Monday, January 31, 2011

McBain Shows up out of Breath

"McBain you looked flushed!" Mews exclaimed.  McBain nodded his head as he stepped into Mews' apartment-but not before looking over his shoulder.

"Darn right I'm flushed!  I just ran twenty blocks," McBain said.  He took a seat on the couch as Mews listened to his wheezing chest.  "I'm gonna need to get into better shape if I'm gonna be outrunnin' bald blackmailers and other bad dudes."  Mews smiled and offered McBain a cup of tea before they got started in on conversation.  McBain looked up and heaved forth a phlemy laugh.

"I'm afraid ol' Regis here's gonna need somethin' a little stronger than tea," he said pulling out a silver flask from inside his jacket.  He unscrewed the cap, took a long swig, and then let out a husky grunt. "Now, cat.  Now I'm ready to do some talkin'."

Friday, January 28, 2011

McBain Calls Mews from an Undisclosed Location

"Mews, it's Regis McBain.  Look, man, I think I'm being followed.  There's this funny looking bald dude that's been lurking around my building all day."

"If that's the case," Mews said with an urgency in his voice, "we must meet at once.  It sounds as if the blackmailer is upping the pressure on you.  Why don't you join me at my place this evening so we can get this investigation underway?"

"I don't know man," McBain said looking over his shoulder.  "What if this guy follows me to your place?"

"My building is secure.  Besides, I won't tolerate being intimidated by persons unknown.  Now, how does eight o'clock sound."  

"Yeah, yeah okay," McBain said sounding breathless.  "I'll try and ditch him on the road.  Let's just see him try to catch up with me and Jackie."

"Jackie?  And will you be bringing this Jackie along?" Mews asked.

"Oh, heck yes.  Jackie's my '69 GTO hardtop dude!"   

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Millicent Decision

"Very well Quigs.  Perhaps I've been a touch severe.  Let's discuss your heart's crisis for a moment before we move on with the case.  You're clearly in no state to work until you get a handle on this Millicent situation," Mews said firmly.  Quigley offered up a wan smile.

"Oh, it's true.  I'm quite embarrassed.  If it was anyone but Millicent," Quigley said.  "She is an exceptionally rare creature."

"Tell me what happened," Mews said.

"Well, you see she stole my heart thrice.  The first was when she ran off to Greece with that muscular acrobat-what was his name-Agacio.  Then, when she returned and we made up she left me again for a small acting role on stage in London.  Really, that was tragic.  She didn't even have any lines."

"And the third time she stole your heart?"  Mews thought he saw a tear well up in Quigley's eye.

"Just last year.  She was married," Quigley said.


"Yes.  Last year she became a nun and was married to God," Quigley said as he choked back tears.  "But that too didn't last.  Now she's here, in Portland, and she says that she's been so foolish.  That she never should have let me go!" 

"My goodness, Quigs.  I do feel for you-but don't you think that the old girl might be a tad dramatic-and dare I say confused?"  Mews said squinting in the sunlight.  "Perhaps it's for the best that things don't work out.  If you want some good old fashioned advice, perhaps you ought to nip this one in the bud before she nips you."

"Oh you may be right.  But perhaps she's changed. Grown up a little," Quigley said.  "I've never felt this way about anyone else Mews."

"Yes, well, in that case I think it's time that you make a Millicent Decision," Mews stated.  Quigley looked up.

"A Millicent decision," Quigley said looking interested.  "By God you're right Mews.  This indecision has gone on long enough."

Help Quigley make his decision by casting your vote in the poll!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Quigley Disappears and then Returns Heartsick

"Quigs!  Where on earth have you been?"  Mews asks as Quigley lands on a branch in the courtyard looking harried.  "Get in here at once and explain your absence!"

"Yes, I'm terribly sorry Mews.  I had some personal business to attend to."

"Fair enough Quigley, but we're going to lose our client if you keep pulling these disappearing acts.  Now, have a seat and tell me what's going on.  Oh dear, it's not that girl again is it?"  Mews watched Quigley with a keen eye as Quigley slowly nodded.

"Yes, Mews, it's the girl again.  She's back in town-my lovely Millicent.  I thought she was gone forever, you know."  Mr Mews turned away from Quigley and rolled his eyes.

"You mean like the last time she was gone forever Quigs?  Come, it's time to get to business.  We shall discuss Millicent at a later date."

Friday, January 21, 2011

Mews Persuades McBain

"I do understand that you want to maintain privacy Mr McBain, but I assure you Mr Quigley will be an asset to your case and not a detriment.  Mm.  Indeed.  Yes, yes of course.  That's right, he does have a lot of contacts-he can be nearly invisible at times and therefore able to observe without being noticed.  I think that you'll come to appreciate Mr Quigley's talent for buzzing about town and gathering information," Mews stated clearly into the phone.  "I wish again to make it clear that your political views will in no way affect my ability to handle this case.  The same goes for Mr. Quigley," Mews said.  He eventually said goodbye to McBain and hung up the phone after repeating himself several times.  Mews walked over to the window and looked out over the courtyard.  While he watched the rain drip off the branches of the large deodora he realized that he didn't feel quite as confident as he had sounded on the phone.  "It's going to be difficult managing Quigley with McBain in the room.  I can't think of two more opposite creatures."   

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Quigley and Mews Tune In

"Yes, I think I've heard enough Quigs.  You can turn the volume down," Mews said.  "I can imagine with such inflammatory rhetoric Regis McBain probably has an enemy list a mile long."

"Quite, Mews.  You've got your work cut out for you this time-I'm not sure how you're going to narrow down the list of suspects to a reasonable number."

"It does seem a bit daunting.  I shall take it one step at a time.  While McBain may have hundreds of angry listeners, only a handful of those people would actually take action against him-and out of that handful only a few will actually have the information it would require in order to blackmail him.  McBain will be able to point us in the right direction when we interview him."

"And when might that be Mews?" Quigley asked looking impatient.

"This week.  He's a busy man.  And a secretive one too.  He wishes to meet at a secret location," Mews said.  "Yet, I'm afraid I still don't know where this secret location is."

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mr Mews Calls Regis McBain

"Yes, yes of course Mr McBain.  Yes.  Your privacy will be first and foremost my priority.  Yes, I understand who you are and I assure you that all my clients have been pleased with my discretion in delicate situations such as your own.  I do understand who you are and what it might do to your career if your blackmailer is not brought to justice.  Yes, a meeting is certainly in order this week.  I realize you're very busy.  Okay, I'll be expecting your call then, and goodbye."  Mews set down his phone and sighed.  "Already, this man exhausts me and I've only just begun the investigation.  Quigley will surely have to assist me in this case-there seems to be no end to my bird friend's eagerness and energy.  Just today I've seen him flutter past the balcony nearly a hundred times.  Quite dizzying, really.  Tomorrow night we shall have port and discuss what questions to pose during our first interview with Regis McBain-or as his enemies call him, "Regis McPain."      

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mr Mews Returns for his Second Case

"Say it isn't so, Quigs.  My vacation is over?  Confound it.  I just got comfortable, my overworked brain finally found some peace.  And I've just purchased some new bromeliads for my terrarium.  How will I ever find the time to give them the nourishment and care they need in which to thrive?  Now you've brought a new case before me knowing that I simply won't refuse.  Well, fine then, let's get on with it."

"I am sorry to trouble you Mr Mews, but I'm afraid an excellent cat detective's work such as yours is never done..."

"Yes, yes, just tell me who has the problem and what it is," Mews said with an agitated paw shake.

"Well," said Quigley looking excited despite Mews's peevish mood,  "we're dealing with a semi-famous local celebrity.  Have you ever heard of one Regis McBain?"  Mews gave a face and then rolled his eyes.

"That blow hard talk radio host?  Indeed, who has not heard that pompous windbag?"
"Yes, well apparently he's being blackmailed.  And that's all he'll tell me.  He wants to talk to you asap.  He's says that you're the only one he can trust.  The only one who will give him-how did he say it, "a fair crack at it."  Mews yawned, nodded and stretched his legs.

"Very well, Quigs.  Set up a pot of tea for me won't you?  Oh, and heat up yesterday's bacon scones-I'll need a little something to sink my fangs into before I give this McBain a call."

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Mr Mews Solves the Case of the Nasty Notes

"First, I want to thank you all for coming," Mews said stepping away from the window.  All eyes were on him and yet he felt a certain calm washing over the room-everyone, even the guilty, seemed to be relieved that the truth was about to come to light.  The innocent looked confident that they would not be wrongly accused and the guilty had the countenance of a prisoner in a courtroom-while being judged and eventually condemned at least they no longer had to bear the burden of their dreadful secret.  Mews took a deep breath, exhaled and began walking slowly around the room with authority and resolve.  "I want to assure you that after several weeks of investigation and careful consideration I believe I have solved the case of the nasty notes."  At this some shifted uncomfortably in their seats-a cry went out and and a burst of applause was cut short when Horst knocked Jean Claude's tea off the table.

"Pardon me," he said looking embarrassed as Jean Claude wiped down his seat.

"Order, order!" Quigley said hopping excitedly on the back of the couch.  "Order in the living room!"

"Yes, thank you Quigley," Mews said giving him a look.  "But I'll have to remind you and everyone that this isn't a courtroom-no one is on trial.  No arrests have been made and no arrests will be made because no crime has actually been committed."

"Mon dieu, Mews!  What are you saying?" Quigley asked as the others looked on with eager concern.

"What I'm saying is that the case of the nasty notes is not a cut and dry, black and white case of dogism.  No, friends, it turns out that there really is no dogism at work here.  It's rather quite the opposite I should say."

"Mews, what on earth are you getting at?" Beauregard said.  His jowls jiggled as he spoke.  "Really, get on with it my man.  We're all getting tired and hungry here.  Constance's cheese souffle is surely going to be ruined."  At this Mews turned towards Constance.

"Perhaps we should move things along, shall we Constance?  I believe things will go faster once you admit to the fact that you are the one responsible for the second nasty note-the one with the letters cut from this magazine?"  Mews pulled a copy of Home and Garden from his bag and as he shook it small pieces of glossy magazine letters fell to the floor.  Beauregard stood up as Constance looked on.

"That proves nothing, Mews.  Anyone could have cut those letters out," she said narrowing her eyes.

"Anyone-with your address printed on the cover?"  Mews said walking towards her.  "Found in your recycling the day after the note was discovered?"  Constance raised her head and then stood up.

"Very well, Mews.  You're right.  You caught me.  I am a dogist and I did assemble that note and I did stick it to Horst's door."  She turned and looked at Horst.  "It's true.  I don't like you because you are a dog."  She then returned to her seat and casually sipped at her tea.

"Ha!  I knew it!"  Quigley exclaimed as his feathers fluttered.  "Once a dog-hater, always a dog-hater!" Quigley yelled this as the rest of the room chatted amongst themselves with concerned faces.  Mews stood up and asked the room for his undivided attention.

"I'm afraid things are not as simple as that," Mews said as he approached Constance Snodgrass.  "And I'm afraid that you are in fact lying, Mrs Snodgrass."

"Rubbish," she said turning a nose at Mews.

"A liar and a dogist," Quigley added.  "Shame on you Constance."

"I am no liar Mr Mews.  I just admitted that I was responsible for that note,"  Constance said in her defense.

"Yes.  Yes, you are responsible for that note.  But not because you are anti-dog.  No," Mews said turning to the rest of the group.  "You see Mrs Snodgrass, my friends, is no dogist at all.  In fact, she is quite the opposite.  She is, in fact a dog lover!"  The group gasped and Constance hopped off of her seat.

"I'll have no more of this slanderous dreck Mr Mews.  Beauregard, fetch my coat.  I have a souffle that is about to collapse and guests to prepare for."  Beauregard walked across the room and then suddenly stopped.
"Your souffle, Connie, is not the only thing about to collapse," Beauregard said looking doleful.  "It is my heart that is ready to collapse," he said pressing a paw to his wrinkly chest.  "I can't continue with this charade-anymore," he said walking over to her.  He sat beside her, grabbed one of her paws and turned to the group.  She looked anxious.

"Beauregard.  What are you doing?"  Constance asked trying to wriggle away from him.

"Mr Mews is right.  Constance and I have had a relationship for over a year now.  I love her and she loves me-she put that note up in order to hide our relationship because she's embarrassed to love a dog like me."  Beauregard's eyes welled with tears.  "But it's all out in the open now Connie.  Our love is no longer a dirty little secret.  Now we can proudly walk down the street hand and hand, cat and dog."  Mrs Snodgrass looked at Beauregard and gave him a wistful smile.

"Well this just dills my pickle!" Jean Claude Reveneau shouted above the noise.  He strutted over to Beauregard and shook his hand.  The Swedish twins were giggling and conversing rapidly in their mother tongue.  "Now if we're all done here," Jean Claude said walking to the door, "I'd like to hit the hay-I've got an early morning tomorrow."  But Quigley hopped over to Jean Claude and stuck himself between the rooster and the door.  

"Oh no, but we aren't done here at all!" Quigley said.  "Mews, there is still one nasty note that hasn't been accounted for.  The first one.  Is Snodgrass responsible for that one too?"  Mews smiled and then shook his head.

"You are right Quigley.  There is still one more note that goes unexplained," Mews said taking Jean Claude's hand away from the door.  "But Mrs Snodgrass had nothing to do with it."

"Well, why don't you explain it to us Mews so we can all get on with the rest of our holiday," Jean Claude said with an exasperated tone.  Mews looked around the room and then settled his eyes on Horst.  

"The first note was the easiest to identify.  Since it was handwritten, all I had to do was compare handwriting samples," Mews said.  "And it made things even easier when the first sample I compared the note to was a distinct match.  Isn't that right Horst?"

"Say it isn't so!" Quigley exclaimed.  "Horst?  What do you have to say of this accusation?"  Horst turned away and then, he slowly nodded.

"It's true.  Yah.  I wrote the first note," Horst admitted as he frowned.  He tried to hide his eyes under his bunched eyebrows.

"But why?"  The twins asked together.

"Yes, why Horst?  Why put us through this interminable quagmire for the last two months?"  Quigley asked.

"For the same reason that Constance Snodgrass lied," Mews said interrupting.  "For love."

"For love?" Jean Claude Reveneau asked.

"Yes, it's true," Horst said.  He was beginning to cry.  "I wrote the note so that Magnus would return to me.  I thought that if he found out that I was being harassed he might leave Berlin and come back to me.  I lied, Mews-and to you Quigley.  It wasn't me that ended things with Magnus.  You see, he broke up with me.  Oh dear, I was so desperate.  Pathetic really."  Horst looked around the room.  "Looking back-it was all so silly.  I became more and more embarrassed-it became harder and harder to admit what I'd done and so I just let you all believe that someone was harassing me.  And then when that second note went up-I, I didn't know what to think.  I got scared and realized that perhaps I was in over my head.  Oh, goodness.  I'm so terribly embarrassed."

"You're not the only one who ought to be embarrassed," Quigley said looking at Constance Snodgrass.

"Why are you looking at me?  He's the one who created this whole state of affairs!"  Constance responded looking put upon.

"And you took advantage of an opportunity to protect yourself at someone else's expense," Quigley fired out.

"Well, I never admitted to being perfect Mr Quigley," Snodgrass said taking Beauregard's paw into her lap.

"I think we've had enough accusations for one day Quigs," Mr Mews said.  "I think it's safe to say that I've never accused anyone in this room of being perfect.  And I think we can all agree that stranger crimes have been committed in the name of love.  So I say, in the name of a New Year, that we put this all behind us and call the case of the nasty notes a case closed with this bottle of bubbly!"  
As Mews' guests lined up for a glass of Champagne Quigley stepped up to the detective, shook his hand and whispered, "A job well done Mews.  And just in time because I've already got a new case for you my good friend."      
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