Dart the Dick.

CHAPTER ONE

It was a full moon that night, I remember it very clearly. I was taking a walk; it was 8:13 PM PST exactly. I know it was 8:13 because I always pass that oak at 8:13 without fail. Something was off, the tree looked different. I would know if it was different, I look at that tree six times a day. Once on the walk to work, then on the walk home for lunch, then back to work, then home again, then on my walk to the end of the park and finally on the way back home. It was the 30,719th time I passed by that oak, the fifth time today and it was different this time. The bushes surrounding the tree and the grass it was all wrong.

As I walked toward my oak tree and was blinded. A shimmer of the moon was reflecting into my eye. I looked down and spotted the most spectacular time piece. It was a Blancpain 1735, a watch worth a million dollars. A silver watch with a black leather band, a simple, elegant and perfect time piece, on a hand just exposed to the moon from behind the bushes. Only 30 will ever be made and I know for a fact not a single one should be in Mercury. Why this man, with a fortune enough to afford this watch, walk through Midnight Park in the small California town of Mercury.

I knelt down in front on the exposed hand, carefully inspecting the watch; after all it could be a fake. But what a fake this would have been such a perfect example of fine craftsmanship. I looked at my watch, also a Blancpain, an expensive watch but time is what grounds me to this world. It read 3:20 AM, because I always kept my watch at Greenwich Mean Time. I looked at the 1735 and saw that it too read 3:20 AM and matched up to my watch down to the second hand.

It was now time to step around and meet my mystery man. I took exactly three steps around the bushes to see the victim. A man of around 47 with salt and pepper hair, I couldn't tell from the way he was positioned but he was 6'3" 170lbs. and a very fit man. He had a single gunshot to the head with no exit would. There were powder burns on his forehead; he was shot at rather close range no more than one foot away. It was odd for a shot this close to his head not to have exited, even a .22 would have penetrated through.

Further inspection confirmed my suspicions, his wallet and money was untouched. He had two grand on him. Odd for a man to be murdered in the park with no signs of robbery, but I don't feel like this was personal. It felt too random, no passion. The body was unmoved; no care was made in the disposing of the body, just left there to be found.

It took the police detectives and hour to arrive on scene after I called. I hate the cops, bunch of slobs with their thumbs up their, well the place you would put a thumb.

"I am Detective Steve Marcus; I am lead detective on this case. You must be Dartanian Cain the P.I. who found the body." Marcus put out his hand to shake but I didn't take it, too dirty.

"Call me Dart," I replied.

"Well Dart, call me Steve."

"I prefer to call you Marcus."

"Ok then, Marcus is fine." I was unfamiliar with Detective Marcus but if he is anything like the rest he will miss all of the subtlety of the crime scene, what a fool.

"Ackart," exclaimed Marcus.

"What!" Did I just say that out loud? I need to work on my inner monologue.

"Jacob Ackart," Marcus said this name with such a smug sense of satisfaction you could taste it. "This is the British software billionaire Jacob Ackart."

"How did you come to that you have only looked at his body for a second, you haven't even checked his I.D." Of coarse he is right, it is the billionaire Ackart, but he didn't even look at this man's face.

"Easily, you must look at the evidence in front of you, this man has a 1735 on his left hand and that is all I need to know. There are only 30 1735's to be made but any watch aficionado would know that only 18 have been made. Since the watch is dialed to perfect Greenwich Mean Time we can assume he is British or Irish. Only three 1735's are in that area and two of them belong to lefties, therefore they ware their watch on their right wrist. The only right handed man in the British Isles that owns a 1735 is …" Marcus is waiting for me to finish his sentence, I suppose I must.

"Jacob," I try not to look impressed "Ackart."

"Yes! Perfect," Marcus cracks a smile "It's just that easy." I think I might like this Detective Marcus.