It was a gorgeous Carolina day, bright high blue skies with lower humidity than was normal in the town called “Famously Hot.” I adjusted my fedora and strode out into the afternoon, rejuvenated by the dalliance with Marjorie and with the hidden words of Dr. Boo bouncing around in my skull like balls in a pachinko game. Luckily I remembered to wipe away the words before I allowed the lockbox to be returned. Had Boo emptied the box? Or had there been another key, and had this person also seen the message? What could the strange sentence mean? Perhaps Honey Boo Boo could help. I turned south and began to walk down Main toward the Karolina Kat Kondominiums where Kitty kept her condominium.
Almost as if on cue, my cell phone rang, with bars from “Stray Cat Strut” spilling from my pocket. I grabbed the phone and punched in my code. “Duffy, Duffy. Help!”
“Kitty, are you ok?”
“No. . . they’re here. Inside my place.”
“Who?” My feet began to break into a stride.
“I can’t see them. I am hiding in a closet. But I can hear them. I think it is three men. There are just about to come up stairs.“
“Stay hidden. I am heading in that direction right now.”
My claws scratched against the concrete sidewalk as every tendon in my body strained to gain more speed. I had to get there, but even at top speed it would take ten to fifteen minutes, and I didn’t see a cab anywhere. I dared not call 911 in fear of being disconnect from Honey’s phone. I could hear her breathing quietly in fear. Soon I heard other voices.
“Honey! Honey Boo! We know you are in here. We just want what is ours. It wasn’t in the statue. We know you have to know where it is. Honey, Honey, come out to play.” The voice was strange, an eerie cackle not unlike that of Luther in "The Warriors."
Then there was a shriek and the sound of struggle. I could hear Kitty spewing curses in her distinctive southern drawl. Then I heard the thud of fists on flesh and rage turned my vision red and cause my hands to clinch, so tight that I was suddenly aware I might crush my cell. As I came within a block of her home I saw a large Persian tossing a limp Boo into the back seat of a black stretch limo, and then just as swiftly the car peeled off down the street. I heard sirens in the distance. Someone must have called 911. I howled in frustration. These were dangerous men and they wanted whatever it was very badly. Enough that they would stage a mid-day kidnapping of a defenseless dame.
The coppers must have grilled me twenty times, and in each interview I gave them everything I knew . . . at least from the phone call that Boo made. Some things I was going to keep to myself. One of the dicks said there wasn’t much evidence, other than the kidnappers were rough. No one recognized my description of the Siamese thug. The two other guys must have already gotten into the limo before I arrived. Did they really think Honey had the answers? Why were they so certain her father would have told her much? Perhaps my intuition that she knew more than she was telling me was true. But now I was more invested in ever in finding out the truth.
[Join us tomorrow as we continue The Adventures of Duffy Dean, Detective on this radio channel.]