There in front of us lay Rossana, blood on her forehead and on the floor around her. I quickly go over and check her while Muffin guards the door so no one can sneak up on us. Rossana doesn’t seem to be hurt, oddly, so I get a wet cloth and wipe the blood off her. No cuts of any kind, seems someone just knocked her out and poured blood around. Sort of a warning I guess, to stay away. Rossana wakes up, but moves slowly. I help her over to a chair. What happened Rossana? It was Giuseppe, the gardener, she said. Where is Olivia? She was here with me when Giuseppe showed up. I looked around but no sign of Olivia.
Muffin, stay here with Rossana and protect her. Meow!=Don’t worry, I’ll be ready! Good girl. I get her set up then off I go to our bedroom. That’s where I left my phone and I wanted to retrieve it before Giuseppe found it. The door was closed but unlocked and I know I locked it when we left this morning. I open the door and just stood and stared, I couldn’t believe what I saw. Olivia was lying on the bed with blood all over her. Next to her on the bed was a dummy with a knife in it and my name on it! I went right over to Olivia to check on her. She’s alive so I cleaned up most of the blood and tried to wake her up. Someone is definitely giving us a warning, Giuseppe is telling us what he could do if he wanted.
He obviously has keys to this place and likely knows the palace inside out. So he has a definite advantage over us. I have a picture of Giuseppe from the owners, so I know who we are up against anyway. Olivia wakes up rather calmly and asks what happened. She’s an odd girl, doesn’t seem to show any fear, but why? I suggest we go to the kitchen where we can all talk. I call to Muffin to let her know we are coming into the kitchen. She can be dangerous when she’s nervous. Maybe we should make some lunch and go sit outside and talk, then I know no one will be listening. Rossana says she brought some lunch with her so we go outside for a picnic.
Olivia keeps asking if we found the jewels or at least have a lead to them. She is showing a lot of interest in those jewels for some reason. Rossana thinks we should all leave and forget about looking for the jewels. She is always wanting us to leave. Could these two be working together and they don’t really want us to find the jewels? Or maybe they have already found them and Olivia was coming here to meet Rossana so they could split them up between them? Meow, meow!=I agree with Rossana, let’s leave and go back home where it’s safe. No Muffin, we’re not leaving just yet, we have to find those jewels. Wow, that was a big sigh Muffin, says Rossana. She does that, I said. Meow, meow?=How would you like a sore ankle?
Hey, that’s not nice, we’re on the same side, remember? I whisper something to Muffin. Meow, meow.=I’m beginning to think we can’t trust either of them. I agree Muffin. Hey, what are you 2 talking about?, asks Olivia. Just PI talk, I said. After lunch we check some more rooms in the palace, including those we were not permitted to enter. But all these strange happenings mean we check everywhere, no matter what. After we check the greenhouse which is quite large. But with all this we find nothing to help us. Very odd, I said, we just are not getting anywhere. It’s also getting late, you ladies should head back to Rossana’s place for the night and come back in the morning. Olivia says she wants to stay, she’s not afraid. She should be though. Rossana thinks we should all leave.
But I persuade the girls to go and Muffin and I head to our bedroom. It doesn’t take long and it’s dark once again. Okay Muffin, time to go out again. Meow??=At night?? Yes Muffin, at night. We can stay hidden better when we are outside. If Giuseppe is still here we don’t want him to see us easily. Off we go to that window we came out of earlier in the day. Meow, meow?(Muffin whispers). Yes, we are going back inside this way, we’ll be okay. And stop sighing. We just get inside and turn our flashlights on…Giuseppe! Meow!
To be continued.
Steve and Muffin.
© 2020 Steve McLeod.