Where there's a Weewoo, there's a way Circulation: 127,331,912 Issue: 258 | 22nd day of Gathering, Y8
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The Adventures of Inspector K. Rawk: The Bandit Case


by pepperpix

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It began on a Sunday morning. Inspector K. Rawk stared at the newspaper's headline. "Hmmmm..." he said as the inspector ruffled through the pages. 'GROOMER GONE MISSING' screamed the headline. As Inspector K. Rawk turned to the story, the door to his small Neohome in Neopia Central burst open.

     "Inspector K. Rawk! Inspector K. Rawk!" sobbed a distraught Kyrii as she stormed into the Neohome and flung herself into the chair across from his desk.

     The inspector sighed and delicately folded the newspaper and carefully placed it on his desk. He always liked things to be neat and orderly, especially on a Sunday morning. Folding his paws, the Krawk turned to look at the distressed Neopet.

     "What is it, madam?" he asked wearily.

     "Inspector! I have the most terrible news!" the Kyrii cried.

     Inspector K. Rawk sighed. "Yes?" he asked.

     You see, ever since Inspector K. Rawk had opened his detective agency a couple weeks before, he had become very familiar with tiny "cases" and minor "emergencies". The inspector was beginning to tire of it and he longed to have his first "big case". Or at least get back to the newspaper article.

     "Someone has stolen my very valuable Usuki collection!" exclaimed the Kyrii dramatically.

     "And, who, may I ask, are you?" the Krawk asked.

     The Kyrii gasped. "You have not heard of me? I am the very respected and well-known Ms. Bella Usuki, granddaughter of Mr. Samuel Usuki, who is the very founder of Usuki dolls and the entire Usuki Corporation!"

     This made the inspector sit up in his seat. "Ms. Bella, would it be too terribly rude of me to ask how much your collection was worth?"

     Ms. Bella gave him a sort of glare, before saying rather snottily, "The collection is valued at an estimated 3 million Neopoints, but has a much larger sentimental value."

     "And at what time did you notice that your collection had disappeared?" Inspector K. Rawk asked, now mildly interested.

     "I noticed it late last night, as I was about to go to sleep last night." Ms Bella replied, now looking a little annoyed.

     "I see," the inspector said, thoughtfully running his paws through his blue mane.

     "Well, will you take the case?" Ms. Bella asked. "I am a very busy Neopet, and I don't have all day to go around looking for my collection."

     "Certainly," the Krawk said, nodding his head ever so slightly. "Certainly."

     This might just have been the case that Inspector K. Rawk had been waiting for.

     A couple hours later, the inspector had fully committed himself to the case, examining Ms. Bella's Neohome for any evidence or clues for the case. However, he only found one small clue.

     THE BANDIT HAS STRUCK, said a small note that he had found wedged between shelves. He took the note and wanted to head home and inspect the clue further. He decided to walk home through the Neopian Bazaar.

     A crowd was gathering in the distance. The curious Krawk hurriedly made his way over to them and spotted a young orange Chia trying to fight its way out of the crowd, carrying a newspaper. Walking towards it, he asked, "What is going on?"

     "Didn't you hear?" the Chia replied, gesturing towards its newspaper.

     Inspector K. Rawk was completely puzzled now. "Hear what?"

     "Jimmy!" an owner called distantly. "Jimmy!"

     The orange Chia's ears perked up. "Well, I have to go now, mister. See you!"

     As Jimmy ran off, he dropped the newspaper he was holding. The inspector quickly picked it up. It was that day's paper. The headline said, 'GROOMER GONE MISSING'. A black-and-white photograph underneath showed the young Usul, Ursala, that ran Neopia's Beauty Parlour.

     The Krawk quickly scanned the article. Phrases such as 'scene of tragedy shows sign of struggle' and 'Neopians mourn for their friend and wish for her safe return' especially stood out in his mind. His brain began working overtime. What if these two cases are connected? he wondered.

     "Inspector! Inspector K. Rawk!" he heard someone exclaim. Turning around, he saw Judge Hog walking briskly towards him. "Hello. Judge Hog! May I help you?" Inspector K. Rawk asked.

     "As a matter of fact..." Judge Hog came to a stop in front of the Krawk, panting slightly. "You can. I daresay you have heard about the missing groomer?"

     "Well, I-" Inspector K. Rawk started to say.

     "Fantastic!" Judge Hog said, continuing. "We at the Defenders of Neopia Headquarters have decided to give you the case."

     The inspector couldn't believe it! Two big cases in one day! "Of course," the Krawk said, trying to sound professional.

     "Well, I must be on my way," Judge Hog finished, starting to walk away.

     "Wait!" Inspector K. Rawk called after him. "What if I can't find the missing groomer?"

     "Oh, I have full confidence that you can, Inspector," the Judge said, turning around. "Full confidence," he muttered to himself as he watched the Krawk scramble away.

     Inspector K. Rawk moved as if his heels were on fire. He walked rapidly towards Neopia Central, desperately looking for any clue that could help him solve the mystery. He paused in front of the Art Centre.

     "How bizarre," the inspector said to himself. "How bizarre indeed."

     What the inspector saw was the usually rather jolly Skeith who ran the coin shop within the Art Centre storming out of there, carrying a huge, noisy box that the inspector assumed was full of coins.

     "Oh, hello Mr. Inspector," the Skeith said gruffly as he set the box down with a large clatter.

     "Hello," the Krawk said hesitantly. "What seems to be the problem?"

     "Someone's gone and taken all me coins!" the Skeith shouted, his blue face rapidly turning red.

     "All of your coins?" the inspector said, surprised.

     "Yes, all of my coins," the Skeith said huffily. "And then they gone and leave me with THESE!" He kicked the noisy box.

     Inspector K. Rawk peered inside. The box was filled to the brim with Usuki dolls! He turned to face the angry Skeith.

     "Sir, I have reason to believe that these belong to a client of mine," the Krawk said suspiciously, glaring at the shopkeeper.

     "What? ME? A THIEF? That's impossible!" the Skeith exclaimed, now looking highly offended.

     "Arrest that man, Inspector!" a faint female voice called in the distance.

     Hurriedly, Inspector K. Rawk turned around. The usually jolly blue Blumaroo that was the shopkeeper in Usukiland was racing towards them, her face cloudy, her fists clenched.

     "That Skeith has stolen my Usuki stock! It's right in that box, see?" the Blumaroo shouted, glaring at the inspector.

    The inspector knelt down to examine the box further.

     The Skeith gasped. "It is my stock that has been stolen! Someone has gone and taken all me coins and left me with these dolls!"

     Inspector K. Rawk stood up once more.

     The Blumaroo made angry movements towards the Skeith, and the Skeith took a step forward.

     The Krawk quickly stepped between them. "I believe," he said, taking a deep breath, "that you have both fallen victim to the Bandit."

     Both Neopets looked confused. "The Bandit?" they asked in unison.

     Inspector K. Rawk slowly unfolded a note and showed it to them. Both shopkeepers gasped.

     THE BANDIT HAS STRUCK AGAIN, the note read.

     BEWARE. NO ITEMS ARE SAFE.

     IF YOU SHOW THIS NOTE TO ANYONE,

     I WILL KNOW.

     -THE BANDIT

    "You see," the inspector continued patiently, "that neither one of you is at fault. You two have fallen victim to the Bandit. I advise both of you to return to your shop immediately. I assure you that the Bandit will be caught."

     Both Neopets reluctantly agreed, and the Blumaroo struggled to lift her large box of merchandise.

     "Allow me to assist you," Inspector K. Rawk said graciously, as he lifted up one side of the box.

     Together they hauled the box through Neopia Central and up in the Bazaar until they reached Usukiland. The shopkeeper opened the doors and both Neopets dropped the box inside.

     The Krawk took a good look around at the shop. As the Blumaroo had said, all the merchandise was empty. However, the inspector spied a large gift box in the corner. While the Blumaroo was busy putting away the Usukis, the inspector seized his chance.

     He swiftly moved over by the gift box and opened the lid. He gasped.

     Inside was Ms. Bella Usuki's very valuable collection of Usuki dolls! Angrily, Inspector K. Rawk dragged the heavy box out of the corner and into the Blumaroo's sight.

     "I don't recall inviting you to snoop through my personal belongings," the Blumaroo said angrily.

     "I don't recall inviting you to steal these valuable Usuki dolls from Ms. Bella Usuki!" the Krawk replied, angrier still, gesturing towards the gift box.

     The Blumaroo gasped. "But those were a gift! A gift from the young Usul who runs--well, ran the Beauty Parlour, in fact!"

     The inspector glared at her suspiciously. "How do I know you're telling the truth?"

     "Check the tag," the Blumaroo offered.

     Checking the tag, it indeed read, 'Just for being such a great person. From, Ursala.'

     "All right," the inspector agreed rather gruffly, "I believe you. However, I must take this box and return it to its rightful owner."

     "Of course!" the Blumaroo exclaimed. "I'm terribly sorry. I had no idea it was stolen!"

     Inspector K. Rawk smiled weakly. "Funny how that happens, isn't it?"

     The Blumaroo looked guilty. "Oh, well, I suppose I'll go apologize to that Skeith later."

     But the inspector wasn't really listening. He was too deep in his own thoughts. Exactly who was 'the Bandit'? How involved was the Grooming Parlour shopkeeper?

     It was questions like this that kept the Krawk in a fog through his long walk home, halfheartedly dragging the big gift box behind him.

     When he got home, the inspector examined the gift tag on the box the Usuki shopkeeper had received, and the two Bandit notes. The handwriting matched up perfectly.

     Thinking the case was closed; the inspector happily turned off his light and fell into a deep sleep.

          The next morning, Inspector K. Rawk awoke with a newfound suspicion in the case.

     He walked to the Defenders of Neopia Headquarters and asked Judge Hog for permission to inspect the Grooming Parlour. When it was granted, he rushed to the Grooming Parlour. If his theory was right, he had only a little time before the Bandit would strike again.

     Walking inside the deserted Grooming Parlour, there were obvious signs of struggle. Or were there? wondered the inspector. While there were desks, chairs, and couches knocked over, all the shelves containing merchandise were miraculously untouched.

     "How peculiar," the Krawk said to himself, pacing back and forth Suddenly, he saw something that made him positive who was the Bandit and where they would strike next.

     Hurriedly, he ran over to the Uni's Clothing store.

     "Oh, hello Mr. Inspector," said the well-dressed Uni. "Have you finally decided to get rid of that awful trenchcoat?"

     "No, madam, but I need your help to solve a high-profile case," the inspector replied, speaking quickly.

     "All right, but I have a convention to go to in about 16 minutes," the Uni said doubtfully.

     "Trust me," the inspector said, "This will be worth it." I hope, he added mentally to himself.

     Approximately 16 minutes later, Inspector K. Rawk was nowhere to be seen and the Uni put on her traveling scarf and left for her convention. Not even 5 minutes later, the door creaked open and a disguised Neopet tiptoed into the shop. Looking quickly around, it began taking clothes off the shelves and shoving them into a large black sack. As it was about to leave, it left a note on the counter. It said,

     THE BANDIT HAS STRUCK ONCE MORE.

     The Bandit was turning to leave when it heard a deep, booming voice from the back of the shop.

     "By the laws put into place by the Defenders of Neopia, I hereby arrest you, Kayla Roo, for theft and threat by burglary!"

     Gasping, the Bandit turned around. Inspector K. Rawk was standing behind the desk, showing his police badge in one hand and the Bandit's note in the other.

     Panicking, the Bandit ran for the front door. But it immediately opened, and Judge Hog stepped in. As he pulled the mask off the Bandit's face, the Uni shopkeeper behind Judge Hog gasped.

     Just as Inspector K. Rawk predicted, it was Ms. Kayla Roo, owner and shopkeeper of Usukiland!

     Kayla glared at the inspector. "How did you know it was me?" she asked, her voice edging with disbelief.

     "Well," the inspector replied, stepping out from behind the desk, "yesterday you had me convinced that the Usul who owned the Grooming Parlour, Ursala, was the Bandit. But this morning, I went to visit the deserted Grooming Parlour and found-THIS!"

     Inspector K. Rawk held up a note addressed from Kayla to Ursala. It said,

     Ursala,

     Since you're such a good friend, I decided to treat you to a spa up in the Ice Caves in Terror Mountain for a week. You will have no contact with the outside world, so you can just focus on relaxing. Enjoy!

     From,

     Kayla

     Then the inspector held up the Bandit's notes. The handwriting matched perfectly with the note.

     "You tried to trick me yesterday, Kayla," the inspector continued. "You planted the stolen goods in the gift box and forged the note from Ursala, to distance yourself further away from the Bandit. That night. I thought that the case was closed.

     "But today," Inspector K. Rawk said, "I believe I mentioned that I visited the Grooming Parlour."

     Kayla nodded. "Yeah? So?"

     "And the place looked like poor Ursala had obviously put up a struggle. But as I looked closer, I noticed that all the merchandise was untouched, surely a courtesy that a kidnapper would not usually pay. I believe that you set this up so it looked like Ursala had faked her kidnapping and escaped. I had just about closed the case when I found the note," he continued.

     "Yes, yes, that's all very well," Kayla said impatiently. "But how did you know where I would strike next?"

     The inspector chuckled. "I had a feeling you might ask that. You see, I realized that the Bandit's attacks had purpose. You stole the Usuki dolls from Ms. Bella Usuki to frame Ursala. You planted your own merchandise on the Skeith so it would seem that you were also a victim. You stole the coins because you needed foreign money to use when you made your escape. And," the Krawk said dramatically, "You wanted to steal the clothing to protect your identity when you escaped."

     Now even Judge Hog seemed impressed. "Wow, Inspector," he said. "You certainly have done your research."

     Inspector K. Rawk smiled proudly. "I am always on the case."

     With that, he decided to add to the mystery factor about himself by then turning and walking out the shop's back exit (Hey, image is important, too!), leaving Judge Hog to escort Kayla Roo down to the Defenders of Neopia Headquarters.

     The following Sunday, Inspector K. Rawk looked at the newspaper headline. It said, 'INSPECTOR K. RAWK SOLVES HIGH PROFILE CASE' and a sub headline that said, 'Citizens were shocked that the Bandit walked among us'.

     Smiling, the inspector took a drink of his coffee and turned the pages of the newspaper.

     Suddenly, there was a pounding on the door.

     "Inspector! Inspector! Emergency!" a muffled voice rang through.

     However, the Krawk ignored it, picked up his paper and coffee, and walked out of the room.

     He always liked things to be nice and quiet, especially on a Sunday morning.

The End

 
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