“Well Hello Officers”: A Roseman Tale

rosemen cover

The following is a monologue in the person of Bertram Drake, Pawn-Broker:

The Interview:


(Looking up from some papers) “Well hello officers.  What can you do for me?”


“Help you with your inquiries?  Of course, of course.”


“My full name?  Bertram Drake.”


“Okay, Duckman.  Drake – Duckman – Drake? (making a balancing gesture) What difference does it make?”


“A crime?  How can it be a crime?  A duck’s a duck.”


“Okay, it’s Bertram Duckman.”


“Mis-advertising?  I am offended, I never mis-advertise!”


“The vampire ring?  Well that item is exactly as described!  This big schmuck comes in here and asks if I have anything to keep vampires away.  I say ‘like garlic, or something?” and he says ‘no, something stronger.’  So I am thinking, ‘well there’s holy water and crosses, but I don’t exactly carry those lines,’ then I look up and see the copper ring.  I say to him, ‘Have I got the thing for you.  It is absolutely guaranteed to keep away vampires, and trolls during daylight hours.’ So he buys it.”


“I absolutely stand by it.  If anyone carrying that ring is attacked by vampires or trolls in daylight, I guarantee a full refund!”


“What do you mean extortionate interest?  My fees are quite fair.”


“Gwendolyn?  She is family.   Yes 250% is more than fair, for a risky enterprise.  My people tell me that if she survives (from my lips to the god’s ears) that she is in line to make a killing.”


“Stolen goods?”  Never!  I have a no tolerance policy on stolen goods.  In fact, if anyone can bring me a numbered receipt, or other documentary evidence that an item in my shop is theirs, I will return the item to them, there and then, for a small finders and handling fee for my ‘lost and found’ services.”


“Two sets of books.  Listen constable, I think that you should leave business to businessmen.  Haven’t you ever heard of double entry accounting?”


“Two different books? No I assure you that the books are nearly identical.”


“Well they can’t be exactly the same can they?  Handwriting and such, but all the essentials are the same.”


“Intimidation? I have nothing but the greatest concern for my customers.  If they fall in arrears, I make a personal visit to check on their health, and to see if there might be anything that I might assist them with.  It is purely concern!”


“Bruno and Big Tony?  Yes they are employees.  Bullying, I am aghast at the very thought of it.  They are good-hearted lads and like me pay brief visits purely for the convenience of the customer.  After all, busy people can’t always get away to visit the shop, so as a service I send them around to make collections.


“A look around?  Yes please do, we don’t need any unpleasantness like warrants and such now, do we?”


“Ah, like that one!  No, no please feel free to open anything you would like.”


“Keys, keys? (Patting his pockets) I think Bruno, might just . . . No please not with a hammer . . . “Keys, now I remember, they must be in the office.”


“The precinct house?  Now?  But I have a business to run.”


“What do you mean ‘had’?'”



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