Shadow kept gazing into the mirror dreaming of her hero, when suddenly she jumped – what was that noise? “Hic” the noise came again, she rushed out into the front bar and there was Levi wobbling around helping herself to another Jameson’s’ Irish Whiskey …. “What on earth are you doing” demanded Shadow. “Well you did ask me to hopen hup hic! And that was a week ago and I’ve had to wait a week to keep the pumps and drinks noice and fressssshhh – hic hic burp!!” Shadow sighed and tried not to laugh at Levi wobbling around the bar “I think I’ll open up this episode and you’d better stagger up to my bed and sleep it off”. Levi gingerly let go off the bar and put out her paws to steady herself “Thank goodness for that I can see two of you and I think I’ve had more than my usual tipple, I’m off up the wooden hill”. Shadow guided Levi to the stair case and watched as she crawled up the stairs on all fours singing “Oh nay never – hic – no never no more will I be a wild Rover. Hic hic, no never no more”.
She went back, laughing to herself into the front bar and tidies up Levi’s glasses all seven of them! Then she unlocked the door only to find Sgt Max and Zahli waiting out side. “Hi Shadow what was all that noise?” asked Sgt Max. Shadow told him about Levi’s escapade waiting for the episode to start and although they all laughed, Shadow felt a tinge of worry underneath – what did the police want with her this time? “I do actually need a word with you in private” Max informed her “Can Zahli and I go into the back room to discuss certain issues with you?” Shadow shook her head “Sorry I’m here by myself so I can’t leave the bar” but as she said this Bella and Holly wandered in to start their shifts. “Well” pointed out Max, “That solves that problem, come on it won’t take a minute” So Shadow reluctantly led them through the bar to the back room.
“I just want to go through the facts with you again” Max informed her, “because no-one seems to know if and when that key was taken. Oscar tells me he didn’t use it at all for the cellar that night because it was so busy in here and the Dingles swear no-one went near it and for once I don’t think they had anything to do with it”. “I know when they were put in the room” added Zahli, “and I am positive that the key was put back properly after we’d locked the room back up”. Shadow shook her head “Sorry I can’t help you on that because I was tied up in the darts match and trying to keep Fluffy under control as she was trying to interfere with the match”.
“Well perhaps Fluffy can help with the mystery” suggested Zahli “No, she was too busy making the darts fly round the room and having a few drinks with Minstrel and Ebony to have seen anything else. Those three made a night of it.” “Never seen a drunk ghost” laughed Max, “I hear they like their spirits” as they left the back room.
Relieved that the ordeal was over - at least they hadn’t tried to accuse her again yet, Shadow poured herself a glass of coke. She would have liked something stronger but knew she had to keep her wits about her. She lifted the glass to her lips but her paws were shaking so much that some of it splashed her and screamed, rushed out to the back room and slammed the door and this was followed by a loud thud.
Bella and Holly pretended that nothing had happened and tried to act naturally but Zahli asked them what the noise was about “What noise?” they chorused. Max called out “Are you OK in there?” Shadow’s voice drifted back “Fine, I just bumped into the table.” Max shrugged but wondered why she was using what sounded like a hairdryer on a tiny splash, surely she wasn’t that vain that one splash would make wash and dry herself! Mata Hari should be here for this one its right up her street. Finally Shadow emerged all fluffed up like a fluffy toy and looking down at herself gave a good shake to straighten herself up. Max noted this and tucked it away to tell his co-spy later.
All the excitement over, Max and Zahli left and were discussing the problem as they walked to Gazette office. They bumped into the Butchers who stopped to ask if there was any news yet. “Tara tells me that she heard that the phantom knicker nicker was back” said Merlin, “but I told her not to be so silly.” “Yea well,” interjected Tara “No thief is gonna get mine they are all in my bag here!” and she lifted her up big gold coloured handbag and shook it.
Max and Zahli made their excuses as family arguments were a no no, and made their way into the office to be greeted by the smell of burning cakes! “What are you up to” said Max, wafting some fresh air in front of his nose. Ted turned round and they were greeted by the sight of a big flashy pinafore covering all his front up. “Where did you get that from, it’s a nice design could do with that in the factory as a new line.” Ted smiled and said “borrowed it of that nice fellow Paul who does the animations, but it doesn’t make me cook any better! How can I help you today?”
Max asked Ted about the cat photos but before Ted could reply there came a loud scream and they all dashed outside. “Some-ones nicked my best bloomers” screamed Zoe Hunt “the pink ones with the purple lace!” Zahli whispered to Max “Who’d want to pinch those enormous apple catchers unless they wanted some new curtains hee hee?”