This is the continuation of a story. You can read the rest here.
The fact that farm boy was found at Gower and Lexington puts his demise squarely within the city limits of Hollywood proper where I happen to have a homicide detective friend who owes me several universe-sized favors.
“Detective Parsons, please…. Walker Drake.”
Dum de dum de dum. One potato, two potato…
“Parsons.” If he knew it was me calling, he wouldn’t have answered that way. I’ve never understood why receptionists bother to ask who is calling if they’re not going to pass the information along.
“Hello, Billy! It’s Walker.”
“Well, if it isn’t my favorite dick,” his voice is dripping with what passes for humor amongst Hollywood homicide detectives. You have to be a little off to take up such a humorless profession in the entertainment capital. “What do you need now? And the name’s Bill or Detective Parsons is fine, too, thanks.”
“You’re welcome! I heard you caught a fresh one on Gower today. I know you don’t work anywhere approaching fast, but you got any bright ideas yet?”
“Now, why would I tell you what we’ve got, Drake?”
“You might want to tell me, because there’s a quote unquote girl named Candy who would be very interested in telling your superiors all about the night of September 27th of last year.” Yeah, so, I may have exaggerated a bit when I called him a friend.
“You son of a bitch! How long are you going to lord that over me?”
I have no intention of cashing in that hot little piece of blackmail now–I’m saving it for something really disastrous, like my inevitable arrest–but it never hurts to remind people what you have on them. I learned that from Oren. “Alright, Billy. Scratch Candy. How’s this? You might want to tell me, because if your pile of meat is the pile of meat I think he was, he was in my office the other day.”
“Really, now, that is interesting. How’d you like to come down to the station this afternoon and swap love stories?”
“I’d like that just fine, William. Unfortunately, I desperately need to reorganize my sock drawer this afternoon. The blues have infiltrated the grays! It’s total chaos!! My feet are very sensitive…”
“Look, I’m not coming down there unless absolutely necessary–police stations make me itchy–but tell you what, as an act of glowing good faith on my gracious part, I will tell you what I know, after which, you are greatly encouraged to respond to in kind. I am now accepting tips.”
“Spill.” That’s his way of provisionally agreeing to my bargain.
And spill I do… well, partly. I tell Parsons about how farm boy came in with some song and dance about a girl, how I tracked her to the mountains, and well, that’s just about where the truth telling with my detective friend ends. I forget to tell him that I found the girl, that the goons found me, and pretty much everything else that has happened since farm boy walked into my office. Sometimes, I forget to tell things to the cops. I’m kind of dumb.
Parsons, being an honest sort of crooked detective, keeps his word to share information. He tells me that farm boy was actually Henry Duarte, 23, of Clovis, California, where he was, in all seriousness, a farm boy. I am so good it hurts.
Of course, when farm boy came to see me, he used a fake name, and of course, being a first-class private investigator, I knew it was fake, but it didn’t matter then. The obvious fakery of his fake name is why I mostly just referred to him as farm boy. You want to know what his fake name was? Hold on… wait for it… Henry Clovis. What a clever fellow! I’m so terribly surprised he’s dead.
Farm boy stayed at The Ventura Hotel for the past five days. He was last seen by the hotel staff sometime between twelve-thirty and one this morning. Cause of death is still undetermined, but it looks as though he beat the crap out of himself, bashed his own face in, then threw himself off a building–not jumped, but threw, based on the trajectory of the fall. At least, that’s probably how the cops will wrap it up with a pretty bow, since they’re likely to write off anything they can as either accidental death or suicide, because that’s what they do.
On the other hand, I have no need of keeping crime statistics low to win elections nor am I beholden to the slobbery uncleaned masses, so I will not write it off as accidental death or suicide. I will find out who killed him, because I care. There will be justice for Henry Farm Boy Clovis Duarte!
Alright, so, maybe I don’t care, but I am curious as to what a legitimate farm boy has to do with any of this and why his involvement would end him up dead.