Calanthe comes back into the library about an hour later and says the other servants have gone to bed and she will be also and she wanted to see if I needed anything first. “A cup of tea would be nice,” I said. “Perfect,” she answered, “I just made some.” She showed me to my bedroom first and then brought the tea in and sat down to have a cup with me. I asked her about the other servants. She said there were 7 of them, but 2 were away on vacation right now. I won’t worry about them. “There is Karl, the butler and driver, I’m afraid of him,” said Calanthe. “Why is that?”, I ask her. “I really don’t know, but he never says anything kind to anyone except Linnea and Giselle,” she said, “and I just get shivers when I have to be alone with him. No one knows anything about him, he won’t talk about his past or family or friends. But he did come with a good recommendation from his previous employer.
Then there is Giselle, she hates me because she loves Karl and she thinks I’m interested in him too. I don’t even want to be near him! There is Francois, the cook, he’s the oldest one here and an excellent cook. He likes to talk, but there is something about him that bothers me too, but I just don’t know why. He changes when he talks about his parents owning this chateau years ago. He gets very serious then, and he hasn’t talked about that now for a long time. Then there is Henri, the handyman, a very good worker, dependable, always willing to help. I think he is the nicest person here, next to Linnea, and I think Linnea really likes him too.” Then she finished off her tea and went to her bedroom which was just down the hall.
There was an empty bedroom between us that was used by one of the vacationing servants. The cats and I had searched the bedroom for listening devices before Calanthe came with the tea, and there was nothing. I wanted to make sure no one was listening to the information that Calanthe was sharing with me. “Well you two, what do you think?”, I asked the cats. Meow,meow.=Me think human Calanthe is very nice, I trust her. Meow.=Yep, me agree, she can be trusted, don’t like human Karl, he give strange feeling. Meow,meow.=Yep, me agree, not like him, something bad with him. That’s interesting, I thought to myself, considering they didn’t see him much. Meow,meow.=Also not like human Giselle, she also bad. Meow.=Yep, that true, not trust her.
Hmm, and we haven’t met Henri or Francois yet. Francois, the cook, is still the main suspect. Perhaps Karl and Giselle are working with him, or perhaps those two are hiding something, maybe they are behind the thefts around here. Calanthe also mentioned hearing footsteps coming from the top floor, but that floor is always locked, no one is allowed up there. She has also heard weird type laughter down here. That’s not hard to do, just use some small hidden speakers. We waited about an hour to hopefully make sure everyone was sleeping, then the cats and I went up to the third floor to look around. Linnea had given me the keys before she left, so this is a good time to check. That storm was still raging out there, worst storm I have seen in a long time. Once upstairs I locked the door behind us, I don’t like people sneaking up on us. It’s unfortunate the electricity isn’t working, but I do have a good flashlight.
I didn’t put the cat’s mini headlamps on them this time, I want them to stay hidden in the shadows. That constant lightning, which had slowed down for the last hour, is back again. It does give a lot of light in the rooms however. Every room is furnished, and are mostly bedrooms. One room was quite large, a sitting room, and there was some kerosene lamps so I lit them. This is very nice indeed. The cats were busy checking out the whole room, there appeared to be no listening devices up here anywhere. Hmm, another copy of that fictional book I was reading, sitting on a small table, and the book was open. Hmm, this is interesting…suddenly I was grabbed from behind, being choked, can’t…”Thwock!” and a groan behind me as someone fell. Both cats came running over. Meow,meow!=I got ghost, but he disappear! She was right, no one was there, but that was no ghost that choked me.
To Be Continued.
Pictures of Mr. Cat are kindly supplied by his human, Nina.
Previous chapters of this story and previous story, can be found on my home page under “The Investigators, Inc.” Previous stories in this series from last year can also be found on my home page under “20/20 Investigations, Inc.”
©2021 Steve McLeod.