Dull Dirk and the Necklace of the Dreamer
Two muddy boots graced the small wooden desk in the middle of the dusty room. Wiggling from left to right, swaying along with the movements of the owner’s feet. A tune can be heard, accompanying the swaying of the boots. The music filled the room, while escaping the old lute it was played on. It’s raining outside, which gave the tune an additional beat.
Suddenly the music stopped. The owner of the instrument slowly removed his legs from the desk as he watched the front door open.
A woman, dressed in a long dark red cloak entered the room. She looked around as she removed the cowl. Her long black hair unravel from underneath the cloth and displayed itself on her shoulders.
“I am looking for Dull Dirk.” she started, as she walked up towards the desk. There was a sense of urgency in her voice. A tremble. The man looked up from his lute and adjusted his majestic chestnut brown mustache.
“Well, mon chéri, what do you want from him?”
His accent threw her off a bit. It was not one you heard often in these parts. A small smile appeared on her lips. “My name is Claire and I have a case for him.”
“You and zmany others. Monsieur Dirk is a very busy man.“
“Can’t you just call him? It is of great importance.”
She sounded desperate. He liked that. With a sigh, he dropped his lute on the desk before him. “Monsieur Dirk, are you in?”
They both looked at the closed door next to the desk. It stayed quiet for a moment, until a voice can be heard from the other side of the door. “No, I am not.”
The man behind the desk smiled and looked the woman in the eyes.
“Sorry, mon petit, but monsieur Dirk iz not in. Maybe somebody else can help you.”
“I am sorry, but I just heard him?”
“Don’t know what you are ztalking about?”
She bit her lip and it was obvious to most that she was ready to punch his pretty face. To most, but not to the man behind the desk,
“It…it is my professor. He disappeared.”
“Have you tried looking for him?”
She looked at him in disbelieve. “It is not that simple”
“Oui, it is. If your monsieur professor disappearz, you try to find him. Just go and see if he is at the last place you left him. It always works for me when I can’t find my lute, no? Look, I gave you some free advice. Very nice.”
“Please listen to me. He disappeared right in front of me. We were at some ruins north of Hammerdust and…”
“Mon chéri, did you just say Hammerdust?”
“Yes, I did and…”
The man sighed. “He iz dead. Probably eaten by goblins.”
“No, no, no. No need to thank little old moi. Case closed. You can go on with your life. We can all go on with our lives.” He motioned her to leave, while grabbing his lute back up from the desk. Claire looked at him. Her eyes set to thunder.
“Look, sir. I don’t know who you are but..”
The moustached man smiled. “Call me JeanPierre.”
“Alright, mister Pierre, stop interrupting me and let me finish my story. I beg of you! My patience is running low.”
JeanPierre frowned a bit and motioned her to continue.
“Thank you. We went to some old ruins dedicated to a long forgotten deity. My professor is an archaeologist.“
“And eaten by goblins…” whispered JeanPierre under his breath.
“That is where we found a necklace. He was so happy. Then it happened. He just disappeared right in front of me. He was there and the next moment he was gone. The only thing that was still there was this necklace.”
She held up a golden necklace, embedded with small emeralds. Eight of them. JeanPierre’s eyes widened as the necklace swayed before him.
“Sacrebleu, that is the pendant of ze dreamer.”
The door next to the desk slowly opened. A man dressed in a long black leather coat appeared from the darkness of the room. His hair was white, thin, and badly combed over the balding spot on his head. He crossed his arms and leaned against the doorframe. His hands were bound in old rusty bandages. His smile only made his caved in cheeks more apparent. “Welcome to Dull Dirk’s Investigation Bureau for the Strange and the Occult. My name is Dull Dirk. Looks like I will take your case.”
He walked into the room as JeanPierre jumped up from his desk and started to go through the big bookcase at the far end of the room. Claire looked relieved and step forward.
“Sir, thank you. My name is Claire and..”
Dirk motioned her to stop talking.
“Please, I don’t do names. Names are earned, not given. JeanPierre?”
The young man looked up from a big tome, which he just removed from the bookcase.
“Yes, monsieur Dirk.”
“Hammerdust. Are we banned there?”
He peeked into the tome and smiled.
“According to the recordz we are only banned from the Bearded Lady Inn.”
“Good, that was a shitty place. And that demon was not our fault. Any other inns there?”
“Well, we only got a stern warning at the Goats Head Inn.”
“Good, so we have a place to sleep. Travel time?”
“I zthink about a week, monsieur Dirk.”
Surprised Claire opened her mouth.“That can’t be right. I got here in two days by horse.”
“Ah yes, but I don’t do horses. Don’t trust them. With their stupid faces.”
She looked at the old man before her and back to the young man at the bookcase. “Are you mad? We have to get there as soon as we can. What if something is wrong with Maximilian?”
Dirk raised his eyebrows. ”Who?”
“The professor!” Claire exclaimed.
“Ah yes, did I mention I don’t do names?”
“I demand we get some horses. This is ridiculous.”
“Look, I am only doing this because your case is very interesting. Not because I really want to meet your professor or actually like you. So we do this by my rules or we will not do this at all.”
Nex time. How Dull Dirk and JeanPierre bought some horses.
To be continued.