Fourteen – Iced Tea

And me? Well, I was getting yelled at it. It wasn't the first time, and it wouldn't be the last.

"How many times have I told you that these divorce cases are a waste of your time? They're beneath you Magnum!" The little major was yelling. You know that I'm right? Don't you?" he screeched. "Lurking in the bushes, being in disguise, sneaking around!"

"Yes, Higgins." I was loaded to the gills with pain relievers, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory tablets. I was stretched out on Rita's patio looking down the valley towards Waikiki. The sun would set in a little while and the view would be fantastic. As I convalesced at her house for a few days, the knock on the head, holes in my back, and twisted knee were getting better. Sitting on a lounge in the sunlight I could almost forget the whole misadventure. The pills took some of the edge off Higgins voice, but not much.

He'd been scolding me for a few minutes and wasn't running out of steam. "Those two could have killed you! Good god, man! Don't you think it's about time you stopped all this nonsense? Playing detective again! Didn't I tell you that these tasteless and crude divorce cases are too, too…"

Nick smiled wickedly and weighed in. "Tawdry?" I could see that Nick was enjoying this. He knew what Higgins could do when he got like this. Nick had been on the receiving end often enough and was enjoying the show.

Higgins smiled. "Quite."

I stared at Nick with a look that said I'd get him back later. He just laughed.

Rita held out a tray of iced tea as the majordomo was continuing to stick the knife in and twist it. "Jonathan? Iced tea?"

He beamed. "Thank you my dear." He switched off his anger and was all charm. "I do hope you steeped the tea for precisely three minutes in boiling water. And you did use the Oolong I brought you last week? And used cane sugar?"

"Of course, Jonathan." Rita knew how to handle him. "Just as you specified." Rita and Jonathan both knew that politeness and kindness reap rewards. My reward for such an act is to usually get kicked in the teeth.

Higgins took a sip from a tall cold glass. "Ah. Perfect!" He held up the glass and peered through it. "Just as I told you my dear, the tea has the most superb color and taste."

Rita handed a tall cold glass to Nick and then took two for herself and me. She waltzed over and sat on the arm of the lounge and put her arm across my shoulders. She held me as a sign of unity and something else too. She kissed my head.

"Poor Magnum," she whispered into my ear.

Her arm was warm across my neck. At least someone cared.

Higgins put down his glass of tea and with a grim face pounced on me again. "But you, you…" he paused as he searched for just the right word. "Miscreant!" he belted out.

I could only smile and nod. He was right - but don't tell him I said that.

- The End -