The Petpet Detectives: Case of the Kidnapped Kadoatie - Part Four
We spent the next couple of days going over theories and
waiting to hear if there was anything new that Lance had discovered. Today was
the 8th of the month of Hiding and time to do some investigations.
Before that could start, we were all in the kitchen.
I was enjoying a bowl of Plum Crunch cereal, Damien was going over his plans
for the day, Charlie was nibbling on a piece of toast and Luna was sitting in
her chair, reading a copy of The Neopian Times.
She looked up, "Wow, Lance has three articles
in one issue!"
"He said he was a journalist," I answered, "that's
what journalists do."
"Here's one called 'The Mystery of Maraqua' by
Tom, that Chia we met the other day," Luna continued. "Do you think this links
to the kidnapping of Jasmine?"
"How?" Damien asked.
Luna's eyes filled with thought. "Maybe someone
is jealous of Lance because he's so successful in his writing. And he's rich
on top of that."
"Now we're back at square one. As in, the kidnapper
could be anyone if that's the case," I sighed. "Why don't we split up today?"
We voted on that-it was unanimous.
"Excellent!" I proclaimed, "Charlie and I will
meet up with one of the Chia brothers, Damien can find the second one to ask
him some questions and Luna-"
"I'll go to Lance's house," the shadow Yurble
suggested, "To see if he has any new information or leads. How about we all
meet back here in a couple of hours to exchange information. All in favor?"
Two hands and two paws shot up into the air.
That settled it.
It was an hour before one of the Chias made their
appearance outside The Neopian Times office.
Damien was next to me, and Charlie on top of
my head. We were hidden behind a clump of bushes near the sidewalk, waiting
to follow Tim or Tom. An Eyrie my size was a little hard to hide, so I really
had to duck down.
"There goes one," Charlie pointed.
"We'll take this one," I offered, rising up,
"Wait for the next one Damien, he shouldn't be too far behind."
The yellow Chia was wearing the same white T-shirt
with the red tie. He started down the street, carrying a paper bag and cup of
coffee. I followed him discreetly into the park; where he said he took his lunch
The Chia sat down on a bench and opened his bag.
He started to eat. I waited for the right moment. Once the crowd of Neopets
in the park had departed, Charlie poked me on the head. It was his signal to
I sauntered over to the bench and casually said,
"Hey. Tim right?"
"Hey Marlo and Charlie. Good to see you again.
And it's Tom," the Chia corrected.
"Ah, sorry Tom, I always seem to mix you two
Tom nodded and said, "So what are you doing here?"
"Just enjoying the nice day," I said, thinking
fast. "I didn't get to sleep until late last night. Someone was outside my window."
I waited for Tom's reaction. He remained expressionless and asked,
"Did you ever find out who was there?"
"No, I didn't," I replied, then added, "but I
have a hunch that it was the same person who took Jasmine."
Tom raised an eyebrow and took a bite of his
green apple. He seemed not to care much, and he brushed it away.
It didn't take a genius to figure out that Tom
wasn't in the mood for company. He took another bite of apple and looked in
the other direction. It was also obvious that he didn't have anything to say.
"Terrible thing, isn't it?" I continued, trying
to give Tom a push in the confessing direction, (if he took Jasmine, that is),
Tom nodded, and turned the other way again.
"Tom," I began, "are you… trying to avoid me?"
The Chia turned and chuckled, a forced sound,
"No, I'm just trying to enjoy my lunch break."
"I see. I won't bother you, then. Thanks for
I rolled my eyes when I turned my back, like
he gave us any useful information…
"I'll try not to confuse you with Tim."
"The only way to do that is to look at our hairlines."
I stopped and turned. "Excuse me?"
Tom stood up, "I have some hair missing. It
hasn't grown back yet." He pulled up his mop of orange hair, and I saw a tiny
mark where there was no yellow hair at all. The orange hair on top of his head
had hidden the bald spot. "Other than that, there is no physical way to tell
"I see," I commented, "again, thanks for your
Charlie and I started out of the park. Well
Tom, I mused, this may have been a useful conversation after all…
Meanwhile, back at the Neopian Times Office,
Damien had his turn just five minutes after the first Chia appeared.
The second one came out of the building, and
before he could start off, Damien stopped him. Damien really wasn't in the mood
to talk to Tim, after his rude exit in the building a couple of days ago.
Please let this be Tom, Damien pleaded
"Hi, um, excuse me, but are you Tom?"
The Chia turned. "Oh, a detective again. No,
I'm Tim. And also very busy."
"I understand, Tim," said Damien, wincing slightly.
"But I just had one more question for you."
"All right then," Tim stopped walking. "One
Wow, Damien thought, That wasn't so
hard. "Thanks," he said, "I just need to know: how many times have you been
published in The Neopian Times?"
Tim's brow furrowed, "What kind of detective
question is that?"
"I didn't say it was a detective question,"
Damien played it cool, "just out of pure curiosity, actually."
"About ten," said Tim, "I do more researching
"Okay, then," Damien didn't want to push it,
Luna walked up the steps to Lance's house and
started to knock on the door. She had been dropped off before the boys went
to The Neopian Times office.
After a minute or so, no one answered. Since
it was open, Luna pushed on the door a little. It swung slowly, revealing the
spacious main room. Luna stepped inside and called out,
Then something struck her: Where was the Quiggle
Luna started up the stairs, towards Lance's
room. He was probably writing an article or reading a book up there. As she
made her way down the carpeted hall, she heard a scuffling sound coming from
It was none of her business, really, to go barging
in… especially since the door was closed. Luna inched toward the door, as if
she expected it to open. But it didn't. She pressed her ear up to the door.
From inside, came the sounds of dresser drawers
being pulled open, things being tipped and objects being tossed aside. What
in the world was Lance doing? He was looking for something, that much was clear,
but why was he so frantic to find it?
Taking a deep breath and making up her mind,
Luna pushed open the door.
Who she saw was not who she expected.
It was the Quiggle butler. He straightened his
tuxedo and tugged on his bow tie. Giving her a look of extreme disapproval,
he started towards her.
"And what, may I ask, are you doing?" He drawled.
"I was looking for Lance," Luna said quietly.
"The master is not home. You should come back
"Why are you in here?" Luna cut him off, "and
why were you rummaging through this stuff?"
"I seemed to have…" the Quiggle gave her a tight-lipped
smile, "misplaced something…you are a very nosy girl to come barging into this
"I could say the same," Luna replied coldly,
standing her ground. "What is it that you're looking for?"
"It's not of your concern," the blue Quiggle
snapped, "I suggest you leave at once."
"Sure, I'll leave," said Luna, "but you can
bet Lance will hear about this."
Without warning, she turned her back on him
and started to exit. She stopped abruptly when he said,
"Master Lance knows everything that goes on
in this house. There will be no need to inform him."
Luna exhaled and left.
That afternoon, after the group had all returned
home, they exchanged valuable information. Luna talked for an hour about the
Quiggle butler and how he was going through Lance's possessions.
"He's up to no good," Charlie advised.
"Nice bit of detective work," Damien complimented
"I'm not sure how much detective work was involved…"
Luna admitted, "The door was closed, but it sounded important, so I opened it
and found him."
"The question is why he was snooping around,"
I said. Dropping the talk of the Quiggle butler, I added, "I think Charlie and
I may have discovered something a little more useful."
At this statement, Luna and Damien gave me their
"I was talking to Tom and the fact that I can
never tell them apart came up in the conversation. Tom said that he had some
hair missing on his hairline, and he showed us too. There's a line just a couple
of inches where he is completely bald. But his orange hair on top covers the
spot, so you can't see it.
"It made me think: What if he kidnapped Jasmine?
She might have taken a swipe at him and clawed some of the hair out. Tom never
said how or why he had hair missing, he said, 'it hadn't grown back yet'."
"Holy Tyrannia!" Luna exclaimed. "The tuft of
hair I found in Lance's mansion!" She picked the jar with the hair in it off
the tabletop, "this could be his."
Everyone launched into discussion at once, but
the doorbell interrupted us. I answered it.
It was a green Ruki carrying an envelope. "A
message from Master Lance," he said, "he told me it was urgent and that you
needed to see it at once."
I took the message, the Ruki tipped his hat
and disappeared. Slitting it open with my talon, I pulled out two pieces of
paper. I read the first one aloud,
" 'Petpet Detectives-I discovered this note
in the windowsill. I thought you should be the first to see it. -Lance'"
"Open the second one," Damien demanded.
I opened the second note, and in bold scribbled
letters it read:
Detectives-you had better drop this case.
I warned you to stay away. Forget this whole thing ever happened or Jasmine
is going straight to the Kadoatery!
To be continued...