Since I cannot run fast anymore, Jennifer and the cats stayed with me while Kat took the rest of the girls and ran to the house. They burst into the dining room where Maggie was calmly sitting at the dining room table having tea and reading. “Is something wrong?”, she asked the girls. “Were you screaming just now?”, asked Kat. “Oh my no, I have just been sitting here reading,” she said, “did you hear something?”
“Yes,” said Kat, “some terrible screaming and it sounded like it was coming from the house.” “Well, it certainly was not me,” she said smiling, “perhaps it was one of the birds around here, Sam says they can really screech at times.” “Oh, that makes sense,” said Kat, “we are not used to the animal life down here.” “Would you like some tea?”, she asked. “No thanks,” said Kat, “we want to continue looking around town. Sorry to have bothered you.”
“Oh, no bother at all,” said Maggie. Then the girls returned to us waiting over by the hotel. “It was not Maggie, she was sitting calmly having tea,” said Kat, “but she said it might have been one of the wild birds.” “Not a wild bird from this area,” I answered, “I checked out all the wildlife from this area before we left so I would know what everything sounded like.” “I wonder why she would have said that then?”, asked Kristina.
“I noticed something,” said Axelina, “she said that Sam told her that some of the wild birds make a terrible screeching sound.” “Hmm, that is odd,” I said. Meowr.=Not if human Maggie not can hear. We all look down at Storm. “That would explain why she never heard anything last night,” said Jennifer. “Yes, but what about Sam?”, asked Carine.
“Like the cats said, he is hiding something,” I reminded everyone, “like the fact he never told us that his wife is deaf. He is over looking at his bus right now, time for a talk. You come with me Muffin, you too Kristina, and both of you pay attention.” So off we go while the others continue looking in the buildings. “Hi Sam, did you find the battery?”, I asked. “No, and I have looked all over too,” he said, obviously not in a good mood. “How come you never told us your wife is deaf?”, I asked.
“Did she go and tell you!”, he yelled. “No, she did not need to tell us,” said Kristina, “we found out ourselves when we went in to find out if it was her screaming.” “Screaming!”, he exclaimed, “that was just one of the birds around here, nothing to be concerned about.” “Sam, you do not yell at Kristina, or any of the girls for that matter,” I said, “when I work for someone I want to know all the details about a case. And that was no bird, that was a person, you know that too, so start telling the whole truth.”
“Okay, I apologize for my outburst,” he said, “but this whole thing is getting on my nerves. I heard the scream, I have heard it before too, but usually at night, this is the first time during the day. And I just do not like telling people that Maggie is deaf.” I could tell that really got Kristina upset, understandably. I touched her arm because I could see she was going to say something. She turned and glared at me.
Muffin tapped her leg and looked up at her with eyes half closed, her warning look. Kristina settled down right away. “We need to talk some more later,” I said and we left. “Sorry Steve,” said Kristina as we left, “I should not have…” “Apology accepted,” I said smiling, “so, what did you notice?” “Oops.”, she said, “wait, he was cleaning his bus, like nothing had happened. Why did he not come and talk to us about it?” “Very good,” I said, “what about you Muffin?”
Meow,meow.=Human Sam still hide something that he not want to tell us. Me think it have to do with friends. “Good,” I said to her, “something I found odd is that no one else came running when whoever it was screamed. It was loud enough to be heard by everyone, except Maggie.” “Hmm, that is odd,” said Kristina, “unless everyone was just too scared to come out.” “Or they did not care,” I said.
Meow,meow.=Or maybe they do scream. “Wow, good one Muffin,” said Kristina. We waited on a bench outside the hotel for the others to return. It was not long and they came back, having checked several of the buildings. It was getting quite hot already and it was not even noon. “Nothing exciting so far,” said Kat, “except that each building has a cellar.”
“Possibly as a cool place to get out of this heat,” said Angel, “even the barber shop had a cellar, although we did not check it out, the possibility of poisonous spiders was enough for me to stay out.” “Hmm, it does seem odd that the barbershop had a cellar,” I said. “Did you find out anything from Sam?”, asked Kat. “Yes,” said Kristina, “he is ashamed to tell people that his wife is deaf!” I look at her. Suddenly, ‘thunk’, an arrow sticks into the post right beside me…
To Be Continued.
©2022 Steve McLeod.