I was furious with Archer, but I tried not to show it. I was going to do the best I could to give him the benefit of the doubt, but he was acting like a rash cop. Private eyes couldn't get away with stuff like that. I had to lay down the law. I talked to him in the car on the way back to the office after visiting the second house.
"Archer," I began, "you can't act like a cop."
"What do you mean?" he asked. He made a left turn, getting onto the Interstate.
"I was able to explain our way out of the first house. I agreed to pay for the busted door. I don't know if that will work for the second house."
"What are you talking about? We're trying to help people. Now we have a murderer to catch." His tone was beginning to annoy me. This kid had all the book knowledge in the world, and I loved his enthusiasm; however, he didn’t know the first thing about being a private eye.
“It is not our job to catch a murderer. It is our job to investigate the disappearance of Mr. Duncan. Now that a murder seems to be involved, the police will probably not allow us to investigate, especially after what you have done, not to mention getting me involved.” I sighed, trying to keep my composure.
“After they hear about what happened at the second house, they may put us in jail. And, I will not protect you.”
“I thought being a private eye would be just like being a cop,” Archer said with a frown.
“Sometimes it can be, but we can’t go around busting down doors.” I paused for a while. I thought about how to phrase my next gauntlet. I decided to not sugar coat what I had to tell him.
“Forget about being paid for these first couple of days. Pretty much everything you would have made goes toward fixing those doors. There may even be a ticket involved. Either way it is coming out of your pocket before it comes out of mine.”
I paused to judge his reaction. He didn't seem to have one except for the frown he had had the whole time. "And, if you do anything like that again, I'm through with you."
He drove for a while in silence. Eventually, he stated, "I thought you were in with the cops."
"My partner was; he was a former cop. I am barely hanging on to those old relationships. This case might break them." I paused. "That's another reason I don't carry a gun. The police won't hesitate to convict me or you of murder."
After a few seconds, I continued, "And, you better have a permit for that pistol. That could land you in jail as well."