Subject: the private dick
From: Thomas Lord <>
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2007 21:39:58 -0800

Sam Spade has an interesting business model.

It's a two phase game called "retainers and rewards".

Either player can start.   Here's one script:

     Sam -- the private dick
     Dame -- Sam's customer

Scene 1:

Dame:  I've got this problem. [Thrusts a grainy black and
  white 8x10 glossy at Sam, averting her eyes from seeing
  the image it contains.] Work on that, won't you Mr. Spade?

Sam: Sure thing, babe.  There's just a small matter of a

Dame:  [Looking shocked -- then resigned.]  Very well
  then.  [Rumages with dramatic indignance through her
  purse, pulling out a wad that, in spite of her drama,
  was obviously put there in anticipation of exactly this
  demand for a retainer.]

Scene 2:

Sam:  Well, Ma'am, I've given your problem some attention and
  here's what I've got.  [Hands her a file.]

Dame: [Anxiously opening the file and then, upon absorbing its
  contents, sitting back in her chair, slightly shocked.]  Oh... My... I 
had no
  idea.   But, wait, tell me....

Sam: Now, stop right there, Ma'am.  Here's how it is.  You can
  get up, take that file, and walk out of that office right now.
  Have a nice day.  Frankly, I suggest you just burn it and hope nobody
  else ever find the same thing.  [takes a drag on his cigarette]
  But I suspect you can't do that and, frankly,
  neither could I, if I were in your shoes.   But if you want anything
  further from me  there's only one way:  You pay me this [hands her a
  slip of paper]  "finder's fee"
  and another 10G retainer for good measure -- otherwise, well, have a 
nice day,
  ma'am cause I gotta keep busy making a living.

Dame: Alright then. [drying a crocadile tear and handing Sam an 
envelope]  There's
   your finder's fee.   And here...  [GOTO Scene 1]

There is another variation of the same game -- a variation in
which the other player goes first.     It's the same play,
except that you *start* in Scene 2.

That's the R&D biz in a nutshell.