Ace: I have been hearing an incredibly loud piercing sound the last several days near Tiger Fuel, across from C’Ville Market on Carlton Road. My friend and I traced the sound as far as the RR tracks and the recycling center. I was wondering if you know anything about this odd sound. It is elusive and mostly heard at night.—Mildred Pearce
Millie: Ace certainly knows something about elusive sounds mostly heard at night, but he was unaware of this one. And as much as he wanted to heed the siren’s call, investigating the sound would require working after the hour of 5pm. If Ace makes one exception for a reader, soon he’s not pouring his first drink until 5:15, then 5:20, and so on. Where will the working day stop? Ace has to draw the line somewhere, and he draws it firmly at 5pm. Or 3pm on Fridays.
But Ace couldn’t help but be intrigued by the question of the mysterious noise. So he did what any off-duty reporter would do—he sat around and waited for the reader to pursue the question herself. A week later, Ace received a follow-up from Millie in his mailbox: “I found the high piercing sound to be coming from Lexis Nexis’ compression silo. There are 30 or so belts in it to grind up books, and they are going bad. They, or so says a man from the recycling place 50 yards or so away from the compressor, will not change them until they blow. Since it is getting louder and louder, I plan to get in touch with the company before they blow. Maybe Ace can now go there and hear it.”
Now the ball was really rolling! Answers! Book grinding! Corporate intrigue! Ace does not like to jinx solid investigative work, so he held tight for more correspondence. A few days ago, this message arrived: “I took a friend behind the Carlton Avenue print manufacturing. The compressor is between Worksource Enterprises and Lexis Nexis/Cadmus Communications. Ace will have to sneak around the back near the RR. We went tonight and I’ll be glad to get pictures and sound if he can’t. It’s unbelievably loud.” Yes, please get sound and pictures. Ace will be here tending his scotch.
You can ask Ace yourself. Intrepid investigative reporter Ace Atkins has been chasing readers’ leads for 20 years. If you have a question for Ace, e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org.