. We’re as different as different can be.”
“Yes,” said Samuel. “And you are a fighter and a jokester and I am a warrior and a humorist. You strike out at the slightest provocation and laugh. I respond with punch to the jaw and a joke to lighten the situation.”
Bartholomew sighed at the contradictions in life as shown to him by Samuel. They had been friends since childhood. “I have to admit I have a tiny flaw,” Bartholomew said.
“And that is …” said Samuel.
“I tend to think that if I think something, then it’s true.”
It was now Samuel’s turn to sigh. He recognized the syndrome. Was there a soul who walked this earth, he wondered, who didn’t succumb to that kind of contemplation?
“So tell me,” Samuel said. “Do you know what your dream is? Or are you relying on some mystical entity to gift you a reason for being on this earth?”
“No,” said Bartholomew. “I know what I want.”
Samuel waited while sipping his very sweet—five sugars please—iced tea.
“I want,” said Bartholomew. “I want to be a world famous private detective.”
“In real life?” said Samuel.
Bartholomew shook his head. He said it could be real or imagined, it all made no never mind to him. But imagined was always better. It gave you more elbowroom.
“Could it be two detectives?” said Samuel. “The team of Sharpe and Blunt so to speak? Detectives par excellence, if you will? Or Blunt and Sharpe if you prefer. Don’t want to tread on sensibilities and all that.”
Cars passed by. Some teenagers waved out their windows. “How’s it going Pops?”
Bartholomew Blunt stretched out his center digit and told them where they could go “Pops” themselves. Samuel grinned and said they’d make a great team.
And so it was decided. That which they couldn’t or didn’t have in real life, they would have in their imaginations. It was now about noon and they would have a good four hours or so to get things rolling. All things had to be just right. If they were going to be the team of Blunt and Sharpe or Sharpe and Blunt, they would have to dress accordingly. For each the following in correct order: White shirt … open at the collar with a tucked in red ascot, speckled with white polka dots for Blunt. With a black sports jacket and beige pants and brown bison penny loafers to boot. For Sharpe: Black shirt … closed at the neck. Black tie. Black sports jacket. Black pants. Black bison penny loafers.
“They have to have means with which to identify one of us from the other do they not?” said Sharpe.
“They do indeed,” said Blunt.
“The dapper and also alluring crime fighting duo of Blunt and Sharpe,” said Samuel.
“Now all we need is a crime,” said Bartholomew. “And a scenario.”
Samuel suggested a murder. Something gruesome. Something far too vulgar for the average crime fighters of our times to deal with. Something to curdle the blood would be nice. Something to make one feel the victim’s well-deserved pain would be ideal. Something to justify the perpetrator’s actions would be perfect.