Believe me, I don’t mind mixing it up. Not that I am a violent cat, really. I am a lover, not a fighter. Unless someone gets my dander up.
jumped up from my seat and headed out into the main salesroom and saw
that the front window had been smashed. It looked like someone threw a
trash can threw it. Cameras and photography equipment was scattered
about. The I saw the Hulk, accompanied by Flame, approach the front
door. “Phil, get outta here.” I didn’t have to tell my friend twice, and
not a second too soon, as the Hulk’s bulk busted the front door. So
much for locks.
Clearly I had to deal with him first and I pick up a
stanchion and slammed it into his ugly mug. He fell backward and I could
see blood blossoming on his face. I stepped back just in time to
deflect a paw coming at me with a switchblade, and I caught Flame with a
hefty kick to the solar plexus. I grabbed his arm and snapped it back,
and I heard a deep howl squeal out of his mouth. He wasn’t being smart
now. Hulk was quickly back back in action and swinging like Brock
Lesnar, so I clipped him in the knee, which staggered him, then hit him
again with the largest telephoto lens I could heft. It was as big as a
telescope, and it was lights out for the Meow Mountain. He crashed to
the floor. Flame, arm hanging akimbo, was now aware that it was me and
him and that he probably couldn’t fend me off. I didn’t feel like any
more fisticuffs, and wasn’t in the mood for a knife fight, so I pulled
my piece. Flame froze like a frightened feline. He shiftily looked left
and right. I thought I heard some sirens off in the distance. Then. .
.the lights went out.
I came to face down on the floor. My head
ached from the conking. Someone had blasted me hard. I tried to get up
but I wobbled like a sailor on shore leave. The Hulk was still collapsed
in the doorway. Cameras and equipment were strewn about, and all
drawers and shelves were cleaned off. Several policemen surveyed the
damage, but no one seemed interested in providing medical aid to me or
my assailant. Then I saw a pair of orange paws peeking out behind a
cabinet. I tried to think hard if I had gotten in a lucky shot.
Duffy, Duffy. What am I going to do with you?” Detective Tom was coming
out of the back room. “Always a disaster waiting when I hear you have
been involved in something. What do you think they were looking for?”
grumbled a hello, but every syllable clanged painfully inside my head.
“Whatever it was, I hope they didn’t get it. Where’s Phil?”
the back. Someone roughed him up pretty badly. He said you and he were
going over a planned photography stakeout when the bully boys came in.”
“So, it looks like you were handling them ok. Why’d you have to kill them?”
looked again at Hulk and I saw a neat round hole in the top of his
head. I staggered up and then looked at Flame. He had a small hole too,
right between his eyes. My gun was in the center of the room.”
“If I check the piece, will there be two missing bullets?” Tom asked.
“Don’t know, but I didn’t shoot them.”
I don’t imagine you did, though I am sure the murderer would love for
us to believe you did. Phil said several more people came in, but he
thought you were already out by that time, since he would have heard you
mouthing off to them. Whoever got you, did it from behind. Why they
didn’t just finish you off, I don’t know. Maybe they thought we would
take care of it.”
“Is Phil ok?
“Yeah, he’ll be fine. A few bruises. They busted up the place good though.”
“Can I see him?”
“He’s at the hospital, where we are going to send you in a few. “
“You gonna arrest me?”
I think the evidence points to a frame, and I know you would never
shoot a downed man, no matter how much you disliked him. At least he
didn’t know what hit him. I just can’t understand why they were killed.”
mulled over the demise of my tormentors. Then it hit me. “Because they
were injured and would have had to get treatment, and you guys would
have been asking questions.”
The realization that my words might
be true drew a deep breath. “These guys are really serious. I can’t
imagine Wabo doing this.”
“What about Sattar?”
“Mmmmm. Don’t know. I’ll have to check him.”
about this time the pain got more intense and I could feel my head
splitting, and I slumped back to the floor. I could feel Tom grabbing me
and trying to hold me, but it was no use.
I must have
blacked out, because when I awoke, I was on a gurney and the sterile
white lights of a hospital ward blazed above me. A really hot nurse was
checking a bag, and it took every painful muscle in my face to eke out a
quick wink in her direction. Hey! Priorities. As I was slowly able to
take in the room I saw Phil sitting in a corner, reading a magazine. He
looked up as I stirred.
“Did they get the film? Or the police get it?”
I put it in an envelope and dropped it into the to-be-developed bin.
Neither group even thought to look in there for some reason. I’ll fish
it out when I go back and survey the damage.”
“Who was it? Did you tell them anything?”
roughed me up, but I kept telling them the same thing I told the
detective. Surveillance planning. I don’t think the thugs bought it, but
the coppers seemed to.”
“Did you see them?”
“Two of them.
American shorthairs. Fairly big. One brown and white, the other black
and white. They could have been brothers though. Tough cats. They worked
on me a bit, but they knew not to go too far. They could have ended me.
Not sure why they didn’t kill you, since I think they killed the two
“Maybe because they still need information from me,
in case they didn’t find the film. That thing is dynamite. Are you
covered in all this? I’ll try to get you some money from my savings.”
“Don’t worry about it. I’m covered.”
Cutie nurse came in and said I was going to have some stitches, and she smiled as I felt myself going back under.
[Join us tomorrow as we continue The Adventures of Duffy
Dean, Detective on this radio channel.]