Dickson Maine had gotten the horrendously short end of the stick. Although he and Crewe both lived in Raylington, it was still an hours’ drive out to his estate and then 30 minutes to the house from there. It didn’t help matters that it was raining hard. Dickson drove with his face barely an inch away from the windshield as he squinted at the road. His headlights cut a path of a few feet in front of him. Dickson cursed as his old piece of crap car hit a pothole and gave a warning judder.
“Nut, you old bitch. You need to get your kidneys checked.” He muttered bad naturedly. He only hoped that Nut the Sky Goddess wasn’t listening. If she was, well then he was in trouble. Upon meeting Oliver Crewe, they had disliked each other instantly; Crewe, for the other man’s handsome features and poor dress, and Dickson for the other’s morbid obesity. He had sounded like a unpleasant man on the phone, but meeting him in person really completed the experience. Oliver Crewe grudgingly asked Dickson to sit down. So the two sat, disliking the other immensely, neither willing to speak first. The strange standoff was broken by a housekeeper bringing in a folio. She handed it to Crewe without a word and left just as silently.
“Ah, here we are.” Crewe harrumphed.
“Here have we what?” Dickson asked snarkily. Crewe frowned at him as if he was trying to figure out the jibe.
“This is your contract of service. So that you get no more or no less than what you are owed, Mr.Maine.”
Crewe took a few papers from the folio and handed them to Dickson. As the detective read his contract, he had to stop himself from kissing the fat man.
“Excuse me, sir.” Dickson began.
“What is it, Maine?” Crewe said.
“Well it says here that I’ll be getting 10,000 dollars for this job. Is that a misprint?” Crewe’s eyes narrowed and his piggy fists clenched.
“Now look here, Maine. I’m not going to give you a cent more. So I suggest-“
“Oh no no no, 10,000 is more than adequate.” Dollars signs danced in the detective’s eyes. 10,000 dollars! He would be able to pay his rent for a year and then some. Not to mention that he could finally buy the good hooch, maybe a new suit or two. Dickson pulled a pen from his pocket and signed his name away without a second thought. Crewe took the papers and stowed then back in their massive folio. The fat man looked pleased. Judging by the fact that it made him look constipated, the detective guessed it didn’t happen very often.
“Well then man, let me tell you more about Marietta.”