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* Chapter I
* Chapter II
* Chapter IV

The Case of the Haunted Pen: Chapter III
Continuation of the bi-weekly serial
from the fountain pen of David Lee Mason
The History of the Haunted Pen

Molly sighed. She did that a lot. "The last man to own that pen was named, Gland, Darby Gland. Dr. Darby Gland, to be precise. He was an endocrinologist." "Gland? Endocrin-wha?" Pinkie here, stupefied. "Yeah, I know it's wierd, I think he might've changed his name on purpose. Anyway, he specialized in hormones, blood chemistry, all that goopy stuff on the insides.

The reason the house was empty when his pens got boosted was because the guy offed himself, Pinks. The guy shot himself chock-full of a God- awful dose of testosterone and went down to a lower East-Side bar and picked a fight with the most God-awful bull dyke he could find. He kept calling her 'Sweetie' and 'Sugar Doodles', Pinkie."

Molly sighed again, at least semi-genuine despair this time. "She squashed him like a grape. It was called self-defense on her part, of course, but it was suicide, plain and simple." Pinkie was still perplexed, to say the least. "Wha, what's that got to do with the PEN, Molly?" "Dr. Darby Gland was on the verge of getting disbarred and squeezed dry by lawsuits. See, he'd been writing prescriptions for some heavy stuff for years now, but in the past few months his prescriptions had been going... wrong, somehow.

One of his ex-patients claimed that she started growing hair all over her body like a wolverine, another guy claimed that the good doctor turned him into an Alvin, as in 'Alvin and the Chipmunks.'" "But, but, Molly - the PEN?" stammered Pinkie, more perplexed than ever. "Yeah, yeah, I'm getting to that. See, Gland had left a message on his own dictating machine that very day. Seems he claimed that it was his NEW PEN that was writing all those bad prescriptions." Pinkie frowned. "But, that's perposterisk, Molly!" He searched her face for a beam of approval over his use of a big word. Molly bore down. "Dr. Gland had bought the pen at a swap meet from a lawyer. Ever hear of Slive Porphyre?" "Wasn't he that Mob lawyer who got all those gangsters off in court?" Molly grinned her tiger shark smile, on some things at least Pinkie stayed well informed. ""Yeah, and ol' Slive got 'disappeared' by the Mob too, after he muffed the defense for Gigoberto Papadapolous. Lied in his court deposition, got caught and Gigo the Greek's acquittal got remanded for a retrial. Papa fried in the chair, Pinkie.

"Wanna know what the lawyer said when the hit squad came for him, Pinkie?" "The, the..." "That's right, he said the silver/blue Vacumatic Major with the flex fine nib and slight brassing on the top of the clip and the capband committed perjury in his legal briefs." "You mean, You mean..." "That's right, Pinkie, the pen is HAUNTED. Bad news, hoodoo, gris-gris, bad juju. The lawyer had bought the pen at an estate sale, that's 'estate' as in dead people's stuff. The previous owner was a certified public accountant, Orion Pooge. Remember that big embezzlement scandal at the Bank of America, oh about '69?"

At this point Pinky could only nod mutely on. "Seems this C.P.A. Pooge was reputed to be the mastermind behind the whole scheme, but at his trial he claimed he couldn't remember a thing - HE COULD ONLY REMEMBER THE PEN HE'D BEEN USING AT THE TIME. Orion Pooge died in jail, Pinkie. Seems the Bank of America had... long fingers, you know?" Pinkie's only thought at this point was a Big Fat "Uh-Oh." Molly lee-eaned way in, tickled one of his chins and cooed "Where's the pen, Pinkie? I'm the only one who can help you here...." Pinkie's next thought was "I'm gonna get slapped again, for sure...."


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