The Saga of Ed Maxroom. Part 1:Ishtar Devadoris

Ed MaxroomHi. Do you know me? My name is Edward Lemmenkainen Maxroom, the most trendy and handsome coffee-drinking, donut-eating, rootin-tootin, smack-taking private eye (who does not do dick jokes) in Houston. My offices are moderately furnished and my desk has a special bit on it to rest my legs on when I'm reading my "Playdick" magazine (a dick joke so soon? I must have lied). I was in the process of trying this out when SHE entered. SHE was like nothing else I'd ever encountered outside the magazine (which was quickly thrown under the table as she entered).

Ishtar Devadoris"Edward Maxroom?" she asked in a voice which could melt tarmac. "My name is Ishtar Devadoris. I believe you are a private investigator. Do you need a hanky?"

I took the offered utensil and wiped the slobber from my rugged, designer-stubble and Nescoffee-coated chin. "Thank you Ms Devadoris. I have over-active saliva glands. You are correct, though. I am Edward Lemmenkainen Maxroom, the best P.I. in Houston. What may I do for you?"

Her reply just rolled of her gorgeous lips, "I have had some property stolen, Mr. Maxroom. I know who took it. I want you to get it back for me. Does the name Francis Mictlantecuhtli mean anything to you?"

"Was that Francis Muckrakerandgardner?"

"No, Francis Mictlantecuhtli."

"The gang leader?" I mused, musically. "This is big league stuff toots," I sang to the theme of "Lou Grant".

"I can pay, Mr. Maxroom," she said, pulling a wad of notes THIS high out of her knickers. "$2000 now, and a further $8000 when you have my property back."

If there's one thing I've learned living this close to Dallas, then it's to treat people who could fit $2000 down their knickers with appropriate respect. That's a hell of a thing to do just for a sexist joke.

"Ten grand?" I quizzed, quizzically. "What's the stolen Item?"

Her reply surprised even me. "It's a photo of me taken in Ibiza last year."

It's at times like this, when a beautiful lady wants you to risk your neck over a holiday snap, and is prepared to give you ten grand to do it, that you get an odd sense of not being told everything...

"I get the feeling I'm not being told everything, Ms Devadoris."

"Yes, Mr. Sherlock Deduction Maigret Ellery-Queen Kojak Marlowe Marple Maxroom. You are absolutely correct." and with that she just left, leaving me with a wad of greenbacks. Curious.

Mr. ChiangWhen I arrived at the home of the venerable-diseased Mr. Chiang, my main street contact, he seemed a little flustered to say the least. "What's the matter?" I asked, then, remembering he speaks no English, rephrased. "What matter?" I said in a funny, high-pitched voice.

This exercise, of course, dates back to the old Charlie Chan movies. In reality, Chinese people do not talk in any way funny. I only do it to Mr. Chiang because I hate him. My advice to you - Never play poker with a Chinaman. Although I said Chinese people do not talk funny, Mr. Chiang does. This is because he is a survivor. His logic is rather estranged from the rest of humanity (even the Chinese), and goes along the lines of "If I talk in perfect English with no outrageous accent, no one will buy my take-aways". Odd fellow, Mr. Chiang. Hell of a card player, though.

"Me velly sick," (this is his reply to my question some time ago. Remember?). "No. 2 son Po got broad up stick. She wan big dowry for hitchup. Mucho mazoolas. No shit."

(Translation - "I'm not feeling to well at all. My second son, Po, has got a girl pregnant and her father demands a dowry, as they are to be married. A lot of money is involved. No shit.")

"Sorry to hear that, Chiang, but I need some information. Where will I find Francis Mictlantecuhtli?"

"Was that Flansis Aberall?"

"No, Francis Mictlantecuhtli."

"Ya wan the bladdy gang biggibossi? This is big league stuff, Jack."

"No shit".

"Tly the docks. And take out life insulence!"

"Thanks Chiang, I will."

You have to know how to handle these natives. Chiang may be a little foreign, but at least he isn't from New York (not to be mistaken for York in England, that sweet factory and pit in the north).

Since the nearest docks are about 200 miles away, I steal Chiang's bike and travel for a week without rest. By the time I get to the docks, I start to get the feeling that something stinks about this whole thing (apart from my armpits that is.)...


Is Ed being taken on a bike-ride to no-where?
What is Ishtar's real purpose?
Will Ed Like it?

Find out on a television near you...

...if you can.

[Mr. Chiang appears courtesy of Mother Chiang and Father Chiang and that night in the take-away which they both deny completely.]

[The cups of Nescoffee in this article appear courtesy of blind chance, and no money changed hands whatsoever, and furthermore anyone who says we are a cheap bunch of gits who would ever have a sponsorship deal with one of the largest manufacturers of high-quality beverage in the world needs their arse smacking.]

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