“I think that was a deliberate setup”, I said to Lena, “too much of a coincidence. I should have realized it, Jimmy’s daughter seemed apprehensive.” “Are you going to tell Jimmy about that?”, asked Lena. “Only about getting beat up,” I said, “I won’t mention the possibility that his daughter set me up, not without more proof. However, I’m going to talk with his parents, just in case Jimmy is mixed up with this.” “But why would Jimmy want to do anything like this?”, asked Lena, “he’s likely going to inherit the place anyway, and it would be better to inherit a thriving hotel than one that is going bankrupt.”
“Maybe he’s impatient and wants it now for some reason,” I said, “perhaps there is something else here that is worth more than this hotel. I think we need to explore those caves tomorrow.” Meow!=Yay! Exploring caves going to be fun time! Meow,meow.=Still say caves bad, that where ghosts live. “I’m beginning to wish we had gone to that castle for our honeymoon like Mr. Cat wanted to do,” said Lena. “Maybe we will need a second honeymoon if this one doesn’t work out too good,” I suggested. Meow!=Oh, that great idea! Meow,meow?=Why everyone want to play with ghosts all the time? Sigh! “Poor Muffin,” said Lena almost laughing.
In the morning we went down to the restaurant for breakfast, which was delicious. Afterward I went out on the porch with the owner, James Barlow, to talk about this case. He apologized for Jimmy asking me in the first place, he didn’t want to do that since this was our honeymoon. I told James we were going to accept the case anyway. I also mentioned being beat up last night. He just put his head down and said, “maybe you shouldn’t take the case, it could be dangerous for you, and I don’t want that.” “All of our cases have been dangerous,” I said, “so that doesn’t stop us, we want to do this and help you out.”
I got a bit more information from him, including the name of the insect man and where he lived, and the name of the man who is so anxious to buy this hotel. That would make him the number 1 suspect in this. I will get Baldwin to check him out. And maybe he can help out with something else too. I mentioned to James that customs had taken the bullets for my guns and he took me back to their suite and handed me a couple of boxes. “Are these the kind you need?”, he asked. “Yes indeed, that’s perfect,” I said. So he let me have them and I joined the others who were enjoying time in the garden.
“The couple with the 2 kids are going to explore the caves right after lunch and asked us to join them,” said Lena, “the kids really want to go but both parents don’t like being in such tight spaces, so they thought it might be easier to have someone with them.” “That’s good,” I said, “and no one would try to do anything to us with another family there.” “You think someone might try something in the caves?”, she asked. “Well, right now we have to be on guard all the time and everywhere. I don’t trust anyone right now. All the guests here are suspects too, some more than others,” I said. I told Lena and the cats that I now had bullets which James had given me.
And while we were outside we sat under one of the big trees and I called Baldwin. “What are you doing calling me?”, he said, “you’re on your honeymoon.” Then I told him what was going on, including my little “fun” time last night. “Here’s a name for you to check out,” I said, “Joe Graystone, he’s interested in buying this hotel and all the problems began after the owner’s said no to his offer.” “I know Graystone,” said Baldwin, “he’s a bit unusual with his way of doing business, but I can’t imagine him stooping that low to buy a hotel. However, I will check around and see what he’s up to these days.” We talked about a few other things as well. Then we walked all around the property and found the path leading to the caves. The morning went by quickly and it was now time for lunch. High on the hill where the caves were located sat a man, with binoculars, watching…
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.