MacDoozle immediately regretted this rash action, because now he had nothing to write on. He went over to the window to see where it went. The notepad sat open and face down on the top of a rose bush that was growing right outside the window.
He reached out as far as he could... just a little further.. almost got.. KER PLOP! Gravity took over and he fell forward, right into the middle of the rose bush. Scratched and bleeding a little, he looked around quickly to see if anyone had witnessed his abrupt exit from the building.
He sent up a quick little "Thank God!" that he hadn't been on the second floor.
"heeeeeheeeehee paper, new clean, not used paper! Mine, all mine!"
"ARGHHH....CRAPPPP!!!" MacDoozle screamed as he twisted around to see where the voice came from.
A small woman of indeterminate age sat about two feet away from him, in a hollow under a canopy of leaves and roses. She had his notepad grasped tightly in one hand, while she flipped through the mostly unused pages with the other.
Without even thinking about it, he made a grab to retrieve his property. With a high pitched squeal, she scuttled backward out of reach, clutching the notebook to her chest.
MacDoozle stayed where he was, not wanting to frighten her further into the rose bush. She was obviously unstable, who knew if she would start biting and scratching. She could have rabies for all he knew. With the way his day had gone so far, he thought that might actually be possible.
He took stock of his surroundings as the woman watched intently. There was a semi circle of debris fanned out from the spot where she had been sitting cross legged in the dirt. There were several pieces of cardboard garage sale signs that were covered in chalk, pencil and crayon. There were also crumpled pieces of cardboard cereal boxes that had been taken from garbage bins to draw on.
He picked one up, and saw a reasonable facsimile of his own head and shoulders hanging out of the bank window. It was really rather good. Maybe he had finally caught a break. Maybe she had seen something, maybe she had drawn what she saw!
"Excuse me ma'am, don't be frightened. I just want to ask a few questions. All I want is a few pages of my notepad.You can have the rest of it. "
Without a word she ripped out the two pages of interviews and a couple of blank pages. She gingerly pushed them toward him in the dirt, then leaned back into the leaves, watching him warily.
He moved over a few inches and picked up the pages. He took out his pen and began to write on a blank page.
"What's your name?"
"Yes, the paper is yours. Your name?"
Finally, he was getting somewhere! He smiled encouragingly at her.
"Alice what? What's your last name?"
"Alice in Wonderland! Fell down a rosebush hole. Heeehehehee!!
She laughed gleefully as she kicked her bare feet up and down in the earth.
The cop sighed deeply. He now doubted if he would get anything useful out of this reject from the loonie bin. Still, he soldiered bravely on, just in case some little moment of lucidity on her part would help him solve this case.
"Did you see anyone with guns or masks enter the bank?"
"Bank? What Bank? Bank of clouds? River bank? You can bank on mee..."
She began to hum a little tune.
He stopped writing. It was pointless to write any of this nonsense down. He started going through the debris field, looking at every piece of paper or cardboard that he picked up. After about ten futile minutes he found a small drawing on the back of a cigarette package. It depicted four people entering the door of the bank.
he yelled happily.He held it up to catch a ray of sunlight that had filtered through the leaves.
It showed four people in profile. One figure had thick glasses, googly eyes and a moustache. One had a purple beehive hairdo with a rubber chicken peeking out of it. One wore a black trench coat with a florescent green fedora pulled down over its' face. One figure was just a gray ghostly outline. All four people were sitting upright in a scarlet flying saucer.
Macdoozle dropped the picture and broke into painful disappointed sobs.