Friday, August 28, 2009

4. Sailor Bill Abalone

The next day I was walking--in the early morning again as is my habit--when I was astonished to see the same strange markings on an abalone of my acquaintance!

"Ahoy, there, Sailor Bill!" I called, knocking rather loudly on his shell since he was a bit hard of hearing.
"What are these peculiar marks on your shell?"

"Avast there! Leave off the shoutin' and racket!--oh, it's YOU, Constable! Nice to see ya' this fine mornin'! And what might I be doin' fer ya?"

"I would like to know what these strange markings on your shell mean, Bill?"

"Market? Nah--I ain't been ta the market, Constable. An what would I be doin at the market anyhow?"

"Not MARKET, Bill! MARKINGS! I would like to know about these MARKINGS on your SHELL!"

"You are jokin' Constable! Ain't no MARKINS on MY shell!"

"But the ARE, Bill!"


Thursday, August 27, 2009

3. Mysterious Markings

A lady mollusk shyly opened the shell.

"Yes?" she asked.

Good morning, Ma'am--I am Constable Crab. I noticed some marks on your shell and was a bit concerned. They look almost like words--but not quite--so I was wondering what they meant..."

"Marks?" She said. "I am not aware of any marks. And of course you know that we mollusks can't see the outside of our own shells. It's the way we're built."

"Of course, Ma'am--but I assure you that there ARE some strange marks on your shell. Do you know how they got there--or why they are there?"

"I'm afraid I don't know anything about it, Constable. What do you think I should do?"

A few shrimp had gathered nearby to see what was happening so I asked one of them to confirm for the mollusk the fact that there was indeed some marks on her shell before I replied.

"Oh yes, Mum." stated one of the shrimp--"There is indeed some strange markings on ya's shell! Never saw anything like it!"

"As to what you should do about it", I continued--I guess nothing. If it doesn't bother you--well, it is no trouble to me either. Thank you for your cooperation and have a pleasant day!"

And I continued my early morning walk.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

2. A Marked Mollusk

I was taking an early morning stroll in the rocks on the beach when I saw something odd--something I had never seen before.

One of the mollusks clinging to a large mossy rock had some strange marks on its' shell.

When I approached more closely--I was astonished to see that I could practically READ the marks!

This was strange, unnatural and bizarre!

I went over to the mollusk and politely knocked on its' shell to see if anyone was home.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

1. New Adventure: Marked Mollusk

Well, Hello!

I see you are ready for a new adventure and have I got a doozy for you!

This next case from my casebook I call: The Strange Case of the Marked Mollusk.

SO--hold on to your hats and get ready for a VERY strange story!

Monday, August 17, 2009

28. Wrap Up

Well, that's about it.

The Case of the Last Sardine, as I've named that case from my casebook--and--as it turned out--the missing sardine--the last sardine--turned out to be a new friend.

That's the way I like my cases to turn out!

If you enjoyed this case, be sure to be on hand when I begin the next case from my casebook.

See you soon then,

Constable Crab


Saturday, August 15, 2009

27. Mable's Song

We were seated quickly and efficiently at a small table--front and center again--right below the cozy club-sized stage. ( VERY different from the immense arena stage at the clam shell, of course, but also VERY nice.)

The audience was in a thrill--waiting for what they expected would be one of the memory-making experiences of their lives--the debut of a new act: "The Mable and Cody Show"!

Starry and I were eager too.

The house lights dimmed and the stage lights came up--red plush curtains parted and the crowd burst into applause.

Mable, alone at first in a single dazzling spotlight, looked totally stunning holding a silver microphone and gazing
smilingly out at the packed house--Cody looked dashing and pleased as he soon took his place behind the keyboard.

"Dear Friends!" she said, and at her first words the audience hushed to absolute silence. They didn't want to miss a single sound from this famous sardine!

"Cody and I thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for your applause and for coming out to welcome us here this evening..."

"We loves ya Mable!" shouted a lone voice from somewhere in the darkened room.

"And I LOVES ya too--Alls of ya!" Mable laughed back happily..."But we are going to start our program with a new song I wrote for a certain special Crab--he knows who he is--without whom we would not be here."

As Cody played a few introductory notes I must admit I blushed when she glanced down at me. Then she began to use that marvelous, unusual voice of hers to sing:

"A friend is one who is always there--
Who picks you up when you are down--
Who lets you know that someone cares--
Who smiles when every else will frown.

And even when you make
Some dumb and selfish mistake
Will stay by your side

'Til the change of the tide

A friend in need--

That friend indeed--

My friend!

"My friend!" She quietly spoke these last two words looking right down at me and it WAS one of those memory-making moments which life sometimes brings.

The audience was silent for a moment and then there was a storm of applause. Mable and Cody were a sensation!


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

26. A Special Table

At Father Neptune's Restaurant I caught Alfonse The Waiter's eye and, rubbing his claws together, he hurried up to greet us.

"Ahh, 'Allo, Monsieur Crab! It is delight to see you zis evening. As you see we are crowded with overflowing--all are, how you say, agog, over debut of Mademoiselle Mable avec Monsieur Cody!

Mais--I will set up a small private table for you and your starfish friend next to the stage, non?

is too good for Monsieur Crab and his friends!"


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

25. Good Show

And so it went.

The crowd was enthusiastic and gave the Seven Sardines huge applause after every number.

And most surprising--I found myself enjoying the sardine music too!

It wasn't classical whale singing, but it DID have it's place for the standard musically untrained fish and seemed to serve a purpose. After all--the masses need music too--and this was obviously THEIR music of choice!

When the concert was over, but before we left our seats, I asked Starry how he liked it.

"Great! Wonderful!" he enthused, "and I am SO glad you invited me to help you occupy these excellent seats!"

"But did you miss Mable's autoharp?" I asked him.

"Autoharp? Mable? No--now that you mention it! The music sounded just fine as they played it! I didn't notice any difference at all! Isn't that strange?"

"I suppose it is." I said, smiling inwardly. "But shall we stop by Father Neptune's restaurant before we call it a night--just to see how Mable and Cory are doing with their new gig?"

"Good suggestion, Constable! We shouldn't drop them flat as a flounder! By all means--let's go!"


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

24. My Sammy Sardine

I'll say this for the freebie seats we were enjoying--Starry Starfish and I-- for the Seven Sardines Concert at the Clam Shell show--they were first class!

Front Row Center--and for one of THESE concerts it doesn't get any better!

The enormous crowd was lively and restless--there were all sorts of denizens of the deep there--mostly young, of course as I expected. There were even a few squid off in a far part of the balcony--and THAT surprised me since I know they are NOT partial to the sort of "music" produced by sardines!

There were young crabs there, of course--since there are young crabs everywhere these days.

Just a few minutes late and before the crowd got too restless, with a musical flourish, the lights on the stage blazed up and the Seven Sardines launched into their signature number:"My Sammy Sardine".

THIS tune was so popular that even I knew it--though it is a LONG way from my classical whale singing!

Most of the crowd delightedly joined in singing the chorus and most could even hum the stanzas.

I did too! The mood was absolutely infectious!

Surely you know it too--

My Daddy don't like him
He says he is lazy--
But he's so CUTE
It drives me crazy!

My Sammy--My Sammy Sardine!

My Momma don't like him
She says he's a bum--
But if he should whistle
He knows I will come!

My Sammy--My Sammy Sardine!

My sister don't like him
Neither does my brother--
But he's the only sardine
I want for MY lover!

My Sammy--My Sammy Sardine!

There are lots of sardines
They say, in the sea
But there's only one
Sardine for me!

My Sammy--My Sammy---
Oh, You're so CUTE, Sammy--
Oh, Sammy--you're so NICE...
(etc. as it fades.)


Sunday, August 2, 2009

23. Some Changes Save the Day

I had a lot to do before the dress rehearsal in the afternoon because I had an idea of how to ease the pain for Mable of getting fired from the Seven Sardines.

First I needed to pay a visit to my favorite restaurant, Father Neptune's, where I was having dinner when this whole affair began as you will remember--not for lunch, but because I wanted to discuss a business proposition with the restaurant's owner, Antonio Vivaldi--a halibut friend of mine.

But I was back at the stage door entrance of the Clam Shell Concert Hall in time to intercept Mable and Cody--catching them just as they were about to go in.

They did NOT look happy!

"Oh, Constable Crab! How could Sharko DO this to me?" wailed Mable grasping my claw.

Cody, in a tightly controlled voice, said: "We heard it on the Gossip Grapevine that Mable was OUT and another sardine was IN, Constable--is it true?"

"It is true." I answered simply. "I never even had a chance to tell him about your contract wishes, Mable.

Sharko had already picked a replacement for you when I arrived at his office this morning. It was a fait accompli! There was nothing--absolutely nothing--I could do about it...BUT, I continued, "I DO have some GOOD news for both of you!

My friend Antonio Vivaldi, the owner of the fine restaurant, Father Neptune's, wants BOTH of you to come and work for him as entertainers for his after dinner guests at the restaurant--starting this evening!

He is willing to pay you what you are making now and will raise your salary if the crowds--which I assured him you would draw--do indeed come in!"

There was a gasp and a moment of shocked silence-- then Mable squealed: "Oh Constable Crab! You are SUCH a DEAR!

It is a wonderful offer--and we'd be fools not to accept! Thank you a million times!"

She dropped my claw and grabbed Cody by the fin.

"Come on, Cody! Let's go down to Father Neptune's NOW! We'll show that shark what we can do!! Who needs those six common sardines--from now on it's just US:

The Mable and Cody Show!


Saturday, August 1, 2009

22. The Sylvia Surprise

Now I was in for it!

I had stuck my head
out a mile!

How was I EVER going to convince Sharko to cater to the whims of Mable Sardine?

I didn't sleep much that night and the next morning I walked slowly down to the Clam Shell, where I expected Sharko to be, thinking about how to tell him about his "missing sardine".

I went to his office and, bracing myself, knocked on the door.

"OPEN IT!" Growled Sharko's unmistakable voice--and I did.

"CRAB!" Sharko yelled--and was that his happy tone of voice?

"CRAB, ya old rascal! Get in here and meet da newest sardine sensation--Sylvia! Sylvia Sardine! Da NEW seventh Sardine!!

My knees felt weak.

"But Sharko--I've FOUND Mable--the seventh sardine!"

"Dat has-been?" Sharko snorted! "Who needs HER?? We got da real thing here, Crab! Silvia here sings like a angel and dances better'n Ginger Rogers--besides being such a CUTE li'l thing an' she plays the accordion like nobody else on earth--" (This last he said with a sentimental quiver in his voice.)

"Accordian?" I said, "But I thought you needed an autoharp player!"

"Crab--ya got a lot to learn about this moosic bizness--da marks what buys tickets to dees concerts don' know a bass drum from a clarinet--dey come fer da noise an da mob scene! An dat's da troof!"

"But Mable said she was willing to perform tonight with a just few small changes in her contract..."

"Ahhh--Nuts to dat dame! She was gettin' too uppity fer her own good anyway, if ya ast me! Good riddance ta dat bag a trouble! We GOT A REAL WINNER HERE wit' Sylvia!!"

"Well..." I began feeling somewhat relieved.

"Ya did GOOD anyway Crab! How much do ya want fer yer services?"

"Well..." thinking that I really had not done very much!

"Tell ya what, Crab! I'll comp ya a couple a' FREE tickets to t'night's show--they're worth BIG BUCKS--an' we'll call it square, OK?"

Why not?

"Sure Sharko--that's fine with me! I really want to see the show. I'm looking forward to it very much!"