"Ms. Shady, I just want to know what the inscription means. This is a memento, given to me as a - a gift, shall we say - from a dear friend." She smoothed her dress and shook a Popeye cigarette from its pack. "You mind?"
"Be my guest. Do me a favour, angel, and shine that lamp this way. It casts better shadows. I look more dramatic, and maybe I'll be able to read this inscription, too."
"Boghdora Reidh, Ms. Shady. I don't need to know what it says. That would be Irish Gaelic."
"And here I thought some joker just grabbed letters from a Scrabble bag."
"Hmph. It happens my friend and I share an Irish background. She was looking for a meaningful - you might even say, 'pointed' - phrase to inscribe. Someone had been translating a poem, and she found a scrap with these words. As a matter of fact, I can even tell you that it translates into 'Archers Ready.' "
The gumshoe sat bolt upright. "Archer? Listen, doll, I don't know what you're playing at but Archer's been dead a long time. I think you better take your money elsewhere."
As Shady hustled the dame out the door, she twisted like a screw top on cheap New Year champagne. "You have to listen to me, Ms. Shady! I can't find anyone who knows what this poem is, and I'm just dying to know!" she shrieked and jerked around. Shady felt something poking in her ribs, just the size and sharp of a field point on an arrow. "Or rather, you might be dying to find out for me."
Can anybody help Shady crack this case wide open, or will it be curtains for her?