I was closing up the office when a real tomato walked in the door. She was red-faced, crying over her onion sister who had disappeared. "I'm just sure she's gotten mixed up with some bad eggs."
I told her I'd make some inquiries and headed down to the Omelette Club.
There was a ham up on stage and a bagel tending bar, peering at me from behind her orange lox.
"Detective Bacon!" said a familiar voice, "Pancake will flip when I tell her you showed up here!"
"Hiya Oatmeal. How's tricks?"
"I ain't seen her. What brings you around? Miss me?"
"Don't get mushy, Oatmeal. Besides, you know the days are over where you can order me up and push me to the side. I'm looking for some bad eggs. You know, real hard-boiled types."
"You mean like Banana used to work for?"
"Used to? What happened to Banana?"
"Beats me. Maybe he just turned yellow and split. My friend Peach was fuzzy on the details, but she said Banana's girl Strawberry got in a real jam in a seedy part of town. Maybe the two of them eloped."
"Skip it. Maybe I'll track down Milk. Whenever anyone is missing, it's written all over his face."
"He's in the back booth with Honey."
Honey. Her involvement always makes a situation stickier. I thanked Oatmeal and joined Milk at his table. He was laughing and telling old stories.
"Those flakes? Soon as I hit them they were all wet and they knew it!"
Waffle was in the next booth. She didn't feel like talking to me - even after I buttered her up a bit. But I knew she'd change her mind. A waffle always does. Grapefruit was at a table near the stage, but I knew she'd never help me. She was bitter about the way things ended between us. I decided to track down Orange and see what I could squeeze out of him. But instead, I spoke to a couple donuts who just glazed over and gave me a story full of holes. When they rolled out of the club I decided to follow them. They entered a warehouse on the waterfront, guarded by two coffees.
"You ain't gettin' in here!" said the coffees when I tried to follow.
"Listen you mugs, You're too weak for this fight and you know it!"
Sure enough, a rotten egg was in the middle of the warehouse. He tried to scramble when he saw me, but he knew he was already cooked.
"Where's Onion?" I demanded.
"I don't know what you're talking about," said Egg.
"Listen Egg, sooner or later you'll crack, and I'll be there to pick up the pieces!"
"Last time I saw Onion, she was running around with Sausage."
Of course! Sausage! He was the missing link this whole time!
"I'm sending you over easy, Egg. I'll serve you up to the D. A., and you'll fry for this."
But somehow, Egg got the drop on me and I ended up in the hot seat. Once again, out of the frying pan and into the fire. Tied up in the warehouse, I knew no one would hear my muffled cries for help over the Grits outside on the corner, singing in four-part Hominy.