Mystery at the royal palace “The case of the missing ring”
By A.J. Lombardi Copyright © 2018 All Rights Reserved
Chapter 1. Secret Agent Puffy
Hello! my name is Puffy the talking cat. For security reasons you may call me P.C. Although I am a world traveler, socialite, writer, musician, columnist, entertainer, top of the class graduate at Princeton, and holder of six doctorate degrees. “I remain a very humble person! Before continuing on with my story, I will tell you straight away that I also maintain a secret identity and my “Puffy the talking cat persona,” is only my cover.
Although everyone knows me as Puffy the famous talking cat, my true identity is that of a highly trained special agent. For national security, “no one must ever know who I really am! “I must warn you! “that before you read my story, you must abide by the Puffy the talking cat promise! “You must never reveal my true identity to anyone! “You appear to be an honest law abiding person, so I will presume that you will abide by your promise and allow me to move forward with my story.” I have solved many cases for members of the Royal family and well know dignitaries. My job is so secret that the agency I work for will deny that I even exist. “Of course, this is done so as to allow me to solve the special assignments, and maintain the integrity of my investigations.”
In the month of June while on vacation in Tuscany visiting Lord Fauntleroy, I received an urgent message to report to my home base in England. Upon my arrival, I was taken to a secret location so as to be briefed on my next assignment. I was surprised to see that prime minister Lord Fogworth was in attendance at this briefing. I knew that this assignment had to be of dire importance, and possibly a national security issue! The room that the briefing was being held in was heavily guarded. I was required to pass through over five security doorways to enter the briefing room.
When I first entered the room, those who sat around a very large mahogany table rose to their feet and gave me a very distinguished salute. Prime minister Lord Fogworth seemed very nervous. I noticed that the rimed hat he held tightly in his hands was shaking. He then leaned forward towards me and said “Puffy, I am so glad that you are here! “The Queen mom has asked me to send her personal regards to you and your family!” I replied that I wished all was well with the Queen mom, and, “I would join her for tea when my special top secret assignment was completed.
We then proceeded to sit down on the very large leather seats around the table. Upon sitting down, the prime minister’s pants made a rubbing sound on the leather seat which sounded like a fart! “We all laughed as the prime minister’s face became red with embarrassment!” To a certain degree, this incident did break up the somber mood in the room. Our attention was then directed to the man who was to be directing the to secret briefing. It was none other than the distinguished Sir Thomposina, who at that time was the head of Scotland Yard. At the direction of Sir Thomposina, a large screen was then lowered. I watched intently as my secret assignment was about to be unfolded.
Chapter 2. The Assignment
I sat through the briefing meeting for a period of two hours. I focused all my attention on absorbing all the facts of the case. For security reasons, “I cannot provide my readers with the full story! “However, I can relate the following scenario; A royal wedding was in the making and the royal wedding ring that was to be given to the future princess had been stolen! “Without the precious ring, the wedding would not go on! My assignment, was to recover the precious royal ring without causing an international scene. The recovery of the precious ring was to be carried out with the utmost secrecy. The Queen mom did not want any embarrassment to come to the royal family. I accepted the case and immediately left the building and headed to my secret apartment within the the city of London.
Upon my drive to my secret location, I pondered all that had transpired during my briefing. I knew the the royal family was depending on me and I had to resolve this case within weeks. “The royal wedding had to go on as planned, and without the precious ring, there would be no wedding! The Queen mom, and the future of the monarchy was depending on me! “Without question, I had to be successful in my mission to recover the stolen ring! The question that raced over and over in my mind was how could someone could have been so bold and brazen to break into the heavily guarded royal palace and steal the ring? “Was it possible that it was an inside job? “I knew for sure that it was no average cat burglar. The only name that kept on resurfacing to me was that of the infamous “Sir Simon Katsons.”
Chapter 3. A Sly Cat
The infamous international thief know as Sir Simon Katsons was one of the most sly and ingenious thief’s who had always managed to get away with his cunning plots. I knew he was both dangerous and almost impossible to trace. He was a sly cat who was well known to law enforcement officials. Sir Katsons came from a well to do family in upper Berkshire He fell into a life of crime upon the loss of his family fortunes.
As a young man, Simon had everything a person would want. “On a weekly basis, his family hosted lavish parties on their beautiful estate in Berkshire”. His family had very close ties with members of the royal family. Because of his family’s close relationship with the royals, Sir Simon was allowed to move free about Buckingham palace. Simon graduated Harvard at the top of his class. “He was even knighted by the Queen due to his service to the missfortunate of London”. Sir Katson became a hero to many. He was somewhat of a Robin Hood figure to those he had helped. He would rely on those he once helped to avoid his capture from the law. I was told that his decline into a life of crime was also triggered by a sudden loss of his memory.
I don’t know what sparked his memory loss, but I heard that he took a hard fall while playing polo and he never fully recovered his memory. Although his accident was tragic, most folks feel that his life of crime was mainly do to his inability to accept his life without the riches and prestige his family once had. “Although I felt bad for his family’s decline, I firmly believe that he could have found new avenues to regain lost fortunes without turning to a life of crime.
“Sir Katsons took great pride in his appearance!” He sported a very thin curled up moustache that he constantly twirled. He wore very distinctive hand made black boots with his initials marked on back side. “He also had an obsession with wearing to much musk cologne! I was told that you always knew he was close by just by the strong scent of musk cologne. “Aside from his obsessions and family history, he was a criminal, and my inner detective instincts put him at the top of my persons of interest list.”
Chapter 4. Evidence
Upon approaching the entrance to my hide away secret apartment, I noticed a very strange looking character standing in front of the street light post. What made this cat stand out so much to me was his manner of dress. He held a very large umbrella over his head which actually covered a large portion of his face. He wore denim pants with suspenders like the style that farmers wear. From a distance I watched him for about one hour. He just stood there leaning against the light post. I decided to enter the building through a secret doorway in the back of the building. For the next two days I plotted out my plan to locate the missing wedding ring. I felt very strongly that it had to be the work of Sir Katsons, “but I had to be reserved until I knew for sure.”
About two PM in the afternoon I received an urgent message from Sir Thomposina head of Scotland yard. I was informed that a piece of evidence was found at the crime scene. Sir Thomposina told me that a car would be waiting to take me to his office within the hour! “Finally a break that would help me in this very strange case! I arrived at Scotland yard and was taken to Sir Thomposina’s office by two heavily armed guards.
In the dimly lit room I noticed that someone was sitting with their back towards me near the fax machine. I reasoned that it may have been an assistant to Sir Thomposina, and did not pay any further attention to who it was. After a few moments, Sir Thomposina entered the room holding a black case. Without saying a word he opened the case and took out a white silk handkerchief with the initials S.S.K. “He stated that it was found under a sofa in the room where the stolen royal ring was kept!
His investigators did not think it was of importance because they thought it belonged to the Queen mom. It was only when he noticed the incorrect initials, he knew it was out of place. This was the evidence I was waiting for. I knew straight away that this belonged to the infamous Sir Simon Katsons. Without saying a word, I took the piece of evidence and headed towards the door. Before closing the door behind me I noticed that the whoever was sitting in the over sized chair next to the fax machine was no longer there.
Chapter 5. Dank “O” Side
Having this piece of evidence was all I needed to proceed in moving forward. I now knew for sure that the culprit of the stolen ring was non other than Sir Simon Katsons. “I knew what I had to do! My attention was now set to seek out and find the infamous Sir Simon Katsons. Many bad characters and alley cats roam the dank alleys and small streets within the corners of foggy London. Indeed, my mission was dangerous! “But I had to proceed into the darker side of London to capture my man. This is what my job is all about. and it sometimes takes more thank nine lives to finish what I start out to do.”
It was late Tuesday evening when I headed out into the foggy London night. I went out to the low life district know as “Dank O Side” It’s a place where anything can be bought and anything can be sold, “if ya know what I mean! Heading down a dark alley I could hear the sounds of a lonely saxophone.
The eerie sound came from some alley cat standing outside a jazz bar at the end of a cobble stone street corner. A blinking rusty sign out front gave the impression that this joint was open. The smell of stale cigarettes and cheap booze filled the air.
My only protection was a sharp attitude and my trusty thirty eight for back up. “I walked in the joint and ordered a shot of milk (neat)! “I told the bartender to leave the bottle! Trying not to look out of place, I put a dime in the music box and puffed on a fake cigarette. Maybe this would make me fit in better with this low life crowd. I noticed a card game in the center of the room and walked over to invite myself in. My intention was to get this crowd to think I was one of them and then try to extract some info.
Toward the back of the bar I saw a character who made me take special notice. What attracted me to this lone character was the fact that he was wearing denim suspender farmer jeans. I took note because my intuition told me it was the same cat I saw standing outside my secret hideaway. I sat down and was dealt a bogus hand by the fat cat dealer. “The bogus hand I was dealt put me on the losing end of this card game”.
I reached into my pocket for cash but came up short! “The dealer and two of his henchmen grabbed me from behind and started to rough me up! Being a black belt in Karate, I managed to knock out the burly card dealer in under three seconds. Just before I was about to send Karate kicks to the other attackers the stranger with the denim suspender jeans jumped up and landed Karate kicks before me.
“We both fought off the attackers and headed for the door.” Within seconds, the stranger in the farmer jeans and I escaped down the dark alleyways heading back to the main streets of London. We ran for miles without saying a word or even looking at each other. We finally came to a safe spot and sat until we recovered from being out of breath.
After a few moments the stranger took off his dark sunglasses and cap. “I could not believe my eyes! The stranger was not a stranger at all. “It was my hillbilly cousin Tom from America! “I could not believe what I was seeing! Standing in front of me was my hillbilly cousin Tom who I always felt was a country bumpkin. “Come to find out, Tom is a secret agent and works for the same agency I work for.” I have know Tom since I was a little kitten and would have never guessed he was a secret agent! The mystery of the stranger with the umbrella standing in front of the street light was now revealed! Tom explained that he was called by the agency to help me in this case. His part in this case was supposed to be behind the scenes.
Chapter 6. The hotel at Hamptonian Valley
Looking forward, we agreed that it would be best to work the case as equal partners. I shared with Tom the evidence I had regarding the silk handkerchief. Tom had some of his own leads regarding the whereabouts of Sir Katsons. It so happened that Tom had a short term romance with someone who once was a part of the Katson family social life. She knew of Sir Katson’s favorite places to hide. Tom managed to extract the maps of these locations. Together, we both decided to head back to my secret apartment and work out our plan of attack. After studying the maps that Tom had, we felt that we would start out by heading to one of the locations known as Hamptonian Valley.
The town of Hamptonian Valley is a small town who’s main industry is fishing. We headed out there bright and early on Wednesday morning. We arrived by about one o’clock in the afternoon. Upon entering main street, it appeared that the town was somewhat abandoned. Many of the shops and storefronts were boarded up. The only signs of life was the fish canning factories and an old saloon located in the center of town.
At the very end of Main street was an old hotel with a vacancy sign lit up. The hotel was an old white Victorian style building with broken windows and black shutters that banged as the wind blew. It appeared as if this hotel had not been painted or maintained since it was built. The landscape was overgrow with weeds and the pool was covered with leaves and papers that blew in front the street. Tom thought it would be a good idea if we checked into the hotel pretending to be a married couple on our honeymoon. After doing so, we could move about town and focus on leads as to the whereabouts of Sir Katson.
When we entered the main foyer of the hotel I was surprised to find that it was quit eloquent on the inside. There was a very large sparkling chandler in the center of the foyer. The main foyer carpets were thick, plush and velvety red. The windows were covered with beautiful imported dark red drapes that had golden colored draw strings. It was as if we suddenly entered a different world. I was extremely impressed by the spiral stairway that lead to an upper floor that hosted a balcony which overlooked the entire foyer area. In my inner being I knew that this hotel matched the personality of Sir Katson. “Dark and seedy, and yet accustomed to once living the high life of grandeur.” The manager at the front desk fit right in with the hotels inner personality. He was well spoken and appeared to be a gentleman in every manner. After signing the guest book and receiving the room key, the hotel manager summoned a worker to carry our bags to our room. “As we walked up the spiral staircase I noticed a very strong smell of musk cologne that seemed to permeate the staircase and corridor.”
Chapter 7. Plan one and the masquerade
Upon checking into our room, we began to work on our plan to find Sir Katson and recover the stolen ring. The plan we worked out was as follows; Tom was to impress the hotels manager that I, as his new bride, had lost our wedding ring while hiking on a sight seeing tour. The story would follow that Tom was the owner of a very successful oil company in Dallas Texas. “In that Tom did have a southern drawl in his voice, his story would be believable.” He would then further inform the hotel manager that money was not an object, and he would pay anything to quickly find a fitting new wedding ring for his recent bride. Later that afternoon, we came to the tea room for a spot of tea. Tom went into action telling the hotel manager of his situation regarding the lost ring. The manager seemed to intently follow Tom’s story. He said that he would see what he could do to help Tom find a fitting new ring.
About seven PM that evening, a mysterious note appeared under our hotel rooms door. The note was a hand written invitation inviting us to join a costume party that was going to be held later that evening in the main ballroom. “I will note that I did notice a strong aroma of musk perfume emanating from the hand written invitation. “As special agents, both Tom and I are very well capable of hiding our true identities. We felt very comfortable that we would fit in at the costume party. About nine PM that evening we went to the main ballroom as the mysterious invitation had stated. We quickly mingled in with the guest who were all dressed in costume attire. Ballroom music was being performed as guest danced and consumed the trays of fine foods that were being passed along by well dressed servers. One of the guest was dressed as a race car driver and went under the name of Charles. He was quit an outgoing character who did seem to drink a bit much of the cat nip that evening. Charles was always on the dance floor twirling about and making somewhat of a fool out of himself. He came over to me several times and spoke as if we were old friends. He told me that he was recently expelled from the university, due to the constant pranks he played on professors. He had the most outlandish loud laugh and always grabbed onto your arm when speaking to you. About halfway through the evening, I took note of one quest who was dressed as Mickey Mouse. He was accompanied by two attractive females. He seemed to be very much acquainted with some of the other guest as he moved about the ballroom. When he walked by me I noticed a very strong smell of musk cologne. After observing him for some time, my detective instincts told me that this character was someone who may hold a key clue in my case. “Could he possible be Sir Katsons himself?
I knew that the overpowered scent of musk cologne was something that Sir Katsons was known for, but others wear the same cologne. I felt that it was a strong lead and that I should focus more attention on the mysterious character behind the Mickey Mouse costume. I was just about to go over and start up a conversation with him when out of no where, Charles bumped into me spilling his glass of cat nip all over me. My immediate reaction was to look towards the floor as the glass shattered at the foot of the mysterious character in the Mickey Mouse attire. As if in slow motion, I saw the milky white drink splatter all over his black boots. He immediately took out a silk handkerchief from his side pocket and began to whip clean his boots. “And there it was, clear as day” A silk handkerchief and boots both with the initials S.S.K. Without question, I knew that this was none other than the infamous “Sir Simon Katsons”
Chapter 8. The smell of deceit
While all this was taking place, Tom was in conversation with another guest who identified himself as professor Longhorth.This gentlemen let the “cat out of the bag” when he informed Tom that a private jewelry auction would be held later that evening. “Everything was now falling together in our case! First of all, Sir Katsons was present, and secondly, an auction was about to take place. We were as close as we would ever be to regaining possession of the stolen royal wedding ring.
On the back wall of the ballroom stood a very large grandfather clock. As soon as the minute hand reached midnight a bell rang three times. All became quiet in the ballroom as two very large swinging doors opened into another room. All of the quest present immediately entered the room. Tom and I followed with the crowd. The two large swinging doors than closed shut making a very large sound. All became very quiet in the room. It was so quiet, you could hear a pin drop. “It was quiet as a mouse.” “Suddenly, we heard the sound of a bell ringing three times! A single doorway opened towards that side of the room. In walked the hotel manager who made the announcement that everyone should focus their attention towards the front of the room.
After about thirty seconds, a section of the floor opened up and from the opening a platform rose holding a table full of the most sparkling jewelry I have ever seen. Guest were then invited to examine the jewels and post their bids. Tom and I made sure that we were the first ones at the table. We looked and looked over the assortment of fine jewels but the ring was no where to be found.
The auction began and within minutes all of the jewels were sold. After some time had passed, we heard the sound of three bells ringing again. The side door opened and in walked the hotel manager who stated that the host of the ball would be making a special announcement. Another door opened and in walked the host accompanied by a female. Suddenly, the smell of musk perfume filed the room. To our surprise both the host and his female sidekick were not wearing costumes. Standing right before us was the infamous “Sir Simon Katson.”
“With a big cheesy cat grin on his face, he walked about the crowd as bold as can be.” He then came over to where Tom and I were standing and just stood quietly facing his audience. While twirling his manicured mustache he signaled the hotel manager for a microphone. “I have a very special announcement to make my friends.” “On this evening, I have asked the beautiful Lana Catsarino to be my wife.” “We will be married in London! I would also like to say that I have searched the world over and have just found the most beautiful wedding ring for my bride.
“In a few moments I will let you see it for the very first time!”But first, I have another very important announcement to make! As he continued, he moved right next Tom and I. “He then lunged at me with his grubby paws and pulled off my face mask!
“Ladies and gentlemen, here before you is not a friend but rather a spy! “This is the international secret agent “Puffy The Talking Cat.” She is special agent to the royal family, and here on a mission to steal my wedding ring! The crowd then gasped and started lunging towards Tom and I. Just before they were about to grab us we heard a loud crash and a race car came crashing through the side of the room. At the wheel of the car was the character at the ball who was dressed up as a race car driver. “He laughed loudly and yelled out for Tom and I to get in! We immediately jumped into the race car and drove off.
Chapter 9. A lucky break
We sped off at lighting speed into the dark misty night. As soon as we got out of town our driver pulled off his ballroom costume mask and reviled his true identity. “My name is Calaco Greysworth and I’m a special agent with Scotland yard! I have been trailing Sir Simon Katsons for over three years. My mission has been to infiltrate his operations related to stolen paintings.
When I first entered the ballroom this evening I figured that you and Tom were part of Sir Katsons ring of thieves. “By the way, you can take off the hidden listening device I planted on you when I grabbed your arm earlier this evening! “While sitting in my car out front I was listening to everything that was going on in the room this evening! When I heard Sir Katson tell everyone that you were the international agent Puffy The Talking Cat I knew I had to get into that room and rescue both of you! Hearing this information was something I found hard to take in, especially the bit about how agent Calaco managed to place a wire tap on me! Whatever the case, I did feel relief that he did rescue Tom and I from what was about to be a very bad situation.
We drove for about an hour through the long and winding roads of the English countryside. We finally pulled into a very beautiful country estate with rolling pastures and horses. Agent Calaco informed us that it was a safe house for agents and that we could rest up there for a while. We felt good about this in that it would give us some time to work on our plans to regain the royal wedding ring.
Agent Calaco brought us in and introduced us to the other agents who were in charge of the safe house. He then informed us that he had to leave and continue on with his own investigation into the stolen painting ring. We agreed to keep in touch with him and share information regarding the whereabouts of Sir Katson. Tom and I stayed at the safe house that evening and headed out early the next morning to head back to the hotel in Hamptonian valley.
About half way on our journey through the long and winding roads of the English countryside we came upon a significant break that would eventually lead us right into position to regain the stolen royal wedding ring, and capture the elusive Sir Katson. We came upon a broken down vehicle that was parked on the side of the road. Tom thought it would be proper if we stopped to see if the driver needed assistance. When we pulled over to the side of the road to investigate we were thankfully greeted by a elderly man who had a very distinct Irish accent. He introduced himself as Pastor O’Mally.
Apparently, he had a flat tire and his rental car did not have a spare tire. We offered to drive him to the next filling station. We all hopped into our car and headed off to find a local filling station. On the drive there, I asked pastor O’Mally if he was a pastor at one of the local churches. He replied that he was not, and only on his way to conduct an upcoming wedding ceremony. He informed us that one of his parishioner’s daughters would be marrying a gentleman from the area. I immediately became suspicious and asked what the bride to be name was. “To which he replied, Lana Catsarino!”
Hearing this news, Tom put his foot on the brakes so hard that the car made a complete turn around and almost landed us in a ditch. “This was the luckiest brake we had so far!” The fact that this man was the one who would be conducting the wedding ceremony of Sir Katson gave us just the break we needed.
We informed the pastor of our true identities as special agents on the Queen mom’s business. In the interest of national security we made Pastor O’Mally take a solemn Puffy the talking cat oath that he would never reveal our true identities to anyone. Pastor O’Mally agreed to take the oath of secrecy and do whatever he could to help in the interest of national security. We then began to focus on our plan to regain the stolen royal wedding ring and capture the infamous Sir Katson. After about one hour we came up with our plan of attack.
Chapter 10 When church bells ring
Our plan would be as follows; We would all go to the wedding of Sir Katson and his future bride together. We agreed that Tom would disguise himself as pastor O’Mally. I would disguise myself as a bridesmaid in the wedding party and pastor O’Mally would disguise himself as a limo driver. In that Tom would be conducting the wedding ceremony, he would be in a perfect position to grab the ring when the ring barer presented it at the altar. I would then handcuff Sir Katson, and pastor O’Mally disguised as a limo driver would pull up with the getaway car. We would then bring Sir Katson to Scotland yard and then return the stolen royal wedding ring back to the royal family. For the next few days we rehearsed our plan over and over until we had it down perfectly.
The wedding day of Sir Katson and Lana Castarino soon arrived. We made our way to the church and took our positions to carry out our daring plan. Church bells rang and choirs sang as we all waited in position for the day of truth. Like clock work, Sir Katson arrived on time and took his place near the alter awaiting his bride to be.
All became quiet in the church as the organ played “Here comes the bride wedding song” Posing as the pastor, Tom began the ceremony. When it came time for the ring to be presented, “Tom reached forward grabbing it from it’s velvet covered plate, and made a mad dash towards the back door of the church.” “I then placed my handcuffs on Sir Katson and quickly ushered him in the same direction as Tom.” It all happened so quickly that it did not give the wedding guest time enough to react. “Tom and I finally got what we came for! “Unfortunately there was no pastor O’Mally or getaway limo in sight! “We had no time to wait around, and began to run towards the train station across the street. Just before we got ready to cross the street, a race car came to a screeching halt in front along side of us.
A loud laughing voice said “Hop in!” To our surprise, it was agent Calaco! “Hey guys, it’s a good thing I slipped a wire tap in Tom’s shoe that last time we were together! “I just happen to be listening in on the ceremony when I heard all the ruckus. “I figured you both might need my help again! So, here I am! Tom felt a little uneasy with the fact that agent Calaco was able to slip a wire tap on him. But in the end, we were both glad that agent Calaco was able to do so.
I looked at my watch and saw that we only had hours before the royal wedding was about to start. “We had to get that ring to the church in time!” I told agent Calaco to “step on it, and get us to the cathedral as fast as he could! As we arrived in London square the traffic was so intense that we had to abandon the car and continue our journey on foot. Having Sir Katson strapped to me in handcuffs really slowed us down. As we approached the cathedral we could see that the bride to be had already begun her walk down the aisle. “I told Tom that I would take Sir Katson over to Scotland yard and that he should concentrate on getting the royal wedding ring into the ring bearer’s hands.”
As I was walking away with the prisoner in tow I turned back one last time and witnessed Tom placing the royal wedding ring into the ring bearer’s hands. “I let out a sigh of relief knowing our mission had been accomplished.” After turning over Sir Katson to Scotland yard, Tom, agent Calaco and I met up at the royal reception. We enjoyed the rest of our evening mingling in with the world leaders, movie stars and other guest.
The very next day I decided that I would return to Tuscany and enjoy the rest of my vacation. On the way over to Tuscany I received a word of thanks from Prime minister Fogworth and the Queen mom. Along with their note of thanks was an invite to spend a few days at Buckingham palace. Due to my busy schedule and next secret assignment “I decided to decline, and sent word to the Queen mom that I would make sure to have a spot of tea with her the next time I was in town! “Until my next adventure, tutaloo!
Puffy the talking cat!
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