The Stolen Secretary Matter

Report, by special investigator Johnny Dollar, to the office of the Transition Administrator, Washington, D.C.
The following is an account of expenses incurred in the Stolen Secretary Matter.

It was half past one on a rainy Thanksgiving morning, and I’d been rudely awakened by an urgent telephone message. “We need your help,” they said, and when my country calls I’m there.


Ding Dong Ditch

The writing’s going well for once, thank God. The writer’s block is gone; the words are flowing. Even better, my wife is staying at her sister’s house tonight; they’ll be having a private Hallowe’en party with her niece tomorrow, and maybe some social-distanced Trick-or-Treating.

Party time in the Age of COVID.



Are you the sort of person who would, in a heartbeat, drop everything?  I think… I think you are not.

And yet, given the right stimulus, the right motivation, in the proper circumstances, you just might.  You would go, stopping only for the barest necessities, caught up in the excitement — and before you realized what was happening, before you had a chance to fairly catch your breath, it would be two days later and you’d be looking up at the Pacific Ocean. (more…)

There Ought To Be Some Magic

“More wounded from the south wall — burns and punctures.”

It seemed like he’d just gotten comfortable against the cool stone pillar. He sighed heavily, and levered himself up from the floor. “Orderly: Cold water and hot, tallow, soap, clean bandages.”

It had been a long night, and today didn’t look like it was going to get much better. The proper place to be in a siege is on the outside, he’d always thought — or better still, long miles away — but he kept getting caught inside. Ah well; it could be worse; I could be on the walls. He grimaced at the thought, stretched, and glanced through the door into the courtyard.