"What’s that?” Kohana asked.
From behind his desk, dark haired Duke looked up to see Kohana leaning just inside his office door. The window behind Duke’s desk presented a panoramic view of Lake Superior. “What? This?” Looking at the paper, he seized the opportunity to take a little jab at his long time friend and now business partner, Sioux Chief, Frank “Kohana” Whitehead. “Well, Pard’, let me just tell you,” Duke said in his usual deep voice. “It’s 2013 and more precisely," he paused, looking at his calendar and then continued. "Monday, December the 3rd.”
Duke stood up behind his desk and began to roll the newspaper for demonstration. “And this,” shaking it towards Kohana, “is one of the latest technologies in smoke signals. See, how this works is ya…”
“Alright, Sherlock, you’ve had your fun,” Kohana interrupted, laughing. Looking around the office, he noticed Duke’s saddle resting neatly in the corner next to the makeshift coat and hat rack. “And, what is your smoke signal telling you today?” he asked with emphasis.
Duke smiled at his friend and cleared his throat, “All joking aside, there’s a write up here in the paper. Seems there’s some ancient Native American artifacts stolen up in Canada and Maine. That’s why I called you in here; thought you might be interested in working the case with me,” Duke said.
“Where at in Canada? Close to Maine?” asked Kohana. “Two places, two different countries, and both of them artifacts. Hmm,” Kohana sighed. “Well, it’s 11: 50, time for wóyute. How about Cliffside?” he asked.
“Oh!” Duke said looking at his watch, “it is chow time,” he added as he laid his paper down nonchalantly over the wooden basket on the corner of his desk. Scrambling to put on his jacket, he said, “Cliff Side’s fine but, is that all you lnjun’s eat? I mean, ain’t ya got a taste for anything else besides Prairie Baked Buffalo?” Duke chuckled.
Kohana walked over to Duke’s desk. His long, jet black hair hung free on either side of his strong featured face. With a fist over his chest, “Oh, ho, ho. Pale face make funny,” Kohana began, using an old tribal sign language. “Cliffside, don't cost big chief teepee and war bonnet,” Kohana snickered in a mock native broken English.
Just then their new secretary, Sandy, walked in with the mail folded under her arms. “Are you two like this all the time?” she asked, pointing her finger intermittently at both of the men. “I’ve only been here two weeks and I can’t get any work done for laughing at you two. Keep this up and you ain’t gonna get any work done either,” she giggled.
“We’re about to go get some lunch anyways, Sandy. Care to join us?” Duke asked. Sandy, short stack, as they call her, was hired on when the former secretary, Mrs. Stevens retired. She may be short, but she’s as stout and stubborn as any mule and necessarily so to keep up with these two detectives.
Duke McAlester and Frank “Kohana” Whitehead had been friends since their high school days on the track team. During their college years, the two had helped the local police department solve crimes and mysteries with a high rate of accuracy. After college and a short three years in the military, they decided to start their own business and The Don’t Know Detective Agency was born. Because of Kohana’s impeccable tracking skills as an Indian, Duke knew he would make a good detective.
Kohana looked at Sandy, flashing his overzealous white smile. He turned to Duke and nodded at the saddle in the corner, “What, your horse still mad at you and you had to drive to work today? Forget your keys, ol’ man; I’ll let you ride with me in my Sweet Sioux,” said Kohana.
Sandy chuckled as she laid the mail over the haphazardly folded newspaper hanging out of Duke’s basket. “Here’s your mail that came in over the weekend, Duke,” she added. "Kohana, yours is on your desk," she finished.
Duke paused just as he began to slide his left arm into his coat sleeve. With an awkward look, he said, “Sweet Sioux. I thought that was ya canoe.”
“Canoe? Oh, you mean my yacht- The Suite Sioux. That so called canoe, she is a 49 foot ice breaker,” chided Kohana. “Here’s your spelling lesson,” Kohana started.
Sandy brushed her loose, dark curls back off of her face and then folded her arms. “I was fixing to leave, but I got to hear this one,” She said in her native drawn out Atlanta Georgia accent as she promptly sat down on the arm of the leather sofa near the door.
“My yacht is spelled S-u-i-t-e Sioux,” Kohana said, using his fingers to write out the letters in the air and then continued, “My jeep, Sweet Sioux, she is spelled S-w-e-e…”
“I get it, I get it,” Duke interrupted. “You know what you can do with that spelling lesson?” he grunted.
Looking over at Kohana now sitting on the right corner of Duke’s desk smiling, "Kohana means swift in his native language,” Duke told Sandy. “He might be fast but the crazy Indian can’t spell a thing; that’s why he names everything he owns Suite Sioux or Sweet Sioux or whatever,” Duke added waving his hand in the air. Looking at Sandy, now doubled over, “or however you want to spell it,” he continued.
“You’d better behave old man or you’ll be riding a borrowed stick horse back to the office,” Kohana finished with a grin. Although raised on a reservation, he went to a public high school and taught Duke to speak his native language.
“Well thanks for the invite, but I’ma pass and give my poor ribs a break from you two,” Sandy said holding her sides as she left the room.
Duke finished putting on his coat and reached for his cowboy hat. Firmly adjusting it on his head, he looked up at Kohana and with a sheepish grin “All right, Big Chief," Duke started with a grin. "Where’d ya park that Sweet Sioux of yours?” Duke asked as he followed Kohana down the hallway to exit.
Duke’s voice faded as they headed down the hallway. “That’s some canoe you got there,” He said, pausing only for a moment and then added, “Really? 49 footer huh?”