It was a cool and cloudy night in the Twins Cities, the kind of night when the impending rain is a foregone conclusion and a shot of rotgut whiskey is the best way to warm up fast. The name's Twayn. I'm a shamus.
I was halfway through a pint of Kentucky's Apologies with my feet propped on the desk when I heard the knock on the door. I was in no mood for company after a day of hound dogging a cheating husband, trying to get the pictures his wife needed to squeeze a nice fat divorce settlement out of the louse, so I ignored the knock, hoping whoever it was would make like the wind and blow. When the doorknob started to turn I reached into my jacket, wrapped my fingers around the butt of my Colt .45, and pulled it from the shoulder holster. The dame walked in, took a look down the business end of my gat, and gave a little wide-eyed gasp.
"I'm sorry," she said, "I didn't mean to barge in like that."
"Just how did you mean to barge in?" I asked, tipping back my hat and slipping the blue steel persuader back into it's brown leather home. I pointed to an empty chair on the other side of the desk. "Well, now that you're here what can I do for you? A little late for a dame to be prowling a neighborhood like this one, isn't it?"
I gave the woman a top-to-bottom and have to admit I liked what I saw. She was the kind of blonde that doesn't come out of a bottle, with eyes as blue as any lake up north. Her polka dot dress wasn't expensive, but it got your attention like a Louisville Slugger to the noggin by clinging enticingly to the curves that kept a man's eyes from straying too far for too long. She slid into the chair with the grace of Ginger Rogers and held her purse on her lap with both hands on top.
"It is late, Mr. Twayn," she said, her eyes meeting mine. "Maybe too late. But if there's a way it can be saved, I have to try."
She looked at me and a wry smile played across her luscious red lips. "Marriage? No, this is much bigger than that. I'm talking about the Twins' season. You see, I think the boys may be losing their mojo again, and I want you to find it and get it back for them."
"Okay, Doll, tell me how they lost their mojo, and what makes you think they might be losing it again?" I asked.
"I can't be sure," she said. "It started early this year, just a couple of little things here and there, and then it snowballed. Bad luck, one injury after another, a bullpen that gives away runs like Rockefeller handing out dimes." She reached into her pocketbook, pulled out a tissue, and dabbed the corners of her eyes.
"The worst part is, we thought they had their mojo back, but I'm not so sure now. You see, the boys were on a little bit of a roll, and it looked like they were back to being winners again. But then....well, then they ran into a bunch of Texans, and you know how they can be. I guess I'm just worried that if they really do have it back they're going to lose it again..." Her voice trailed off as she lowered her head and closed her eyes.
I'm a pretty good judge of character, you have to be in my line of work, and there was something about the dame that made me trust her. Even worse, there was something that made me want to help her out, and it wasn't just the way she made the leeward side of her dress shimmy when she walked out the door after paying my retainer.
I had no idea how I was going to help the Twins find their mojo, or even if it was really missing, but I was on the case. I reached into the desk drawer, pulled the bottle of bourbon back out and took a long draw as I flipped on the Philco. By the time it was warmed up, the Twins were already down by seven runs, and it was only the top of the second inning. It was going to be long night, and I was pretty sure the mojo wasn't in the Twins clubhouse or the dugout. It sure as hell wasn't in Brian Duensing's left arm.