What’s this? Wow, now this is interesting Muffin, good girl. Okay, now, can you put this back without getting caught? Meow.=No problem. And off she goes once more. Hmm, she’s taking a long time, that’s not good. But she finally gets back. Was there any problems? Meow, meow.=I almost got caught, so had to wait for another opportunity, but I did it. Good, now it’s time for us to go in there. Meow.=Okay. I make sure that Muffin is ready, just in case. Hi girls, I say as we enter the kitchen. Hmm, they both seem surprised to see us. Where have you been?, asks Rossana. Just out walking around the island, there is a nice path that follows the whole island. There was a lot of interesting sights to see out there. Did you find the jewels out there?, asks Olivia very excitedly. I said, interesting, not fabulous. She seemed quite deflated at the news. I go over and look out the window which was close to Olivia. She picks up her bag and moves away. What’s wrong?, asks Rossana. Just being careful after last night, there are others out here watching us. We met Giuseppe last night too. We already knew he was out here, says Olivia. Yes, but when we met him, he was dead. Olivia moves a little further away and reaches into her bag. Looking for this, as I hold up a small handgun. Oh, and don’t try to move, Muffin is aimed at you and she won’t miss.
What’s going on?, asks Rossana. I start to explain, Olivia is a private investigator, just like her dad, but…this is not Olivia! I thought Rossana was going to faint. A switch was made at the airport, that’s why it took so long for this Olivia to appear. The resemblance is quite remarkable, except for one thing. What’s that? Your voice, I said. It is so very close to Olivia’s voice, but, Muffin had you picked out right away when we got in the car. Animals can pick up very small differences in people’s voices. Meow!=That’s right, can’t fool a cat! Why didn’t you say something sooner?, asks Rossana. We were playing along to find out what she was up to. Her real name is Sophia Bianchi, according to her passport.
She looks in her bag. Don’t worry, you’re passport is still there. But, I kept back an even more interesting document. Hey, how did you get that? We have ways, right Muffin? Meow!=Right! I show the document to Rossana. Apparently she is the only living relative of this princess who supposedly committed suicide. But, she was actually murdered. Sophia and Rossana both looked shocked. Muffin and I found her remains in a pit that we fell into last night. Along with the remains of 3 others. There was good proof it was the princess. Let me see it, demands Sophia. In time, but not now. Anyway, she says, you’re right. When I heard the present owners had hired you to find the jewels, I needed to so something so decided to follow along. Olivia is fine, enjoying a holiday in Spain right now.
I had Olivia’s phone number so called to confirm the story. Everything was fine with her so that was good. Maybe we should continue to look for the jewels together, Sophia said, much more nicely now. Rossana thinks we should leave, it’s too dangerous here. And trying to find those jewels in just a few days is almost impossible, she added. Meow, meow.=I agree, we tried, so let’s go home now. Muffin, we’re not cowards or quitters, are we? Meow, meow.=Not a bad time to start. We’ll leave when we’re done, and stop sighing so much, it’s depressing. Meow. What do you mean, good, I like company?
I tell them which of the bedrooms belonged to the princess, so we decide to start searching there and see if we can find some clue. I figured there might be a secret passageway in there. Muffin is on top of the fireplace mantel searching around. Meow!=Over here! What did you find Muffin? She points to a fancy knob on top of the mantel. I try turning it and sure enough, a small door opens beside the fireplace. Way to go Muffin! Everyone ready for some exploring? Yes. Yes. Meow.=No. Okay Muffin, on my shoulder. After a big sigh she jumps on. It doesn’t look like this narrow passageway has been used in a very long time. Once we are all in the door closes behind us. It’s locked, says Rossana. Now what?
To be continued.
Steve and Muffin.
© 2020 Steve McLeod.