“Okay Charlie,” I said, “there’s something else going on here besides a treasure hunt. Time to tell me what this is all about.” He sat there for a couple minutes just staring down. “Yes,” said Charlie, “I will tell you everything. I didn’t get you here to look for a treasure, but that’s what Lena and my wife think. I didn’t want to tell them.” Then he stopped again and stared out the little window that was beside where he was sitting on a bale of hay. I sat down on a box opposite Charlie. “You have to fill me in,” I said, “I want to help, that’s why we’re here. I figured there had to be something more to this, you don’t need a PI to look for a treasure. But I need to know what’s going on.” Meow, meow!=Yes, get exciting now, tell us what is happening.
“It’s almost like she is trying to say something to us,” said Charlie looking at Muffin. “This started a long time ago. Lena’s father was a gambler, he couldn’t stop himself, he lost everything he had, then he kept going into debt, big debt, he never could pay it his whole life. Dangerous people he was involved with, that he owed money to. They say to him to pay up now or die. He ask for time. But they kill his wife, make it look like car accident, but it wasn’t. Then they say to him that they would take Lena to pay debt and he would be free. But he knew what they meant, he did not want that for Lena. He took chance and sent Lena to us, hoping they wouldn’t find her. They lived in Switzerland then. Lena came to us, she was 16, that was 14 years ago.
Shortly after coming here they killed her dad too. It was so hard on Lena. I never told her what was happening. We lived in northern France at the time, but I sold our home and came out here, this place was ours but no one had lived here for many years so it needed a lot of work. We didn’t mind that however, it was kind of fun fixing up the old place. I thought we would all be safe out here. But now, after 14 years, they still look for us.” Charlie looked at me. “I don’t want anything to happen to Lena. I don’t want those people to get her for their wicked work. She is a beautiful girl. That’s why I wanted you out here, to protect Lena. If you want more money now since this is not what you expected, then I will pay, just tell me how much. I want Lena safe. I can tell already that I trust you, I trust you with Lena, look after her please.
My wife and I don’t care about ourselves, we’re old, but Lena should have better…will you look after her for us?” “Charlie,” I said, “don’t worry, I will stay on the case, and yes, I will look after Lena, and all 3 of you.” Charlie had tears in his eyes, it was easy to see how much he loved Lena. “Grandpa,” said Lena quietly, “why didn’t you tell me all of this before?” She had been standing at the barn doors listening to us. “I was just trying to keep your father’s problems a secret,” Charlie said. They hugged each other, both crying. Meow, meow.=We protect Lena and grandparents, we not let bad humans do anything to Lena. Maybe we take her home with us too. Lena turned to Muffin, then came over and picked her up and hugged her. “Thank you very much Muffin,” she said.
Charlie looked a bit puzzled, we get that look from people a lot for some reason. Meow.=You not worry, we on case now, we keep you safe. Lena picked up Mr. Cat too and gave him a big hug. “Well, it’s good that we all know what’s going on, that will help a lot,” I said, “now it’s also important that you listen to me so that we can all keep safe.” We all head back to the house. Charlie turns to me, “Lena is also very good cook, he said while raising his eyebrows and a smile on his face. Hmm, a little matchmaking possibly? Can’t be, I just got here. But he was right, Lena is a good cook and we had a delicious meal. We talked a bit about the treasure after dinner then we all decided on getting to bed early and looking for that treasure in earnest tomorrow. Once in our bedroom we unpacked and settled down to talk a bit. Meow, meow.=Something not right, I know. Meow.=Yes, I feel it too.
To Be Continued.
Pictures of Mr. Cat above are supplied by his human, Nina.
©2020 Steve McLeod.