The Mystery of Sgt Adela White is a short story whose protagonist, inspector Franco Fog, known from The Vengeance of Women and Hot Dagger of the Spanish Temptress, faces the challenge of solving the riddle of a theft of a priceless diamond ring – the main prize in the Miss Police Contest. However, when the problem finally seems to be solved, some new trials and tribulations occur. Let’s see how the meeting with a desperate female sergeant will end for Franco Fog.
The Mystery of Sgt. Adela White
© Copyright by
Marcin Brzostowski & e-bookowo
Cover designed by Michał Olejarski
Translated by Nina Wagner
Publisher: Wydawnictwo internetowe e-bookowo
Wszelkie prawa zastrzeżone.
Kopiowanie, rozpowszechnianie części lub całości
bez zgody wydawcy zabronione
Wydanie I 2015
All characters appearing in this work are fictitious.
Any resemblance to real persons,
living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Luigi looked at Franco Fog painfully and, making sure the alarm clock was about to ring in a moment, he jumped onto the table beside his friend’s bed. To get some exercise, he stretched his back in the shape of letter ‘F’, finished an appropriate swearword in his thoughts, and started counting seconds before the inevitable. He was convinced that when six o’clock strikes, sergeant Udder will run into the bedroom and start drilling the barely alive Franco Fog, who was downgraded to the rank of constable a week before. There was an Argus assigned to Franco Fog, personified by the most straight-laced investigator, whose main duty was controlling the inspector 24 hours a day. Those who knew sergeant Udder sympathised with the inspector as they realised there was not and there probably would never be another jack-in-office like the sergeant. Franco Fog was aware that he would have to pay for his transgression, therefore he endured all the inconveniences, glad he was not fired. If it was only about the fact that he had been celebrating with his friends in the police headquarters, plying himself with litres of alcohol and trying to play with every female police officer he had come across, probably nothing would have happened. However, as a joke, Franco and his friends started general Barrel’s private tank and rammed quite a few police cars; they also drove into the police headquarters, which resulted in a train of unpleasant consequences which appeared at lightning speed. Yet, the nail in his coffin which sealed his downfall was certain seemingly trifling fact. During the crazy tank ride, the inspector destroyed the police commander’s wife’s beloved bed of roses. Once the dust on the police headquarters yard settled and it was officially stated the flowerbeds have ceased to exist, it became obvious to everyone that this time general Barrel would not overlook his subordinates’ pranks and the ringleader of this mess would have to pay for the general’s wife’s tears. That is why Franco Fog, accompanied by his sobering up comrades, said goodbye to his rank and put his career into hands of his devastated commander who, against his will, was forced to explain to his wife what had happened to the flowers.
Luigi was getting more and more nervous with every second and could not stop staring at the alarm clock. To secure at least some sleep for his friend, he bristled his hair, made a menacing expression and said between his teeth:
“Hey, clock, stop or you’ll see.”
“Sorry?” The clock sighed heavily without even blinking his eye.
“What’s your problem, tomcat?”
“Watch your mouth, you gnome!”
“Kiss my ass, ginger head. I’ll ring anyway!”
The dig at the fur colour made Luigi furious so he snorted at the clock face and started getting ready for a frontal attack. A moment later, he took out his claws and said somewhat nonchalantly:
“It’s your last chance to come to your senses.”
“What?” The clock burst out with laughter but still, he did not even blink his eye.
“If you wake my friend up, you’re going to have a bad time.”
“Don’t make me laugh, my hairy friend”, the clock kept on laughing. “You think you’re the first who tries to stop the time, don’t you?”
“I guess not”, the ginger Persian suddenly scratched behind his ear.
“Of course not! There were guys better than you who tried to stop the most powerful clocks. And do you know what they achieved?”
“What?” Luigi kept his cool.
“A piece of shit, my dear kitty-eater!”
Uttering those words, the clock ruthlessly finished the unequal discussion. He bounced and finally released the concealed pressure. When his small and big hand formed a perfect straight line, all his mechanisms revived, giving the world a sign it was six o’clock. At the same time, the clock shook, spat condescendingly at the bedside table and started screaming at the top of his interior. His activity would raise even the most disobedient dead from their grave, so Luigi was not surprised when a moment later at the bedroom door he saw sergeant Udder, who was shouting:
“Wake up, constable! Wake up!”
Sleepy Franco Fog opened his eyes, silenced the clock once and for all, and said to Luigi:
“What day is today, my friend?”
“So tomorrow’s day off, right?”
“Yes, Franco. We’ll finally get enough sleep!”
“If this Nazi”, he looked at the Argus, “will let us.”
“Easy, Franco. Sooner or later he will have to get some sleep, too.”
Comforted, the red Persian gave his friend a five and majestically jumped down from the table onto the floor. Trying to gain favour with sergeant Udder, the cat approached him and rubbing against his trouser leg, he said:
“I’ve heard you are soon having your PhD defence.”
“What sort of philosophical issue are you going to get into?”
“It won’t be philosophy”, sergeant Udder finally got involved in the conversation. “It’s literature.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes. My thesis is an attempt to define the influence of chick literature on the social awareness of men.”
“Well, well, well!”, said Luigi with arms akimbo. “And what did you find out?”
“On the basis of my own as well as the external research, I came to the conclusion that the so called ‘real men’ are resistant to such kind of literature and still want to treat women like objects of desire.”
“But why is it like that?”
“The answer to this question is simple. ‘Real men’ are disgusted with that kind of literature and won’t reach for it. Even when threatened with corporal punishment.”
“And that’s fine”, Franco Fog put in his oar. “Real men don’t read this shit. Instead, they drink whiskey, play poker, and pick up waitresses.”
“That’s right!”, Luigi supported him.
“Chick lit is for chicks”, the downgraded inspector looked at the Argus with disdain. “Or…”
“Yes?” Sergeant Udder decided to test his interlocutor’s courage.
“Or suckers!”, Franco Fog shouted. “Clumsy oafs, wimps, and couch potatoes!”
The opinion of the triumphant subordinate made sergeant Udder so enraged that he immediately pulled a gun out of his holster and, pointing at the gathered, he said between his teeth:
“You pigs. You know very well that over the years, I’ve created a perfect little library with the best romances, tearjerkers, and appropriate guidebooks”, he started lamenting.
“Like what?”, the downgraded inspector asked with apparent disgust.
“Like for example How to Get Rid of Cellulite in Combat Conditions or the flawless Toned and Tight Calves Even After 80. Do you realise”, the sergeant put the gun back to the holster, “you are hurting me?”
“Yuck”, Franco Fog could not refrain from a comment.
“Disaster”, Luigi summed up the sergeant’s confession and preventively hid under the bed. “Only women can read such books!”
Although sergeant Udder knew perfectly well that his interlocutors belong to the ‘die-hard’ type, he glared at them and decided to finish the conversation. Unfortunately, the pleasant silence was soon interrupted by the bibliophile PhD student, who stated with an ironical smirk:
“Enough is enough. Attention, constable Fog!”
The inspector’s first reaction was to ignore his superior’s command, but as soon as he saw the sergeant reaching for the gun again, he realised he was the addressee of the command. As he did not want to push the sergeant to the limit, he stood upright and asked:
“So, what are we doing today?”
“And what do you prefer, constable?”
“Of two evils, I choose physical exercises.”
“Therefore”, sergeant Udder finally gained strength, “you’ll get the moralising option!”
“Holy shit…”, sighed Luigi.
“Silence!” The sergeant had the two over a barrel. “Constable Fog, step out!”
Franco Fog was far from happy when he heard about the ‘moralising option’, yet he did not want to give any satisfaction to his torturer, so he made an emotionless expression, took a deep breath, and started reciting:
“I have never been worthy of the officer’s rank but a week ago I gave a show beyond belief. Without the police commander’s permission, I started the commander’s private tank and then rammed twelve police cars.”
“Fourteen”, sergeant Udder remained vigilant. “Fourteen!”
“Then, I drove into the police headquarters causing a first-degree construction disaster. But my main sin was”, the downgraded inspector fell on his knees, “that I irretrievably ruined the beds of roses which were under the commander’s wife’s care. I apologise to everyone for all my crimes but most of all, I apologise to the commander’s wife.”
When Franco Fog finished his morning litany, the sergeant came up to him and with a distinct note of triumph in his voice, he asked:
“And do you remember, constable, how many flower petals you have destroyed?”
“Two hundred thirty six!” The answer was unambiguous.
“Now, on the ground, Fog! And you’re doing push-ups!”
* * *
It was 7 a.m. when sergeant Udder completed the morning workout which almost resulted in his subordinate’s death. Although Franco Fog managed to do all the exercises and repeat the text of the official apology several times, he still suffered because of the fact that long time ago, he chose the night life offered by the big city bars – at the expense of the sport activities. Those who knew Franco Fog were aware that he was born to be the guide to Warsaw night time venues as he was equipped with a unique power of opening even the eyes of the blind so that they could see the bliss awaiting. The downgraded inspector was never ashamed that he achieved the true mastery in that field, yet he had to admit that at that time, such kind of knowledge was of no use to him. The pressing need was to regain the lost rank and, consequently, the officer’s privileges. Otherwise, as he presumed, the bibliophile PhD student would torture him to death, or at least guarantee him a vast heart attack or something equally spectacular.
With his head hung down, Franco Fog entered the bathroom, and stopped under the shower. Cursing the day he had sent the bed of roses to heaven, he turned the tap on. Hot and cold streams of water brought his serenity back, and the awareness that he could stay alone for a while put him in a perfect mood. After the shower, while he was drying himself with a towel, he promised to himself that if, by any chance, he managed to buy general Barrel’s favours, he would take a cruel revenge on the would-be PhD. He would also try to change his lifestyle to be prepared for similar scenarios in the future. The inspector put on his white boxers, black socks, and a fresh white shirt. He left the bathroom and confidently went to the bedroom. He came up to the wardrobe and, without hesitation, he took out the only black suit. As a man of flesh and blood, he detested collecting clothes, so he quickly matched the only black tie. He put it on with just one move, along with his trousers and jacket, and stepped towards the living-room. In the hall, he put on his shoes and smiling, said ‘hello’ to Luigi and his torturer. Smelling the scrambled eggs in the air, the inspector came to the table, sat down in his usual spot, and said:
“Remember, Luigi, it must be well done.”
“Of course, Franco”, the ginger Persian was struggling with an almost burning frying-pan. “You’ll have it your way!”
“Don’t you care what I’d like?” sergeant Udder joined his subordinate. “Well…”
“The regulations don’t state anything about that” Franco Fog started slicing the bread. “Or maybe I missed something?”
“No, you didn’t”, the sergeant drew in his horns. “I just thought we are friends.”
“You know I like you a lot. I even like this eyesore.”
“What?” Luigi approached the sergeant with a hot frying-pan. “I must have misheard something.”
“I didn’t say anything.” Sergeant Udder hunched. “And I’ll eat anything you prepare!”, he tried to appease the cook.
The ginger Persian looked at the uninvited guest’s tanned face and seeing there nothing but fear, he gave up on any comments. With nonchalance, he put the most burnt pieces of eggs on the intruder’s plate, leaving the tastiest ones for Franco Fog. Sergeant Udder, apparently dissatisfied with this development, did not say a word and started eating the free breakfast with enthusiasm. As soon as he finished, he glowered at his subordinate and asked:
“Please, remind me, constable, what did you do on Monday?”
“I was raking the leaves in the police headquarters’ yard.”
“And on Tuesday?”
“Cleaning general Barrel’s tank.”
“And on Wednesday?”
“I was preparing the patch for a new rose bed.”
“Oiling the tracks in the commander’s tank.”
“So what would you like to do today?”
“Anything you order, sergeant!” Franco Fog did not take the bait.
“All right, then” sergeant Udder exploded with genuine joy. “I am sure this is the day you will never forget!”
* * *
The Mystery of Sgt. Adela White