After walking around most fo the night, Hyde decided that he couldn’t find the man who killed the woman in the alley, not the way he was doing it. He stopped in a diner to get himself some coffee and maybe some eggs if he could stomach it.
Hyde didn’t talk much while he sat at the counter. It was still too early for the breakfast rush and that was just fine with Hyde. The last thing he wanted was to talk to anyone. The problem he wasn’t expecting was that the waitress behind the counter had nothing to do so talking to him was how she was planning on passing the time.
“Everything all right?”
Hyde sighed, “The coffee is hot if that’s what your asking.”
“What about the eggs?”
“Haven’t tried them yet.”
“Why not?” she giggled.
“Because was just in the sewer, got what I hope is mud on my shoe, and before that I was looking at a corpse in an alley.”
“Jesus!” She clasped her hand to her chest.
“I can still smell that sewer…”
In a faint voice the waitress added, “Let me know if you need more coffee.”
In the hours that passed, Hyde sat at his desk at the station and bounced a little rubber ball on the floor that drove most of the force mad. He didn’t care. The chief finally came out and told him to get the hell out of there and with that, he left.
He had an idea that was a reach but thought it was worth a shot. He headed east of the alley until he found a pawn shop. He hadn’t been in one since his days as a boy in blue, working the beat. It was just as he remembered it. Smelling like mothballs, cluttered to the rafters and depressing.
“Hey, you own this place?” he asked the fat guy behind the counter.
The man moved the half smoked cigar to the other side of his mouth and said, “I sure am, what the hell is it to you? You got something to hock?”
Hyde chuckled, “No, not me. I’m looking for something.”
“Well, we gotta lotta crap, bud.”
“I can see that. What I’m looking for is a ring.”
“We gots lots of rings, too.”
“Show’em to me.”
“Right this way, Mr. Rockefeller.”
Hyde looked all through the case and didn’t see it. “No. These won’t do.”
“Why don’t you tell me what your looking for?”
“Did a man come in here today, trying to get rid of a ring?”
The man looked him up and down. “You a cop or something?”
“Not something,” Hyde said, lifting his badge up to show him.
“I don’t want no trouble from you or anyone else! I run an above board place!”
“I’m sure you do. I just need to know if someone hocked a ring in here today.”
“I can’t tell you nothing. My customers get complete anonymity.”
“Not when they pull the ring off a dead girl’s hand.”
The man was about to say something, but thought against it. “Well… Nobody tried to get rid of a ring today.”
Hyde smiled, sort of, “Thank you. See how easy that was?”
“Tell me what it looked like and I’ll let you know if it comes in.”
“How about you just call me when it does.” He snapped his fingers. “You know, put word out on the street that someone is looking to spend top dollar for ring.”
“It won’t work,” he said shaking his head.
“Just try it. Even if you don’t try it, tell me that you did.” Hyde handed him his card and walked out.