Mr. Cat and I sat in the dark for a while, nothing was happening, all was quiet. Caren had gone to bed so there was no noise from her room now either. Meow.(quietly)=You paying attention to Caren? “What do you mean Mr. Cat?,” I answered in a whisper. Meow.=Caren like you, you like her, right? “Of course I like here,” I said, “why do you ask?” Meow.=You too slow, you going to lose Caren if you not move a bit faster. She in love with you, and you love her, I know it. “You moved fast from like to love there Mr. Cat,” I said. Meow.=Sometimes need to move fast, before you lose her. Maybe you do proposing to her? “You certainly went from ‘like’ to ‘love’ to ‘marriage’ in a hurry,” I said, “how do you know she loves me?” Mr. Cat looks at me and blinks.
“Okay, I have seen something there, so maybe she does,” I said, “but would it be a good thing? After all, bad guys could use her to get at me.” Meow.=That not stop Muffin and me, sometimes can’t worry about mining little tails. “Um, I think you mean minor details,” I said. Meow=I just say that, you have problem with hearing now? I know, you scared a little bit, but it easy, you remember Muffin and me get engaged, I just say “You be my Muffin…for always?” And she say yes. See? Simple. You do same thing, with Caren, but human way. Look in big pocket on my backpack. I looked and took out two boxes. Meow.=Open red one. In it was a diamond engagement ring. Meow.=I get extra diamond before, make ring for you to give to Caren. Human Baldwin help. He smiles at me.
Meow.=Open blue box. In there were matching wedding rings. I look at Mr. Cat. He smiles again. “How do you know the rings will fit?”, I asked. Meow,=Simple, I ask Caren for size. In morning you can do propose thing. He smiles again and sits there blinking at me. “Okay, before breakfast,” I said. He jumps up and gives me a hug, then sits beside me. Another hour goes by. Maybe my trap isn’t going to work after all. Suddenly Mr. Cat stares toward the kitchen. Meow.=Someone in cellar. There must be a door in there, I thought to myself, but where does it come from? Perhaps that strange cottage, or…why didn’t I think of that before? Someone was coming up the stairs to the kitchen. The trap door lifts open.
I tell Mr. Cat to get ready and he disappears into the darkness. There is a slight bit of moonlight coming in the kitchen window so I can just make out a figure. Now he’s moving slowly to the hallway. He stops and looks around and takes one more step. I turn the lights on! He fires several shots, but I’m behind the wall by the doorway. When he stops I jump out at him knocking him against the wall. Then I smash his hand against the door frame causing him to yell and drop the gun. I didn’t notice however, that he had pulled out a knife with his other hand. I did feel it as he pushed it into my stomach. I turned him around and ‘Thwock!’, he fell to the floor. Mr. Cat only used the rubber ball as I told him to, I wanted the stalker alive. He groaned and I had my gun at his head now.
I turned him over and used his own handcuffs on him. Caren and Muffin came out now. Caren looked in unbelief. It was the police officer that had interviewed her before when she made the stalker complaint. He and his female partner were both arrested. His partner was just paid by him to lie about the cellar, other than that she had nothing to do with this. He apparently “fell in love” with Caren when he first saw her move here. Sadly this man had been a police officer for 10 years and was married. No one had noticed I had been stabbed until Caren hugged me, gently for a change. “Steve, you’re hurt!”, she yelled. Back to the doctor’s office we went. The knife didn’t go in deep, so it wasn’t serious. “Would you like to rent a room here?”, he asked me, “think of the time it would save in driving back and forth.” Somehow I think he was trying to be funny. Giggle, giggle! The cats thought it was funny anyway. Then Caren joined in. I can see that I will be outnumbered a lot from now on. What a case this has been, and there is still the mystery of the square house…
To Be Continued.
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.