Cracking The Code: Short Story

It was a dull, hot day in Hamilton, with a cigar in my mouth and boredom in my stomach; I sat in my office waiting for my client. I’m a private eye. The names Snipes, Dave Snipes. Yawn, the life of a detective can be slower then a snail in molasses, or at least that’s how it felt, until she finally walked in.

A tall brunet, with something on her mind. She looked tired. She explained in a gruff voice that her name was Gale Rent. It sounded familiar, her father had recently been kidnapped, and the police were clueless to what happened so she thought I could help.

I agreed, for a price…

I decided to start at the scene of the crime, the Rent household. It was a fancy three story house in a rich neighborhood, the windows were smashed and the building was surrounded by police tape.  It had seen better days…

She explained that the cops already searched the house; there was nothing of use there. I looked anyway; from experience I know the police aren’t perfect. It appeared as though the kidnappers smashed through the window, ran in and grabbed him right out of his reclining chair. The paper he was reading was on the ground and his coffee mug was now cold. I picked up the newspaper, it was open to a page titled “Mr. Rent creates new code!” so that’s why her name sounded familiar. Mr. Rent worked with the allies of World War Two, making codes to be sent across the seas containing valuable information. The man was a genius!

I took the paper to the light so it was easier to read, where I noticed there were small puncture marks in the paper. I realized there were holes only under certain words, I read them out loud.

“They are coming, I know why. I must not go to the police or they will never be captured! It’s the gang…”

Looks like he ran out of time. If this is gang related I know just where to go, a downtown bar where crime lords have regular meetings. I ordered a drink and scanned the dingy room. I exchanged looks with men across the old wooden panel room. Most avoided my glance, except one. His blue eyes peaked out of a worn black hoody. He got up and walked for the door, bumping me as he passed.

I take a sip of my drink and walk out after him. After three steps I collapse onto the sidewalk. The pain in my stomach is unbearable! My muscles tighten and I try to remember everything I know about poisons. I forced my hand down my throat and I begin to gag. It’s not long before I throw up, my drink and lunch stains the sidewalk, but I recovered quick and pulled myself to my feet.

When the man bumped into me he must have slipped some poison into my drink, a dirty trick.

I look for my attacker, he’s chuckling with a few friends at the curb. I pull out my revolver and fill him with lead. His ‘friends’ bolted away. The broken man lies crippled at my feet, blood seeping from his chest,

In his right pocket was a crumpled piece of paper. On it was written a series of numbers in Mr. Rent’s hand writing. He must have slipped it onto the guy somehow. On it were the numbers 6,23,8,26,1,9,20,3,8,1. What did it mean?

I waited around for the police to arrive, explained what happened and returned to my office.

I looked up codes by Mr. Rent and found the one this was coded in. It said, “two fourteen James Street.” I knew that place. It was a local storage facility!

I alerted the police and explained the situation and a couple their finest and I rushed there.

The building was massive and filled with giant wooden creates. We began our search. It was not long before we found the gang in the far left corner. Mr. Rent was with them, tied to a chair. He looked terrible. Clearly he had been beaten relentlessly. My new buddies and I open fired but they did not go down with out a fight. Bullets whizzed through the air, however we were out manned and out gunned. They escaped through the back exit, but before they left, Mr. Rent tripped. They pulled him through the back door. During the commotion they did not realize he had dropped a small piece of paper. On it was the address for yet another warehouse.

The police and I called in for more back up, hurried to the building, made a perimeter and rushed in. This time we had the upper hand, shots were fired, lives were lost, but they finally surrendered.

It turns out they kidnapped Mr. Rent to get a cipher from him! With it they could have opened a safe full of thousands of dollars.

If it had not been for Mr. Rent’s cleverness the case would probably have never been solved.

“hanktay ouyay aveday.” Mr. Rent said.

Great, another code.

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