From Madame X, With Love

            As I entered the chief’s office, I knew I was in trouble.  On my last case, I went through

three partners, eight cars, and seven suits.  Of course, I kept my perfect record of solving cases. The chief was seated behind his big oak desk, chewing on one of his half smoked Jamaican cigars. G was a short stumpy guy, balding after many years of “hard work” in the service.  If you call sitting behind a desk hard work.

            I knew him only as G, but after working for him for three long, long years, I began to know him. He was rough, unkind, pig-headed, loud and just plain mean. As hard as it is to believe, those were his good points.  We never really got along, so I didn’t expect this encounter to be different.

            “Well Double 0-0,” he started, peering at me over is black plastic framed glasses and throwing my report down, “I think we’d better have a little talk about your last case’s expenses. Number one, THREE partnes? What do you think I do? Pluck agents off of trees?”

            “Well sir, it would help because then I . . .” The chief slammed his desk with such force I jumped out of my chair.

            “What the hell! This is no joking matter.  We lost agent 013 . . .”

            “An unlucky number sir.”

            “Shut up Bonds, We also lost agent 015, and 037.  Please explain Double 0-0.” he leaned back and puffed on his cigar.

            “Well, uh, you see, it’s very simple, sir.  Agent 013 was hit by a safe dropped from a 39 story building, which was meant for me.  Agent 015 was hit by a wet paper bag . . .”

            “And that killed him?”  shouted G.

            “No, it was the bomb in the wet paper bag that killed him; which was actually meant for me.  As for Agent 037, sir, he was bitten by an Outer Mongolian Blue-eyed Ring Tailed Tetsi Fly, which . . . “

            “I know,” sighed the chief, as he ran his fingers though the three remaining hairs on his egg shaped head, “was meant for you. But you were in Alaska, how could he be bitten by an Outer Mongolian Tetsi Fly?”

            “I never said it was easy.” The chief’s head fell down in a weary slump.

            “Okay,” said G, rubbing his eyes in despair, “tell me about the Tetsi Fly.”

            “God only knows sir.”

            “Bonds let’s forget that, for now. About the cars . . .” he looked at my report, “eight of them. Explain.”

            “Well,” I started. I was afraid to look into the old lion’s face, so I started pacing around the office. “The first was a real beauty, sir. It was a black Cobra, beautiful, zero to sixty in . . .”

            “Get on with it Bonds!”

            “While I was on Italy picking up a few girls, I mean clues . . .”

            “I know what you mean Bonds, I wasn’t born yesterday.”

            “Obviously, anyways, I was watching this guy take-off from a bank.  Sensing foul play, I chased after him. Well to cut a long story short, we just missed hitting a train, and then he veered left.  I followed, of course. Just as I turned the corner, a bus pulled out.  I had to jump from the car and it hit the bus.”

            “I can’t take this any longer.” He closed his eyes and rubbed them with his fingers. “Here’s your assignment.  Send Miss Spendmoney in on your way out.”

            As I left his office, I saw G pull out a bottle of aspirins. As I said before, we didn’t get on very well.

            “Oh, Miss Spendmoney,” I said as I passed her desk, “the old man wants to see you.” She was wearing a blue satin dress, with tennis shoes to match.

            “Jims, you look so tired. You should spend a nice quiet night at home.”

            “I have been Miss Spendmoney, but all those girls are killing me. I don’t think I can keep it up much longer.”

            “Oh, Jims, why don’t you take me? I have everything you need.” She gave her dress a tug, and revealed a hairy leg.

            “Maybe, if I need a linebacker.” I’m not saying she was ugly, but I’d seen better legs on a table and a better face on a clock.

            “Jims, you’re so funny!”

            Before I could answer, she had sprung out of her chair and leapt towards me. I stayed calm and side-stepped the rushing Spendmoney. Before the struggle began we heard the chief’s voice thundering out of his office.

            “Miss Spendmoney, get in here now! And bring the Clancy reports!” Seizing the opportunity, I tore myself from Spendmoney’s evil paws and ran out the door.

*  *  * 

            Later that day I decided to see what assignment G had for me. I slowly reached into the envelope, the chief had started putting mousetraps in my paychecks, and pulled out a sheet of paper.  It read:

                                    Catch the Birdman. Last seen in New York City. Is

                                    responsible for the killing of Rodney Witherspoon

                                    the bird food tycoon. Kills his victims by dropping

                                    eggs that measure nine inches in diameter on their

                                    heads. Madame X is suspected to also be involved.

            I read the note several times, then crumpled it up into a ball, burnt it, then dumped the ashes out of my speeding car on the way to the airport. I didn’t want to risk the information falling into the wrong hands.

            As expected, G had my ticket at the ready. I knew, of course, he would send my tourist, to save money; so I made a pass at the ticket lady. She, of course, gave into my magnificent charm and gave me a first class ticket. Of course, I had to catch a later flight, but that’s another story.

            On the plane I noticed the stewardess, which I always do, was acting strange.  She was staring out the window, pouring the contents of somebody’s sick bag onto somebody’s lunch tray.

            “Hello beautiful.  What’s up?” I saw the lunch tray, “I mean, what’s the matter?” I gazed into her lovely blue eyes.

            “L-L-Look . . . out . . . there . . .” she stammered as she pointed towards the window.

              I did, and I couldn’t believe what I saw. At first I thought my assignment was a joke, but what I saw sharply changed my mind. It was HIM, the dreaded Birdman! The tycoon of terror was an older man of about forty-three and one hundred and twenty-one days, with blonde hair and about six foot two and three quarters inches tall.  His wingspan was roughly sixteen feet, two and three sixteenth inches. the winged wonder of evil was in a brown feathered bird suit, and had claws where his feet should have been. I realized I had to get out of the plane.

            “Excuse me, miss, but I was wondering if you could do me a favor?”

            “What sir?” she said staring out the window.

            “Well I was wondering if you would mind opening the door, so I can get out?” For some reason she turned, looked at me as if I were mad and fainted. At first I thought it was me, so I stuck my nose into my jacket and sniffed. It wasn’t me, poor girl must have been airsick.

            I realized the only way to get safely out of the plane was through the toilet. Upon entering the restroom, I reached into my pocket and pulled out my latest gadget, the ‘Open All.’ I put the device on the floor and watched as it circled the passenger relief device.  In seconds the toilet bowl was plunging downwards. I took all my strength to keep from being sucked out of the plane. Slowly I pushed a button on my belt buckle and activated my flying device.

            As I looked back at the plane I saw a little old lady wearing a black dress and a pair of black Converse high tops, fall from the hole in the plane. (This also solved the mystery of where all the waste from an airplane had to go. I would have to tell G to put that on my cases solved card to collect a bonus.) Which lead me to believe I forgot to put ‘Engaged’ on the door. Oops.

            I put that behind me and headed for the Birdman. I saw him start to descend towards Billy’s Birdcage Company. I stayed my distance, because my master plan had struck. I would let the Birdman land, and then I would capture him.

             He landed and went into building A. I followed, suddenly, out of nowhere came a  voice.

            “Jims Bonds, at last I have you!” I whirled around . . . and there she was, Madame X. She walked towards me, stopped, and kissed me passionately.

            “Where did you learn to kiss like that?” she asked a sexually as a three hundred pound male walrus.

            “Sucking porridge threw a straw,” I replied coldly. “Tell me Madame X, what are you  doing with the Birdman? Why are you unleashing this terrible man on the world?”

            “Well Jimsy darling, you see the last bank I did for chicken feed, so I figured that I might as well steal chicken feed because I won’t get as much time in jail.”

            “Yeah, sure,” I said rolling my eyes, as she laughed. When she laughed, she looked like a bowl of jello that’s just been dropped on the floor. I’m not saying see was fat, but when she burnt her girdle, she was arrested for arson.

            “Look Jims, let’s make a deal. Join me and you can live.”

            “And if I don’t you’ll sit on me. Right, Madame X-tra large,” I said, losing my patience. I decided now was the time. I rushed forward and pushed her over. I knew it would take a crane to lift her up, so I started after the Birdman.

            Moving cautiously up the steep and narrow staircase, I had reached the top; when suddenly I was confronted by two of Madame X’s goons. These guys were so big that for fun the wrestled alligators and elephants at the same time. But little did they know, I knew the little known Japanese art of Kick’m’n’run. I walked slowly towards them.

            I stared at the tallest one first. I bowed my head and kicked him in his left knee, causing him to fall onto his partner. When they hit the ground they were unconscious, just as I had planned. Then with gadget 4397301, the Rope-a-Dope, I tied them up.

            Then I ran down the gray corridor. I knew this was the way the Birdman had come, because I noticed a single birdseed laying in the hallway. I saw a piece of paper sticking out from under the door and knew it must be his room.

            As I entered the room, I noticed the floor was covered from wall to wall with newspaper.  He was standing at the window. I knew this was the crucial moment. Slowly, very slowly, I crept up on the Birdman until, finally, I was right behind him. I reached into my pocket, knowing I would never have a chance like this again.

            Quickly, I pulled out my salt shaker and started to salt the Birdman’s tail. He was helpless. I cuffed his claws together and booked him, and Madame X. I let the other two guys go back to their jobs at the circus; they carried the elephants from place to place so nobody got hurt.

*  *  *

            After I returned from another successful case, the chief called me into his office, and all he said was, “Well done, Bonds.”

            After just three words of praise, I could hardly wait until he got the bill from the airline. After I left G’s office, Miss Spendmoney told me she had won the best dressed female impersonator for the third year in a row.            So another job well done if I say so myself. So until the next case, I’m heading to Bermuda on the company’s expenses. You see they have all these girls there that need protecting