Welcome to the UK & Worlds BEST feline adventure!
(Suitable for ages 12+)
They all smiled a truly happy smile that comes from deep within the heart and lifts the soul. And whilst it couldn’t be seen in the picture, published around the worlddelight and acclaim, there was a lot of barks, meows and laughter too.
Mr Herod looked on, a broad smile on his face. For the first time since inheriting the store, he felt at peace and at one with it and his life. A gentle touch on his arm made him look down. Ms Harriett stood beside him, smiling. “About my retirement, Mr Herod, I think I would like to not, not retire that is. I feel that I can maybe better serve as a guide to Miss Darcy until she finds her feet in the world. Those Italian’s can be so browbeating at times, and I do speak Italian too, enough that they won’t pull the cashmere wool over her eyes!”
“Ms Harriett, to have you here with us at the store, in whatever capacity would be a delight. And heavens knows whoever takes your place will need some guidance. So, if you could maybe help in that regard too? I would happily pay you more to secure even a little of your time.” Mr Herod’s smile showed that he was worried about how he would cope without her, but she did already know that.
“It would be a pleasure, though I will be needing a bigger office, to accommodate Miss Darcy, and her family too. I think in the circumstances that would be appropriate as they are her muses, after all.” she smiled. “I would expect that my old office would still be available though, for a while at least, as there are a few bits and bobs I need to tidy up, as it were.” She flushed slightly as she said it, dreading the mess she had to clear up the next day.
“That would be perfectly acceptable, and if you need a hand, please feel free to say, and I shall be there. I think,” he said, in a considered tone. “I think from now on there will be a more hands-on style, on my part. I need to get to know every part of this business, this great family that is King Herod’s, from the shop floor up to the ninth floor and all the jobs, and staff too. I would like to introduce myself, and to know each of my staff by name, and be able to shake their hands for work well done. After all, if I had known what a rogue Anders was, this mess today could have been averted, I’m sure.”
“Ah, well I have been thinking about that,” said Ms Harriet with a knowing look on her face. “Certainly, if you had known about him, then the kittens wouldn’t have been taken, and the mess wouldn’t have happened. But, in taking them, he brought Miss Darcy’s plight to light and delighted both Queen and the President with the discovery of the missing kittens. It also, from the look on her face, helped our beloved young monarch find out more about herself and set her on course to being as great and caring as her mother. Oh and I almost forgot, she seems to have forged a great friendship with the President. I do believe this whole matter will do more for International cooperation than any politician ever could.”
“Really, that much?” Mr Herod’s was stroking his chin considering the truth of what he had just been told. “I suppose we owe fate a great deal indeed. Just as well I thought about having the Companion Department then. Do you think we will be able to put the Presidential seal over the doors, too?”
Ms Harriett gave one of those raised eyebrow looks, knowing that the idea had in fact come from Mrs Herod. “Hmm, well I think you best hold fire on that, the guests haven’t left the building yet, and who knows what else could go wrong?”
“Oh, piffle, and nonsense. What could possibly go wrong now?” exclaimed Mr Herod in a jovial fashion, as he turned to help escort his guests back to the elevators.
“What indeed, Mr Herod,” came the reply from a world-wise Ms Harriett. “What indeed?”
Herman was only too pleased to comply with the Generals request. He had taken Anders by the scruff of the neck and seat of his pants, and marched the whimpering man, feathers and all, to the nearest room, to await the police. Having locked the door with his master-key, he went to call Scotland Yard, safe in the knowledge that not even a villain as slimy as Anders could get out the rooms stained-glass windows.
Duty done, he positioned himself close to the guests, intent on not missing the final presentation. “History in the making, seeing the Queen and the President in one spot,” he had told his wife, Dori, that morning at breakfast. “I doubt I’ll ever see this again in my lifetime.” In fact, he was wrong, and he would see it many more times in the years to come, but that is for another tale, or nine. In the here and now, he had been captivated by the scene that unravelled before him. He, like the other guests, had found himself drawn closer to the events unfolding before him. He had looked for little tom, applauded when he was found and had to dab away a tear when the photograph was taken. It was turning out to be quite an occasion indeed.
In the locked room, however, Anders was far from happy. After stewing on his bad luck for a while, the whimpering had been replaced by unfounded indignation about being deprived of his money. As well as losing his kittens, if he couldn’t get out soon, he’d lose his chance that morning to collect on the fashion items and jewellery he’d purloined.
No matter which way he thought about it, he was stuck. A cigarette was what he needed to concentrate. He did all his best work, he told himself, with a pint of beer and a smoke. His subconscious obliged, and on autopilot, he reached into his pocket and pulled out the pack. He tapped it and tried to shake one out of the torn hole in the top, but nothing happened. He shook it again and this time, rather than a cigarette, he got a palm full of rust coloured tobacco leaf. He looked down and cursed at the crumpled, flattened pack, and then tossed it into the air in disgust. The pack hit a radiator on the far side of the room with a clinking sound, and sent a shower of leaf and torn cigarette paper across the floor. Anders got up and felt in his pocket, but there was nothing there. He went over to the radiator, bent down and looked at the crumpled packet on the floor, then picking it up he peered inside. He smiled a very broad and malicious smile and slipped his fingers into the pack and drew out his single master-key.
To be continued………
Oh NO!!!!!! Looks like Herman didn’t search Anders. That lad has more luck than any black cat I know. Mrs Harriett seems to have got herself a good deal too, though really Mr Herod should have offered her a promotion ages back.
Tune in next week to see how Anders makes his getaway, and whether Vinny and Jackson can save the day once more….
Toodle pips and purrs