1.

It was a boring day, at work. I sat with my bare feet propped on the desk and listened to the radio.

Suddenly, a man came into the office. He had been shot in the stomach, and was bleeding!

I helped him to the chair.

"Barefoot Jenny?"

"That's me. Try to relax."

"It's too late—I can feel it."

"Who did this to you?"

"NXNW."

And with that, he died!

I looked through his pockets. His name was William Allen Bennett. He had a check for $500 made out to me.

I made a promise: I would take his case for free. I never even cashed his check.

2.

I did some research on him. It seemed that he had gambling debts of close to $60,000. However, as far as I could tell, he never made trips to casinos.

It was then that I figured out his clue.

3.

A couple months later, I went to Las Vegas. But I wasn't there to gamble; I was there to talk with someone.

I knocked on an apartment door. A man answered it.

"Yes?"

"Are you William Bennett?"

"Who wants to know?"

"My name is Barefoot Jenny, and I'm a private eye. I just need to talk with you about a case I'm working on." I showed him my badge.

He nodded. "Come in."

He led me to the couch in his living room, and we sat down.

He smiled. "You're not barefooted!"

I slipped my shoes off. "How's that?"

"That's better! So, how can I help you?"

"A couple months ago, a man came into my office. He'd been shot, and he literally died in my arms."

"How unfortunate."

"It so happened that he shared the same name as you."

This caused him to flinch, a bit. "What a coincidence."

"I think it's a little more than that."

"You do?"

"Yes. You see, he gave me a clue before dying-'NXNW.'"

"Hmph."

"Now, NNW usually means North Northwest. So I guessed that the X means 'By'-North By Northwest."

"Where do you live?"

"Washington DC."

He chuckled. "Las Vegas is southwest of you."

"True. However, a thought occurred to me: Remember the Hitchcock film North by Northwest?"

"I'm not into old movies."

"Well then, I'll enlighten you. It's about a man who is targeted for death by enemy agents simply because he shared the same name as a fictitious FBI agent.

"My client racked up $60,00 in debt—or did he?

"So, I did a Google search. Your name came up—same middle name as his, even. Interesting, eh?"

"Yeah."

"So, I went here, a few days ago. A lot of people know you. But when I showed them a photograph of my poor client, they didn't recognize it. Think they'll recognize a photo of you?"

He said nothing.

"So I figured that you also did a Google search and found my client. Then you made a claim that you moved to Washington DC. Now, you're laying low. Is that about right?"

He was silent for a bit. Finally, he said:

"Look, even if that's true—and I aint saying it is!-there really isn't much you can do about it—legally, that is."

"True. But there is something I did do."

"What?"

"Ever heard of a guy named Valentine Val?"

A look of shock came on his face.

"I see you have! He's a friend of mine; I helped him solve the murder of one of his associates. He thinks what you did really stinks! And he's sent the word out to his friends in Vegas about you."

Suddenly, he got up and tried to attack me! But I was able to fend him off. I punched and hit him a few times. I got up and gave him a karate kick with my left foot. That subdued him!

I then put my shoes back on. "I'll be taking my leave, now. You can expect to have some company, shortly."

"I'm sorry about what happened to the other William Bennett."

"Well, it's a bit too late now, isn't it!"

I left.

On my way out, I called Valentine Val and let him know that that was indeed the right William Allen Bennett.

4.

William Allen Bennett's dead body was found in a ditch outside of Las Vegas, a couple days later.

I did actually get money for this case; for my help, Valentine Val gave me $5,000. He also gave $5,000 to the innocent Mr Bennett's family.