I have nothing against being partnered with a kangaroo. Inspector Kanga is, after all, the most talented detective on the force, with the highest arrest and conviction record to prove it. And the jibes and jokes from the other officers, the questions about what it's like to ride in her pouch, the comments about how I'm the second best hopper in the department, none of that actually bothers me.
No, what annoys me about Inspector Kanga is her pompous, self important ways, which are currently on full display.
She has, as always, gathered all of the prime suspects to the crime, murder in this case, in a single room. Today it is the mansion's library. Inspector Kanga has reiterated the facts of the case, and most of the suspects look distinctly bored. I've spotted the dead millionaire's mistress checking her Cartier watch at least three times and the spoiled teenage brat of a son is surfing the web on his Phone. At least the maid, cook, chauffeur, and butler are managing to feign interest, though I suspect that's just a survival habit distinctive to their professions. The bodyguard in the corner, a koala with a Glock in a shoulder holster, looks decidedly twitchy.
Kanga, however, takes no notice. She is coming to the big 'reveal,' and is lost in the moment.
"And now, I shall reveal the name of the murderer," she says in her tut-tut of a voice. The suspects lean closer and even the boy looks up. "Despite the large number of eucalyptus leaves left at the scene, those were just a clumsy attempt to frame Mr. Brody."
The bodyguard heaves a sigh of relief.
"In truth, it is the cook, who is to blame," the inspector announces.
"But why would she do such a thing?" asks the maid, a matronly, grandmotherly type.
"Because she was on the verge of losing her job. We've all tasted her cooking, I think we can all agree her dismissal was certainly justified," Inspector Kanga replies.
"I didn't kill Master Williams!" the cook protests.
"True enough, a woman of your diminutive stature and rotundity certainly couldn't overpower and bludgeon Mister Williams to death. But you did provide the murder weapon." Inspector Kanga removes a meat tenderizer from her pouch. All eyes are on her as she waves the mallet around in the air for emphasis. She is eating the attention up.
As an afterthought, she says, "My assistant, the Junior Inspector, retrieved it. Opposable thumbs are wonderful things."
Yes, that's right, my opposable thumbs found the murder weapon in the dumpster after seven hours of searching. I had to burn my suit afterward.
Kanga continues, "You gave this mallet to your lover, Mr. Diamond, who ambushed Mr. Williams and beat him to death in the garden."
"You mean the butler actually did it? How cliche!" says the jackass son. Everyone stares at the butler.
Diamond draws a pistol. "Very smart, Inspector, too bad this will be the last crime you solve."
I am stunned. If Inspector Kanga dies, I become just another Junior Inspector, an innocuous face in the department. No more 'gag-gift' pocket books left on my desk so I would 'be closer to my inspector.' No more being introduced as 'that poor bastard I told you about who has to work with the snooty kangaroo.' I would be free to just be me again.
Unfortunately, while I am having all these thoughts, my body instinctively reacts. I clamp my hands down on the butler's wrist and force the barrel of the gun down. The two shots he gets off drill harmlessly into the thick carpet. I throw an elbow into his face and down he goes, out cold.
Inspector Kanga never moves. "Well, I see we are done here. Junior Inspector you can take the culprits downtown to be booked."
"And what will you be doing, Inspector?"
"Oh, I think I shall take the rest of the afternoon off. There is sure to be another case to solve tomorrow." She hops out of the room.
That's it. No thank you or acknowledgement that I have just saved her life. Nothing.
Copyright 2012 John Lance