Robert McCallum came into work, dressed up to the nines and ready to take on the world. He was on cloud nine. Nothing could stop him now. Not the rain, not a freight train. He was invincible. Of course, Dr. Klein didn’t know this. Doctor Klein knew very little, in fact. He was always very behind in the times. He was always the last to find things out, and yet he was always the first to strike. He was notorious for being arrogant. All the other words in every language could not summarize Dr. Klein more. Doctor Klein was arrogant,
“Robert, there you are,” he said, eager to abuse an ego, “Where’s my coffee?”
“Make it yourself, Dr. Klein,” McCallum stopped for just a brief moment, “I’m an agent now. Excuse me, Madame is waiting.”
McCallum whisked away, behind him he could hear Dr. Klein’s frustration, “An agent?! And why haven’t I heard about this? Why am I always the last to hear about things around here? Was he not my chief clerk? How come I don’t get a say in what my people do?”
In truth Dr. Klein went on, but all personnel within proximity blocked his usual rant of how unfair things are out of their minds, beginning around “How come…”
McCallum came through the Secretary Hall, the hall leading to Madame Superior’s office. You see, apparently it takes 14 secretaries to write-off espionage and murder,
“Paper work in the business of espionage is about as painful as giving birth to sextuplets,” this according to one former secretary that actually had given birth to sextuplets.
“Morning, Ladies,” McCallum nodded his head, flashed a smile and wink as he passed through the hall. Agent Brown, a mildly overweight and almost over aged mess of a man frowned at the presence of Robert McCallum as he knows all moves are off. He turned away from a secretary who smiled now at McCallum, he exited the hall.
“Morning, Mr. McCallum,” Vivian came up and greeted him, “what are you doing this far up the food chain?”
Vivian was young, but oddly the oldest secretary in Secretary Hall. She always wore some shade of pink with accents of gray. She was a natural brunette, her hair wavy to perfection. She looked at McCallum, with a smile on her face. She was digging the scene.
“Actually, that’s Agent McCallum, Ms. Vivian,” McCallum explained.
Her smile faded a bit, “I doubt that,” she started, “You see, I do the paperwork of all new agents and I haven’t done your paperwork.”
“Well, then you best get busy.”
“No, Mr. McCallum, what I’m saying is that you have no paperwork for agent status.”
He considered the options, hoping it was merely a foul up in paper transit. His smile was gone, he’d been stopped. He sighed, “Is mum in?”
Vivian picked her phone up and hit a button, “Madame Superior, a Mr. Robert McCallum to see you. Shall I send him in?” She hung the phone up, “She’s all yours, good luck.”
McCallum entered Madame Superior’s office slowly; she had her face shoved in a file, her glasses on the tip of her nose. She lowered the file as she heard him enter and looked above her glasses,
“Ah, Mr. McCallum, welcome. Have a seat.”
After sitting, he looked to her with confidence, “Reporting for duty, Madame Superior. What’s next on the agenda, stealing rare coins? Maybe knocking off some communist sympathizer?”
She looked at him with a confused look, this was not good. This meant the game had begun, “You have me bumfuzzled, Mr. McCallum, you speak as if… you imply, I should say. You imply as if you are an agent for this agency?” She paused for a moment in thought, “When you arrived at work on Monday, where did you report?”
“To Dr. Klein.”
“And what was your position, then?”
“Chief Clerk, Madame.”
“Well, there you have it, Mr. McCallum; you are the chief clerk to Dr. Klein. Now, let us forget all this nonsense about being an agent. Perhaps you are just overworked; if I were you, I’d put in for some time off with the good doc.”
She interrupted him, “You better get a move on, Mr. McCallum, Doctor Klein could probably do with some coffee right about now, wouldn’t you agree? As a matter of fact, if I were Dr. Klein, I would be a little irritated; I’d even say you were late.”
McCallum was furious, but he hid it well, “Madame, I am a very patient man and well-tempered. I won’t break.”
Again, she had a look of confusion, but she soon replaced it with a queer smile, “I do believe you are speaking in riddles, Mr. McCallum. But, unfortunately, you’ll have to take such riddles elsewhere, because I’m a very busy girl. Ta-ta for now, Mr. McCallum!”
Interrupting in a more serious tone this time, “Mr. McCallum, you may leave now.”
McCallum rose to his feet and nodded his head, “As you wish, Madame,” he went to leave, but stopped at the door and turned back, “Oh, by the by, what did you want me to do with the body?”
“Jack’s body; I left it in the motel room on the floor,” he winced a little, “As a matter of fact, I may have left the bullet lodged in the floor as well,” suddenly he stopped himself, “I apologize, me and riddles again. Excuse me, good day.”
With that he was out the door and moving through the hall at a quick pace; he had reached row seven when Vivian’s phone rang, “Mr. McCallum!” Vivian called to him, “Madame Superior is requesting your presence.”
It was not necessary for any secretary to place ear-to-door, Madame Superior’s voice screeched through Secretary Hall uninhibited. Agent Brown returned to the Hall with a few other agents. Everyone would agree later that this was the worst she had ever been. Needless to say, Agent Brown was not amused when he was assigned the task of returning to the scene of the crime with Robert McCallum.
After closing the door, Agent Brown spoke, slipping his hands into rubber gloves, “Alright, you dimwit, where did the bullet lodge?”
“In the floor,” McCallum responded, also pointing to the other side of the bed, “Beneath his head.”
“Oh, for Pete’s sake,” Agent Brown reacted at the sight of the body, “You didn’t even dispose? You really are an idiot. What, did you think housekeeping would take care of it?”
With that, Agent Brown grabbed Jack by his shoulders and flipped his stiff body over, McCallum remarked, “Was I wrong? By the by, I’m also out of ice.”
Agent looked up from the floor, glaring at McCallum. He then went to the floor, rubbing his hands across the carpet. Finally, Agent Brown found the hole and began with cutting a patch of carpet out. During the whole tedious job, McCallum would often switch from bed to chair to bed from chair, sitting here and there. Whenever Agent Brown would begin to accomplish something, he’d look up to McCallum and rudely remark, “Do you see what I’m doing? Do you follow me? Yeah, you better make a note of it ‘cuz I’m not doing it again. I’m not your Nancy.”
The only thing McCallum helped in was placing Jack into a body bag, even that was an annoying trip, “Flip, turn, turn, push, pivot, PIVOT!”
After loading everything into the standard issue Agency Volkswagen van, they entered the room and gave it one last look-over,
“So, what of the diary?” Agent Brown asked.
“When the deed was done, there were no possessions in the room,” McCallum convincingly replied.
“You stupid, bumbling lummox,” Agent Brown fumed, “I’m not a twit. Where’s the diary?”
“There was no diary.”
“You’re dead, McCallum,” Agent Brown explained, “No one crosses Madame Superior and lives long. You’re dead.”
“It’s queer then, because I’m feeling very much alive.”
“Don’t play games with me!” Madame Superior exclaimed at hearing the news of the missing diary.
“Ironic, isn’t it?” McCallum calmly started, “Maybe if you wouldn’t play games with me, I wouldn’t feel compelled to play back. Personally, and off the record, but I’m a solitaire man myself.”
Madame Superior went into superiority mode, “I am the head of this agency; I own it, I run it. I am it.”
McCallum rose from his chair, Agent Brown gasped, “Oh, do get over your self, Madame.”
“And where on earth are you going?” she questions, in appall.
McCallum looked Madame Superior dead in the eyes and stated quite firmly, “I am leaving at will like any normal, adult human being. If you should need me, I will be dispensing coffee and shuffling papers for Dr. Klein.”
After McCallum left, Madame Superior sulked in her chair, “Come closer, Agent Brown, I must needs speak to you in confidence.”
Agent Brown conceded.
“I want that diary. I need that diary,” she looked to him, “Prepare to take all necessary precautions.”