Hello everyone! I generally don't add author's notes, but I think for this story it might help. In the first draft of Detective Morgan I don't think it was clear enough that this is an alternate timeline from the actual 1890s. While I'm not sure if I have a proper balance of actual and imagined, I have added little footnotes in where I've sort of tinkered with the timeline. So anything that is out of place for the time has an asterix next to it, with an explanation at the end.
Thanks for taking a look!
Morgan was one of the best detectives of the brand new Carson City Detective Agency, or at least he liked to think he was. The detective business was just beginning to bloom and this was the first agency to appear in Carson City. Ideas of being this continent's Sherlock Holmes swirled through Morgan's head as he went through his daily his window he heard the ring of bikes and the intellectual talk of college students as they entered and exited the library. Morgan used to go to that library when he was looking for work. The librarian inside was a short old woman who overzealously pursued total order. Her ban of coffee inside the library was a shining example of this. Across the street, there was a bakery. It always sent pleasant smells wafting up into Morgan's apartment. Next door to the bakery, there was a post office. Morgan regularly used it for mailing post to his family back in the East. Their letters usually talked about all the wonderful new things being created by the Third Industrial Revolution*. None of that concerned Morgan though, he was a detective.
Today was Morgan's first day as a detective and he wasn't even sure what detectives wore. Morgan looked at the calendar hanging on the wall, it read February 7, 1896. It was now over a month since he had moved here from the East. Morgan decided to wear a pair of old clothes he still had from college. One pair of dull brown pants along with a matching tailcoat. Looking himself over in the mirror he looked like one of the prominent men displayed on newspaper covers. He liked the look.
Morgan now needed to get across town to where his new job awaited. He had some misgivings about riding the new trains they had been putting up around town, but it was the fastest way to travel. He often saw them zooming by his window early in the afternoon. Everyone riding seemed to be clutching on to the train for dear life. He had hoped he wouldn't ever have to be one of those people. That wasn't the only worry Morgan had today. Although he had a job, he had no idea what the pay was like, what the work would be, or even who he was working with. He was slightly tense, what would his new employer think about him?
Luckily for Morgan, his new job was owned by a close friend of his. Tom Briddell didn't look like the kind of person who ran a detective agency. As far as Morgan knew Tom didn't seem like the kind of person who wore anything formal either. After he left art school, Tom bounced around Nevada for a few months before finally ending up in Carson City. Somehow, some way, Tom had gotten on his feet and had opened up this detective agency. Morgan just so happened to be freshly unemployed at the time and in need of a job. This was only supposed to be a temporary deal.
The emotions of the city made Morgan walk with a bounce in his step. Carson City was on the cusp of greatness at this time and each person in the street seemed dripping with potential. The sky seemed pressed so close to the city, waiting expectantly for something fantastic to happen. Locals hailed it as the best of the West. It was the energy radiating from the streets themselves, that had drawn Morgan here. The address that Tom had given to Morgan, matched up to a building that lacked the spirit of the rest of the city. It was in good shape still, but it looked more like a place past its prime compared to the up and coming structures around it. It had a rather expensive looking wooden door, with glass windows on it. Morgan was cautious to use the door knocker for fear of somehow damaging the door. When he knocked the door once, it began to swing open. A foreign smell hit Morgan like a cannon.
It smelled like a brothel in there. The scent was so strong it forced it's way into Morgan's nostrils and made it difficult for him to concentrate. Just adjusting to the smell, made it hard to see. Morgan stumbled forward and heard each groan of the floorboards as he walked to some unknown location. Arms caught him as he began to fall and pulled him to a chair. As the vision came back to Morgan he saw a feminine looking man who wore a Stetson hat.
"It's about time you showed up Morgan," Tom said, "I'm nearly finished the Tom Sawyer series." Tom pointed to an open book on the table where Morgan was seated. Tom closed the book and slid it off the table. The book hit the ground with a harsh thud. Tom clasped his hands together and placed them on the table while looking at Morgan.
"We have a whole lot of work to do today."
Morgan met eyes with Tom and searched them for what that work could be. Tom had a friendly face, but his hazel eyes could be quite unnerving if he ever frowned.
"What's the first thing we need to do," Morgan said? Tom chuckled as if that was a silly question.
"Why clean this place up!" This seemed like an unnecessary step for a detective agency.
"Listen here buddy boy," Tom said strolling to the middle of the floor. "All over Carson City, business is booming. And when things start booming, industry comes in. Industry means production, production means growth. Not just a growth in business though, but a growth in crime. When that crime happens who do you think people will go to?"
"The police?" Morgan said. Tom did not seem amused.
"Anyway, I want this place looking nice when those customers start coming in."
Morgan wasn't exactly sold on Tom's reasoning. Tom began to stare at Morgan, and used his eyes to his advantage.
Morgan groaned as he lifted another box up the flight of the stairs. He had been lifting all sorts of things that didn't seem to belong in a detective agency. While Morgan didn't know what should be in an agency, he certainly knew a bed was not needed.
"Rent is tough in this city, Morgan," Tom said between grunts.
"So you're living upstairs?"
"Do you want me living with you?"
The last time that Morgan and Tom had lived together, was when Tom ran away from home. All that needs to be said is that Morgan's room was on fire, and Mama Tipper was not happy. Once they made their way to the top of the stairs, Tom hurried Morgan back down the stairs before he could see anything upstairs. He had a nervous smile but an aggressive look in his eyes.
"That's not for you to see yet, buddy."
Suddenly a loud noise outside attracted their attention. A pale woman was screaming in the streets. She was knocking on doors and running her fingers against windows. She was ragged looking, she looked like she worked at one of the downtown saloons. Her makeup was smearing and she was whimpering as she felt the need to get far away from her. He began to walk backwards, toward the back rooms as she neared the doorstep. As he retreated deeper into the building to avoid her seeing him, Tom stayed in place looking at her in fascination.
Please don't open the door. Tom held made eye contact and watched her come closer.
Please don't open the door. She tapped on the window lightly, with an alluring smile.
Please don't open the door. Tom clenched the handle, and the door creaked as it swung open.
Note: Thanks again for reading!If you'd like me to return the review or even if you have any questions, feel free to PM me!
*The Third Industrial Revolution does not actually happen (at least at this time). It is an extension of the Second Industrial Revolution, that will focus on refining and improving designs built from the Second and First Revolutions. That doesn't mean there aren't a few new inventions coming out, it just means that the focus is more on improving than creating.