"The Locked Jewel Case."
By Dillon Anderson (1906-74).
First appearance: Collier's, October 29, 1954.
Short short short story (4 pages).
Online at UNZ (HERE).
"I aimed to find that $20,000 pin, and I didn't care how hard Claudie had to work."
Clint and Claudie are having cash flow problems as usual and decide that the best way to earn a quick buck is to go into the detective business with Mr. Gissel; a nice income seems assured—until they meet Miss Ernestine . . .
"I looked Claudie right in the eye as I spoke, but he didn't look down the way he usually does. I saw something in his face I wasn't used to at all."
"Don't you have some cases you could use a little help on? Some help from me and my associate, Claudie, I mean. Also, we'd prefer murder cases."
~ Rudolph Gissel:
"He was a short, bald little man in his shirt sleeves, and he had a cigar in his mouth that
he was not smoking since it had gone out."
~ Miss Ernestine:
"She wasn't over five feet tall; she was thin as a rail, and I figured she wouldn't weigh seventy-five pounds wringing wet. Her white hair was thin and wispy. She had pale-blue
eyes and skin so thin I could see the blue veins in her temples and on her hands."
- The Wikipedia article about Dillon Anderson (HERE) mentions his time as one of many National Security Advisors to President Eisenhower but not his humorous fiction.
- This story is one of a series of pieces featuring Clint and Claudie, a sort of George and Lennie without the angst. See FictionMags (HERE) for a list of their magazine adventures. Also see John T. Winterich's review of Dillon Anderson's earlier book, I and Claudie (1951):
"What happens to the pair is exactly the sort of thing one might expect
—they get into tremendous jams and turn all of them to at least temporary advantage, and a temporary advantage is all they ask for. . . . Mr. Anderson, who pulls the strings (and obviously has a fine time doing it), is a Houston lawyer, and his legal training stands him in good stead, because Clint and Claudie sometimes run pretty close to the border-line (and not of Texas)
and could frequently use a good lawyer or any lawyer at all."
— "Don Quixote in Texas," The Saturday Review, November 3, 1951 (HERE)