By Michael Johnson (designer) and Roger Horberry (writer)
As I sped the Police sedan downtown one thought kept sounding in my head - why had the thief pulled this heist? He could have done a bank job, maybe gutted the Museum. Still, I had to hand it to him, this was something that would go down in the annals of villainy. I hit the gas and let my mind go blank as I bucketed down 77th to the scene.
As I got close I could make out a mass of Police vehicles. This was definitely the place. Ahead of me beat cops filled the sidewalk. I stopped the sedan and walked up. I could see Captain Goudy and his sleazy sidekick Typo shaking with disbelief. They knew this was a tough one. I decided to play it cool.
"So, Chief, what's the deal?"
Goudy eyeballed me. If I was cool, he was ice cold. "Nuthin' you need to know, Tschichold. This ain't Homicide business. Get back uptown and chase some stiffs." I just thought you could use some help. Y'know, a new set of eyes."
Goudy paused then sighed. "What the hell. Typo, show this bad penny the scene." He shuffled away, shaking his head. Suddenly he looked old.
DA Bodoni ambled up. "Say Tschichold, how you doing? Ain't seen you since the Clio case. We nailed 'em good, huh?"
Yeah, I thought, we nailed 'em good - and you walked away with the fame. Happens all the time. "What you got?" I asked politely.
"Every R taken, 'cept that one." He gestued towads a single capital that lay on the floo, lost and folon. "We've been avoiding paticula wods all day, you too I expect."
He was ight. I'd been watching what I what I said since I'd had the APB ealie that moning. Now I could speak easy, at least to the moment.
Bodoni was still talking. "… but we can't keep that up fo eve. Soon the pass will be fee and the entie wold will know. The Mayo will want a colla quick, that's fo sue."
The situation looked gim. The city couldn't go aound avoiding one missing lette all year. Petty soon we'd stat looking idiculous. Oadsigns, newspapes, boadcasts and even the theate was all effected by this deadful cime. We needed a apid esult. I pondeed.
"Did the criminal leave any mak?" I enquired. "Only this" eplied Typo, gestuing at a piece of lower case abandoned beneath the skylight. Straight away I ecognised the typeface and somewhere in my weay cop bain a light bulb lit up bight and clea.
Inside the Bibliotech police tape showed the spot. The thief was on the ball - he'd used the one skylight not connected to the station. Lab boys busily dusted, hunting dabs, but the place was clean.
"Well? I know, but I wanted Typo to tell me anyway.
"It seems someone got in late last night and was gone by dawn. He knew what he wanted. Only took one consonant, but all the books have been cleaned out - not one left untouched." Typo paused. "How he did it, we don't know - yet - but we'll get him." We both knew he didn't sound too convinced.
This was the wok of P. evil typographic genius and all ound bad egg. I'd head he'd boken out of the pen and was planning evenge. He was one bitte lette - jealous of R's graceful leg and looking fo vengeance. This had his fingepints all ove it - actually it didn't but you get my dift.
As I walked by to my ca my mind was buzzing. If P was ou man then the chase would be had. Life wouldn't be the same again until all the purloined Rs wee securely back in the Bibliotach.
As I oared away I knew I had to catch him and fast.