The Mysterious Bookshop

Where Is Brand? Part Two--A story in dialogue

See All Things Mysterious Volume Thirteen for the exciting beginning to this tale!

‘What! Stolen!’

‘You hear good. For a dentist.’

‘I can’t believe it!’

‘Believe it, buster. What were you doing down the docks with Brand?’


‘All of a sudden you lost your hearing?’

‘I heard you, I...Brand’s dead!’

‘He was alive and well down the docks yesterday morning, now you’re tellin’ me he’s dead?’

‘Way I heard it, he got in Dutch to the wrong people. See, he was a deadbeat.’

‘Like you?’

‘I don’t mix with lowlifes!’

‘You were seen with him. Try again.’

‘I just heard he was dead, that’s all.’

‘Know what I think?  I think you and Brand got a little smuggling scam going, argued about it, and now Brand is who knows where, and you got the goods!’

‘That’s a lie!’

‘Prove it!’

‘Ok, suppose you tell me how I can prove I didn’t do something!’

‘Where did you hear Brand was dead?’

‘I don’t know--just around!’

‘Got the receipts for that gold?’

‘None of your business! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have patients.’

‘Me, I’m about out of patience. I’ll be back.’


‘I’m telling you, Costello, this thing has me stumped.  Ok, so Brand’s missing--he owes me and a lot of other guys money.  Did he go underground?  And I don’t trust this Abercrombie bird. What’s his connection with Brand?’

‘The two of ‘em were selling off Abercrombie’s gold supply--that’s what I think.’

‘Maybe he went into business for himself.’

‘So Abercrombie was using Brand as a fence and then Brand got itchy feet.’

‘Could be.’

‘Like I said, it’s a place to start.  We got nothing else.’

‘We got nothing, period.  Let’s call it a day.’

‘Let’s swing by the lake on the way to the lot.  I want a hot dog from Manfred’s.’


‘Boy, these dogs are good!  I wonder what he puts in them to give them that flavor?’

‘You sure you want to know?’

‘Probably not.  I don’t think I--hey!  That look familiar?’

‘Holy smokes!’

‘Here, I can reach him! Let’s get him over here.’


‘Costello, this is the darndest thing I ever saw!  The guy was going to swim the river, get out of state, and sell the gold.’

‘To who?’

‘Who knows?  Another dentist is my guess.’

‘Maybe a lot of people want gold fillings out there.’

‘Maybe. But how could he swim if he had gold bars in his pockets?’

‘That’s a good question. Guess that’s why he was in the lake. He wanted to make a test run--he gets the gold from Abercrombie and---’

‘He can’t sell it anywhere around here; too hot.’

‘So what does the dumbbell do but practice smuggling, if you can believe that, but he doesn’t reckon with below-zero temperatures and ends up frozen like a TV dinner!’

‘Did he have any gold on him?’

‘Yep. The stamps show European registration.’

‘So did the ones I saw at that dimwitted dentist’s. Pick him up. Let’s hear what he’s got to say.’

‘He’ll just say Brand stole them from him.’

‘Maybe, but let’s talk to him anyway--maybe we can trip him up. He had to have gotten them from somewhere on the sly. And when Brand is defrosted send him to the Sarge.’



‘You heard me, Sarge.  Frozen solid in a block of ice!  Yeah, we found him floating in the lake. We dragged him up here and thawed him out.’

‘I heard of cold cases before, but this is ridiculous!’

Here’s some cold cases you might enjoy:


Questions/Comments/Leftover Green Beer?


Written by Ian Kern — March 24, 2016

Specializing in Mystery Fiction and all its subgenres, including Detective, Crime, Hardboiled, Thrillers, Espionage, and Suspense.

Located at 58 Warren St in New York City, we are open Monday-Saturday from 11am-7pm. 212.587.1011

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