The Stratenhoufen Case
Author's note: This was my first detective story with my fictional detective, Jack Mason. But since then I've... Show full author's note »
Inspector BurrowJack was feeding his cat a can of cat food, having already fed his dog. It was raining heavily outside. He paused for a moment to watch his cat begin devouring its meal. The animal arched its back and purred slightly as Jack ran his hand along it.
Jack Mason was in his mid-late twenties, about six foot two, and well-built. He and lived in a small but pleasant apartment in an English city. He had been in detective work for several years.
He was just about to toss the empty can in the trash when the there was a knock at the door. He finished what he was doing, and answered it.
“Yes?” he said. The man at the door was a fellow in a gray trench coat, dripping from the rain. He looked to be around his late thirties, with a bushy, black mustache.
“Yeh, are you Jack Mason?” the man asked.
“Uh, yes. What can I do for you, sir?”
“I am Inspector John Burrow, of the local police,” replied the newcomer, showing his badge. “May I come in?”
Jack motioned to a chair.
“May I offer you some coffee, Inspector? Just made it a few minutes ago,” he said, closing the door.
“Uh, yes, thank you. Just a jot of cream and sugar.”
As Jack fixed a cup of coffee for his visitor, as well as one for himself, the inspector said in passing,
“Pouring loony outside.”
“Yes, quite,” said the other.
Jack took the two cups and saucers over to the coffee table and handed one to the inspector.
“Now, inspector. What can I do for you?”
“Well, you see, Mr. Mason-“
“’Jack,’ please,” Jack said.
“Right. Jack, I have read of some of your great feats in the area of detective work.” Jack looked at him, taking a sip from his cup.
“Ah. Well, thank you, inspector. I, um, I take it that you have a case then?”
“We, my colleagues and I, have been investigating a crime scene at a nearby violin shop, and we would appreciate your assistance.”
“Ah, I see you mean that someone has stolen a violin, or something?”
“Uh, you could say that, yes. But, in rather a different way than one might expect,” replied Inspector Burrow.
“Quite. You see, a man by the name of A. Stratenhoufen bought a rather pricy violin. It all seemed perfectly normal. But, that same night, the very money he had used to pay for it with was stolen. And Jack, if you could spare the time, it would be most appreciated if you came and took a look at the case.”
“Ah, well, yes, I’d be delighted! Thank you.”
So after finishing their coffee, they put on their trench coats, took the stairs down to the main floor, and stepped out the door. It was still raining hard. Jack breathed in deeply and smiled.
“Ah, I love the rain,” he said good-naturedly, once they’d gotten in the car. Burrow grunted.