It was a cold and dreary night in the god forsaken town. I was at my usual place Barney’s Pub doing my usual thing. Downing a couple of glasses of my favorite whiskey, Hiram Walker.
I was on the job. I was always on the job. Tomorrow I would be heading to Las Vegas, the city of sin. Not for pleasure. Never for pleasure. I was working on two missing person cases. I was the best. That’s why they called. They never stopped calling. I was the miniature Columbo. Wait, who the fuck knows Columbo? I don’t even know who the hell that is. Oh, that’s right the short chubby guy with the squinty eyes. I needed to practice my squinting.
As I looked into my glass watching the ice slide back and forth, I ran through the facts of the Las Vegas case.
Las Vegas Case: Woman, late twenties (?), mother of three, married, and enjoying the sin city life in Las Vegas. She went by Thypolar. Last seen in LA in Disneyland. It was like she disappeared into thin air.
I lit my cigarette. Her life seemed perfect. Perfect family, perfect home, perfect life. A little too perfect if you ask me.
Something was not right … and I could fill it in my bones. I threw a twenty on the bar table and walked out.
I walked through the alley pulling my coat up. Time to get down to business.
I arrived in sunny Las Vegas. I wasn’t in the mood for this sunny shit. I may have stuck out like a sore thumb standing outside the airport hailing a cab in my fedora and trench coat. I didn’t care. My game face was on.
My first stop was the taco stand that Thypolar was known to hang out at. I questioned the strange Mexican about the whereabouts of Thypolar. What an idiot! I don’t speak Spanish.
Holding her pic, “Have you seen her? Her? Seen? With your eyes man, no I don’t want a damn taco. Focus! Look look at the pic!”
The Mexican man stared dumbfounded at me. We were getting no where.
“Does she eat tacos here?”
“Oh, si si,” the man finally responded.
“When? Cuando? ” I stammered.
“Diez dias mas o menos.” That sounded a bout right. I took a taco from the persistent bastard. Damn they were good.
The next stop was the corner of Eighth and Fremont. I needed to try all avenues. I got out of the cab, lit a cigarette and walked toward the woman in cut off leopard print blouse, leather red skirt and holed panty hose.
“Hey baby, you looking for a good time?’
I laughed, “Sure if you’re looking for a good time in the house.” I showed her my badge.
She immediately backed away yelling, “Hey man I didn’t do anything wrong.”
“Not yet you haven’t. Come here I need to ask you a few questions.”
She rolled her eyes and slowly approached me, “Hey I said I didn’t do anything?”
“I didn’t say you did. Now look at this picture. Have you seen this woman? She is missing. I am looking for her.”
The girl looked at it then looked away right away, “Nah man I never seen her.”
I didn’t believe her. “You know I can get you for lying to an officer of the law. How bout this? You tell me what I wanna know and I’ll make it worth your while. How much do you charge for small time action these days?”
“I start at $20.”
“Then there you go.” I handed her the money. “Now tell me, have you seen this woman before? Don’t tell me you haven’t. Thats not what I wanna hear!”
“Yeah yeah I know her. She is The Don.”
“The Don! You know The Don. She runs the streets here in Vegas. This is her territory. Man, I can’ be talking to a cop. She will kill me!” She started walking away.
I grabbed her arm. “You mean to tell me she is a pimp. Your pimp?”
“Something like that. She is like the Las Vegas mayor. But on the streets. Man can I go?”
“One more question. When is the last time you saw her?”
“I gave her money on Saturday. No wait Sunday. My dues were due and I took them to her Sunday.”
“Did you see her or did you give your money to one of her henchmen?”
“Nah man I said I saw her. She even gave me this blouse. I ain’t lying. Now I am fucking leaving. I gotta work!”
I let her go. I had all that I needed to know.
Thypolar aka was The Don in Vegas. She ran the strip joint. Yeah, I heard of the The Don. I heard of the The Don’s temper. You don’t fuck with The Don or you could end up in the truck of a Caddy. The Don ran everything in Vegas. The girls, the strip, casinos, you don’t move with out The Don knowing.
Question is … why would The Don come up missing?
I ran into the street hailing a cab. I need to get to the nearest bar quick. I needed to think.
This case just got a whole lot more interesting!