BIGALOW AND THE STATUE OF BALI
Manwhore Association. Mason McDaniel speaking." Truly, I was going to have
to find another greeting. My greeting was dry as salt. Maybe something flashy,
like..."GMA, McDaniel here," said in a brisk tone. Yes, I would try
that greeting the next time I answered the phone.
came the curt reply. A grin suffused my face. I knew that voice!
Top of the morning to you, mate!" I sat up straight and put a smile onto my
face. "What can I do you for?"
came the reply. Uh, oh. Antoine must be in a bad mood. Since we rescued Deuce
Bigalow from the Modsters--a group of young petty thieves--Antoine had been
getting rather growly in the morning, perhaps as a result of the rainy English
weather. The computer screen went blank and I made a mental note to adjust the
timer of the computer screen.
I remembered the last time Antoine had phoned me. Deuce Bigalow had been
kidnapped! Antoine had discovered the plot and he had phoned me for help. After
a hasty meeting, it had been decided to meet the ransom demands without going to
the Yard. I had taken out a loan on a few pieces of jewelry that GMA owned.
Antoine and I had delivered the ransom money and had retrieved Deuce at the same
time (at least the Modsters had some
shred of honor; they returned Deuce--very drunk and very hungry--but return him
they did), we had thought our run in with the Modsters to be over and our pounds
250,000 to be very well spent.
a few days later when the news broke about a gem heist at the Millenium Dome.
While watching a newscast and chatting with me, Antoine had spotted the canary
yellow trenchcoat scrunched into a refuse basket behind the left shoulder of the
news presenter (the lovely Lana...). Antoine had phoned me, and devilishly
clever man that he is, Antoine had hatched a plan to catch the gem thieves.
out that not only did we, Deuce, Antoine and myself, catch the foursome (the
same four who had kidnapped Deuce), Antoine also solved a series of perplexing
antique jewelry heists that had plagued Inspectors at the Yard for several
years. And in the process, we had received a sizeable reward.
I shuddered. Was Deuce kidnapped again?
my friend," Antoine said. Apparently I had spoken my question aloud without
realizing it. I would have to lay off the whiskey, I promised myself. And I
would, too, just as soon as I finished my newly acquired stash.
I have arranged for a boat ride!" he finished triumphantly. I smiled again
and looked out the small window. As usual for this time of year, rain spattered
against the pane glass window.
this weather?" I inquired.
is a lunch cruise."
Antoine had my full attention. GMA paid a pittance; most of my fees came from
its members when they needed my services. In the last year, I had run up some
serious debt, requiring a goodish portion of my income to be remitted to my
creditors each month. Until I had received my portion of the reward money, I had
been surviving on a skimpy food budget.
is this lunch including steak?" I asked, hope crawling into my voice.
is a free lunch cruise, won from the radio again," was his reply. Antoine
was certainly having a run of luck at winning freebies from the radio. I must
ask his secret.
I do not know the menu. But I heard it is good," Antoine happily continued.
time?" I inquired. Lunch was lunch and if I didn’t have to pay for it, so
much the better.
pm. See you at the Millenium Dome." The phone clicked off. I leaned back in
my chair and glanced at the clock.
It was nearly noon. Where ever did the time go? I had been sitting in GMA's
London offices since 9.30 and I had not done a sliver of work, except to play
Scrabble on the internet all morning. Then again, no GMA member had needed my
stood under the awning of the building housing GMA's offices. I made to place my
rain hat on my head. Then I smiled.
more would I have to use my Vespa to get around London's streets; I had the
option of taking a cab. Preferably one of London's black cabs. As if I had
summoned a cab, one magically appeared through the London rain.
shoved my rain hat into my overcoat's pocket and strolled down to the curbside.
The car door opened and I assisted the lady trying to extricate herself.
you," she told me as she stood up. I tried to hide my surprise at her
height. She was easily towering over me and I thought the lady would tower over
even Antoine. She was well-dressed, wearing a belted, ankle length, mulberry-coloured
trench coat (a requisite in rainy London) and wearing black riding boots.
pleasure," I told her, trying to get a glance at her face but she brushed
the cabbie inquired amiably.
I replied and climbed into the cab. "To the Millenium Dome," I told
the cabbie. As he pulled the auto away, I glanced back, hoping to get a glimpse
of the tall mystery woman making her way into the office building. Sadly for me,
I didn’t think more about her, until later.
cab deposited me down at the Millenium Dome. I paid the driver, got out and
wandered over to where Antoine was standing rather forlornly under an umbrella.
Antoine,” I commented. At the mention of his name, Antoine looked around and
smiled when he saw me.
Did Deuce find you?”
shook my head. “Isn’t he with you?”
He went off to find you. For some reason, he thought you’d be purchasing a
lottery ticket,” Antoine replied.
story. It’s Deuce who wants to purchase a lottery ticket. He’s got lottery
fever,” I told Antoine. “Perhaps he’ll buy us each a ticket,” I offered.
told him to meet us at the boat,” Antoine said. “I found out the menu is
my style. All you can eat?”
nodded. “Deuce will like that. He’s still on the thin side. Let’s go. He
knows where the boat is docked.”
breaks into GMA's offices and steals the data on Mason's computer...then uses
the data to compute a financial swindle in GMA's name...thus causing an
You're looking better this time around!" I told Deuce. And truth be told,
Deuce was looking smashing. His hair was still long, but he'd had it styled and
colored to a honey blond. He wore a custom tailored suit.
Antoine said, handing Deuce a plate of appetizers. "Eat! You look
thin," Antoine told him, smiling hugely. I chuckled.
can never eat too much," Deuce replied, taking the plate. "I do have
to admit, Mason, that I really like how rich people live. Of course, there's
nothing like earning your own cash," he finished.
rich has its drawbacks," I commented.
noticed," Deuce replied thoughtfully. "Maybe if we could create some
media repellent..." he trailed off, a sly smile on his face.
papparazzi had found other prey (I was thankful none our of happy trio had
encountered the far worse stalkerazzi). Only wicked whispers went around about
us now--and I was glad. After a week or so of cameras snapping in my face, I was
glad to sink anonymously into the madding London crowds.
if he could sense my train of thought, Antoine snickered at the wrong time and
inhaled a large quantity of his drink. His face turned bright red as he
stoically tried to keep his composure. Deuce smiled and slapped him on the back.
After a few moments, Antoine calmed down.
there's an idea. Media repellent," Antoine said.. He tossed his head, and
his well tended curls bounced on his shoulders. "Mason? Any ideas of how we
could corner the market on media repellent?"
Media Repellent. Guaranteed to scare away pesky paparazzi," Deuce intoned
nodded, and accepted a drink from a lovely, lovely lad. The lad moved away and I
craned my neck catch a parting glimpse of him.
think on this a moment," I intoned, hoping to hide what I thought was a
blush coming to my cheeks. I motioned towards a table with a window seat.
Antoine and Deuce followed, smiling into their drinks.
sat down at the small table. Rain still hammered at the window, obscuring our
view. I sipped my drink. "Ahh. Pure whiskey. Just what I needed."
phone shrilled to the tune of Beethoven's Fifth. All three of us scrambled for
our phones; evidently the three of us had, at some time, decided to choose the
same ring tone.
Deuce commented. "H'lo?" he said. I grabbed an appetizer from
Antoine's plate and munched on it. Cheese and spinach. Not bad.
it's missing?" Deuce now asked, nervously glancing over at Antoine.
twiddled his thumbs, perhaps wondering, I thought, what the deuce was going on.
Speaking for myself, I would like to know what was going on. Antoine slid
sideways in his seat and lounged there, catching many a woman's eye.
shoe somehow managed to slip off his foot. Grinning slyly, I wrinkled my nose
and waved my hand in front of my nose as if there was a nasty smell in the room.
the conversation seemed to be going nowhere, I risked a glance at Antoine. He
chose to blind me with those white teeth of his. By the smile on his face, I
knew he realized I was ribbing him.
coughed and I turned my attention back to the one sided conversation.
well, I suppose you can count on me," Deuce replied slowly.
came the loud, jocular reply which caused Deuce to pull the phone away from his
ear. He grimaced.. "I shall be expecting you at five!" the hearty
voice sounded from the ear piece of Deuce's cell phone. And before Deuce could
reply, the dial tone rang loud. Deuce over and clicked off the phone. He looked
at Antoine and myself. Antoine raised an eyebrow.
mess have you gotten us involved in?" Antoine asked amiably. He bounced his
foot up and down and I had to admit that I rather liked his bony foot, sheathed
as it was in what looked like cashmere socks.
not a mess. It's more of an...opportunity," Deuce replied. I could see his
hesitation and I wondered why.
hope," I commented, "that my services will not be needed."
looked startled at my comment. "No. No, of course not, Mason." He
tried to sound reassuring but my antennae were raised where Deuce was concerned.
my man! What went down?" I was, I hoped, sounding like a casual California
Antoine raised an eyebrow at me and Deuce glanced at me sharply. "Nothing.
It's just some old friends phoning. They're here."
I asked, surprised. Like Antoine. I looked around the boat's cabin. The large
cabin of the dining boat was only partly filled with office types celebrating
Mister Somebody's Retirement Party.
here here," Deuce corrected. "Here. In London."
you will meet your friends?" Antoine congenially asked. He had slipped his
shoe back on and now he turned around in his seat so that he was facing Deuce.
it was Deuce's turn to be surprised. "Well, yes. That's what friends are
for, aren't they?"
don't know about this Deuce," I commented. I watched him carefully so as to
gauge his reaction. Deuce seemingly had recovered from his earlier nervousness
and he confidently replied,
known them since high school, Mason. They're my buds."
hmmm. And the last time you were phoned to "meet some friends", you
ended up trussed and drunk in the tunnels underneath Edinburgh," I
commented, choosing not to mince words.
I expected, Deuce looked away, his confidence drained in an instant. I couldn't
blame my man Deuce for being nervous. Trussed up and drunk in those Edinburgh
tunnels was not a very nice way of spending a few days.
the last time somebody phoned you, I ended up getting into an empty limo with
only an envelope on the seat," Antoine put in. "Deuce! We'd like to
meet these friends of yours." He smiled at Deuce. I nodded.
They would need a London city guide," I offered congenially. And who better
than me to guide tourists around London?
nodded, a huge grin suffusing his face. "And Mason's just the person!"
he said. "I have another helicopter ride I can take them on."
put these lines later on.
B lines go here.
do they know about your recent windfall?" I inquired, knowing the answer
even as I asked the question. I
knew all too well the reaction of many people when one of their social circle
suddenly came into a chunk of cash. Not all friends have cash registers for
hearts when it comes to sudden money. But with sudden cash, there are always a
few people who decide to shed their friendship like snake skins and who wanted
'help' in getting out of a tight financial spot.
Deuce had discovered, news travels fast in this day and age of the internet. One
of the tabloids had gotten wind of our financial windfall concerning the reward
for the return of the gems from the Millenium Gem Show. That particular tab had
mentioned the news in their column.
now Deuce's friends were beginning to pop out of the woodwork. Most, like ___
and ___, heartily congratualted him (and Deuce was a deserving lad), but Deuce's
nervousness with this phone call had me wondering.
know," Deuce replied carefully. "I haven't seen them in a few
years." He sipped his drink.
can meet your friends," Antoine offered, leaning back in the chair. We fell
silent for a bit, watching the rain.beat against the window. With a bit of
whiskey, I chased a bit of dry appetizer down my throat.
beginning to get to me," Deuce said suddenly. I nodded, knowing what he
meant. Even though I had been financially repositioning myself since being cut
off from my father's money, I knew very well what Deuce meant.
common, I'm afraid. Even old money gets treated this way," I offered.
you want to do something about deuce being nervous because the last time someone
asked him to meet them somewhere, he was kidnapped?
this could be a better thing to do than '
does she uncover the plot?
friends have asked him to bail them out-----
breaks into Mason's computer and steals the data there for GMA--then transfers
all the money out of GMA's accounts.
lunch was done and the skipper had docked his lady love, Deuce, Antoine and
myself walked down the plank. Antoine looked at the murky water splashing
against the dock pilings.
he commented, making a face. "Look at that trash."
complied and immediately commented, "Ewww!" And this was definitely an
ew moment. Either somebody's trash bin had been dumped into the Thames or
Londoners are dirtier than I would want to admit. Disposable nappies, Beer cans,
Big Mac wrappers, and a clump of...I bent down for a closer look.
gads!" I commented, scrabbling backwards. I tripped over someone's
shoe--Antoine's, I now saw--and sat on the ground, fanning my nose. Great. Now
my suit would need to be sent to the cleaners. Fortunately, I was sitting on
wood, not mud.
is it?" Antoine asked, extending a hand to help me up.
dead cat," I replied. "I thought it was a clump of fur."
ways with Antoine and Deuce--both of whom elected spa services for the remainder
of the afternoon until we were to meet Deuce's friends at their privately rented
flat. I hailed one of London's famous black cabs and headed back to the office
to close things up for the weekend.
enjoyed the ride back through London's wet streets, people watching in silence
instead of engaging in my usual chatter with the driver. Upon arrival at the
small office building housing my small office, I tipped the driver with a fifty,
feeling rather generous. He was, naturally, overjoyed at receiving such an
I called after the cab as I entered the building.
strode down the hallway towards my office, whistling a happy tune. I stopped
momentarily to straighten the brolly vase that had tipped over. Still whistling,
I continued down to my office. The door was slightly ajar.
I swore I had locked the door, but there is a chance that I hadn't. I was, after
all, a bit distracted over the thought of going to lunch. I have taken after my
socially oriented mother, whose favorite hobby is organizing parties. Prior to
the onset of the holidays, I spent hours in the kitchen with her and the kitchen
staff, tasting the various dishes that were to be served.
the office, I had the funny feeling that someone had been there. I thought I
scented a whiff of perfume. I breathed deeply, trying to discern the scent. Was
it my own scent?
am a ___ kind of chap but the perfume I was detecting wasn't my own. I sniffed
again, then decided that the floral scent was a woman's scent.
my mind wandered back to the statuesque blonde who had I had seen earlier in the
day. Did she enter my office? Why?
wandered around my small office, poking my head here and there. Nothing seemed
out of place. Even my computer seemed to be in order, the screen displaying my
favorite screensaver: a melange of beauties.
I reached to shut the computer off. As I did so, my hand knocked the mouse to
the floor. I bent down to pick it up and when I rose again, I got the shock of
computer screen was showing GMA's financial accounts. Now I knew that someone
had been in my office, for I had been playing Scrabble online when Antoine had
phoned to set up the lunch date.
hot panic rising in my throat, I sat down and logged onto the internet. I tapped
my foot impatiently as I waited an eternity for BT to decide whether or not to
make the connection.
deciding that I deserved access to the internet, BT logged me on, and I quickly
accessed GMA's financial accounts at our brokerage. If GMA had indeed been
robbed, the deed could have taken place while our happy trio was lunching on the
scanned the accounts. All seemed to be in place. No transactions had been
performed for the day. I breathed a sigh of relief. Then I phoned the brokerage
and made arrangements for the accounts to be changed, just in case my unwelcome
visitor was planning something later on.
to accomodate my request, the brokerage assured me things would be taken care of
shortly. I promised to drop by their offices at 4 to look over the new account
numbers. (GET INFOR ON THIS).
I shut off he computer, closed up my office and decided to go to the Ritz for
USES A COMPUTER WORM TO TRANSMIT THE PASSWORD INFORMATION TO HER COMPUTER) and
she gains access to GMA's new account numbers and pulls off a swindle in GMA's
have to admit, I was worried about Deuce,
I stood in my office, looking around care