I told the others we no longer had a chateau. Poor Kat, she really loved that place. And it is unlikely we will get anything from our insurance, it was not insured against bombs. Sometimes being a PI has its down side. Then I got another call from the police captain. Apparently the fat man and his 3 men escaped custody as they were being escorted to the jail. He had some more help apparently. That is not good news. Plus there is a police presence in town now of 6 officers, since there has been so much activity lately. In one sense that is good, but it also means that people are less likely to talk, so it will be hard to get information.
Except perhaps from one person, Adela, the woman that gave us the note warning us to leave, right when we first arrived. I am quite sure she knows what is going on in this town, but she acts crazy and that way they leave her alone. She lives alone with her father, who is the town mayor, plus he is a carpenter as well. So Kat and I, and Muffin go to the mayor’s house to see if we can talk with Adela. “I do not think that will help,” said the mayor, “she is crazy, says all kinds of weird things that are not true. She just makes up stuff and pretends it is real.
But if you wish to try, go ahead. I see you have a cat, she loves cats, so maybe she will talk with you.” “Where might we find her?”, I ask. “This time of day she will be in our little park, just down this street. She goes there to feed the pigeons and just sit and talk to herself.” So off we went. “You might be a big help Muffin,” I said, “but for now just pretend to be an ordinary cat.” Meow,meow.=Okay, me can do that, I be nice and friendly to her. “That’s perfect Muffin,” said Kat with a smile.
We found her easily, just sitting on a bench and there are no pigeons around which is good. “Hi Adela,” said Kat nicely, “my name is Kat and this is my husband Steve. And this is our cat Muffin.” Muffin jumps up beside her on the bench and starts to purr. Adela produced a big smile and invited us to sit down, which we did. I decided to let Kat do the talking, and she started just talking about some general things about the town. Then Kat got more serious and asked about the note Adela had given us. Adela said she didn’t remember a note, but then Kat told her a little about what was going on in this town and that we really needed her help.
Then Adela got serious and started to talk normally. “Leave town while you can or they will kill you like they killed Beth,” said Adela, “she saw something in the ruins, she told me men were hiding gold in there. That’s why they killed her. You must leave before they kill you too.” “We are not leaving until we find out what is going on and free the town of these bad men,” I told her. Then I let her know that we were PI’s and this is what we do, it’s our job. “I am afraid,” she said, “if they find out I told you anything, I will be killed too. Marik is the leader, my father is involved too, and 3 other men.
They hide money and gold in the ruins. Money from people like Whip, he is a terrible man. He escaped, but he will be back…for me. My dad sold me to him.” Then she showed us the brand from Whip. That got my blood boiling again, we are going to stop that fat man for good. “We can protect you Adela,” said Kat, “just say the word and we will take you out of here.” “You can do that?”, she asked, “you would do that for me?” “Yes,” I confirmed, “we can, and will, do that for you.”
“And I will not have to act crazy anymore?”, she asked. “That’s right Adela,” said Kat, “you will not have to act crazy anymore, let us help you.” “I do want help,” she said, “and I can take you to their hiding spot when no one will be there.” So we took her back with us to our room and started to make plans. Can we really protect Adela? I know one thing, I am looking forward to meeting the fat man again. But who is this that is looking for us? And how can we protect ourselves from them?
To Be Continued.
©2021 Steve McLeod.