Jack McCurdy's on the Case.   Posted by Drake.Group: 0
Drake
 GM, 124 posts
Sat 5 Feb 2005
at 15:42
Jack McCurdy's on the Case
Jack's office was tiny, and up two flights of stairs.  It was not New York, to be sure, where fancy dames were no doubt beating down the door of every shamus in town.  But he could daydream that one might find her way here, in time for him to pay the rent.

His daydream of a blonde siren was shattered by a frantic knock on his door. Alas, it was not a lovely lady - it was quite the opposite, and a strange opposite indeed.  A man of late middle years was there, wearing a most unusual outfit; a black robe, with a rope belt, and rope sandals. He was bald, but had a mustache and beard, salt-and-pepper grey. A plain wood-bead rosary hung from the rope belt, a carved wood cross at the end of it.  A pair of wire-rimmed glasses was the only other ornament.  Abruptly Jack realised he was looking at a monk, one of the ones from that monastery tucked away in the back woods of Arkansas.

"May I have the honour of addressing Mr. McCurdy ?"  the man asked, his voice fretful as his expression, but nonetheless polite, and accented strangely.
Jack McCurdy
 player, 1 post
Mon 7 Feb 2005
at 01:31
Re: Jack McCurdy's on the Case
McCurdy kicked the bottom drawer closed on his desk and swallowed the last of what was in his coffee cup even as he leaned forward on his elbows.  He looked at the Franciscan and wondered if he knew just how far from heaven he had fallen.

“Well, I reckon that all depends on just how much of an honor you think it might be.  You haven’t come to collect for a higher power have you, padre?”

The gumshoe rose to his feet then and acted like he was going to straighten his tie and thought better of it.  His shirt had lost its starch long ago and that was why he kept it hidden beneath the blue suit coat that had seen better days in a closet.  He tugged on his belt self-consciously, telling himself for the millionth time he needed to get to the tailor’s to have them taken in again.  He needed to stop losing weight.  Else he was going to have to break down and buy another suit altogether.

He ran a hand through his short brown hair and got a handful of pomade for his efforts.  That hand went into a pocket while his other floated forward in a gesture that wondered if the monk was willing to shake it.

“Yeah, I’m the guilty one.  Call me Jack or call me McCurdy, but please don’t be callin’ me mister.  Sounds too much like it should have a missus followin’ it.”  He smiled his charming smile to ensure the stranger he was pointing fun at him.

“What can I help ya out with?”

This message was last edited by the player at 01:33, Mon 07 Feb 2005.

Drake
 GM, 127 posts
Tue 8 Feb 2005
at 14:21
Re: Jack McCurdy's on the Case
The monk gingerly shook his hand.  McCurdy noticed that the offered hand was stained with ink, in a splendid array of colours, and had some writing callouses on it.  "Pleased to make your acquaintance, erm....Jack.  I am Brother Sebastian.  I admit...that the situation is most unusual.  We need someone who can travel in the World and do worldly deeds.  The income at the monastery is not grand, but I was hoping you might not mind that."  The eyes drifted over the suit, noting that it hung on McCurdy's frame, and the notch in the belt, a new one.

"But let me get straight to the matter; we have learned that a religious artefact has been found in Texas.  We would like it back in the hands of the Church.  Do you have an automobile ? Well, really, time is of the essence.  Can you fly an aeroplane ?"
Jack McCurdy
 player, 2 posts
Tue 8 Feb 2005
at 15:31
Re: Jack McCurdy's on the Case
McCurdy took his hand back and put it away in his other pocket.  He smiled warmly, maybe a bit too warmly, as if he knew a secret.

“I’m sure you already know I can fly, padre,” he said, his southern accent thicker than normal.  It always thickened when he was about to impart his observations.  He liked people to think he was a dumb hick that was just dumb lucky in his figuring.  Kept them guessing.

“Too many detectives in this town for it to be coincidence that you’d open my door without knowing that already.  Your hands tell me you’re a meticulous person.  One of the more studious types.  You would have to be to do what you do, copying old books.  Illuminated manuscripts I believe is the popular term to use around the bookworms.  I just call’em old books.

“You wouldn’t have stepped out of your monastery without having some idea of who you were going to see, padre.  So here you are and here you found me.  Yes, I can fly.  You probably already know I flew during the war and that I still fly today as a hobby.  You probably even know what kind of plane I have.  Might have even seen it down at the port.  But that’s just the side of the issue, isn’t it?  What’s really important is the artifact and if I can get it.  Before the other guys do.”

McCurdy moved the chair that was sitting in front of his desk a little, indicating Brother Sebastian should sit.  Then he moved around to his own chair and sat down heavily, leaning back on the swivel of the banker’s chair.  One hand went to the blotter on his desk and pulled a match from the striker box.  He slowly started tapping it end over end on the blotter.  He didn’t pull out one of his Camels though.  Not yet.

“So tell me about this artifact.  It didn’t belong to you — your church.  Otherwise it wouldn’t have been *a* religious artifact, it would have been *our* religious artifact.  So what gives, padre?  Who does it really belong to?”
Drake
 GM, 131 posts
Thu 10 Feb 2005
at 12:56
Re: Jack McCurdy's on the Case
"Corpus bones,"  muttered the monk, but sat down, showing some bony shanks, one of which had a splatter of blue on it.  "Yes, the item in question is not one of our artefacts, though it is important to any who worship as Christians.  It has been lost for four decades.  We have only ever heard of it, but now, we have had a brother in Texas contact us with the information that it has been found.  It's terribly important that it not fall into the wrong hands. Frankly, if you took it to the Vatican instead of bringing it to the Monastery Antiquas, we would be equally pleased, just so long as it's safe."  McCurdy sensed a little irritation from the man; it was clear to see that Brother Sebastian preferred his books, who didn't argue.

But the monk also wanted to come down to brass tacks. "So, Mr. McCurdy, will you fly to Texas and try to track down this artefact ? And...do you mind being paid partially in beef, beer and flour ?"  Apparently Prohibition was not something that was practiced by the monastery.  Jack could stand to make a lot of money on that beer.
Jack McCurdy
 player, 3 posts
Fri 11 Feb 2005
at 08:04
Re: Jack McCurdy's on the Case
“Beer?”  McCurdy chuckled and took a Camel out of the small box next to the match striker.  He deliberately took his time lighting the match and sticking it against the cigarette, drawing the smoke in as if he was thinking.  He was thinking, but probably not about what the monk might have thought.

He looked at the monk for a moment longer, studying him and then leaned forward and lifted a pen and paper off of his desk.  He started writing.  “Here’s an address.  Deliver the stuff to a man named José there.  He knows me.  I’ll send him word to expect to hear from you.”  McCurdy handed the slip of paper to the monk and leaned back again.  He wasn't going to tell him that he would be delivering the stuff to his house and that old man José and his wife were friends that helped him out around the old family farmstead, caretakers of sorts.  He didn't trust the monk that much despite his affiliation with the big man upstairs.  He didn't trust anyone that much.

“Now...  Tell me about this artifact.  What is it?  Where is it?  And who do I have to take it from?”
Drake
 GM, 140 posts
Sun 13 Feb 2005
at 13:47
Re: Jack McCurdy's on the Case

The monk blinked back, giving McCurdy a cautious look through the spectacles, and accepted the paper, folding it into a neat rectangle.

"The artefact is a gold cross.  It is set with emerald, you know, the green stone.  It is inscribed in Spanish and Latin.  It is in the possession of a travelling man, a preacher of some kind.  We don't know anything about him, other than he was in Texas yesterday.  If he is a good man, a godly man, that isn't known."  The eyes narrowed behind the magnifying glasses, as the monk surveyed McCurdy.  "Do you believe in God, Mr. McCurdy ?  And the Devil ?"
Jack McCurdy
 player, 4 posts
Mon 14 Feb 2005
at 08:08
Re: Jack McCurdy's on the Case
“I believe in the devil in men,” McCurdy said through the smoke.  “And after what I seen in the war, I don’t have much use for God.  If that’s a requirement for this job, you might want to look elsewhere.  If not, then tell me why your brother in Texas hasn’t approached this preacher already?”  McCurdy stopped and flicked the butt of his cigarette with a light thumb.
Drake
 GM, 144 posts
Tue 15 Feb 2005
at 12:18
Re: Jack McCurdy's on the Case
The monk fussily fluttered his hands.  "I suppose it doesn't matter, so long as you do what we ask,"  he said, though the idea clearly displeased him.  "Our fellow in Texas had no orders to track him down; he was merely there to tell us what had happened.  You'll have to ask him the particulars, it's a very small congregation down there and he gave us only the shortest telegram to go on.  Your job is to find this preacher; find out if he still has the cross, and ask him what he is doing with it, then ask him to give it to you.  Then you report back to us for further instructions."
Jack McCurdy
 player, 5 posts
Wed 16 Feb 2005
at 17:57
Re: Jack McCurdy's on the Case
McCurdy flashed a reassuring smile and let it linger.  A set of neat, straight, teeth stained by too much coffee and tobacco greeted the monk.  The smile faded to a crooked smirk and he shook his head as if answering an unspoken question.

“Don’t you worry, brother monk.  I’m like my daddy and his daddy before him.  When they took on a job for a man they worked for that man and no one else until the job was done.  You’ll get your cross if I say you will.”

He leaned forward on the desk as if the conversation was nearly at an end and slipped a card out of a holder sitting at the base of his brass Emeralite brand desk lamp.  He adjusted the Fort Wayne 12” on his desk to ensure that it did not blow the card he was about to hand to the monk across the room, and held it toward him.

“If you need to reach me, you call this number.  The girl that works the other end of it is Sally, my part-time secretary.  I check in with her regularly when I’m out of town.  Tell her how to get in touch with you and I’ll check in with her when I get to Texas.”

He rested on his elbows atop the blotter, lacing his fingers.  “So who’s this ‘fellow’ I need to see in Texas?  Does he have a telephone?  Or will I need to see him in person?”
Drake
 GM, 149 posts
Fri 18 Feb 2005
at 13:29
Re: Jack McCurdy's on the Case
The monk nodded.  "I had hoped it to be so,"  he replied enigmatically, accepting the card as well, which was tucked into the paper he had folded so precisely.  "Our man in Texas is Father Dean, in the town of Perfection.  He said the man with the cross is Brother Clary.  His exact message is "Brother Clary found Lupino Cross hurry."

The early summer sun gleamed along the desk in McCurdy's office and the stained hands of the monk.  "We have some contacts you can meet, along the way, to provide you with what you may need,"  Brother Sebastian told him.  "I hope you will not delay."