Calvin and Hobbes Tracer Bullet 1

My all-time favourite series from Calvin and Hobbes.

QUIZ: Jack and Joe leave their homes at the same time and drive towards each other. Jack drives at 60 mph, while Joe drives at 30 mph. They pass each other in 10 minutes. How far apart were Jack and Joe when they started? It was another baffling case. But then, you don't hire a private eye for the easy ones ...

I'd planned to take the day off and spend time with a couple of buddies. My buddies travel light and they're fun to have around. One travels in a holster, and the other in a hip flask. My name is Bullet. Tracer Bullet. What people call me is something else again. I'm a private eye. It says so on my door. The last thing I wanted this morning was a case to solve, but the dame who brought it was persuasive. Most dames are, somehow. Get to work, Calvin. I told her it would cost fifty greenbacks a day, plus expenses.

I stepped out into the rainy streets and reviewed the facts. There weren't many. Two saps, Jack and Joe, drive towards each other at 60 and 30 mph. After 10 minutes, they pass. I'm supposed to find out how far apart they started. Questions pour down like the rain. Who ARE these mugs? What were they trying to accomplish? Why was Jack in such a hurry? And what difference does it make where they started from? I had a hunch that, before this was over, I'd be sorry I asked.

First I figured I'd try the Derkins dame. Susie and I never hit it off, although occasionally we hit each other. Susie had a face that suggested somebody upstairs had a weird sense of humor, but I wasn't going to her place for laughs. I needed information. The way I looked at it, Derkins acted awfully smug for a dame who had a head for numbers and not much else. Maybe she's got something on Jack and Joe. The question is, will she sing? No, I won't tell you what the answer is. Do your OWN work!

The Derkins dame wasn't talking. Someone had gotten to her first and shut her up good. I knew Susie, and closing her mouth would've taken some work. I needed a clue and a drink. One of them I knew where to find. You've made enough trips to the water fountain. Finish your quiz. Suddenly a gorilla pulled me in an alley, squeezed my spine into an accordion, and played a polka on me with brass knuckles. Youse ain't going nowhere, flatfoot.

The inside of my head was exploding with fireworks. Fortunately, my last thought turned out the lights when it left. When I came to, the pieces all fit together. Jack and Joe's lives were defined by integers. Obviously, they were part of a 'numbers' racket! Back in the office, I pulled the files on all the numbers BIG enough to keep Susie quiet and want me out of the picture. The answer hit me like a .44 slug. It had to be the number they called 'Mr. Billion'. Answer: 1,000,000,000. Case closed! Time's up. Bring your papers forward. What did you get, Calvin? I think the answer's 15.

  1. JEZZI says:

    Tracer Bullet is so funny!