Yes ... the typewriter, as typewriters were meant to be. Welcome to 1922 and the world of Ace Carroway and her snarky receptionist, Mrs. Figgins.
The Ace Carroway adventures definitely revel in nostalgia. The sights, sounds, and smells of a world without electronics have more impact, at least for me.
“P. CHARLES DERKIN!” blurted the underfed man, hands busy mangling the hat he had just removed from his head.
“How do you spell that last name?” nasally inquired the receptionist. She peered up at the supplicant over the edges of half-glasses perched on her nose and secured around her neck by a light silver chain. Mrs. Figgins ached to eject the nervous fellow. But then, Mrs. Figgins had a strong desire to send everyone that walked into the spotless C. Carroway and Associates office back to the dirty streets of New York from whence they came.
“D-E-R-K-I-N,” the man dutifully spelled for the formidable dame behind the desk. He stopped mutilating his hat for a moment to run fingers through light brown, swept-back hair.
“Nature of the problem,” droned Mrs. Figgins.
“I think I—” P. Charles Derkin swallowed convulsively. He mopped at his brow, first with his abused hat and then (after a hasty search) with a silk handkerchief. He leaned toward Mrs. Figgins’s ear and resumed with a tremulous whisper. “I think I’m about to die, horribly!”
“I don’t think so, sir. I’m barely even angry,” Mrs. Figgins deadpanned. “Have you talked to the police?”
Derkin ground his teeth together. “The Canadian Mounties, yes. But never again. Out of the question! To my front, the police would ask about how many drinks I’d had. And behind my back, they would joke and snicker. Just like the Mounties did.”
“Is there a history of insanity in your family?”
“No! The Derkins of Toronto are beyond reproach! Now, look here, miss, this is no joking matter! I’m serious.”
“So are we, Mr. Derkin. As serious as they come.”
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