I grab my binoculars and look down at the car. I don’t see anyone. Meow.=Ghost go under car, wait, you see. Maybe. Sure enough, in a few minutes a man did slide out from under the car. Now I see why the cats said it was a ghost, he has no face! Obviously he is wearing some kind of mask to hide his face. He quickly runs behind the hotel. I can’t follow him since the hotel doors are locked now until 6am. Did he put something on the car so they can follow us? But how did they know we were here? Perhaps the man or woman is working with the people following us. Now they know what kind of car we have, that’s too bad, we have lost our advantage. I’m not going to check the car until after we leave, I want them to think they succeeded. I woke up early but decided to let Karin sleep, we might not get much sleep coming up. I think over the case so far, Karl, Hannah, Sofia…that’s it! I knew I had seen Sofia before!
I make another phone call. Sorry to call so early, but I have someone else for you. Time to wake up Karin, our breakfast will be ready at 8 sharp. I made sure to give her enough time to get ready. Good timing Steve, she said. Down we went for our special breakfast and wow, what a breakfast! And so delicious too. We had a great feast, might be our last for a while. There’s a question I forgot to ask you and Sofia, I said. What does Karl look like? Karin looked at me with a very puzzled look on her face. I thought you had seen him, she said. I saw “a Karl”, but I want to make sure it was the right Karl. Oh, well, he’s tall, thin, but not skinny, he has grayish blond hair and a gray beard. He’s a hard type, not afraid of anyone or anything, which is why I was surprised when you said he seemed nervous when you met him.
I didn’t meet the Karl you know, that’s probably why he was so nervous, he was just pretending to be Karl and was hoping he wouldn’t get caught. The man following us on the plane was likely keeping an eye on the fake Karl to make sure he did his job right. But why, asked Karin, it doesn’t make sense. It makes sense if this kidnapping isn’t real. Katharina might have hired him to do the job and she wanted me specifically to come and that’s why all these clues fitting together. I really don’t understand any of this, said Karin. It takes a while to be a good PI Mrs. McLeod, I said. Karin just looked at me. I just hope we get out of this alive, she added, both of us, and the cats. Meow, meow.=We do okay, we ready for anything now. Meow.=Me too, Muffin teach me good. Okay, time for us to leave, and off we go to the car.
I start the car before we get too close to it and everything is okay. Is there something you’re not telling me Steve?, asked Karin. So I told her about the man last night. It’s safe to leave, I said, but we’ll stop down the road a little ways and I will check to see what he did. I want them to think they have succeeded in their plan. Oh my, said Karin, I don’t know if I will ever get used to being a PI. Meow, meow.=Just need little time to get used to it. I hope so Muffin, she said. Meow, meow!=See, she understand me now! Well, sometimes anyway Muffin, but I’m trying. Meow?=Understand me too? Yes, Mr. Cat, I can understand you sometimes too. Meow!=Yay!
There’s a perfect spot to pull off the road and check the car, we’ll be hidden among those trees. I stop and get my little tool kit and under I go. Aha, there it is and…oh no, it’s a bomb! Only 5 minutes left and with this type of bomb, if I cut any wires it will explode! I have to take it apart quickly. I yell to the others to get away from the car. Off they go, except Mr. Cat, he came under the car with me. Meow.=Muffin look after Karin, I help you. Okay, hand me #5 screwdriver. He looks and quickly pulls out the right one and gives it to me. Now those real small pliers, I said. He knew right away and gave them to me. Only 1 minute left. It won’t move. The timer keeps going. Only 25 seconds. It’s off, but can I get out of here fast enough. Before I had a chance to move, Mr. Cat grabbed it from me and took off running at top speed! There was a huge explosion beyond the trees just as I crawled out. Mr. Cat.
To be continued.
©2020 Steve McLeod.