John waited for her to get a good look. He noticed the little girl with the long hair was still trying to help what looked like her grandparents.

Tammy looked at John and then back at the holes. "What is this stuff?"

"Welcome to the wonderful world of private investigation, Tammy. We've just been shot at."


"Looks like a .45 caliber slug fired from relatively close range," Lieutenant Frank Grimm of the Virginia Beach Police Department said as he poked at the holes in the doorjamb with a nail file. He lowered his eyeglasses and looked up at John. "So who's out to get you this time? Somebody that heard you play your guitar?"

John ignored his old friend's remark.

Frank stood up straight and his back made popping sounds. "Get'n old," he mumbled. "Listen here, John."

"All ears, old great one. Fill me with knowledge."

"Want I should report it? Do a follow up and go by the book. You know how these things go. You had to wear a uniform at one time before you got smart and started this business for yourself. I admire you, John. You took the plunge."

"I know. I'm still plunging."


There was talking coming from down the beach in the darkness. It was a warm night and that brought out the beach walkers and romantics. The thunderclouds from earlier in the day brought a blanket of high humidity to cover the region. But the locals were used to the sticky heat. It was a mid-summer trademark. However, tonight the hot air was even more suffocating and brutal. The ever-constant ocean breeze helped but it did not provide a cure.

"Don't really know what to do about it. It's all over now. No need in reporting anything."

Frank looked back at the holes, pushing his eyeglasses up on the bridge of his nose. "It might have just started. That's what I'm afraid of."

"You might be right."

"So you never heard where the shots came from?"

"Nope," John said. He hadn't yet told the lieutenant about Tammy Goodchild and her request to snoop behind the police. Frank was an old friend and a valuable contact within the department. John had used him more than once before to break a case open when there was nothing but closed doors. He figured in due time he would tell Frank about his new client, but for now he wanted to see where the case stood with the department. He needed to know what direction they were taking it. It was probably just a simple accident, but sometimes they investigate for possible foul play if the need arises.

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