Meanwhile…We drove over to a hotel and went up to our room, we already had the key from Bernard when he gave us the keys to the car. Once everyone was safely in the room and settled, I gave Muffin another shot and left instructions with Lena and Mr. Cat. Meow.=I go with you, you need help. “I want you to stay here Mr. Cat, and help guard Muffin and Lena,” I said to him. Meow.=But Muffin would want me to go with you, she always tell me that. “I know Mr. Cat, but this time is different. Muffin needs you here with her right now to help give her strength to live, she needs to know you’re here with her,” I explained, “Muffin is very sick and might not live, so please stay here and help her.” Meow.=Okay, I stay and help my Muffin, you be extra careful, Muffin need you too. “Yes, I know she does,” I said while looking at her lying on the bed, “and I won’t be long.” Then off I went. Mr. Cat curled up close to Muffin, rubbing her head with his, and purring gently.
Back at the office building…The two men gave the man at the desk some money and he gladly gave them the info they wanted. “5th floor,” he said, “office 508.” They got in the elevator and up they went. I got there just a short time later and went straight to office 508. There was the empty box, and Bernard lying on the floor. He had been shot. Bernard was a good man and did his job well. I called the police and told them where to find Bernard’s body. Then I went up to the 6th floor and office 615. Sitting on a desk in the office was the correct box and the Jade Cat still inside. The other box had already been set in that other office with a copy of the Jade Cat. But Bernard was supposed to be gone by the time the other men got there. But his idea right from the start was to be caught there, it would make it all look more realistic. But too dangerous.
Too bad really, and now we are on our own. I take the box and go back downstairs and out the back door to a different car. I took a longer way back to the hotel, that way I had a better chance to see if anyone was following me. There wasn’t however. I breathed a sigh of relief once I was in the elevator on the way up to our room. I open the door and there’s Mr. Cat bouncing around on the floor like a kangaroo. Meow!!=Muffin okay, Muffin okay!! “She is too,” said Lena with a big smile. I put the box down and go to Muffin and give her a hug. She kisses my cheek. Meow,meow=You be bad, not take Mr. Cat with you. “I figured you needed him more than me,” I told her quietly. Meow,meow=You still bad…but I love you. “I love you too my kitten,” and hugged her again.
“Where’s Bernard?”, asked Lena. “He didn’t make it, they killed him at the office,” I said. Lena just stared, then came over and gave me a hug. “You could have been killed too,” she said, tears streaming down her cheeks. “I was being careful,” I said quietly. “Now what?”, she asked. “We’re safe here right now,” I told her, “so we can relax for tonight.” “Relax?,” she asked, “I doubt I’m going to relax.” But the night passed uneventful, which was nice, and in the morning Muffin was up and walking around, feeling more like normal. Now we just need to get some food. Fortunately I always carry some for the cats.
Suddenly Lena says, “The Cat is gone!” “No, not gone,” I said, “just put in my backpack, which wasn’t easy, it barely fit in there. Then I got rid of the box. By now word is out that the Jade Cat has been stolen so we can’t be seen carrying a museum box around with us.” “Oh, that’s right,” she said, “we not only have these jewel thieves after us, but the police too.” “Yep, they don’t know what’s going on either,” I said, “so we have to be careful. But now we can walk around normally, no one will suspect anything.” As I was saying that I looked out our window, 3 police cars stopped in front of the hotel and several officers came inside. That was fast. “Get your things together and let’s go,” I said to everyone.
To Be Continued.
©2021 Steve McLeod.