It is a beautiful, sunny spring day. I am sitting outside under a large oak tree in the side yard of the chateau. The cats are running around playing ‘tail tag’, a typical game but they need to touch the tail, which is not so easy since they can whip it out of the way at the last second so they don’t get tagged. But they are enjoying themselves and getting some good exercise and fresh air. It was nice of Linnea to let us stay here and rest for awhile after our last case. Plus she wants to hire us again to look for this long lost treasure of the chateau. I told her it was probably found many years ago, or perhaps the owners way back spent the treasure themselves. But she still wants to look for it, she thinks it will be fun. But she wants someone to help her and she has no family. Oddly, Calanthe also has no family since Francois, her grandfather, was killed. The cats are still up to their matchmaking duties trying very hard to convince me to propose to Calanthe. They have even enlisted the help of Linnea in this and she assures me that Calanthe would say yes.
I’m just not sure a PI should be married, it could be dangerous for Calanthe, she could be kidnapped and used to get at me. The cats come over, tired out from their running. They are really enjoying our rest, but tomorrow we start looking for that treasure, which basically is going to be more rest time which we will get paid for. Back inside we go and into the library to look at that map some more, the one with all the passageways on it. We do know that Linnea found another one that is not on the map, so there could be others that are also not marked. Those would be the most interesting to check, we just need to find them and we’ll start with Linnea’s passage. We are called for lunch, I sure don’t know why Linnea had a cook, she is a fantastic cook herself, so is Calanthe. And both seem to enjoy cooking.
During lunch Calanthe starting getting a headache so went to lie down for awhile. “That’s odd,” said Linnea, “Calanthe has never had a headache before, and for that matter, she has never been sick at all while working for me.” “That is strange,” I said, “maybe she needs to go see the doctor.” Then suddenly Muffin starts to growl. Meow.=Something very bad in here. Calanthe! We all run to her room but she isn’t there. We check everywhere on the main floor, then the second floor, the third floor is still locked so no need to look there. We looked all around outside, the cottage, there was just no sign of her anywhere. So up to the third floor we go, but we still couldn’t find her. This is crazy. How could she vanish so quickly? Linnea was clearly upset, more like very scared kind of upset. The cats are always right when they feel something isn’t right, but what was it this time?
Did someone come in here and kidnap Calanthe? But how could they do that? And why? If she was kidnapped we would be contacted soon so I told Linnea not to contact the police just yet. Do you think it’s Gisela again?”, she asked. “No, it would be too soon for her to be back,” I said, “she likes to have helpers, and I doubt just a few days is enough time for her to get anything planned. And perhaps Calanthe just went for a walk. Meow,meow!=Come quick, it Calanthe! We followed the cats back to Calanthe’s room and sure enough she was lying on the bed. “What’s wrong?”, she asked. “Did you go anywhere?”, I ask her. “No, I just came in here to lie down, but my headache seems to have gone now.” I told her she should see a doctor so her and Linnea went to town to see the local doctor there.
Meanwhile the cats and I decide to check out that one passage that Linnea had found. Fortunately the cats remembered that we shouldn’t step on that one spot. I wonder what happens? And how did Linnea know about that? Hmm, that is something interesting to think about. The passage continues past that one room where Linnea and Calanthe had stayed so we keep walking. But we soon come to a dead end. There must be a door here somewhere, it can’t just go all this way and stop. I start pushing on the rocks all around the walls with the cats sniffing around my feet and…
To Be Continued.
©2021 Steve McLeod.