In case you are new to my ongoing Devil at Dusk story here is a link to Installment number one: http://artdecogirls.blogspot.com/2013/05/van-pelt-1950s-private-investigator.html
Hello everybody it is time for this weeks installment of Devil at Dusk:
Monday had finally arrived, the day for me to pick out the new office gal. I decided to go with Miss Charlotte Lakeside. Charlotte was born and raised in Laurel, she is 22 years old and single. Her parents sent her to business school in Chicago (she too has relatives there). She is very bright and passed all of her courses with A's. Of course I had to pick the gal who went to school in Chicago! At this business school in Chicago they taught the students everything there is to know about working, running and managing an office also how to start a business. Plus clerical skills, typing, shorthand and accounting. Charlotte had just completed school and just got back to Laurel, she was now ready to go to work.
During the interview process I asked each person I interviewed what they like to do for hobbies in their spare time. One of the things Charlotte had mentioned was that she likes to draw portraits of people. The day I interviewed her I asked her if there was anyway she could come back into my office later that day or in the next day or two to show me some examples of her work. She said yes and came back that very same day with some photographs and some drawings. I was quite impressed, her work was very good. I knew that her drawing skills would come in handy in my office, so this was also one of the deciding factors. In an interview I always ask the people I interview what do they do in their spare time because you never know when someones hobbies may be beneficial for your business until you ask. The other thing is sometimes you can weed out some of the bad candidates if they have hobbies that are really not too conducive to your business.
I had Charlotte come in for her first day on Tuesday. I was going to train Charlotte to do a little more than what I had Bet do, with Bet this was just a side thing. With Charlotte this was a full time and could possibly work into a career for her. My plan was to train her to run the office and to be my assistant. She would help me out with the clerical side of the investigations. One of the things I would train her on is the chain of evidence, so in the future she would be the one in charge of taking care of and checking in or out all of the evidence. Charlotte told me she was pretty excited to work for an investigation firm and to be my assistant. She was very eager to learn and willing to be trained on what ever I brought her way. She told me she never even dreamed or even considered working in the line of investigations but since she was naturally inquisitive she thought this would be right up her alley.
I showed Charlotte the filing cabinet, how to put the files together and in what order. I also showed her what I would like her to do in her spare time; to look over all the files regarding the murder investigation, for her to get familiar with all of the victims, their co-workers and their families. Then I told her to make a list starting off with the oldest first to the newest of all the names of the family members, friends and co-workers that were listed in the files along with any addresses if no address then for her to try to locate an address. When she had the list completed I would then take it and in my spare time I would proceed to talk to all of the people on the list (I knew it was a long shot) to see if they may have any information relevant at all to the case. So far I had talked to all of the people who found the victims bodies, interviewed them in full detail and also some of the parents. Now it was time to talk to the rest of the people. I pretty much assumed that if any of these people had something extremely relevant that they would have already come forward but sometimes just talking to a person about a particular event can lead them to recall even small things that they may not even deem important but could possibly be something very helpful.
Then I showed Charlotte the files of the most recent investigations that I had been working on. When the phone rang I showed her how it was to be answered and told her not to let it go beyond three rings. After that we took a walk over to the sheriff's office and I introduced her to all of the staff. I took her in to Jerry's office and introduced her to the newest member of the sheriff's team, Sugar the bloodhound puppy. Since Sugar was officially a part of the team she got to come to work every day with Jerry. She was however just in training right now because she was still just a puppy. Charlotte bent down to pick up sugar, she thought she was so cute and thought that was the greatest thing that Sugar was able to come to work with Jerry. Jerry told me he had made some decisions regarding new hires for the horse riding school and would get together with me tonight regarding this. I told him thank you and told him I would see him later.
It was lunch time after that, I told Charlotte she had a half hour for lunch and that she could go out to eat or bring a lunch and eat at her desk or walk to the park. She had a sandwich and an apple, she said she would go down to the park. I told her I would be back in a half hour and I walked back home and ate. When I was done I came back to the office and Charlotte was already back. I told her I had some work out in the field to do and in the mean time I had her work on filing and answering the phone. I told her I would be back at 4:00 pm and that she could go home and I would lock up for the night. I went about my business and at 4:00 pm I came back, I told Charlotte that she did great and I would see her at 8:00 in the morning.
I went home and a couple hours later Jerry came by and we had some sweet tea and cakes. He told me he hired a very competent married couple for the horse riding school today. He had interviewed many people but decided to go with these two because Bet and Will always worked together as a team, even though Will was just a kid he was always a huge help to his mom. He is also a very competent horse rider and she was training him to be her partner in the business and to eventually take over the business. He figured since the school had a team before that they could use a team again. He told me the couple was born and raised in Russia, over in Russia they were from a long line of family members who were born and raised in the Russian Circus. This was a husband and wife team that had been entertainers for the circus and did trick riding on horses. He said the couple could not handle the oppression in Russia any longer so they left and came to the states with a few other family members. All of the family members that came ended up down here in different parts of the south but not to far from one another. They all tried to get into jobs that involved horses, this particular couple originally landed in Florida and they tried to open a school but it did not take off and they were back at square one not knowing what they would do. They had some of their Russian cousins living here in Laurel that came across our ad and told this couple he hired, about the position that was open. The cousins would have taken the position but they had just been offered a job to work for the traveling circus out of New Orleans.
He told me he would introduce them to me tomorrow, if lunch time would work he would bring them by the investigation office. I told him yes tomorrow would work great, this way they could start on Thursday. Jerry said he would contact them and confirm them for tomorrow. Jerry had the day off on Thursday this week and he said he would show them around the stables, the school and introduce them to the stable hands. Not this weekend but the following weekend someone would get Will and bring him home so he could be introduced to the new couple that was going to be teaching at the school and he could work with them to show them how the school was run. The first few days they would be working here would mostly be about them getting familiar with everything.
To be continued....