Baldwin’s men went out looking right away for the sniper, but all they found was his rifle and signature note “The Sting Of Death”. How does this guy know our every move? Someone inside is telling him, but who? The two most likely are Baldwin and Shirley, but that does not make any sense to me. The ambulance came to pick up Kristina’s body. This seems more like it must be a dream, yet it is real. We must find Stinger before he gets anyone else!
Rock, the cats, Benjamin (one of the new pilots), Joshua (the other new pilot) and myself decided on going to town and look around. It is a small town with only 2 hotels. I showed the photo of the Stinger around but no one had seen him. So then we headed off to the next town which was larger. At one hotel the manager said that Stinger had stayed there, but left a day ago to go hiking and camping. Okay, that is how he is keeping track of the chateau, he is camping somewhere not far away.
Now it is time for some helicopter rides around the area to see if we can find him. We did find 2 campers but neither was our man and the people in both cases had not seen him around, even though they had seen each other. How does this guy stay so well hidden and yet stay open enough to see us? Carine is next on the list and she is definitely not going outside.
Back at the chateau we are all in the library before dinner talking when Jake called Annelie. She left the room so she could talk to him privately. Hmm, that does not sound good, what did Jake find out? “Hey girl, more bad news for you,” he said quietly, “I feel terrible that I cannot help much in this one, I just do not understand what is going on.” “That is okay Jake,” said Annelie, “you are helping, what is the news now?”
“There is a slight change in the list,” he said, “it is now like this, Carine, Kat, Aurela, Angel, you, Lajla and Jenny.” “Hmm, I wonder why the change in the order?”, asked Annelie. “No idea, I am trying to find out,” said Jake, “but I will say again, look inside, that is the only thing that makes sense, otherwise I would know about it.” “And how would he know about Aurela, unless someone in here told him,” said Annelie, “we have some new girls coming in too, watch out for their names Jake, Brigetta, Mriya, Galyna, and Nyura.”
“Okay, I will do that,” said Jake, “one more thing, remember the name John?” “How can I forget him,” she said, then paused, “but he is dead.” “Maybe, or maybe not,” said Jake, “but the name is out there again, seems someone saw a man named John talking with this Stinger guy not long ago. John was a big man, right?” “Yes, he was a big man,” said Annelie with a bit of a shiver just thinking about him.
“Be careful girl, this Stinger guy, he is cold,” said Jake, “he enjoys what he does, make sure you, and the other girls, do not take chances.” Then he hung up and Annelie came out and told us what he had said about the list. Then she took me aside to fill me in completely. Meowr?=Why human Stinger man want to kill all girls? Meow,meow.=We not know, someone pay him to do it. Meow.=Yep, it a job to him, he like doing it.
Meowr.=He coward human, he not come in open, always hide long distance away. Meow,meow.=Yep, that true, now it time for another test. Meowr.=Okay, I ready for it. The cats disappear outside. Good thing they are not on the list. Tomorrow comes and we decide to go check another town for Stinger, though it is further away. But he must be staying somewhere.
Baldwin stays back to look after things and I leave the cats home this time too, just us 4 men go. But we came up empty once again so headed back to the chateau. Could John be still alive? I was sure he was dead, Kristina shot him 3 times. It just does not make sense. But none of this is making sense. It still seems like Baldwin or Shirley is responsible for hiring this guy, but why? We got back by mid afternoon.
It was a nice hot day and the girls wanted to go for a swim in the pool. It has a high wall around it and we have an underground passage to the pool. Seems safe enough, so I said okay. Rock and I go too, just to watch the surrounding area carefully. Not even Stinger could do anything here. “Hold this helicopter steady,” said the man. “Doing the best I can sir,” said the pilot. He aimed, and shot.
Carine just came out of the pool and fell back in. “NO!”, I yelled. Everyone went back inside through our tunnel. Rock and I retrieved Carine from the water. I failed once again. Then I thought, a helicopter, he used a helicopter. I checked the airport and off we went. Sure enough, he had rented a helicopter, but how did he know? How? He left the rifle behind with his note, but something different this time. He also left an envelope with my name on it…
To Be Continued.
©2022 Steve McLeod.