“Poppy will you please shut that door, it’s open all week and that wind has turned Zoe blue and I can’t see if the colour has taken or been frozen off!” said Rosie rubbing her paws together to keep warm. “Yes” moaned Zoe, “ I don’t want to go too bright or everyone will laugh at me”
“All right all right keep your fur on, it’s fine” retorted Rosie “and any way we’ve got to find out about Poppy’s smalls.” “You didn’t call mine small.” “Well they weren’t were they, even you called them bloomers!” laughed Poppy. “It’s no use telling Max he seems to be barking up the wrong tree, we’re going to have to get a neighbourhood watch started and get Billy Barlow involved as he’s lost all that kit as well.”
While Rosie rinsed Zoe off and blew her dry, Poppy went to the factory to talk to Billy. Billy sat her down with a cup of gravy to calm her down as she was still upset and shaking from her discovery. “What really upset me was instead of my nice pale blue lacy things, there was an enormous pair of bright yellow bloomers in their place and that spooked me” quavered Poppy.
“Never mind, love, I’ll help get this organised because I don’t like nice young ladies getting scared and it’s cost me a lot of money to replace the kit that was nicked. The sponsor blamed me and I have to find the money myself and that hurts.”
Poppy sat shaking as Billy phoned the squeaky toy to ask Shadow if she could close one of the bars off for the meeting and put some notices up. Zoe, whose fur was nicely lightened came into factory to find out what was happening just as Billy put the phone down from talking to Shadow.
“Right let’s go and talk to Ted about some posters for this meeting; Shadow says we can use the bar tomorrow night and she’ll lay some sandwiches on.”
The trio went to see Ted who was only too pleased to help and suggested that he could run off some leaflets for Albert and Findley to put through doors with the papers. At this point Poppy arrived, she had managed to close the salon for half an hour to find out what was happening, Poppy didn’t mind and they all headed to the Squeaky Toy to check everything with Shadow.
Shadow welcomed them and offered soft drinks all round and discussed the sandwiches and how many would be turning up and what the agenda would be, after all a properly held meeting has got to have an AGENDA.
Ted arrived with a draft of the poster which looked like the Kitchener Dog with the words underneath “CANINE HILLS NEEDS YOU!” They agreed that the poster was just what they wanted and Ted dashed off to print them off.
Poppy looked at her watch “Come on young Lucy you’ve only just started and we’re skiving already, we’ve got to get the salon open again as we’ve more appointments this afternoon.”After they left Shadow asked Zoe “Why haven’t they told Max about this latest theft?” “Quite honestly, he seems to be just chasing his tail and they’ve lost confidence in him” replied Zoe. “Oh dear” thought Shadow “but I’m going to have to tell him because I don’t want to get accused like last time” and as Zoe left she picked up the phone. Later that day Poppy’s phone kept ringing with concerned neighbours asking if she was OK and telling her that they would be at the meeting tomorrow afternoon.
The private bar was jam packed and Barney was at his moaning best, using his walking stick to push his way through to the bar, “Why couldn’t you have stayed in the public bar like you do normally, Barney” sighed Shadow “I would have looked after you as I always do.” Barney huffed and puffed and groaned “Never like this in my younger days, knickers were proper garments and no-one touched ‘em!” Shadow sighed and was rescued by Billy banging his gavel to bring the meeting to order and as he did so there was flash and a masked figure materialised wearing a black satin cat-suit and a diamante covered mask; “I hear you are having problems with an old foe of mine and I’d like to help – tell me what’s happened so far.” Billy dropped his gavel in shock and every one started talking at once –the masked lady put her hands up and “Slow down, I can’t hear you all at once” and Billy gave her all the details asking the one question on everyone’s lips “Who are you?” “Oh didn’t I say- sorry my name is Mata Hari and now I’m on the case” and with a flash she was gone.
The bar fell silent and the door squealed open and in walked Jenny “Did I miss anything much?” she asked the stunned bar adjusting one of her rollers as she walked up to the bar ……