In the first 24 hours of Jeff's post about Len Scapp's supposed "retirement" ("... if you think you've seen any sign of our man Len, drop us a line, won't you?") the floodgates of inquiry swung wide open.
Most of the concern went something like this:
"Hey, Unbelievables: It sure seems like you guys - or people you know or are associated with - go missing for some reason or another pretty damned often. It's either kidnappings, someone gets lost, retirement, extended vacations and the like. What gives?"
"You know ... they have a point," Jeff noted when the three of us sat down to discuss the situation.
"Somehow, I have a hunch this thing leads to Michael ..." Clark shot me a laser-eyed accusatory look and held up several of the photos. The ones of the redheads.
"Hey ... don't blame me!" I snatched the photos from Clark's hand. "Look ... I'll offer this: We can nix a third of the suspects right off the bat because they're redheads. I admit ... I *cough* know all of them on one *cough* level or another from past *hack,cough* dealings ..."
"I told you," Clark offered.
"Just as the sun rises in the east, we know he does dig the redheads," Jeff admitted looking Clark's way. Clark nodded in agreement.
"... and, diabolically, if they had anything to do with anything, nefarious though each of them may be, they'd come after me. I'd be the one missing, not Lenny." Reluctantly, my two compatriots were on board with that assessment.
I tossed the photos of the redheads on the ground, took the others and looked at them. "Any of these dames have dealings with him recently?"
Just then, Kip The Mail Boy strolled in the room eating an apple. "What's up, guys?"
Clark glared at Kip. (Everyone knows Clark regards Kip with distrust and bitter resentment.)
"Lenny's missing. We're following up on some leads ..." I responded.
"Lemme see," Kip said taking a chomp out of his snack noisily. I handed him the photos "Think I'd zero in on Doris if I were you ..."
"Why's that?" Jeff and I asked in unison. Clark just growled lowly and threateningly at Kip.
"Len has really been frequenting our magazines of late when he comes by ... especially the nudist magazines."
One of Lenny's preferred periodicals of late ...
He picked out one of the photos I was holding and turned it around for us to see.
"Isn't Doris Gumph a nudist?"
... hhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm ...