Recap: “At the local Comic Con, A dead body is found. His friend Dave. His other friend Ralph is now the prime suspect. After talking with his dad he comes home and a gun is at his head. Ralph wants to talk. They talk. According to Ralph, James Thomas wants him out of the way for control of Mugs Bear. After this encounter the Cartoonist asks out Cidra for a date and it goes well only to find out that James Thomas is her brother”
Ooo..Kay. I didn’t expect this. I knew both Jimmy and Cidra for years and I knew nothing of this. Well, I guess I didn’t know them that well.
After breakfast, Me and Cidra cuddled for a little while and then I got dressed. I kissed Cidra goodbye. I told her that I would call her later. She said “You better” I left to go to my place for a shower and a change of clothes. I had things to accomplish. With the new information I heard about Cidra and Jimmy this morning I definitely need to talk to Jimmy.
After a few quick sketches I leave the house and head to the convention. Jimmy is there doing damage control after the whole Mugs Bear Murder. Thats what they are calling it now. I am guessing Jimmy is not thrilled about it. I head over to the Mugs Bear Toy Company Section. It’s quite large. You can’t miss it. I give Jimmy a wave he waves back. I head over and asks Jimmy if he has a moment. He tells me “Not at the moment but maybe we can do lunch, say about 1”. I say ok and bide my time making the rounds and signing a few autographs of a few fans at the con who happen to recognize me.
At 1, I meet up with Jimmy at the local cafe a few blocks away. Only a few people there so our conversation can be discrete. We get a booth in the back. Jimmy starts ” So what can I do for you”. I am direct. I tell him that Ralph visited me at my home and blamed him for the murder of Dave Ross. I looks at me like I slapped across his face. “Are you f#@#ing kidding me? He said that?” He looks down and shakes his head. “He would think that. A few loose screws if you ask me”. I tell him about Ralph’s theory and why he thinks Jimmy murdered Dave. He says “Oh come on. First of all, I would never kill someone. Also, they’re better ways to get those shares and not one of them is murder. For God’s sake I hate the sight of blood” I told him that I heard. He gives me a knowing smile. We have lunch without much word about Ralph. Some small talk about the con.
He pays the check and then asks “Why didn’t you turn him in? I am guessing you had the opportunity?” I told him about the gun and also how I had doubts about his guilt. “After all that how can you? Oh well I got to go. Say Hi to Cidra for me” Oh so he knows. I guess that’s not too surprising. Cidra told me they were close. I leave and call Gino. He tells me to meet him at his place (in other words a Bar). I head to his “Place”, order a drink and wait. Gino finally comes in and orders a whiskey neat. I order the same. He also orders mozzarella sticks for the table (in other words for him).
He gets down to it. “So, I did some digging. All of the competing businessmen are clean…except one. His name is Tex Austin” How original. He continues “Yeah I know what you are thinking. How original. But it’s his real name. Tex is a real ball buster. Figuratively and literally. As you can figure out, he is from Texas and he is a “shoot first, ask questions later” type. I like him” He would. I tell him how I confronted Jimmy and how I think it’s a dead end. “It doesn’t hurt that you’re banging his sister” That surprised me. I wonder who else knows.
He leaves, pays the check and leaves. I am happy that he left me a mozzarella stick. I head out and decide to take a walk. I have a lot of possibilities and nothing concrete. There is the main suspect Ralph Dinkle who is believed to be the murderer by everyone: The Media, The Geek Community and Most importantly the Police. Then there’s Jimmy Thomas who wanted Ralph out of the way for power, money and for possibly sleeping with his sister. Speaking of, if he’s involved, I better watch out. Finally, there’s this cowboy named Avery. I can’t get a handle on him yet but hopefully I can see him tomorrow.
I am about to enter my front gate when a tremendous pain shoots through my knees. I collapse on the ground. As I am about to turn around a shot of pain goes across my back.
I fall flat on my face.
I can’t move.
I see a shadow hovering over me. I try to see but then my face is struck.
To be continued…
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