Madison Jones and the case of the Brightvale Library
When I decided to take a vacation to the land of stained glass and books, I never expected to be handed a new case. I had purposely chosen Brightvale so I would avoid this, but apparently trouble pops up wherever I go. I, Madison Jones, was a trouble magnet.
How rude of me! Let me introduce myself, even though you may already now who I am. The name’s Jones, Madison Jones. But call me Maddie. I’m your average white Kougra, except for my above average life. Not all the white Kougras in Neopia are sleuths, and happen to be the sleuth. What do you mean you’ve never heard of Madison Jones, private eye? I’ve solved loads of cases in Neopia Central.
That leads me back to the matter at hand. After a few long, hard cases, my friend Andrew and I had decided I need some quality time with myself, without a magnifying glass in my hand and searching for clues everywhere I went. Andrew was also glad to be able to spend some quality time in Brightvale, their library was probably too big for him to resist. As soon as we arrived, that orange Kougra headed straight for the library. I couldn’t help but laugh at Drew; he could make loads of gadgets, but if he saw a book that he hadn’t read, he’d explode.
While Drew was reading, I checked into the inn and decided to do some exploring. Even though we had left Neopia Central for me not to do any sleuthing, it was an instinct and I couldn’t fight it. Brightvale didn’t have much to look at, other than the beautiful stained glass windows. After a few hours of looking at endless stained glass windows, I decided to find Andrew. It didn’t take long. I just followed the signs to the royal library, and Andrew there, a stack of books piled high next to his chair and even more opened in front of him. The only thing that was surprising was that Drew wasn’t even reading; he was arguing with a pink Tonu with a bow in her hair.
“I didn’t take it!” I heard him say indignantly. “I only got here this morning, so there’s no way I could have taken your precious book.” Andrew was looking pretty fired up, and I took off my glasses and cleaned them, to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating.
The pink Tonu looked more distraught than angry, and my case radar was going off. “Then who did?” she demanded to Andrew, who had drawn himself to his full height, which would have been pretty impressive except that the pink Tonu was still taller than him. “The only person I saw was an orange Kougra in here, and they took the book!”
Andrew’s blue eyes flashed angrily. “So? There’s more than one orange Kougra around here. It doesn’t prove it was me!”
I walked over to my friend, my paw resting on his shoulder. “Andrew would never steal a book,” I said, defending Drew immediately.
He gave me a grateful, but still angry, look before turning his attention back to the upset Tonu. “Look, my friend here is a detective, maybe she can help,” he said to the Tonu, and she turned her attention toward me.
I was steaming! I was supposed to be relaxing, not falling into another case. I gave Andrew the evil eye before turning my green eyes on the Tonu. “The name’s Madison Jones, private eye and number one sleuth in Neopia Central.” I held out my paw for her to shake, but she ignored it.
“Wow!” the Tonu exclaimed excitedly. “You’re Madison Jones? You’re, like, super famous! Or at least, all the newspapers from Neopia Central make it seem like you are. I have to archive them, so I know all about your cases. My name’s Melody, and I’m a huge fan of you!” Melody continued to ramble, and I was flattered, but this was the reaction I had been trying to avoid.
“A pleasure to meet you, Melody,” I said politely before trying to change the subject. “Now, what is it that’s missing?”
Melody gave me a sad glance. “It was a book. A very important book about artifacts,” she said quietly. “I’m a librarian in training, and I was in charge of the rare books, stacking and archiving them. This book is about all the dangerous artifacts out there, and I had put it on the 'D' stack when somebody walked in the library. At first, I ignored them, working hard at my task, when whoever it was came up to my table, saw the book on dangerous artifacts, and swiped it!”
Melody broke down, tears streaming down her pretty pink face. “I looked up and saw the retreating figure of an orange Kougra, I could identify the color thanks to the paw I saw, s-s-swiping the book!” Melody gave a low wail of despair and began to sob. I patted her back and waited for her to continue. “The book is priceless and my supervisor will, urm, paint me ghost without a paint brush if she finds out.”
Andrew stifled a laugh at these words. I glared at him, but I had to admit, it was pretty funny.
“So when I saw your friend I thought he was the person who swiped the book. I’m sorry I assumed so,” she added and looked at Andrew, who gave her a look of sympathy, which to me looked pretty false. For such a sensitive guy, Andrew could be downright sarcastic at times. “Can you help me?” And, for the most part, my sleuthing instinct kicked in.
I nodded before taking out a pen and a piece of paper. “So tell me, what was the orange Kougra wearing? Did they say anything? Did they drop anything?” I jotted down the questions and waited for Melody to speak.
“Well, they were wearing a helmet, I think, and some green clothes? They maybe said thanks after they swiped the book and I checked the floor; they didn’t drop anything.”
I quickly jotted down the answers and winked at Andrew. “Looks like we’ve got a case to solve,” I said and waved to Melody. “We’ll bring back the book.” I walked over to Andrew and pulled his tail. “C’mon, brainiac boy, we’ve got a mystery, thanks to you.”
I pulled my orange Kougra friend by the tail back to the inn, all the while looking out for any other orange Kougras. “Maddie,” Andrew whined all the way back to our room. “I’m sorry. We can just tell Melody no, right? This is supposed to be a vacation!”
I had to listen to him repeated it over and over again. “Just keep your mouth shut!” I growled and Drew clamped his mouth shut and we entered our inn room. I left Andrew sniveling on his bed and went down to eat something. Food always helped me think.
As I was about to start chowing down on a Brightvale Berry Pudding, two Aishas entered the inn and sat down with cans of neocola at a table near mine. I couldn’t help but over hear their conversation:
“So, I heard Brynneth locked up that thief again...”
“Ya mean that pretty Kougra guard from the castle?”
“That’s the one. They call her Brynn, and she’s the orange Kougra.”
My hand shot to my pad of paper and I started to write the conversation down. This Brynn could be the orange Kougra that swiped the book!
“She’s locked that Hanso up more times than I can count!”
I looked up startled. Who was Hanso?
“Turns out, the faeries being stone may be connected to him. He stole some sort of artifact that he sold to Hubrid Nox.”
Hubrid Nox? Maybe I shouldn’t have accepted this case. Looks like things could get ugly pretty easily if Nox was involved.
“But, like usual, Brynn bit off more than she could chew!”
“You don’t say he’s escaped already!”
“Turns out, while the wraiths were attacking, Brynn got captured and Hanso escaped.”
“Ya know where they took the guard?”
“The wraiths? They headed off toward some caves or something.”
I finished writing and put the notebook away. The two Aishas finished their drinks and paid, then left the inn. I raced back up to my room and woke up Andrew. “Drew!” I hissed in his ear and he jumped up, eyes wide. “Andrew! I overheard two Aishas taking and they mentioned an orange Kougra!” I showed him my notebook and he read it, his already wide eyes growing wider with each word he read.
“This could just be the orange Kougra who swiped the book!” Drew said excitedly.
I grinned and poked the last few lines on my paper. “And we even know where they went.”
Drew gave a me a small smile. “But you’re supposed to be relaxing,” he said weakly, but I brushed it away.
“We’ve got a huge lead! No need to stop now. Plus, I’m pretty sure I know where those caves are. There are some caves in a hill only a few miles from Brightvale. If we hurry, we’ll have this case done before dinner.” Andrew brightened and we walked out the inn.
After maybe thirty minutes of walking, we made it to the caves. They were dark and damp and they had an eerie purple glow. Drew shuddered as we headed inside.
The ground was covered in dust, but there were distinct footprints all over the floor. I whipped out my flashlight and followed the ones that fit my paws. Only a Kougra could have left them. Those pawsteps joined with the footprints of an Ixi and a Xweetok, and they headed out in the direction of sunshine.
Drew and I made a quick sweep of the ground to check that the book wasn`t on the ground. After discovering it was not, we turned and headed in the direction of the light, the end of the creepy caves. It was the other side of the hill, lush green grass waving in the wind. Andrew and I looked at each other, smiles playing on our lips. Big difference from where we were before.
The footsteps were harder to see here, and were faded. I quickly searched through the tall grass looking for flattened land of a book.
Suddenly, I heard a shout from my good buddy Andrew. I raced over to the orange Kougra and he held up a book, a fat book with a gold trim and a plum purple cover. I glanced at the title and grinned from ear to ear at Drew. “C’mon,” I said with a smile. “We’d better get this book to Melody.”
We raced back to Brightvale, ran to the royal library and gave the book to Melody. She smiled and began to cry with relief and whoever saw us must have seen quite a strange scene. Two out-of-breath Kougras that made up the colors of an orange cream slushie and a pink Tonu with a bow in her hair who was crying her eyes out.
“This might have been one of my shortest cases,” I thought with a smile, and I nudged Drew. “Hey. This is our vacation!” He grinned and we said our good-byes to Melody.
So, this is Madison Jones, private eye and sleuth extraordinaire, signing off.