Well, we are all sitting in the library getting acquainted with our new team members. We have the Finnish woman that was rescued from Carole Ann, her name is Eelin. Then we have Walker and Crandal, two friends from the US. They have not quite finished the tests required, but both are doing well. Annelie has done a thorough background check on all 3 of them and found no problems whatever. Certainly nothing that would affect them working with us anyway.
Then there are the two kittens. Astrid is keeping one of them, a cute tortoiseshell, which she has named Tiia. Rock and Annelie are keeping the other, a pure white kitten, which they have named Snow. The cats can understand the kittens, but the rest of us cannot. Muffin said it is because the kittens only speak “mew”. Once they grow up and learn to speak “meow”, then perhaps we will understand them too. Guess we will just have to wait and see.
Kristina came in at that time with the mail and handed it all to me. Everyone else groaned. One was an actual letter, about a possible case. “Hmm, this sounds interesting,” I said, “an older lady would like to hire us to find her puppy that has been stolen. At least she thinks it was stolen because it disappeared. She lives in a large chateau not too far from here.
She says that she is heartbroken at the loss of her puppy and will gladly pay whatever we charge if we will help her.” “Well, that certainly sounds like a nice simple case,” said Sky, “I say we go and help.” Meow,meow.=Yep, me too say yes, need to help find puppy before he get hurt. “Okay, I will give her a call,” I said. I set up a time for some of us to go over and talk with the woman this afternoon. Sky will come along as my wife.
We will also take Crystal, Carine and Benson (who are now married), Galyna, plus Muffin and MC. We got there and she invited us in. Her name is Denise Allard, she is 73, and lives alone in a huge and very beautiful chateau. Her husband died 4 months ago in what she called a strange accident. She quickly brought out a picture of her puppy. The cats ears went straight up!
It was not a puppy at all, but a stuffed puppy, a toy. “I know it seems strange,” she says, “but this puppy has great sentimental value to me. My husband won it for me at a fair 40 years ago. It was exactly 40 years on the day that he died in fact.” That got my attention. That seemed a bit too coincidental for me. But why would someone steal a stuffed toy?
There are some valuable looking antiques in here and yet none of them were taken. “My husband always used to joke that if we ever needed money in our old age, we could just ask little Ben. That is what I called my puppy. My husband was big Ben,” she explained. “Did anyone ever hear you or your husband say that about your puppy?” asked Sky. “Oh yes,” she answered, “probably everyone in the village heard big Ben say that at one time or another.”
“Well,” I said, “someone might have thought you had hidden something valuable in the puppy, and that is why it was stolen.” “Oh my,” she said, “I never thought of that possibility.” “But, is it possible you may have misplaced it somewhere in the chateau?” asked Carine. “Oh, that is possible,” she said with a sigh, “I always lose things in here by putting it down somewhere, and then I do not remember where. Maybe when that nice real estate man was here last week.”
“Are you planning to sell the chateau?” asked Crystal. “Well, I have thought about it,” she replied, “it is just too big for me now, and this nice man just showed up one day, so I showed him around. But he said it would not be worth very much because it needs so much work.” Hmm, from what I have seen so far, this place is immaculate, but perhaps other areas of the chateau are run down.
“Well, we should look around the chateau first, to see if you misplaced your puppy in here, before we consider that it might have been stolen,” I said, “may we look around?” “Oh yes, please do,” she said, “but I hope you do not mind looking around by yourselves, my arthritis is bad today.” “That is fine,” I said, “we will be very careful.
I would like my friend Benson and his wife to look around outside and see if they can find evidence of someone breaking in somewhere.” “That is fine also,” she said, “I will be right here if you need anything.” Off we went to look around the place. I also called Annelie to do some checking on a certain real estate company and one of their realtors named, Max Barbeau. Also, to check into the death of this woman’s husband. Something is not adding up quite right.
To Be Continued.
©2022 Steve McLeod.