What I didn’t know…was that right then Lena drove up to the chateau and…Lena gets out of her car and runs up to the huge door of the chateau. The maid answers and lets her in and Lena tells her she’s my friend. The maid looked confused but she went and called Linnea who came to talk with Lena. “Who is this friend you are looking for?,” asked Linnea. “His name is Steve, he’s the PI you hired to investigate some problems you were having,” explained Lena, “and he has 2 cats with him.” “I don’t know what you are talking about,” said Linnea, “I never hired anyone.” “Are you not friends with Rossana in Italy?”, asked Lena. “Well, yes, I am, but how did you know that?”, she asked rather surprised. Lena was worried now, but she explained a bit more of what had happened, that Linnea had called Rossana about some problems and wanted the name of a good PI to hire.
“I need to check this,” said Linnea, very surprised at this point. So she called Rossana and talked with her and Rossana confirmed what Lena had said. Now Rossana was worried too, thinking that I had been led into a trap of some kind. Yet the description of the chateau that I had given to Lena matched this chateau perfectly. That had Lena very worried. The storm was still raging so Linnea offered to let Lena stay in the guest cottage overnight and since they were just sitting down to dinner she was invited to join them. Lena was very hungry so she accepted. She wanted to look around more anyway. Lena didn’t really learn much except Linnea had inherited the chateau from her uncle, but nothing strange had been happening. The maid that answered the door also served the meal, her name was Calanthe.
Afterward the butler, whose name was Karl, took Lena down to the cottage. He made sure everything was in order and then went back to the chateau. Lena tried phoning me without success. Then she tried calling Muffin through Muffin’s special collar. I tried to add in Lena to the collars of both cats, but it wasn’t working properly before we left. The collars are a special way to contact Rossana in emergencies, and to keep in touch with me if we get separated. Lena called Rossana and talked to her about what’s going on…
Meanwhile…I asked Calanthe if she had seen the notes that Linnea keeps getting. “Oh yes,” she said, “they are nearly always just one word, sometimes two or three and only once there was a complete sentence.” “Do you remember the sentence?”, I asked. “Yes, it kind of scared me, like other things around here,” she said nervously, “it read ‘I am going to hurt you just like you hurt me’, but there was no name or anything like that. I remember it shook up Linnea though and she told me that she couldn’t remember ever hurting anyone seriously so that they would want to hurt her.” “These days it doesn’t necessarily take something major for people to want revenge,” I told her, “now I would like to spend some time in the library.” “That’s fine,” she said, “I’ll go with you and light the kerosene lamps in there, we always keep some handy for times like this.”
So she lit 5 lamps and 4 candles which still didn’t give much light in that huge room, but it was enough. Then off she went and I started looking at books in the history section. The cats went off on their own sniffing around the room. Muffin jumped up on the big table and, Meow,meow=Look here, I find something. There was a nice carved wood eagle in the center of the table. It also had a tree and some shrubs all carved as part of it, very nicely done. But what Muffin found was a listening device hidden in the shrubs of that carving. “We won’t mention it,” I whispered to her, and back to the books I went. Now, who is listening to us? Meow!=Come see what I find! I go over to Mr. Cat who is sitting on a small table with a book. Hmm, this is interesting, the drawing on the cover looks just like this chateau, the title of the book is ‘Strange Happenings at Baudelaire Chateau’. It appears to be a fictional story, but sometimes fiction can also have facts that are true. Apparently Baudelaire means ‘a small sword or dagger’ and as I read a bit there were several murders that happened.
To Be Continued.
Photos of Mr. Cat are kindly supplied by his human, Nina.
Previous chapters and stories can be found on my home page under “The Investigators, Inc.” and previous stories in this series from last year can also be found on my home page under “20/20 Investigations, Inc.”
©2021 Steve McLeod.