by Zeke Drummond from SKETCHER IN THE RYE, the fourth book in the Portrait of Crime Mysteries, by Sharon Pape
Well folks, I’m here to let you know how my adventure with Rory and Purrsey, the ghost cat, turned out. On my last visit, I told you that Rory had to wait outside the house where the police were investigatin’ a series of gunshots. Purrsey was nowhere in sight, so we figured he was already inside. Stayin' invisible, I popped inside to see what was happenin' and found myself in a standoff between three policemen and the homeowner, every gun drawn. No sign of Purrsey.
“Drop your weapon, Mr. Kirby,” the lead cop ordered. “Drop it or we’ll have to use force against you. We can’t allow you to threaten us or to continue to be a danger to your neighbors.”
Kirby had as crazed a look in his eyes as I’ve ever encountered, and his hair was stickin’ up all over like he’d been tryin’ to pull it clean out of his scalp.
. “You don’t understand,” he said in a tortured voice. “I’ve gotta get rid of the cat. It’s been tormentin’ me ever since I moved in here last month. I can’t sleep, I can’t eat. I called every agency in the government, but no one would listen to me. No one would believe me. I have to take care of the problem myself, or that cat is gonna send me straight to the loony bin.”
“Put down the gun, and I promise I’ll listen to you,” the cop said. “You don’t want to go to jail over this.”
“No, no way,” Kirby growled. “I need the gun to get rid of the cat.”
“I’ll take care of the cat,” he said. “Do you know where it is right now?”
“I never know where it is,” Kirby cried out, “until it jumps out in front of me.” He was clearly gettin’ more and more worked up by the minute. “It’s got some super powers or something, because I know I shot and hit it a good three times, but there was no blood, not a drop. That just ain’t natural.”
And just like that I knew what the problem was - Kirby had moved into a house with a ghost cat of its own. I was pretty sure I’d find Purrsey wherever the other cat was holed up. The lead cop was tryin’ to convince Kirby that if he hadn’t succeeded in killin’ the cat by now, maybe the gun was the problem. I left them to it and went off in search of Purrsey. I found him on a rafter in the basement chattin’ up a beautiful cat with long white fur and come-hither green eyes. Purrsey looked directly at me and gave me a sly wink, then the two of them vanished. I had a feelin’ Mr. Kirby wouldn’t be troubled by the cat again.
Up on the main floor, they’d made some progress. Kirby had finally given up his gun and was bein’ cuffed. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the guy, given the circumstances. I filled Rory in on the whole thin’ as we walked back to tell Frances, Purrsey’s owner, that the danger had passed. She insisted we come in, and we were mighty happy we did. Curled up together on the sofa beside Frances’s favorite chair, were Purrsey and his new lady love. “I’m going to call her Purrl,” Frances said, her eyes dancin’ with joy. Rory and I felt pretty darned good about it all too. And now that Purrsey had a playmate, I suspected he would't be comin' to bother Hobo anytime soon.
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