Right then Calanthe came into the room and saw Linnea by the fireplace. Calanthe screamed and fainted, Linnea disappeared into the fireplace and I ran over there but she had gone again. Meow,meow.=She go to right in fireplace. I look but couldn’t see a door so I hold Muffin there and she said there was a door. Okay, now to find a way to open it, but first, Calanthe who was still lying on the floor. I picked her up and laid her on the sofa while Muffin tried slapping her face. I tried a more gentle method which worked. “Ahh, sleeping beauty awakes!” I said. “Not funny,” she answered, “I just saw, or we did, a ghost!” “A ghost?”, I questioned, “what do you mean?” “You didn’t see Linnea standing there?”, she asked. “Um, Calanthe,” I said quietly, “we buried Linnea this morning, don’t you remember? Perhaps all this action is getting to you, I wish you could get away somewhere.”
“I’m not going crazy Steve!”, she exclaimed, “but you’re right, it couldn’t have been Linnea, I guess maybe I am a bit on the nervous side.” “We all are,” I said, “don’t worry about it.” She went back into the kitchen with Muffin while Mr. Cat stayed with me. Meow?=Why you not tell Calanthe that you saw Linnea ghost too? “I needed to check her reaction to all of this Mr. Cat,” I said, “just to see if I can tell who’s side she is on.” Meow?=You know now? “No,” I said, “I’m still not sure.” Meow.=Me not sure too, she seem so nice, but hide something. Meow?=You have good talk with…I hold up my finger to stop him. “Yes, but it wasn’t long enough because of our visitors, we’ll try again later,” I explained. Calanthe said it was time to eat so we went to the kitchen. We stopped.
Before us was the mayor and his bodyguards, one with a gun to Calanthe’s head and one holding Muffin down on the table with a gun at her head. “Time for a talk,” said the mayor firmly. I just stood there trying hard to control my temper. Finally I said, “put away the guns and we can talk, otherwise there is going to be some problems.” Now it was the mayor’s turn to stand speechless. I took advantage of that and slowly nodded my head, looking behind the man holding Muffin. He quickly turned taking his gun off Muffin momentarily and Thwock! That startled the other man and he moved his gun away from Calanthe’s head so I got a good shot at his hand causing him to drop his gun. Calanthe quickly picked up the gun and backed away, Muffin had already rejoined us.
“Now,” I said, “we can talk. And you better talk fast before I throw you out of here.” Although considering how big this man was, ‘throwing’ would not be possible. “Okay,” he said, “things have turned in your favor for now, so we talk. I want this chateau, and I will give you 2 million euros for it, that’s better than the other offers and none of them can top me I’m sure.” “Well, I’m not so sure,” I said, “so let’s keep the bidding open a while longer, after all, the banker has not had a chance yet.” “Ah yes, Rochelle,” he said, “a most dangerous adversary. You should stay away from her, she will eat you up.” Then he laughed quite boisterously. “Then why are you not afraid of her?”, I asked. “What?,” he said indignantly, “Antoine Aubert is not afraid of anyone!”
“Then you better start soon,” I said, “because I am not afraid of you, therefore you have to be afraid of me, just the way it works.” “You?” he laughed, “you I will crush with my bare hands unless you give me what I want. Accept my price or I will take this chateau from you and bury you in it!” “Oh, just get out of here,” I said, “you’re mouth is bigger than the rest of you. Now go and take your friend along with you.” They did so, reluctantly and angrily. We watched until they were gone. “Why not just sell the place to Baldwin and let him fight those crazy people,” said Calanthe, “I’m sure he could match 2 million euros.” “Yes, I imagine he could,” I said, “especially with you helping him with a share of the money you would get. After all, he is your older brother.” The look on Calanthe’s face when I said that! “How…how, did you find out?,” she asked. “That’s what a PI does,” I said…
To Be Continued.
Pictures of Mr. Cat are kindly supplied by his human Nina.
Previous chapters of this story, and other stories, can be found on my home page under “The Investigators, Inc” and “20/20 Investigations, Inc”.
©2021 Steve McLeod.