A Goat's Tale

by Robert E. Schorry

One – Not Dead Yet

Thomas Magnum is back in the Islands, doing what he always did best.

This is the third of my Magnum, P.I. stories. They start with "All These Years" followed by "Remembrance."

It started with a goat. Well, not exactly. It really started with a cheating husband. Over the years Higgins had accused me of living off of divorce cases. Sometimes it was true. Yes, I, Thomas Sullivan Magnum III, Navy vet, long time private investigator, and O'ahu returnee was snooping around after an extra-marital cheater. In spite of my better judgment I had taken a divorce case all because of a rather large auto insurance bill. You see a long time ago, when I lived at Robin's Nest in the guesthouse, Robin Masters let me use his Ferrari. You know which one – the red 308GTS. Well, now in 2010 that car was mine, in more than just driver ship – my name on the title and everything - and the insurance lady was not happy about a recent accident.

I hadn't even been driving the car when it happened. It was Nick Christopher, the new head of security at Robin's Nest, who was chasing a reporter from his Afghan days who was blackmailing him. The case got solved, mainly because my new friend Rita Barzkoff - Postal Inspector and wannabe private investigator - helped me crack the case. During a road race on the East Shore of O'ahu, the Paradise Isle, the red Ferrari had gone airborne and decelerated into a ditch. The repairs were sizable and expensive, and since I had not exactly been forthright with the insurance writer on how that car would be used, I needed money.

Oh, the Ferrari got repaired, but my wallet was hurting. So when Rita's friend of a friend of a friend, a flighty blonde named Deirdre, called with a job – I had to take it - for the money and to please Rita. My biggest fear was that Higgins would find out, and he'd be down on me again. But for that matter, when wasn't Higgins on my case?

So Deirdre's soon to be ex-hubby was sneaking around on a rendezvous at a restaurant between Kaaawa and the Crouching Lion Inn up on the East Shore. Not that I liked doing this. But business was business.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking Magnum, you're retired from the Navy, you've written a book, and you've got a fast red car and a sweet new girlfriend, so why were you doing this?

Maybe it's not just the money. Maybe it's the thrill of the hunt. I'm not dead yet, to use a Monty Python line.