"Trouble Was His Business" is the third episode of Lost Noir.
Joshua Hume carried two types of business cards. One read: CAPTAIN JOSHUA HUME: FISHING CHARTERS & TOURS. DOCK 23 “THE PENELOPE”. The other: JOSHUA HUME: PRIVATE INVESTIGATIONS. DOCK 23.
Which card he presented, of course, depended upon how the situation presented itself.
Economic times were tough all over these days, so people didn’t have as much extra cash to spend on luxuries, like chartering a boat. However, there was always a need for someone to go poking around in somebody else’s business and get the dirt on them.
So Josh obtained his private investigator license and set up shop. Since he didn’t have an office to set that “shop” up in, his office was his boat, “The Penelope.”
Recently, in the private eye biz, the cases were few and far between. Most of the time he had been tracking down missing husbands, finding them, then tracking down those husband’s wives, in order to get paid.
However, even those types of cases had been lacking lately, so Josh began to start considering other ways to raise cash. He even recently thought the unthinkable, selling “The Penelope”.
He didn’t want to have to do that. For all of his life, he had loved that old boat. It contained so many happy memories and when he inherited it from his father, Josh was in seventh heaven! He quickly renamed it in honor of his mother, who told him that was embarrassing, and in which Josh replied that most women would be honored to have a boat named after them. His mother had just laughed.
But that was long ago and now economic reality was setting in. So selling the boat was now a very strong possibility, unless some wealthy individual came along, looking for a charter, or some good case happened to fall into his lap. But unbeknownst to Josh, a case of another kind was on its way.
As Josh tried to get some sleep down in the boat’s galley, he heard a knock on the upper deck sliding door.
“Who is it?!” Josh called out, taking the 9mm Sig Sauer handgun, he always stashed under his pillow, and wondering who in the hell was knocking at this late hour!
“Open up and find out!” he heard the muffled, yet familiar, reply from up on deck.
He slid back the door and saw a big burley bear of a man gaze back at him. It was Benjamin Florensky.
Benjamin was an ex-Soviet military communications officer. He was in his late 70’s and built like an ox and just as strong. He was Josh’s best friend and confidant.
“Morning, Comrade!” Benjamin greeted, as he came down the steps of the galley with a case of beer in tow.
“Hey, Ben,” Josh laughed, “what are you doing out so late and where’d you get the beer?”
Benjamin smiled, “Got a friend of a friend, who just bought an old abandoned ware house in Guam. In going through the inventory, he found case after case of this old beer. In which one of those cases just happened to find itself here!”
Benjamin took out a can and handed it to Josh.
“Check out the brand,” Benjamin smiled, “I think you will find it interesting.”
Josh noticed the brand name on the side of the can. DHARMA!
“Oh yeah, how can we forget them?!” Josh laughed. A while back, Josh had an experience dealing with DHARMA that had almost cost him and Benjamin their lives!
“Well, drink up,” Benjamin said, as he popped the can’s top, “its over twenty years old, it should have mellowed with age by now.”
“I think that only applies to wine,” Josh laughed.
“Wine, Beer,” Benjamin shrugged, before he chugged the can down, “if it gets you drunk, then that’s all that counts!”
Josh grinned, as he opened the can and started to chug a lug himself, when his cell phone rang.
“It seems you are a popular man at this late hour,” Benjamin smiled.
“Seems so,” Josh replied, wondering who was calling.
He hoped it was some drunken rich guy, who had picked up a couple of skirts, and wanted to impress them with a late night charter, but figured it was more likely just another very persistent bill collector working the late shift. It turned out to be none of the above. Instead, it was a call from someone he hadn’t seen in awhile. She sounded frightened.
“Joshua!” Valentina Pace said, with a tone of urgency in her voice, “I’m a little freaked out right now! I need to see you! I need your advice! Its an emergency!”
“So what’s wrong, rock goddess?” Josh asked, setting the beer can down, as Benjamin started in on his second.
“Its Mary,” Valentina said, “she’s in trouble!”
“Where you at?” Josh asked.
“The Mutual Friend,” Valentina answered.
“I’m on my way!” Josh replied
He knew Maria and really liked her. She was cool. But she did have the tendency to attract trouble. But that was okay because, after all, trouble was Joshua Hume’s business.