"I think we have a follower,” Archer said, obviously trying to change the subject and doing a bad job of it, too.
"That's ridiculous,” I replied, continuing to mouth off. “Archer, you need to wake up and smell the coffee. This is real life. Private investigators don't get followers."
Even as I said the words, I knew that it wasn’t true. It had been true of me in the past, but with Archer’s style, it was bound to start happening. I sighed inwardly, realizing that Archer was going to be good for business. I would need to adapt some, but I was hoping that he would be willing to bend here and there. First things first, I thought – gun permit!
"That corvette followed me off the exit and back onto the Interstate. I'm pretty darn sure that it’s a follower."
I looked out the back window. At least there was a corvette there to start with. That was a good sign. “Take the next exit,” I told him. I continued once he was off the Interstate, “Pull into the gas station.”
When I didn’t see the so-called follower right away, I exclaimed, “Told you. You were wrong.”
“Wait a second. He’ll show up.” Archer insisted that he was right. I was willing to wait. I didn’t have to wait long, though. The corvette pulled up just across from us. Archer was beginning to react when the car door flew open, but he stayed where he was for the moment. Although his reaction would have been rash as usual, it was probably spot on, for the door flew open a little too fast to be a coincidence.
Archer and I exchanged glances. Neither one of us would hear the end of this incident. I came around the front of the car, making eye contact with the corvette guy who was wearing sweats. It was at that moment that I knew something was up.
I frowned, deciding to give diplomacy one last try. "Hello sir. Can we speak with you for a moment?"
Talking was the last thing on his mind. Instead, he reached for something behind him, perhaps a gun in the small of his back. I wasn’t about to let him show me.
In a quick motion, I stepped forward with my left palm out. I hit him in the forehead with the bottom of my palm while bringing my right fist around for a jab to his side. When he staggered, I wanted to grab what he was reaching for, but I couldn’t reach it.
Meanwhile, Archer had run around the gas pump so that we had him cornered. The guy was not out for the count, though. With his right hand, he grabbed for Archer, but Archer was faster, stepping back to avoid the guy.
This gave me the opportunity to grab what was behind the guy. Sure enough, there was a gun being held there by the elastic in his pants. I didn’t want this to turn into a struggle for the gun, so I threw it across the parking lot, at least twenty feet away.
Seeing that he was defenseless against the two of us, the guy leaped over the hood of his car, his bulky frame smashing into the hood. Archer winced. Poor car!
Archer and I stood still, allowing the guy to jump in his car and drive away. A cloud of dust and a one finger salute from our follower was all that was left behind.
“Well,” I said in a slow tone, trying to mask the fact that I was breathing hard, “I guess you were right.”
“So,” I continued, changing the subject, “did you get his license?” And, Archer’s eyes went wide.