Mr. Monk meets Mr. McDuck

Mr. Adrian Monk was measuring his books, tape in hand.

"Seven inches, 3/8 of an inch," he said to himself. "Seven inches, 5/8 of an inch."

He neatly removed the second book, and placed it to the left of the first.

He shook his head, and wiped his brow.

"Seven inches, 1/8 of an inch."

Monk was disturbed by the slamming of the door.

"Adrian!" called Sharona.

His attractive nurse/ assistant stormed into the room, carrying his mail.

She looked at Mr. Monk, and placed her hand to her hip, elbow jutted out, and gave him her glare.

"Adrian, what are you doing?"

"My books," said Monk, now down to six inches, 7/8 of an inch. "Benjy borrowed History's Greatest Unsolved Crimes. He messed up my order. Now I have to . . . resort them. They have to be sorted by color and arranged in descending size."

"You know, most people who do these things, do it by subject."

"I know, I used to volunteer at the university library. But I prefer it this way."

"How come you've got to measure it?"

"It has to be exact."

Sharona rolled her eyes.

"You've got way more important stuff to do," she remarked. "LOOK who's writing to you."

"It's a federal offence to rifle through people's mail," muttered Monk.

"So sue me."

Sharona tossed Monk an envelope.

He caught the envelope, and dusted it off.

His address was written in a peculiar, old-fashioned hand.

"It must be written by someone at least eighty years old," Monk remarked to an impatient Sharona. "This style of calligraphy hasn't been taught since World War I. Actually 1917 to be exact. I'm not an expert, but I'm betting the writer was born in Britain. Look how . . . ."

"He was born in Scotland," interrupted Sharona. "And he's so ancient, he was a prospector in the Klondike Gold Rush."

"Scrooge McDuck?" said Monk, reading the return address. "The richest duck in the world. Captain of industry, and keeps three cubic acres of cash in his Duckburg headquarters, an enormous, virtually impenetrable vault. Isn't he supposed to be fictional?

"Well he's not," said Sharona, throughly exasperated. "I saw him on Lifestyles of the Filthy Rich. You know, that show that's just like Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous."

"I don't watch much television," Monk admitted. "But I remember reading the Uncle Scrooge comics . . ."

"You actually read comics?" said Sharona, shocked. "I can't believe it, you, acting like a regular kid.

"Yeah, I had a . . . swell time," said Monk, hesitantly.

The telephone rang. Sharona answered it.

Police HQ

"Captain Stottelmeyer. Yeah, we've got a call for Mr. Monk. Did he get some telegram? It was from Scrooge Mc Duck himself. Really urgent if the cheapskate paid for it."

"Yeah," answered Sharona. "We're just about to open it."

"Well see you do in the next half hour. I gave McDuck your number. He wants to give you a job. Sounds big. Tell Monk if he plays his cards right, he could really milk this one for all it's worth. Hate to say it, but, McDuck could even use his influence to get Monk back on the force."

"Hear that, Adrian."

"Sounds dishonest," came Monk's muffled voice from the background.

"Monk, you might even come out of this a few million dollars richer," said the Captain. "Read the letter."

The captain hung up.

Randy Disher walked in.

"Your calling Monk?" he asked. "Who got killed?"

"Noone," said the captain. "I just gave him a message from Scrooge McDuck."

"The Scrooge McDuck?"

"Yeah, he gave me a collect call not half an hour ago. Heard of Monk and wants him on a case. Promised a big reward."

Disher's eyes lighted up.

"Does McDuck need police backup?"

"No Randy," said Stottlemeyer, returning to his work.

Back at Monk's

Sharona was watching Monk carefully open the envelope.

"Hasn't he heard of e-mail," she remarked.

"I'm just opening it," he told her. "I'm probably not going to go."

Sharona was ready for a quick retort, but Monk preempted her by reading the telegram.

"MONEY BIN ROBBED STOP WILL HIRE YOU FOR LARGE FEE STOP URGENT YOU COME TO DUCKBURG STOP SCROOGE MCDUCK STOP."

Monk and Sharona stopped, and stared at the paper.