I was sitting with my bare feet on the desk when a girl came into my office. I recognized her, but I wasn't sure from where.
"Hi. Can I help you?"
"Hi. My name is Shirley Daniels, and I work at the 1st Commonwealth Bank close to here."
"I thought I recognized you. You're a teller there, aren't you?"
"Yes, that's right. Something strange happened today, so I thought I'd come to you about it."
"OK. Sit down and tell me about it."
She sat. I put my feet down.
"A man named Phillip Robinson came into the bank, about noon. He made a pretty large withdrawal. As he was leaving, he gave me this note:
She took it out of her pocketbook and gave it to me. It read:
"I'm being blackmailed, please help me.
"How much did he withdraw?"
I whistled. "Has he made big withdrawals like that, in the last few weeks?"
"No, he hasn't."
"Good. It's probably just started."
"I thought of going to the cops, at first, but then I remembered that you're a private detective who has an account with us."
"Smart girl! The cops might've aroused the suspicion of the blackmailer."
She smiled. "Thanks!"
We talked over particulars. She give me his address and phone numbers. I also got her information.
As she was leaving, she said to me, "I'll bet it's nice to go around barefooted at work!"
I smiled and put my feet back on the desk. "Honey, I wouldn't have it any other way!"
We both giggled.
After some thought, I decided to give him a call on his cell phone. I got his answering machine, so I left this message:
"Hello. You don't know me, but I know about your situation, and I think I can help you. I'd like to meet you tonight at 7:00PM at the Tumble Inn. That's in the same shopping center as the 1st Commonwealth Bank. I will be at a table in a quiet area of the bar, and I will be barefooted. Oh, and my name is Barefoot Jenny. I hope to see you."
I didn't get a call back from him, so I wasn't sure if he'd show up. I arrived at 6:45, sat at a table in a relatively empty area, ordered a beer, and slipped my shoes off.
A guy in his 30's arrived at 7:00. Seeing me, he walked over.
"You say you know about me?"
"I know you're being blackmailed."
He sighed. "My note worked! Are you a cop?"
"No, I'm a private detective. Here's my card."
From my purse, I gave him my business card."
He sat next to me. The waiter came, and he ordered a beer.
"Now, tell me about your situation. And please don't hold anything back."
"OK. About a week ago, a woman came into my office. She said she had info on me my wife would be interested in. I might as well tell you I'm having an affair."
I nodded. "OK, go on."
"She told me she'd contact me later, then she left."
His drink came. He drank a large gulp of it!
"She looked to be in her 30's. She had shoulder-length blond hair. She went by the name 'Miss Getsome.'"
"Clever! OK, continue."
"This morning, she returned. She gave me a special airtight box. She told me to get $5,000 in $20's and put it in the box. Then I was to go to the English Rive Bridge, drop it in the water, and leave as quickly as possible."I nodded. "OK, I'll check into some things. You know, this won't be the last time she demands money from you."
He nodded. "I know."
"The next time she contacts you, call me right away. My office and cell phones are both on the card."
"I will. Oh, about money-"
"-Let's not worry about that, right now."
"OK. Thanks, Barefoot Jenny."
"You're welcome, Phil."
He smiled. "I can see how you got your name!"
I also smiled. "I'm barefooted as much as possible!"
We finished our drinks. He paid for them, gave me a hug, and left.
I did make a few inquiries, but nothing much came of them.
A couple weeks later, Phillip called me; Miss Getsome demanded another $5,000. Once again, she wanted him to go to the bridge and drop it in the water.
He went there at 2:00PM. I stood at a far off distance and watched him drop the package. Then I walked down the hill and hid in underbrush close to the river.
A half hour later, a blond woman came by. She got into the water (with her clothes on!), and picked up the package.
I got out of my hiding place. "Miss Getsome, I presume?"
She looked at me in shock. I waded into the water (barefoot).
"It's a nice day to go swimming, isn't it!"
She tried to run, but I quickly caught her. We wrestled in the water together, for a few minutes, and I was able to subdue her.
A third person came by—Lt Kirschenbaum!
"Carl, great to see you!"
"Hi, Jenny. How's the water?"
"Very nice. And I caught a fish!"
"Yes, I see!"
Actually, Carl's entrance was not unexpected; I had arranged it with him in advance.
"Miss Getsome" turned out to be the sister of the woman Phillip was having an affair with. He wisely decided to end it.
Most of the money was recovered. He gave me $1,000 for my work.
"Miss Getsome" got 20 years!