The name on the label, ‘Klein II, Ima’ rang both a false and an oddly evocative note; like it should’ve meant something. To be sure, I walked over to the Doc’s office to check with Margaret.
‘Hey,’ I said, walking in. ‘You doing all right?’
‘Oh, you know… just another normal day at the office. Shit explodes here every day!’
‘Okay, okay. Sorry. Listen, Maggie…’
‘Uh oh, you called me Maggie. Last time you called me that, I couldn’t sit down for a week. What do you want?’
‘No, no… nothing like that. It’s just, I think I remembered that the dame who left that sample in my office might have said her name. Wanted to check with you before I told the cops. Did Doctor Small have any patients named Klein?’
‘Hah, that’s funny! I don’t think so,’ and as she said that, I realized what nagged me about the name.
Where I grew up in South America everybody spoke German. Everybody, expect the occasional Hebrew speaking Israeli visitors who always seemed to swoop in at night and just as suddenly vanish along with someone’s grandfather. Anyway, it suddenly dawned on me that ‘Klein’ means ‘small’ in German and, now, the fake name made sense: ‘I’m a Klein, too!’
‘Guess, I was wrong. Thanks, Maggie! Gotta go!’
Margaret looked troubled. ‘Your friend, the detective…’
‘Yeah, Mike. He left me his card.’
‘Yeah, cops do that. In case you remember anything you forgot to remember when he asked you if you remembered anything.’
‘Well,’ she said, still troubled, ‘on the back of it he wrote “I enjoy ‘a dish best served cold’.”’
‘God, that’s a lot of single and double quotes for one sentence, Maggie!’
‘Hey! Don’t blame me. Anyway, under that he wrote “call me.” Do you think I should?’
‘Listen Margaret, Mike is an a baboon of a man, who couldn’t detect a fart in a crowded men’s room. He’s sloppy, old fashioned, somewhat illiterate, and uses trite, antiquated expressions; but he’s my best friend and he’s good people. Sure you should call him. Just don’t ask me what.’
‘Uh, ummm. Okay…’
I left and went back to my picture of the label. Let the detecting begin!