Maury The Mouse (Novel) Synopsis Crime Category (Book 1-3) 48,000 words in each book A three book series.
ADVENTURES OF A HONOLULU COP NAMED MAURY THE MOUSE Synopsis by Art Youmans
Police officer MAURY THE MOUSE (a man-sized mouse) is more determined to clean crime from the streets of Honolulu than his ancestors were, when proud members of the Honolulu police department.
However, international crime boss COMMANDO JOE (a man-sized fox), his henchman BUTCH, and Honolulu criminal attorney WILLIAM MARCY TWEED V are determined to keep Maury from succeeding.
After Maury gains fame negotiating an international treaty between dogs and cats and outwitting New Guinea cannibals with his ukulele playing and cell phone, he’s promoted from patrolman to detective.
His former police partner, Officer KEWPIE, (a woman-sized mouse) becomes his assistant and wife. Local Hawaiian politicians fear Maury’s growing popularity, and consider him a threat to their jobs. Police commissioner JOHNSON and Honolulu’s mayor assign him to attend the FBI Academy before the mayoral election.
Then, prior to the gubernatorial election, Hawaii’s governor appoints Maury a ‘roving detective,’ available to solve crimes in any part of the world which requests him. These requests flood in from Great Britain and France.
Despite roadblocks thrown in his path by Joe and Tweed, which include false arrests in Honolulu and Paris, assassination attempts in Honolulu, London and Stonehenge, Maury perseveres, solves numerous crimes, and wins worldwide fame.
Achieving success as a detective and golfer, when he wins the British Open (in Volume 2),
Maury moves to Paris in pursuit of Joe. Parisians, who hailed Maury as a great detective one day, call him as a voleur, a crook, a day later.
The French pelt him with raw eggs during a Paris parade in his honor and arrest him for Internet fraud as the parade ends. After a review of the facts, French authorities realize that Maury has been framed by Joe, and release him a few days later from custody in The Bastille.
Discouraged by the French “what have you done for me lately” society, Maury retires to Honolulu to play golf and raise a family.
An emergency situation arises in Russia, where Joe has partnered with the Russian Mafia to steal fissionable nuclear materials, and sell to the highest bidder.
The President of The United States phones Maury (at the start of Volume 3). Maury accepts this important assignment to preserve world peace and flies to Moscow on Air Force One. Maury’s wife, Kewpie, remains in Honolulu expecting her first child, EILEEN.
Working with the CIA, Maury captures material stolen from a nuclear arsenal by employing his piloting of a World War II P-38 and deep-sea-diving skills in northern Russia.
Returning to Honolulu as a conquering hero, like Julius Caesar returned to Rome, Maury decides he can best make the world a better place by running for Congress
. When a local congressman retires, Maury resists political pressure, locally and from Washington, and forms a third party, the Diogenes Party. The charter of the Diogenes Party pledges honesty in government.
Maury is so popular nationwide that a new Maury the mouse doll becomes an overnight bestseller with children. Washington congressmen and women form a Dirty Tricks Political Action Committee (PAC) to stop any honest politician in the primary election. This PAC turns its attention to Maury and decides to discredit him.
However, the PAC fails in its smear and knee-capping campaign and Maury wins the Hawaiian primary election by pledging to “uphold the law of the land and attack corruption on Capitol Hill.” During the campaign, Maury charms voters with his ukulele playing of Hawaiian tunes and his honesty.
His campaign slogan, SKOOK, “Sweep Krooks Out Of Kongress,” and the broom he holds over his head at each political rally, sways voters to elect him. During this time, Joe has been successful with new Internet scams selling suckers trips to the moon, refunding their money with counterfeit currency and getting billion-dollar loans for non-existent emerging nations from The World Bank.
Joe and Honolulu criminals are betting that Congressman Maury will be too busy fighting corruption in Washington to bother with them, so they back his campaign for Congress with donations from every criminal in Hawaii. Alarmed that an honest politician is coming to Washington,, the Dirty Tricks PAC hires the Corsican Mafia to eliminate Maury. The PAC also furnishes congressional press passes to both hit men
Maury is interviewed on nationwide television by Barbara Walters, and discusses plans to keep Washington politicians honest with mandatory polygraph tests. The Corsican hit man team arrives in California as Maury meets with a group of disabled children at northern California’s Sequoia National Park.
The FBI warns Maury about the hit contract and guards him day and night. Although wearing a Kevlar vest, Maury is shot with an armor-piercing bullet from a gun hidden in a reporter’s camera.
The hit men escape but are captured by the FBI. They refuse to confess and both assassins are sentenced to life in prison. Maury lies near death. Pregnant with her second child, MAURY JR., Kewpie is informed of Maury’s death.
Thirty-five years later, Maury’s bronze statue is dedicated in the House of Representatives and placed next to Will Roger’s.
The Diogenes Party controls both houses of Congress and The White House. Congresswoman Kewpie, who successfully ran for Maury’s seat in Congress after his death, assists PRESIDENT CARSON, a nephew of environmental writer Rachel Carson, to dedicate the statue
.During her more than thirty-five years in Congress, Kewpie fought successfully to have every one of Maury’s policies voted into law by a Congress, kept honest by mandatory annual polygraph tests. Congresswoman Kewpie retires. Daughter Eileen is elected to succeed her.
Commando Joe was arrested by the U. S. Border Patrol when he tried to sneak into San Diego, disguised as an illegal alien. He’s been serving time in San Quentin for the past fifteen years. When released, Russia has already sentenced him to an additional twenty-years prison time shoveling coal in Siberia
. Joe’s criminal associates testified against him at both trials. Maury Jr. has worked for the CIA for the past ten years. He’s proposed as the next leader of The Diogenes Party. Rumor has it that he’s also being groomed for a future in politics.
Maury Jr. is a carbon copy of his father. The son is already on the short list for vice-president in the next presidential election. How high can Maury Jr. go as a politician? Political pundits predict a brilliant career ahead for him.
This synopsis (1088 words) was restricted to only 5 pages by publishers. This synopsis & Chapter 1 were review by a Texas publisher who told me this was a young adult novel & was too violent for young adults (age 13-18 or so.). This 3 Volume Fantasy Novel is oriented toward people ages 15 & older in my opinion.
Scroll down to read Chapter 1 of Book 1 of 3.
First Book Table of Contents
Youmans/ ADVENTURES OF A HONOLULU COP NAMED MAURY THE MOUSE/Contents
Book 1 of 3 Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Ancestors 1
Chapter 2. Wille the Mouse 12
Chapter 3: Bank Robbers 21
Chapter 4: Robbery Fails 32
Chapter 5: Maury Jailed 42
Chapter 6: Peace Treaty 48
Chapter 7: Werewolves 58
Chapter 8: The Pacific Ocean 68
Chapter 9: The Lifeboat 77
Chapter 10: The Rescue 85
Chapter 11: Flight To Honolulu 97
Chapter 12: The Fortress 107
Chapter 13: The Challenge 117
Chapter 14: The Fight 127
Chapter 15: Roving Crime Fighter 137
Chapter 16: Assassins 146
Youmans/ A HONOLULU COP NAMED MAURY THE MOUSE/Contents (Pg. 2 of 2)
Book 1 of 3 Table of Contents (continued)
Chapter 17: Hijacked 155
Chapter 18: Max Kelada Unmasked 164
Chapter 19: Maury Arrives In London 173
Chapter 20: The Bookies 182
Chapter 21: Stonehenge Derby 191
Chapter 22: The Ringer 199
Chapter 23: The Jackal 207
Chapter 24: Maury Departs For Scotland 216
About the Author 224
ADVENTURES OF A HONOLULU COP NAMED MAURY THE MOUSE
CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION
ADVENTURES OF A HONOLULU COP NAMED MAURY THE MOUSE by Art Youmans
The sun was nearly overhead as Maury the Mouse walked to the ship. He squinted at Officer Kokua when the explosions started. The first bullet hit Maury’s Kevlar vest like a hammer. The second and third shots slammed him into the pavement. “That phone call was a set-up!” he screamed as bullets chipped concrete around him.
Kokua dove behind a shipping crate. The rat-a-tat noises continued as Maury drifted into unconsciousness…but his mind was still active.
“Are you a cop?” a gravely voice had asked this morning.
Maury cradled the telephone on his shoulder, grabbed a pen and poised it above a pad of paper on his desk. “Yes. How may the Honolulu police help you?”
“Ever hear the name Commando Joe?”
“Yep. When Scotland Yard busted Commando Joe’s London crime syndicate last year, Joe and a couple of his Mafia buddies shifted operations here.”
“That’s the guy! He’s got an assault weapons shipment coming from Singapore on the Chinese Queen. It’d be worth your while to check it out.”
“Rifles, machine guns …what kind of assault weapons?”
“Newspapers call Maury the Mouse the smartest cop in Hawaii,” he muttered before hanging up. “Figure it out for yourself!”
* * *
After checking shipping schedules at the Port Authority, Maury alerted the lieutenant. “It may be a trap,” he told him. “The caller knew who I was without my saying so. But, then again, maybe it’s an important lead and he made a lucky guess.”
“Don’t take any chances, Maury,” the lieutenant advised. “Remember Will Rogers’ quote, Trust Everyone, But Cut The Cards. In the game of life as a cop, Trust Everyone But Wear Kevlar.”
* * *
Maury’s partner, Kokua removed binoculars from the glove compartment and wiped them with his tie as he parked outside Dock 16. He scanned the area. “It looks clear to me. Like to take a look?”
He handed the binoculars to Maury who waved him off. “Ready to go?”
“Sure, Maury. What do you want me to do?”
“Watch my back,” Maury replied, checking his pocket watch. It was 11:30 A.M. “The Chinese Queen docks at noon. Let me do the talking with the Captain. If we find contraband, I’ll radio it in to headquarters.”
Later, Maury thought he heard sirens in the distance and a doctor telling Kokua that Maury the Mouse wasn’t going to make it. “The Kevlar vest stopped every bullet but one. We’ll do our best to save him. Your partner’s chest is badly bruised and there’s internal bleeding. He’s also lost blood from the bullet near the knee before we were able to get a tourniquet on the leg. He may not survive. ”
Maybe the Doc was right or perhaps he was wrong. It didn’t matter to Maury. A mental slide show from the past flashed thru his mind. Then the song lyrics, Over the river and thru the woods, to grandfather’s house we go, floated thru his mind. Instantly, Maury remembered what grandpa told him about a famous ancestor who emigrated from Ireland to America in 1912. His name was Marvin and he was shanghaied on a Thursday. However, Marvin didn’t realize it at the time.
As the smallest mouse in the litter, Marvin learned at a young age to find his own food and shelter. Marvin’s brothers and sister hogged most of the food in his rural Queenstown, Ireland home, so he found lodging in the forest. Living in a knothole of an old oak suited him but finding food was still a problem. He knew, from a New York Tribune headline ‘Go West, Young Man,’ where prosperity lay, so he started walking toward the city where the sun set every evening.
One day, prowling along the Queenstown docks, he spied a cat moving his way on the pier. Marvin darted for cover behind a wicker basket, and squeezed through the straw just in time. Seconds later he heard a thud as someone’s boot kicked the cat into the sea. “Stay out of my basket you nasty cat,” a lady’s voice cried. “I have crumpets and scones…and they’re not for you!” She turned to the man standing beside her. “Thank you, Sir, for protecting my basket from that nasty animal. It was covered with coal dust.”
“Ma’am,” he replied. “That cat didn’t have a ticket on my ship. If he wants to get to New York he’d better start swimming. Let me introduce myself. I’m Captain Edward J. Smith. May I escort you aboard?”
Marvin stuck his head out of the basket when his stomach began to growl. She said crumpets and scones, he thought. Hmm…maybe I’ll stay here a while. He ate a crumpet and he fell asleep.
Marvin awoke to the cries of the crowd. Always curious, he stuck his head through the straw to see what exciting event was happening. I wonder why everyone’s waving. He took a compass from his pocket and watched the dial move. Whatever mode of transportation this is, it’s moving southwest, he realized. When the captain yelled, “New York, next stop,” he realized that he’d been shanghaied.
Always the adventurer, Marvin opened the straw again to survey the situation. Men in long coats and top hats and ladies in parasols and long skirts paraded up and down the deck. They stared at the fading coastline. Marvin was fascinated. He’d never seen such elegant clothing.
“I’m hungry,” the lady said, placing the wicker basket between two deck chairs. “Would you like to share crumpets and scones with me, Captain Smith?”
“Yes, thank you,” the captain replied, signaling the first mate to take over.
Marvin knew he had to act fast. He spied a lifeboat in the bow and made a break for it. Running for his life, dodging hundreds of leather-clad feet, he scurried around the first-class passengers toward the front of the ship like a heat-seeking missile. He was huffing and puffing when he dived into lifeboat #6. His paws acted as shock absorbers when his claws dug into one of several life preservers on the floor of the boat.
“Ouch,” a voice cried.
“Who’s there?” Marvin whispered, his eyes adjusting to the darkness.
“Who are you?”
“My name is Minerva… friends call me Minnie. I boarded at Cherbourg, France about nineteen hours ago. I’m traveling with my younger brother, Jimmy. He’s out now getting lunch and should return soon.”
”I’m Marvin. Pleased to meet such a pretty mouse.” He could see the blush on her cheeks when he extended his paw toward her.
The moment Minerva shook hands, Marvin knew that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. A heat wave ran through his body and out his tail when their flesh touched. “Wow!” he exclaimed. “Did you feel anything?”
She looked at him strangely. “No. What was I supposed to feel?”
Marvin shrugged as Jimmy crawled past the canvas into the lifeboat. “Jimmy,” Minerva said, “meet my new friend, Marvin. He’ll be our companion on the journey to America.”
“Any friend of my sister’s is a friend of mine,” Jimmy said, holding out a chunk of cheese. “Like some?”
“No thanks. I’ve already had a crumpet lunch. Bon appetit.”
Marvin was impressed with Minerva’s table manners when she nibbled her cheese.
Friday April 10
Marvin crawled up to the bow of the lifeboat and stuck his head under the canvas tarp. “Too many people are on deck, now,” he cautioned. “It’s dangerous. Let’s wait until dark to explore the ship.” He took out his compass and announced, “We’re heading due west.”
“How can you tell?” Jimmy asked, crawling up beside him.
“This mouse-sized magnetic compass keeps me from getting lost. Watch the tip of the colored needle.”
“Why it still points in the same direction when you turn it! That’s odd.”
“The colored needle tip is magnetized and will always point to the north. You know why?”
“No. I’ve never seen a compass before.”
“The earth’s core consists mostly of molten iron,” Marvin explained, glancing to see if Minerva was listening. She was. “As the earth rotates,” he continued, “the iron emits weak magnetic forces around the axis of the earth’s spin. This causes the compass needle to point north. Understand?”
“Not really. Can I try it?”
“Sure. Hold the compass level. Remember it’s the type of compass used on land. Unless you hold it perfectly level on a ship you won’t get a true reading.”
“I’m impressed with your knowledge,” Minnie said softly. “After Jimmy finishes, can I test it too?”
“Sure. The more the merrier. Later, we’ll go exploring with Jimmy. He’ll be our guide. I’m interested in the provisions carried by this ship.” The aroma of freshly baked bread floated past them.
“I love fresh bread,” she sighed.
“Me, too,” Marvin muttered, glancing at his watch. “We have a lot in common, Minnie. Fresh bread is one of my favorites.” He turned to Jimmy. “It’s a few hours to sunset. Where’s the food?”
“Due north,” Jimmy grinned. “Follow the compass to the fourth smoke stack and you’ll find an exhaust vent into the storeroom and kitchen for first-class passengers on the starboard or right side. The culinary treasures within will amaze you.”
Saturday April 11
“Do you see that man way up in the crow’s-nest?” Marvin asked, pointing. “He doesn’t have binoculars. He didn’t have them yesterday either. I wonder why?”
“Maybe he has perfect eyesight at night like a cat,” Jimmy joked.
“Don’t talk like that,” Minnie objected. “I’ll have nightmares about cats tonight.”
+“I have a suggestion,” Marvin said. “Want to hear it?”
+“Before we prowl the ship tonight, why don’t we establish an emergency plan in case this ship were to sink?”
+Jimmy burst out laughing. “Sink! The Titanic is unsinkable. The White Star Line says it could never happen.”
“Never say never, Jimmy. Have you ever heard of Murphy’s Law? If anything can go wrong it will!”
“Yeah. Okay, what do you suggest?”
“See that first aid box under the lifeboat seat in the bow?”
“The red one?”
“Yes. I’ve opened it, and there’s room for all three of us to hide. In an emergency, that’s where we’ll meet. Agreed?”
Jimmy and Minnie nodded.
Sunday, April 12
“It’s a chilly and moonless night,” Marvin said, peeking from under the lifeboat’s canvas cover. “Ready for supper?”
Marvin glanced at his watch. “The night is young,” he commented. “It’s only 11:30 P.M. The orchestra is playing and people are dancing the night away. Care to come with me and watch?”
+“No thanks,” Minnie said. “I’m too tired.” She turned to Jimmy. “Are you going?”
“Yeah. Marvin and I’ll check out the dancers…maybe we’ll learn a new dance step or two,” Jimmy joked. “We’ll be back in a few hours.”
Minnie watched the boys jump to the deck and scoot into the air vent by the grand ballroom.
Minutes later the ship steered hard to port. The engines reversed, smashing Minnie’s head against one of the lifeboat oars. She never heard the loud ripping groan as the iceberg fatally-wounded the 882-foot ship. Minnie was still unconscious when Marvin and Jimmy rushed back into the lifeboat.
Two Days Later
“You’re a hero, Marvin,” Minnie gushed. “You saved our lives. Jimmy and Mrs. Brown told me all about it.”
“Shucks, it was nothing. The lifeboat passengers were arguing about directions. I jumped from the First Aid box and showed them my compass. North was to starboard, so I pointed out the best direction to row so they could reach land.”
“Did they believe a mouse?”
No. Some passengers began to argue. That’s when Molly Brown took over. She threatened to push a violent dissenter overboard unless he kept quiet. Then, she assigned the men to row west. Just before daylight, we sighted the Cunard liner Carpathia.”
“I don’t remember anything.”
“The Carpathia’sdoctor said you suffered a concussion, Minnie. Did you hear Mrs.
“Yes. She offered us free lodging in her country barn outside Denver, Colorado. You’ll like being around Molly, Marvin. She’s also Irish! She’s separated from her husband and could use our company. Are you going there, too?”
“Uh-huh. I’m not a city mouse. The country is where I belong. What about Jimmy?”
“Jimmy’s a city mouse,” Minnie interrupted. “He’ll stay in New York City.
* * *
When Molly Brown arrived in Denver with Marvin and Minnie, their train was greeted by thousands of cheering spectators. Newspapers featured pictures of Mrs. Brown, with Marvin and Millie perched on her shoulder. The headline, “Unsinkable Molly Brown, Marvin and Minnie Safely Arrive In Denver,”flashed across America. America fell in love with Marvin and Minnie. Their wedding pictures appeared on the front page of newspapers across the world. Offers poured in from Hollywood and Broadway.
Never one to desire power or riches, Marvin rejected all offers and lived in Molly Brown’s barn for the rest of his life…simply, and with dignity. He and Minnie home-schooled their children like the average mouse, and instilled in them the philosophy of do unto others as you’d like done to you.
* * *
Before he fell asleep on the last day of his life, Marvin had a vision of a better world, which he and Minnie helped create. Their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren were bright and helpful…just like Marvin and Minnie.
* * *
A few years later at Minnie’s funeral, a sobbing Denver mayor remarked in his eulogy that America became a greater nation because of hard-working immigrants like Minnie and her departed husband, Marvin.
A young Chicago artist saw photos of Minnie’s funeral in the local newspaper. It gave him an idea. His name was Walt Disney.
End of Chapter 1
CHAPTER 2, WILLIE THE MOUSE
Ten Generations Later Sunday
“I’ve had it up to here,” Willie shouted, grabbing his throat. “We mice are growing bigger every year on a balanced diet. We’re getting fat and lazy! That’s a cat’s life…not a mouse’s!” Muscles flexed on Willie’s five-foot frame when he walked toward the barn door carrying his belongings.
“We’ve earned a lifetime of leisure,” Grandpa explained, running after him, “that spring of ‘27. Lawyers tell us that our ancestors, Marvin and Minnie earned the use of Molly Brown’s barn in perpetuity. That means forever”
“There must be a purpose in life for a mouse greater than getting entitlements, because of a legal document.”
“Your brothers, sister and cousins are happy in Denver. You’re protected here. It’s as hard living in this world as it is for a long-tailed mouse to survive in a room full of rocking chairs. There are people out there who’ll pick you clean like vultures on a carcass. You’ll regret leaving ‘til the day you die. Don’t go, Willie.”
* * *
Denver’s skyline looked majestic in the Greyhound bus’s rear view mirror. Willie stared at it for twenty minutes until the tall buildings faded from view and then shut his eyes. He awoke when the bus stopped abruptly. “Everyone out!” the driver shouted. “There’s a funnel cloud up ahead!”
Willie watched thirty passengers run wide-eyed from the bus and flatten themselves in a drainage ditch.
“Are you a deaf mouse? Move! We’re in Kansas and it’s tornado country!”
“What’s a tornado?”
“You’ll find out, kiddo!” the driver muttered. “It’s coming your way!” He turned and dove into a ditch, as rain pelted the bus like machine-gun bullets.
Always curious, Willie stared in fascination as a dark funnel cloud approached down the road. The next thing he knew the bus was floating in the air.
“This must be the way Dorothy felt,” he muttered. “Maybe I’ll end up in the Land of Oz, too.”
Like a child at his first movie, Willie spent the next few hours watching cows, horses and vehicles fly past the bus windows. He waved to a little girl in a car and she waved back. This is fun, he thought. Grandpa didn’t know what he was talking about.
Willie was awakened by voices outside. He opened the window part-way so he could hear.
“It’s a million to one odds that a Kansas bus could get to California in one piece,” the policeman commented, writing the license plate number on a pad. “The wind gusts are still strong.”
“Get that darn vehicle off my barn,” a farmer complained. “How’d that bus get up there anyways? It’s impaled…right in the center like a hot dog on a stick.”
“Dunno. A radio announcer said that the storm of the century hit the Midwest late yesterday. That’s likely where the bus came from.
“I’ve never seen a barn like yours before.”
“It was a bargain. UCLA architectural students built a wooden 1/10th-scale replica of Khufu’s Great Pyramid at Giza on my land. After they finished, I bought the 75.5-foot-square structure from them. A carpenter cut a door and I had the only Egyptian-style barn in California. Did you know that a pyramid is the strongest structure you can build?”
“Nope. That’s news to me.” The policeman stared overhead as a pig flew by. He scratched his head. “There’s a first time for everything, Nobody would believe me if I told them what I saw today.”
“I saw that pig fly,” the farmer shrugged “We both must be nuts. I’ve got to stop drinkin’. Want some pancakes, officer? My wife’s a great cook.”
“Sure. I can smell them from here.”
Willie could also sniff them. He glanced at his watch. It’s time for breakfast. Willie opened the driver’s window all the way and crawled onto the barn. “Can I join you guys?” he shouted. “I haven’t had a bite to eat since yesterday.”
““There are enough flapjacks for an army of mice!” the farmer answered. “Be careful coming down. The roof’s steep. Follow the grooves in the shingles and you should be okay.”
“What’s your name, son?” the policeman yelled, opening a notebook.
“My friends call me Willie the Mouse.”
“We’ll notify your folks in Kansas that you’re safe.”
“My parents live outside Denver. I’ll give you their address and phone number when I get down. Thanks, Officer.”
“That’s our job. After breakfast, I’ll give you a ride into LA.” He shook his head and smiled as he watched Willie descend to the ground. “You’re one lucky mouse. A tornado blew you more than a thousand miles west and you land without a scratch. It’s a miracle. Someone ought to make a movie about it.”
“That’s quite a story, Willie,” the policeman said, as the squad car passed the sign, Los Angeles, City Limits. “I’m honored to meet a descendant of Marvin Mouse, the hero of the Titanic.” He stopped in front of the Police Station. “Come in and we’ll get your statement. The captain wants to meet you. After that, I’ll drive you wherever you want to go.”
As they walked through the door Willie stopped. “How’s the job situation here in LA?”
“Unless you’re in the movies, it ain’t so good. What’s your profession?”
“I like to tell jokes.”
“You’re a comedian? Tell me a joke.” By then they were in the interrogation room and the captain poked his head in.
“I’m listening,” the Captain said. “Go ahead…haven’t heard a good joke lately.”
Willie hesitated, and began speaking. “A movie star had a bad headache, so he had his skull x-rayed. His doctor arranged an appointment with a brain surgeon.”
“You need a brain transplant,” the surgeon explained, holding the x-rays. “Only two compatible brains are available.”
“Who owned them?”
“The first brain belonged to a congressman and will cost you $50,000. The other brain was a policeman’s and costs $200.”
The movie star was confused. “Why is the politician’s brain so much more?” he stammered.
The surgeon smiled. “We marked down the price on the policeman’s brain because it had been used.”
After the laughter subsided, the captain placed his hand on Willie’s shoulder. “Son, you’re a better comedian than Groucho Marx. That’s the funniest joke I’ve heard.”
“Terrific sense of humor,” the policeman agreed. He turned to the captain. “Willie should meet your brother-in-law.”
“Huh?” Willie stammered.
“My brother-in-law’s an animator in Hollywood. He’s producing a silent film about a steamboat. Tonight, he’ll be at the Cocoanut Grove nightclub in the Ambassador Hotel…it’s amateur comedy night. Try your jokes out on the crowd. I’ll be there, too.”
“Thanks, captain. I’ll do it. What’s your brother-in-law’s name?”
“Disney. Walt Disney.”
Monday 8 P.M.
“Tonight,” the Master of Ceremonies proclaimed, “the Cocoanut Grove continues its Monday night comedy tryouts of the best up-and-coming comedians in America. Vaudeville and movie talent scouts have discovered many future stars here. If a contestant lays an egg you know what to do!”
The audience cheered as the MC ducked a tomato aimed at his head.
He smiled and continued. “Welcome our first contestant, Fatty Arkin.” He scampered off the stage as an oversized comedian shuffled toward the microphone.
Backstage, Willie’s concentration blocked out the audience cheers, boos and clapping as he reviewed jokes in his mind. Which ones should I use? He thought. I’ll tell my jokes about mice.
Two hours later, the stage manager signaled him. “You’re next. Get ready, Mouse!”
When he heard his name called, Willie stepped on the stage. A giant spotlight flashed in his eyes. His mind went blanker than an unpainted canvas. Sweat poured from his forehead. The audience giggles grew into laughter. Someone threw a tomato that missed. He ducked as a cucumber sailed over his head and a banana bounced off the stage by the footlights. Willie shielded his eyes and walked to the front of the stage.
“Thanks for the fruit and vegetables,” he ad-libbed, “I haven’t had supper yet.” He peeled the banana and took a bite. “You have my permission to throw more edibles. No coconuts or watermelons, please!”
The audience roared as he continued. “Socialists like the Russians and Spanish want a one-world society with no borders. This globalization can never work. You know why?
“No country has the entrepreneurship of America. In the U.S.A., an American investor owns two cows. He sells one, buys a bull with the money and his herd multiplies.
“A Russian businessman has two cows. He sells one to buy a case of vodka and wonders why he’s poorer than the American.
“A French movie director buys two cows. He over-milks them until they’re no good for anything and then he makes actors out them. When audiences no longer buy tickets to their movies, he sells them to the meat packers for dog food.”
The audience rose and clapped for five minutes. “Bravo, Mouse!” a movie executive shouted, as Willie took his final curtain call.
Walt Disney leaned over to his casting director. “Willie has talent,” he shouted above the noise of the crowd. “The Mouse has great timing and good stage presence. Arrange a screen test tomorrow!”
“Right. I’ll set it up now.” He stood and walked toward the stage entrance.
“Could you read the last line, again?” the casting director asked.
Willie put his script on the table and faced the director. “What kind of person is Captain Pete? By knowing more about him, I can play this part better.”
“Of course. Sorry I didn’t brief you first. Captain Pete is a tyrant, who is not amused by the mischievous deckhand on his riverboat. This deckhand, Mickey Mouse, ends up on KP, peeling potatoes for his transgressions.”
Willie picked up the script and read the lines with authority: “Mickey Mouse, when you finish peeling the twenty-foot pile of potatoes, start slicing this ton of onions. It shouldn’t take you more than twenty-four hours. If anyone calls for me, I’ll be at the dance with your friend, Minnie. Heh! Heh! Heh!”
The casting director jumped to his feet. “Wonderful interpretation!” he shouted. “The part is yours. You’ll share star billing with Mickey and Minnie Mouse in a cartoon. Your contract is for this and another movie. Sound okay?”
“Yes. I accept. Will both movies be filmed in Hollywood?”
“No. The first, ‘Steamboat Willie’is a Hollywood movie, scheduled to open in New York City in November 1928. The second cartoon, which is untitled now, will be filmed in Honolulu next year.”
“That’s great,” Willie said enthusiastically. “I always wanted to learn the hula.”
The next day at the planning meeting for ‘Steamboat Willie,’ the casting director stood and gave his opinion, “Movies are where the money is, and talent usually follows the money path. However, Willie the Mouse doesn’t care for fame and riches.”
“Do you really think Willie would turn his back on Hollywood after his contract ends and kiss-off a successful movie career?” the banker inquired.
“Absolutely. I predict he might do it. Willie is another Teddy Roosevelt…honest to the core, worried about the environment and sympathetic to the cause of the common man.”
“Bull squash! The banking and movie industries are identical to politics…money talks. Anyone can be bought for the right price, whether he’s an actor, banker or politician. Don’t worry about Willie leaving Hollywood. Every man, woman and mouse can be corrupted!”
The banker missed the bullseye like a blind man in a dart-throwing contest.
* * *
Willie next starred in the 1930 film, “Willie the Mouse, Honolulu Detective.” Although nominated, the movie failed to win an Academy Award.
World attention was thrust on Willie in 1931 when he turned his back on Hollywood and joined the Honolulu police department.
Willie condensed his philosophy of life this way to “Variety,”which printed his going away speech:
“Friends, Movie Goers and Countrymen, Lend me Your Ears. Like my ancestor, Marvin Mouse, hero of The Titanic, I lead a goal-driven life to leave the world a better place when I depart it than when I entered.” A tear ran down his cheek when he concluded.
“The best way to fulfill my destiny is behind a badge, not in front of a camera. I plan to devote my life to fighting crime in Hawaii. Goodbye to my fans across America. I appreciate every one of you.”
J. Edgar Hoover appeared at Willie’s graduation ceremonies at the Honolulu Police Academy and wished him luck in his new profession.
Willie’s sons and grandsons made names for themselves in law enforcement.
However, none reached the pinnacle of success achieved by a descendant named Maury.
Maury the Mouse became the best of them all.
CHAPTER 3. BANK ROBBERS
Honolulu Police Station Months Later
The police captain sat at his desk thumbing through monthly crime reports when Police Commissioner Johnson walked in.
“What’s the status of Maury the Mouse?” Johnson asked sharply. “Captain, when can you get him back to work?”
“He was only released from the hospital last week. Doctors say he’ll be as good as new in sixty days.”
“That’s not a good answer. Honolulu crime is out-of-control, we’ve exceeded our budget and we need more police officers.”
“If politicians didn’t spend so much money from the police budget air-conditioning their offices and giving relatives cushy jobs, we could hire more patrolmen.”
The Police Commissioner laughed. “There’s not a man alive who can stop politicians from spending other people’s money...especially in this city. I came here to tell you to get the Mouse back to work by June 19th.”
“Maury almost died in the hospital. He’s been at home just a few days. It’ll take him a while to recover.”
“Let him recover on the job! If you want to be working here on June 20th, and not pounding a beat on the docks, the Mouse better report for duty on the 19th. Capicia?”
“Yes sir! I understand.” Sweat beaded on the captain’s forehead as Police Commissioner Johnson swaggered to the door and slammed it behind him.
Ohana Bank 32 Coconut Street, Honolulu, Hawaii June 19 3 A.M.
“Get down!” the fox-faced man shouted. “The safe’s about to blow!”
“That plastique explosive always works,” Commando Joe boasted. “I use only the best. Get to work!”
“How long before the Fuzz gets here, Boss?” Butch asked, scooping up the hundred-dollar bills.
“Ten minutes and we’re out of here. When the pillowcases are full, drag them to the car. Remember, take only the big stuff.”
“Where are you going, Boss?”
“Diamonds. The Romanoff diamonds are stored here.”
“Hope you find ‘em.”
Joe inserted a crowbar and pried the cover from a metal box still in the safe. It was dented and hung on a single hinge.“Bingo! Got them!” He carefully placed the jewels in a pillowcase, and checked his watch. “Six minutes gone…start loading the car. Hurry. Cops will be here any time.”
Police Car 54 Moanalo Road, Honolulu 3:03 A.M.
“This is the fourth false alarm we’ve answered tonight,” Officer Kokua complained. “Maury, what do you think is going on? …pranksters?”
“Possibly,” Maury the Mouse answered. “But, each false alarm was further away from downtown Honolulu. Do you think that………
“Car 54,” the Police radio blared, “code 487 bank robbery in progress at Ohana Bank.”
“10-4. We’re on our way,” Maury said, swinging the car around. “Be there in ten minutes.” I was right, Maury thought. Those false alarms weren’t called in by pranksters. They were made by a knowledgeable criminal!
“Kokua,” Maury ordered. “Check the back entrance! I’ll check the front door and re
port to headquarters.” The police car pulled to the curb, tires screeching.
“Take it slow, Maury. Remember you were in the hospital a week ago.”
“I’m okay…maybe a little weak…but I’m getting stronger every day.”
Maury pulled on the locked front door, as a voice on his walkie-talkie crackled,
“Back exit’s wide-open,” Kakua said. “No sign of the robbers.”
“Guard the door!” Maury ordered. “We may have them inside. I’ll radio headquarters for a K-9 unit.”
Pali Highway Honolulu, Hawaii 3:14 A.M.
“That was close, Boss,” Butch said, wiping his brow. “Another couple of minutes and the Fuzz would have nabbed us.”
Commando Joe shrugged, as the van slowed and swerved into a parking lot. “Move the loot into my green car,” Joe said. The van stopped beside his car. “I’ll ditch this stolen van here.”
* * *
On the drive back to his pawnshop, Joe was deep in thought. “Butch,” he chuckled, “I’ll use the bank’s dough to pay my taxes to the IRS.”
“You pay taxes? Crooks like us don’t report stolen income when we rob banks.”
“Yeah. You’re right. The taxes I’ve been ordered to pay are for my pawnshop. I needed a front for my illicit operations and Joe’s Pawn & Loan fits the bill fine. ”
“I thought April 15th was the tax deadline. Today’s June 19th.”
“My accountant filed an extension form.
“You’re the smartest crime boss in Honolulu. I’m glad to work with you.”
“If you don’t cross me, Butch, we’ll have a profitable, long-term relationship. Remember that “robbing Peter to pay Paul ” is a way of life, here. The IRS hits me with high income taxes. This forces me to rob banks in order to pay the taxes. If it wasn’t for the IRS, maybe I’d get an honest job.”
“What kind of job?”
“Something in politics. I’ve heard of another California congressman going to jail for taking over two million in bribes. Maybe I’ll run for his seat. ”
16 Tiki Drive Basement Apartment Honolulu, Hawaii 6:15 A.M.
Maury removed his shoes, and slowly turned the key in the lock. He tiptoed into his bedroom.
“Is that you, Dear?” a voice cried out.
“Yes, Mother. Sorry I awakened you.”
“Did you have an interesting night?”
“Just another bank robbery, Mother. When we arrived the crooks were gone. They were professionals…disabled the entry alarm system, blew the safe and made off with money and jewels in under ten minutes.”
“Get some sleep, Maury. When you awaken I’ll make you a cheese omelet.”
“Is that a promise?”
“Be up about one, Mom.”
Honolulu Police Station Honolulu, Hawaii 11 A.M.
“Captain,” the Police Commissioner said. “The modus operandi of last night’s bank robbery was identical with one at Hilo, last week.”
“What can we do? The robbers are in and out of the deserted bank in minutes. They’re masked, so the surveillance camera can’t identify them. A police car arrived ten minutes after the alarm sounded but the robbers were gone.”
“Offer a reward to the public. Also, alert all police officers that whoever solves these robberies automatically goes to the top of the list for detective.”
“Yes Sir!” The Captain turned to go when he stopped. “Officer Kokua is retiring from the police department, tomorrow,” he said. “That leaves us one officer short in Patrol Car 54.”
“Why not replace Kokua with that college girl who scored highest in police basic training class? What’s her name?”
“Officer Kewpie. I’ll assign her to Car 54 and team her with one of our best policemen, Officer Maury the Mouse. He’ll show her the ropes.”
“Ladies and Gentlemen,” the Police Commissioner concluded,” you have graduated from the Honolulu Police Academy, today. I wish you my best for success in your job to protect the citizens of our city from crime and corruption. Report to the Captain’s office to pick up tomorrow’s assignment.”
Captain’s Office 2 P.M.
“Officer Kewpie,” the secretary said. “Your assignment is sealed in this envelope.” She handed it to Kewpie. “Last month, you mentioned you were planning to move to a permanent apartment. Have you moved yet?”
“No,” Kewpie replied. “I’ve just rented a top-floor apartment with a view of the city. I move in this afternoon. My address will be 16 Tiki Drive, apartment 3.”
16 Tiki Drive (Basement Apartment) Honolulu, Hawaii 3 P.M.
“Your cheese omelet was superb, Mom,” Maury said, pushing his chair from the table. “I’m going for a walk. Want to come along?”
“No thanks, Son. After washing the dishes I’ll watch my favorite movie on TV, The Mouse That Roared. It starts in fifteen minutes…enjoy your walk. Don’t overdue it. Remember you’re still recovering your strength.”
Maury nodded and locked the door behind him. He walked up the stairs to the lobby, opened the front door and strolled south.
“You were gone a long time, Maury,” his mother said, switching off the TV set. “I was worried.”
“I would have been home earlier, but I found a lady in distress. She was on the sidewalk, trying to carry two heavy bags into the lobby and up to Apartment 3…so I offered to help.”
“You were the same way when you were a Boy Scout…always helping old ladies cross the street.”
“But Mom, our new neighbor is young and pretty…mentioned she just graduated from college and starts a new job tonight. Her name is Kewpie.”
“What type of work does she do?”
“I’ve no idea, Mom. I left as soon as I carried her luggage upstairs.”
“She’s our neighbor. You must invite her to our apartment for tea.”
The next time I see her, I’ll ask.”
Apartment 3 6 P.M.
“What a day!” Kewpie sighed. “Thank goodness that a knight in shining armor carried my bags upstairs. He was cute. I wonder if I’ll ever see him again.”
Honolulu Police Station 9:45 P.M.
“Come into my office, Maury,” the Captain said. “Your new partner in Car 54 is here.” Maury nodded and strolled into the office. “Officer Maury, meet your new partner, Officer Kewpie. She graduated at the top of her class in the Police Academy.”
“Pleased to meet you,” Maury said.
“Don’t you recognize me?” Kewpie chuckled. “We met this afternoon.”
“You know each other?” the Captain inquired.
“Well, uh, I’m not sure,” Maury said.
“You’re a good Samaritan, Officer Maury,” Kewpie said, smiling. “You carried my luggage up the stairs for me.”
“I didn’t recognize you in your hat and uniform,” Maury stammered. He held out his hand. “Pleased to have you as a partner.”
“Maury the Mouse is an excellent police officer,” the Captain said, looking at Kewpie. “You can learn the ropes from him.” He stared at his watch. “Your tour of duty starts in a few minutes. Good luck, Officers.”
Police Car 54 10 P.M.
“Keep alert, Officer Kewpie,” Maury cautioned. “Like vampires, most criminals are nocturnal predators. It’s our job to protect honest citizens and make Honolulu a safe environment in which to live.”
“I will be alert, Sir.”
Maury turned right on Coconut Street. “Just call me Maury,” he advised. “We’re an informal organization in Car 54.”
“Yes, Maury. I’ll work hard and assist you to the best of my ability.”
“You’ll do fine. Just watch what I do and improvise when necessary.”
Kewpie nodded as the patrol car pulled to the curb in front of the Ohana Bank.
“This bank was robbed about 3 A.M. this morning,” Maury said. “Crooks disabled the exterior alarm system, entered through a rear door, blew open the vault, bagged up cash and jewels and escaped in less than ten minutes.”
“I understand that you and Officer Kokua almost caught them.”
“If we’d hadn’t been so far away, due to bogus emergency calls phoned in by the crooks, we might have nabbed them. Even with the silent alarm on the vault connected directly to the police station we couldn’t respond in time. It was their third bank robbery in Honolulu.”
“What other banks did they rob?” Kewpie asked.
“They robbed the Hilo Bank at 3 A.M. two weeks ago, the same way they robbed the Ohana Bank…disabled the exterior alarm, entered by a rear door, opened the vault and escaped with the cash. A week later they robbed it again.”
“I recall reading about it in the newspaper. Their modus operandi was identical in both robberies and no clues were left behind.”
“Although these professionals wear gloves and masks to prevent identification, we should catch them, soon.”
“Can you see their robbery pattern, Officer Kewpie?”
“No, except they always strike at 3 A.M.”
“Very good! But, they also rob the same bank, again, a week later. Do you know why?”
Kewpie thought for a minute. “A crook always returns to the scene of the crime,” she answered.
“Correct. They believe the police wouldn’t expect them and would be looking for them elsewhere.”
“I’m impressed with your reasoning.”
“When the crooks come back, we’ll be waiting for them in that vacant building across the alley. They’ll get the surprise of their lives!”
When Car 54 turned away from the curb, and cruised its scheduled route through the city of Honolulu, all Kewpie could do was look at Maury with admiration. She thought of little else for the next eight hours.
A Week Later
Robbers’ Nest Hotel Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii June 26 2 A.M.
“Butch,” Commando Joe asked, “is everything ready?”
“Sure, Boss. Got the crowbars, drills, fuses and enough nitro to sink a battleship. It’s all in the duffle bag.”
“This’ll be our fourth bank job. When we complete it we’ll have enough loot to take a vacation. Where do you want to go?”
“Dunno. Any place you pick, Boss, is okay with me!”
“Wear gloves, Butch.” Joe checked his watch. “It’s time to load up. Let’s rock n’ roll.”
“What about the Fuzz?”
“Don’t worry about the cops. They’re at Honolulu International Airport looking for a time bomb set to explode at 3 A.M. I called in that phony report a half-hour ago.”
“Good thinkin’. That’ll keep coppers away from the bank.”
On the drive downtown, Joe was especially quiet. Finally he spoke. “There is no way the cops can stop us. I’ve got every angle figured.”
Butch stopped the van at a red light and leaned over. “What if a cop got lucky and caught us red-handed in the bank?”
“That would be a slam dunk. If we were to get trapped in the bank we’ll revert to Plan B.”
“Boss, what’s Plan B?”
“Stay cool, Butch. Keep your mind clear. Concentrate only on the Ohana Bank job. I’ll handle and further refine contingency Plan B if we need it. If all goes smoothly, we’ll use Plan A and escape through the back door like we did two weeks ago.”
The van roared down Coconut Street and stopped behind the bank. “Get your duffle bag, Butch!” Joe cried, adjusting his ski mask. “We’re making another bank withdrawal!”
CHAPTER 4, ROBBERY FAILS
Vacant Building 33 Coconut Street, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii 2:30 A. M.
Kewpie glanced at Maury. “It was a brilliant idea to ask the Police Chief’s permission for this stake-out.
” “It’s only an outstanding plan if the bank robbers show up,” Maury shrugged. “If they don’t appear, the Chief will be mad as a hornet at me. He had to pay overtime to the officers who took our place tonight.
” “That’s the way bosses are,” she agreed. “If you guess correctly, they rationalize that decision-making is what they pay you for…and seldom compliment you on a job well-done. However, if you goof up, they’ll definitely let you know about it.”
“That goes with the territory,” Maury chuckled. “A policeman’s like a turtle. If he wants to get anywhere he has to stick out his neck from time to time. Like the saying goes, a fool charges in where wise men fear to go.”
“We’re like firemen at a house fire. They run into the flames to save lives, seldom thinking of themselves and the risks they’re taking. When officers see an honest citizen being robbed, we also charge into the fray to protect and save lives.” “You’re a philosopher, Officer Kewpie. Courageous men and women find success as firemen or policemen.” Kewpie’s mouth opened to answer as a van screeched to a stop outside. Maury placed his finger to his lips and muttered, “Shhh,”
Ohana Bank 32 Coconut Street, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii 2:55 A..M.
“There’s the telephone pole,” Commando Joe said, pointing. “Disconnect the wires like you did last week.
” “Okay, Boss.”
Maury watched the van door open and a figure disappear up the telephone pole.
“What’s going on?” Kewpie whispered. “They’re cutting the power to the bank so the alarms won’t sound. They did the same thing, a week ago. Next they’ll pry-bar the back door off its hinges.
” “Here he comes down the pole.”
Commando Joe emerged from the van holding a crow bar. “Use leverage, Butch,” he said. “Bust the door off its hinges. Then we blow the safe.
” “Wait until they’re inside the bank,” Maury cautioned. “After that, we alert the Chief and arrest the crook."
.” “They’ve disappeared into the bank,” she whispered, a few minutes later
. Maury dialed his cell phone. “Chief,” he said, “two bank robbers have broken into the Ohana Bank. Their get-away van is parked behind the bank. Request back-up.”
“Good work, Maury,” the Chief said. “Police will be there in ten minutes. Wait for back- up before entering the bank. Disable the get-away van!” “Roger. Out,” Maury replied.
He turned to Kewpie. “We’ll flatten the crook’s tires.” “I’ll cover you,” Kewpie said, pulling out her service revolver.
3:10 A. M. “Boss!” Butch yelled. “I hear cops sirens.” “Grab the cash. Follow me.” He dashed to the back door and stopped. Commando Joe held his palm up. “There’s a cop out there flattening the van’s tires.”
Butch dropped the pillowcase of cash and stared out the open door at Kewpie. “What’ll we do?” he pleaded. “There’s two of ‘em out there.”
“Get a crowbar and follow me to the basement. Leave the cash and tools. We gotta move fast!” Joe ran down the basement steps and stopped at a storm-sewer grating. “Butch,” he ordered, “pry up that grating!” Butch inserted the crowbar and put his entire weight on its end. The heavy grating slowly moved off its opening. “What do we do now, Boss?”
“I’ll go first,” Joe said. “Take the crowbar with you. We’ll use it to slide the grating back into place. The cops won’t know where we went.” Butch watched Joe climb into the darkness below. He shrugged and followed him. “One of the cops was a girl, Boss… had a figure that would stop a bus.” “The other one let the air from our tires,” Joe grunted. “We’ll get even with that flatfoot. I got a good look at him. He’ll never get in our way again!”
Alley Behind Bank 3:14 A.M.
Two police cars swerved into the alley and stopped. A sergeant jumped out of the first car and ran to Kewpie. “Are the perps still in the bank?” he asked. “Yes.” He turned to the officer in the second police car. “You circle the bank and guard the front!” “Yes Sergeant.” “Officer Kewpie, where is your partner?” the sergeant questioned.
“He’s restoring electricity to the bank,” she replied, pointing up the telephone pole. “Maury’s almost finished.”
A moment later the lights flashed on inside the bank and alarms began sounding, as Maury climbed, rung-by-rung, down the pole
“You guard the back door!” the sergeant grunted to Kewpie. “Officer Maury and I will flush out the perps. He opened his car trunk and took out a megaphone.
“You’re surrounded,” he announced. “Come out of the bank with hands above your head. You have two minutes to surrender.”
Storm Sewer 3:16 A..M.
“Where did the light come from, Boss?” “Follow me, Butch,” Commando Joe replied. “I always carry a miniature flashlight on my key ring. Never know when it’ll come in handy on a bank job. Another hundred yards and we’ll crawl out of here.”
Ohana Bank 3:17 A..M.
Maury flattened against the frame of the back door. With his right hand he poked a telescoping mirror into the bank. “All clear!” he cried. He dashed into the back room and pointed his .38-caliber Smith & Wesson toward the open vault.
3:30 A .M.
“We’ve searched the bank,” the sergeant said, shaking his head. “Where’d the perps go?”
“I’ve called for the K-9 unit,” Maury explained. “The police dog will track them to their hiding place…and if they’ve escaped he’ll show us how. Maybe they’re on the roof.
” Honolulu Police Station 6 A .M..
“Officer Kewpie and Officer Maury,” the lieutenant said. “Captain wants to speak with you in his office.”
Captain’s Office 6:01 A .M.
“Have a seat,” the captain muttered. “You both acted bravely, tonight. I’ve
recommended you both for ‘The Bank Robbery Medal.’”
“But we didn’t catch the crooks!” Maury protested.
You prevented another bank robbery. We recovered the cash as well as their
burglar tools. It was no fault of yours that the crooks escaped.”
“I’d suggest that all banks install jimmy-proof locks on their storm drain gratings.”
“Excellent idea, Maury. I’ll submit your suggestion to the Commissioner.”
Robbers’ Nest Hotel Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii 5 P.M.
“Butch, wake up,” Commando Joe exclaimed. “The TV announcer’s talking about
our bank robbery.”
“Last night, criminals tried to rob the Ohana Bank,” the announcer said. “Through
the efforts of police officer Maury the Mouse and Officer Kewpie, the robbers were unsuccessful. Although the robbers escaped, no money was stolen and the police recovered their burglar tools. Both police officers have been nominated for ‘The Bank Robbery Medal.’ ”
“See that picture of Maury the Mouse?” Commando Joe bristled. “He was the one
who flattened our tires. That cop cost us a bundle. When we get through with the Mouse, the fuzz will go after him like a marlin after a squid.”
“What are we gonna do, Boss?”
“Let me think about it. I’ll figure out a way. The man hasn’t been born who can
get the best of me! We’ll fix him, Butch, so he’ll never bother us, again!”
The Next Day
Honolulu Police Station June 27 2 P.M.
“We’ll have the ceremony tomorrow at three,” Police Commissioner Johnson
said. “It’ll make the five o’clock news. The mayor will be there, too.”
“I’ll alert the media,” the Police Chief replied. “Police could use some good
publicity for a change. Both officers deserve recognition for foiling that bank robbery. I’ll phone them with the good news. If I can’t reach them, I’ll tell them about it when they report for their evening shift.”
Robbers’ Nest Motel Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii 5:15 P.M.
“They’re giving The Medal to the Mouse, tomorrow at three.” Commando Joe
cried at the television set. “That’s when we get revenge, Butch. Turn off the news.
We’ve got to plan this caper.”
“Sure, Boss,” he stammered. “What’s up?”
“Remember the Romanoff diamond necklace we stole a couple of weeks ago?”
“Yeah.It was too hot to fence. What’re we gonna do with the necklace?”
“We’ll use it to frame Officer Maury the Mouse, tomorrow, when he’s awarded
The Bank Robbery Medal.”
“How’ll we frame ‘em?”
“You’re the best pickpocket in Honolulu, aren’t you?”
“All you have to do is to stick the necklace in the Mouse’s pocket. Can you do it?”
“No problem, Boss. It’ll be fun to frame a cop!”
“You slip the merchandise in his pocket and I’ll do the rest. They’ll put that
flatfootin the slammer and throw away the key. We’ll get revenge, tomorrow.”
The Following Day
Dillingham Air Field North Shore, Oahu 2:30 P.M.
“There’s the Mouse!” Commando Joe said, pointing. “He’s the cop talking to the
“You get his attention,” Butch suggested. “While he’s talking with you, I’ll do my
“Let’s do it!”
“Wasn’t it a wonderful ceremony, Maury?” his mother said. “You look so
handsome in your uniform. You father would be proud of you.”
“Dad died in the line of duty protecting honest citizens. I’ll try to be half the
policeman that Dad was.”
Do your best, Dear. That will be enough.”
Two men in trench coats walked up to them. “Are you Maury the Mouse?” one
man said, flashing his detective’s badge.
“We’d like to search you.”
“Search me…for what?”
“Raise your hands and lean against that wall.”
“What’s going on?” Maury’s mother protested. “My son just won The Bank
Robbery Medal. Why are you treating him as a common criminal?”
“Just doing our job, Ma’am,” he said, reaching into Maury’s left pocket. “This is
what we’re looking for,” he exclaimed, holding up the diamond necklace. “Someone’s going to be happy to get these back!”
Honolulu Jail June 28 8 A. M.
"I've been framed.” Maury the Mouse stared through the bars in his cell. “How
can you think I’d steal a necklace? Arresting me is ridiculous,” he sighed. “I don’t
believe this is happening.”
.“Sorry, Maury,” the jailer shrugged. “I’m just doing my job. The judge said to
keep you in jail until your bail was paid.”
Maury shook his head in disbelief. “Yesterday, I was a hero. Today, I’m in jail.
This must be a bad dream.”
“It looks bad for you, Maury. They found stolen goods in your pocket.”
“It was the first time I’ve seen it. Someone must have slipped the necklace into
my pocket. The person who put it in my pocket was probably the person who called the police.”
“The police operator said that whoever phoned in the tip that led to your arrest
muffled his voice with a handkerchief over the telephone mouthpiece. She could tell it was a deep voice, barking out each word like a Marine drill sergeant.”
“The caller didn’t give his name, did he?” Maury asked.
+“Did the police trace the call?”
“I’ll bet it came from Dillingham Air Field.”
“You’re a mind reader. What else do you know?”
“I believe there is a conspiracy against me,” Maury complained. He paused before continuing. “Did you ask Officer Kewpie to bring me my laptop computer?”
“Yes. She has it in the waiting area. I’ll escort her in.”
Robbers Nest Motel 11 A.M.
Commando Joe smiled, and made a finger pistol. He pointed it at a photo of
Maury the Mouse on the television screen.
“Bang! Bang!” he laughed. “Gotcha!”
“How many years will they give him for stealing the necklace?” Butch asked.
“The media’s already convicted the Mouse. They’ll toss him in the slammer and
throw away the key. We’ll never have to worry about that cop again.”
CHAPTER. 5, MAURY JAILED Honolulu Jail Cell 1 8:30 A. M.
Kewpie wiped a tear from her cheek. “Maury, this is terrible! Your Mother and I know that you’re innocent. You’d be the last person to steal the Romanoff necklace.”
“I’m a policeman whose duty is to uphold the law, not break it. Be assured that I won’t rest until the true culprit is exposed.”
“Here’s your laptop, Maury. Is there anything else I can do to help?”
“The judge set my bail at five thousand dollars. I need to post a bond of five hundred dollars before they’ll release me from jail.”
“Neighbors can raise the money for you.
“Thanks for your support and trust, Kewpie. I’ve got a night’s work ahead of me.”
“What do you plan to do?”
“First, I plan to E-mail my brother, Hercule. He’s with the FBI.”
“ Will he come here to help?”
“Yes, he’ll book a airplane ticket, tonight, and be in Honolulu tomorrow.”
Kewpie kissed Maury on the cheek when the jailer opened the cell door. As she walked into the corridor she cried, “We all love you, Maury!”
Not everybody, Maury muttered silently, not everybody. Maury set his computer on a table, and plugged it into an electrical receptacle. He sat and clicked the computer mouse on the Internet button. When he was connected to his online server, he typed http://www.FBI.govand was transferred to a website. After clicking his mouse successively on selected buttons he reached a message area. He clicked his cursor in a message box and began typing: Send photos and prison records of all known Hawaiian criminals to Maury the Mouse, Honolulu Jail. Urgent! Send today.
June 29 8 A. M
“Are you finished with your breakfast, Maury?” the jailer asked.
“Yes. The cheese omelet was delicious. Compliments to the chef.”
“An FBI agent is waiting to see you.” Maury smiled. “My brother’s arrived. Show him in.”
“Okay.” The jailer returned with Hercule. He sported a mustache, and wore white shoes and hat. Maury introduced the jailer. “Meet my brother, Hercule. He’s a Special Agent in San Francisco.”
The jailer nodded and opened the cell door. Hercule walked in. Maury waited
until the jailer bolted the door before he hugged his brother.
“You look tired, Maury. The strain shows on your face.”
“It’s wonderful to see you, Hercule. I need help in cracking this case.”
“Do you know who framed you?”
“Yes.” Maury handed some papers to Hercule. “Here is the file on the thief who brushed against me at the ceremony, yesterday. Luckily, a glider pilot named Ken was flying over Dillingham Air Field at the time. He identified Butch as the man who slipped the necklace into my pocket. The FBI crime lab in Washington sent me this, last night.” “Wow,” Hercule exclaimed as he read the file. “Mon ami, we have a difficult job ahead. This man named Butch is trickier than a fox, but dumb as an ox. Remember that to catch a fox you must set a trap. Our first step is to bring Butch to police headquarters for questioning.”
Honolulu Police Headquarters June 30 10 A. M.
Butch fidgeted in the chair. “What’s that you put on my head?”
Hercule shrugged. “A helmet with wires. The wires are connected to that polygraph machine by the wall.
” “What does it do?” Butch asked. “It’s a lie detector machine,” Hercule replied. “We have questions to ask. What is your name?” “Butch.” “Do you know who stole the Romanoff necklace?” “Maury stole it,” he stammered. “Did you steal the necklace and place it in Maury’s pocket?” Butch hesitated
. “No-oo.” Hercule walked to the lie detector machine and removed a sheet of paper. “Read what the machine says, Butch.” Butch grasped the paper and read in a weak voice. “Butch stole the Romanoff necklace and slipped it into Maury’s pocket on June 27th.” Butch broke the silence. “I confess. My boss, Commando Joe and I stole it. I’m sorry.” “Arrest this man!” Hercule cried. “Issue a warrant for Commando Joe’s arrest!”
16 Tiki Lane July 1 8 A. M.
“How did you trick Butch into confessing, Hercule?’ “Maury, I used my little gray cells. Butch’s military records showed his IQ was only thirty-five. It was easy to convince him that the Xerox machine was a lie detector.”
“What type of job did Butch have in the military?”
“He was the assistant manager of Pork Barrel Spending at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. His immediate boss was a colonel named Commando Joe.”
16 Tiki Drive (Basement Apartment) Honolulu, Hawaii 9 A.M.
“Did you see this morning’s headlines?”
“No, Hercule,” Maury replied. “I never read the newspaper until after I finish my tea and toast.”
“Judge Hastings had no choice. He followed the law. Butch and Commando Joe have been freed from jail.”
Maury set his cup down. “Butch confessed to grand larceny when he admitted that he and his boss stole the Romanoff necklace,” he said.
“That’s a felony offense.” Hercule interrupted. “Yes, both men would have been jailed for more than a year in the Honolulu jail by any rational jury, but the judge dismissed the case.”
“How could he dismiss this air-tight case?” Maury asked incredulously
. “You know the law, Maury. If the owner of the jewelry refuses to press charges against the defendants, you have no case.”
Maury shook his head. “It’s incredible that the woman who owns the necklace would refuse to prosecute the real thieves after she had me arrested and thrown into jail.”
“Women are strange creatures, Maury. Sometimes I believe they don’t even understand themselves.”
“Does the newspaper article mention anything else?”
. “Yes. It states that the felon’s lawyer complained that Butch wasn’t read his rights properly under the Miranda Rule. The lawyer also mentioned that he should have been present when his client was questioned. Commando Joe never opened his mouth until his lawyer arrived.”
“Hercule, you never actually arrested Butch. However, we both know that if his lawyer was present, Butch would have clammed up….and I’d still be in jail. Thanks for proving my innocence.”
“You’re my only brother, Maury. Mother and I knew you were innocent. When Butch confessed, the public knew you were framed. They still admire you as an honest public servant, and so does your partner, Officer Kewpie. She told me that, yesterday.” Hercule glanced at his watch. “My flight to San Francisco leaves in three hours. I better get packed.”
HONOLULU AIRPORT 11:59 p.m.
Hercule smoothed his mustache and sniffed in the air as the food cart was wheeled past him toward the boarding gate. “Ah, I can smell Brie in the air. It’s my favorite cheese. This will be a most pleasant flight. He paused and stared at his brother. “Maury, I appreciate your contacting me.”
“I am happy you solved the case,” Maury said, “ but am disappointed that a criminal has escaped justice and is free to commit future crimes.”
.“The judge had no choice but to release Butch when the diamond’s owner refused to press charges against him.”
Maury hugged his brother. “Your San Francisco flight is ready to board. Have a good trip, Hercule.”
“And you, Maury, have a pleasant summer. Keep your eye on Butch and Commando Joe. They’re sneaky as snakes…and will attack your good name when you least suspect it. If they don’t succeed as bank robbers, both also have the talent to scam the public in politics. Like politicians before an election, when they tell the public I feel your pain, voters will probably believe them. They are skilled liars and thieves. ”
And a menace to Hawaiian society, Maury muttered silently.
Hercule walked past the ticket agent down the boarding ramp. In the distance, passenger airplanes were lining up to take off.
Just like elephants in a circus, Maury thought, one behind the other.
He watched Hercule’s plane until it took its place at the head of the line. He waved at the jet as it rose in the air and disappeared into the clouds.
Maury sensed that his path would cross with Butch and Commando Joe, again.
However, he had no idea how dangerous these crooks would become.
CHAPTER 6, PEACE TREATY
Honolulu Police Station July 2 8 A.M.
“Have a seat, Maury,” the police captain said, pointing to the couch. “First, I’d like to apologize for the mix-up with the Romanoff necklace. We never thought you were guilty, but, by law we had to arrest you since you had possession of stolen property.”
“You followed the law,” Maury shrugged. “Without a set of laws we’d have chaos in society.”
Maury checked his watch. “If you don’t mind there are a few things I’d like to do before my shift starts tonight.” He started to rise.
“Whoa. Keep your seat. I called you here to discuss an important project for which you’ve been recommended. I’m told you’re a diplomat like Dwight Eisenhower, honest as Harry Truman and as secretive as J. Edgar Hoover. Is that true?”
“Yes, Sir!” “Then you’re just the man for this assignment.”
“Will I be working with Officer Kewpie?”
“No. She’s been reassigned to a headquarters desk job. You’ll be working with Professor Bear at Aloha College. He’s expecting you this morning at nine and will explain the details at his office. It’s a difficult task…but I know you can do it. Keep me informed of your progress.”
Aloha College Mouse Avenue, Honolulu
The door opened and a small man stepped out. “You must be Maury the Mouse. Thanks for coming,” he said
. Maury shook his hand and walked into Professor Bear’s office.
“Sit at this table,” the professor said, motioning to a square table in the corner on which several books were stacked. “Maury, you were recommended to me by a former student.”
“Was it Officer Kewpie?”
“Yes. Kewpie was my brightest student. She majored in poetry with a minor in quatrains.”
“Pardon me but what are quatrains?”
“Quatrains are four lines of verse.”
Maury smiled. “Oh you mean verse like this:
There once was a brave mouse from Capri
Who chased a black cat up a tree
The mouse’s Halloween mask the mouse-people say
Was so canine-like that the cat’s fur turned light gray.”
“Exactly,” the professor replied. “Kewpie’s term paper was about Nostradamus.”
“Was he the French doctor who lived nearly five hundred years ago?” Maury inquired.
“Yes, Nostradamus predicted the future in about one thousand quatrains. Kewpie discovered that one of his recently-discovered quatrains mentioned you. ”
“How do you know it’s me? His words could be interpreted many ways.” The professor took a book from the table, He handed it to Maury. “Read quatrain 1001,” he asked.
Maury read aloud:
“From a basement at 16 Tiki Lane
Maury the Mouse will be born
His wisdom and diplomacy will bring lasting peace
By 2010 to warring factions of dogs and cats.”
Maury looked confused. “Professor, I’m just an ordinary mouse. I never went to college to be a diplomat. I studied to be a policeman.”
The professor placed his hand on Maury’s shoulder. “It’s destiny, Maury. In every person’s life there comes one chance for fame and fortune. This is your opportunity. Don’t let it pass you by.
" “But dogs and cats have been at war since The Garden of Eden.”
“Absolutely,” the professor said. “If you approach the job like you have a lifetime to bring peace between dogs and the cats, you’ll get the treaty signed faster.”
Maury grinned. “I’ll take the job. When do we start?”
“Tomorrow morning. Be here at 8 a.m.”
Aloha College Mouse Avenue, Honolulu July 3 8 A. M.
Maury rapped his gavel on the lectern. “This meeting will come to order!” he said officially. “The secretary shall record the minutes of the meeting. Let’s introduce ourselves from right to left. “My name is Maury the Mouse. I am arbitrator and neutral party to any agreement reached in this historic gathering.”
A distinguished-looking Siamese cat rose from his chair. “I am named Ghandi and I represent all civilized cats in the world. Of course, there are rogue felines who live outside the law. I do not speak for them.” He took his seat and motioned toward the professor at the end of the table.
Professor Bear smiled. “I’m here as an observer and witness to this historic event. If you need additional water or sandwiches, let me know and I’ll get them for you. We’ll work here until an agreement is reached. The bathrooms and showers are in the back of this room.”
Across the table from Ghandi, a bulldog put down his cigar and glanced around. “My name is Winston. I’m here because the King of the Dogs commanded me to attend this meeting. I don’t believe in equality for cats. Dogs have always been and will always be the boss in any dog and cat society. Everyone knows that dogs are stronger. Since dogs are also larger they’re smarter for they have bigger brains ”
Maury rapped his gavel. “Winston, that’s unfair to say. You’re here for negotiation, not to insult your fellow diplomat.”
Winston shrugged. “Sorry about that. My mouth started talking before my brain went into action. It won’t happen again.” He turned to the cat. “I apologize, Ghandi.”
“Your apology is noted, Winston, and accepted.” Ghandi rose and held out his paw. Winston smiled as he shook hands with a cat for the first time.
Six Months Later Robbers’ Nest Motel Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii January 3 8 A. M.
“Butch, could you bring today’s newspaper?” Joe asked. “It’s in the basket by the refrigerator.” He nodded and strolled across the kitchen.
"Here it is, Boss.” “Thanks. Have a seat. We’ll both read a different section.” “May I have the front section?” “Sure. I read the crime section first, anyways.”
“Look at this!” Butch yelled. “There’s a feature article about Maury the Mouse. That cop is famous.” He held up the front-page article. “The headline reads ‘Historic Peace Treaty Signed’.”
“I never thought anyone could negotiate a peace treaty between dogs and cats,” Joe said. “Their war’s been going on longer than the Arabs and Israelis.
“The peace treaty doesn’t go into effect until next year. Until then, there’s a truce between these natural enemies.”
“What does the article say about the Mouse?” Butch ran his finger down the page. “Here it is. It’s at the end of the article. Professor Bear has proposed to city officials that Mouse Avenue’s name be changed to Maury the Mouse Avenue to honor the arbitrator who negotiated this treaty.”
Joe nodded. “Greatness should be recognized. Maury did a service to humanity by stopping the longest-lasting war on earth; the war between cats and dogs.
“The city is having a celebration party for the Mouse, tomorrow.” Joe glared at the newspaper. “I have a surprise for him, too,” he growled. “Honolulu has room for only one hero. And that hero is going to be me.
” Honolulu Police Station 9 A. M.
“May I help you, Miss?” the police sergeant said. “Yes, thank you. Please tell Maury the Mouse that Kristin, Ken’s friend, is here to see him.”
The sergeant rose and pointed to a wooden bench in the visitors area. “Have a seat and I’ll tell him that you’re here. Be back in a minute.”
Kristin sat down and watched the sergeant disappear behind a door marked Private. She shuffled through the newspapers on the table before her and selected the current issue of Mouse Times. She noticed a picture of Maury on the second page. “Why he’s been promoted,” she said out loud.
“Yes,” Maury replied as he entered the room. “For solving a bank robbery and working out a peace treaty between dogs and cats, the police commissioner promoted me to police detective.”
“I am proud of you, Maury. You’re the nicest officer I’ve ever met.” “I appreciate you saying that, Kristin. Is that why you came here, or did you have something else on your mind?
“My fiancé, Ken, has vanished!” Kristin cried. “Butch phoned two days ago and invited him for a drink. He said that he harbored no ill feelings toward Ken for testifying against him in the Romanoff necklace case. Ken hasn’t been seen since.”
“Where did he meet Butch?” Maury asked. “A restaurant by the waterfront named Mickey Finn’s.” Maury paused. “
Ah, yes, I know it well. Tonight I’ll go there and investigate. Can we meet tomorrow evening at nine at my apartment on 16 Tiki Lane?”
“Oh yes. I shall be there,” Kristin said. “Ken and I had planned to marry and leave on our honeymoon this Saturday.”
16 Tiki Lane, Honolulu (Basement Apartment) Living Room January 4 9 P.M..
Knock, knock. “Come in Kristin,” Maury said. “Meet Madame Zelda. I invited her this evening.” He smiled at the gypsy placing a crystal ball on the table. Madame Zelda. It’s good to see you again.”
“Maury, I’m pleased whenever I can assist the Honolulu police locate missing people.”
“You know each other?” Kristin asked. “Madame has helped solve many baffling cases,” Maury said. “Do you remember the case of the wailing ghost?”
Kristin nodded. “It had an eerie voice.”
“By her efforts we located the skeleton,” Maury continued, “buried the bones and the ghost disappeared. He turned to Madame Zelda. “Is that a Ouija board on the table?”
“Yes, Detective Maury,” Madame Zelda replied. “It could tell us what may have happened to Ken. Watch the letters form on the board.” Maury silently spelled out “b-o-a-t.” I wonder what that means, he thought.
“So Ken must be on a boat trip!” Kristin cried excitedly.
“Perhaps,” said Madame Zelda. “Let’s conduct a séance to confirm it. We shall hold hands. Our arms will form a triangle around the table.” She turned off the lights as Maury sat down and clasped hands with Madame Zelda and Kristin. Maury felt Kristin’s grip tighten as Madame Zelda fell into a trance. Two sharp raps on the table caused Kristin to scream.
“Sh-h-h, Kristin, I’ll protect you,” Maury whispered. “I’m right here. Don’t be afraid.” Madame Zelda jumped up and spoke in Ken’s voice,
I am sailing on a boat,
To some place I know not where.
And I promise to telephone and write
Whenever I get there.
Maury was horrified as he watched the ghostly fluidlike ectoplasm flow from Madame Zelda like a puff of smoke before it disappeared into the ceiling.
“Kristin!” Maury shouted. “Turn on the lights! Madame Zelda has fainted!”
.Madame Zelda moaned and opened her eyes. She turned to Maury and said, “Did you learn enough to solve the case of Ken’s disappearance?”
“Madame, you gave me enough facts to develop a hypothesis. Until the séance, all I knew was what a newspaper vendor told me last night when I stopped for my copy of Mouse Times. The vendor told me that Butch strolled by, alone, whistling a tune.
“What was he whistling?” Kristin asked. “Was it a clue?
“He was whistling ‘On A Slow Boat to China’.”
“Is that the song that starts off I’d love to get you, on a slow boat to China?” interrupted Madame Zelda.
Maury nodded. “Yes, it is.” “Did any slow boats to China leave Honolulu, last night?” she asked.
Maury scratched his chin and paused. “Why, yes,” he said. “A tramp steamer, The Golden Chopstick,steamed out of port around midnight.”
Madame Zelda gazed at Maury. “Do you think that Ken has been shanghaied?”
“It’s possible,” Maury replied. “Tomorrow, I’ll ask the judge for a search warrant for Mickey Finn’s.” “I happen to know who owns that waterfront restaurant,” Madame Zelda said.
“Who?” Kristin asked.
“Commando Joe,” Maury interrupted. “He and his underworld friends own most of the restaurants in Honolulu. Butch works for Joe.”
“Oh, dear,” Kristin murmured. “Poor Ken. I wonder if someone put a Shanghai contract on him.”
“It may be,” Maury mused. “Stranger things have happened. If Ken has been kidnapped, then Butch and Joe will pay for this. Crime never pays as long as Maury the Mouse is on the case.”
Madame Zelda chuckled as she gazed at the new letters spelling out on her Ouija board n-o c-a-t-c-h J-o-e. Maury’s hair stood straight up on his nose. “What’s so funny?” he asked. Madame Zelda pointed to the Ouija board. Maury read the message, turned and walked wordlessly out of the room to his bedroom in the basement. A good night’s rest will refresh me, he thought. Tomorrow, I will outline my strategy to apprehend that villain, Comman
As he slept, Maury smiled as he dreamed of slipping handcuffs over Joe’s wrists as he said, “Commando Joe, you have the right to remain silent. Anything you say may be used against you.” It was a deep and relaxing sleep. Maury awoke refreshed in the morning.
CHAPTER 7, WEREWOLVES
Honolulu Police Station January 5 8 a.m.
“Maury, we have an emergency!” the police sergeant cried. He pointed to the door marked Private. “Both the mayor and police commissioner are waiting in your office.”
“Thanks, sergeant. I’m on my way.” Maury the Mouse opened the door, ambled past several large offices until he came to a small door marked Detectives. He smiled as he opened it and stepped inside.
“You’re late!” the mayor grunted, pointing to his watch.
“Maury,” Police Commissioner Taylor interrupted, “the mayor has been unable to sleep all night and is upset. He’ll give you the details.”
“The mayor rose and paced back and forth. “Detective,” he said, “it was the worst night of my life. The noise began after sunset and continued until sunrise. The wails shook the walls of my house. The police couldn’t help.”
“After the mayor called me, the police commissioner explained, “I sent two of our finest policemen to the mayor’s house to capture the noisemaker. They couldn’t figure out either who was making the noise or its direction.” The mayor nodded. “That’s why I asked Commissioner Taylor to assign his best detective to this case.”
“Me?” Maury asked.
“Yes,” the commissioner said. “Starting right now!” “But I’m working on Ken’s kidnapping case.”
“The Noisemaker Case has the highest priority!” the commissioner said sharply. “You have twenty-four hours to find the culprit or you’ll end up pounding a beat on the waterfront.”
“Okay!” Maury shrugged. “Where’s the file on this case?”
The commissioner pointed to Maury’s desk. “The background information is there. Dr. Bear at Aloha College is analyzing tapes of the noise. He should be finished by ten and said he’d expect you then.”
Aloha College Maury the Mouse Avenue, Honolulu 10 a.m.
“Come in Maury,” Dr. Bear said. “Nice to see you again.” He extended his hand. Maury shook his hand and sat down.
“Have you completed your analysis of the noise?
” “Yes. Would you like to hear some of it?”
Dr. Bear inserted a cassette tape in his recorder, turned up the sound and punched Play.
Seconds later an empty water glass shattered on his desk. . Maury covered his ears. “That’s a horrible wail. It’s like fingernails scraping down a blackboard. What is it?”
“It’s the wail of not one, but two werewolves, There was a full moon, last night.”
“Werewolves in Honolulu?”
“There have been numerous immigrants into Honolulu lately. I know the cry of the werewolf when I hear it.
” “You say two werewolves,” Maury said. “Were their cries any different?” “One had a baritone voice and the other was soprano.”
That’s bad, Maury thought. It’s like roaches and rabbits. You get a male and female together and you’ve got hundreds of descendants in weeks.
Honolulu Police Station Lunch Room, Noon
“Thank goodness I found you, Officer Kewpie,” Maury said. “I’ve reached a dead end in a werewolf case.”
“That sounds exciting, Maury,” Kewpie exclaimed. “Imagine werewolves in our city. Are they illegal aliens?”
Maury slumped down in a chair and sighed. “We don’t know. There are at least two werewolves. I have no idea how to locate them with more than 385,000 people in Honolulu. I’m in trouble with the commissioner if I can’t solve this case, today.”
“I’ll help if I can.”
“Kewpie, you’re my last hope. How would you locate the werewolves?”
.“I’d let my fingers do the walking.” “Huh?” “I’d look in the telephone book, first.” She reached for the white pages and thumbed through the W listings. “Here it is, see!” She held her finger in the middle of the page.
Maury stared at the listing, Youra and Ima Werewolf, Attorneys at Law, 44 Kaimuki Drive, Honolulu.
Maury hugged Kewpie. “Wow!” he cried. “Thanks a lot!”
44 Kaimuki Drive Honolulu 1 p.m.
Maury parked his car and walked briskly to the door. He was about to knock when the door opened and an attractive lady looked out. “Can I help you sir?” she said.
Maury showed his police identification. “May I come in?”
“Certainly, my husband is on the telephone. I’ll talk to you in my office.”
“I’m Detective Maury.”
“My name’s Ima Werewolf, Attorney at Law. How may I help you?”
“You live a block away from the mayor of Honolulu. He was kept awake by werewolves last night.”
A door opened and a man entered
. “I didn’t know that the mayor was a neighbor,” he said. “We’ve recently moved here from London.”
Ima rose from her chair and smiled. “Let me introduce my husband. Youra, meet Maury, a detective with the police.”
“The mayor complained about the noise, last night, “ said Maury. “Was that you howling?”
.Youra growled, “To you it’s noise, but to us it’s expressing our freedom of speech as outlined in the First Amendment to The Constitution.”
Maury nodded. “Yes,” he replied as he stared at Youra. His eyebrows overlap, he thought. That’s a sign he definitely is a werewolf. Maury’s right hand touched his .38-caliber revolver. “I forgot to load it with silver bullets,” he muttered under his breath.
“What did you say?” Ima questioned. Maury shuddered when he saw her protruding lower fangs. He stepped back and said. “Everyone have a seat! I have a proposal for you both.”
16 Tiki Lane, Honolulu Kitchen, 5 p.m.
.“Did you speak to the werewolves, Maury?” Kewpie asked. “Yes. Without your help I couldn’t have found them. Now, both the mayor and the werewolves are happy. Youra and Ima Werewolf have just been appointed head of The Honolulu Noise Abatement Council by the mayor.”
Kewpie kissed Maury on the cheek. “You are s-o-o smart, putting the biggest noisemakers in charge of keeping the night quiet. You created a win/win situation.”
“Would you join me for supper tonight, Kewpie? I know a French restaurant with candlelight.”
“That sounds romantic, Maury. I’ll be ready at seven.”
The Golden Chopstick Pacific Ocean January 6 6 A.M.
“Captain Wong,” seaman Lee cried, “look to starboard!”
Captain Ishmael Wong calmly walked to the rail. He removed binoculars from a leather case and scanned the horizon. “It looks like a giant iceberg!” he shouted. It’s moving this way. Turn to starboard. Increase speed to thirteen knots!”
“Aye, aye, Captain,” Lee replied. “Whatever it is, it makes Godzilla look like a midget. It’s gaining on us Capt’n… and we’re moving at top speed.” Captain Wong stared in horror at the white apparition streaking toward his ship like a heat-seeking missile. A second before the collision he screamed into the short-wave radio,
“No! No! Moby Dick!”
Honolulu Police Station Honolulu, Hawaii 8 A. M.
“Maury the Mouse,” the sergeant said. “The Captain wants to see you when your report on the werewolves is finished.”
“You mean the Noisemaker Case?”
“Yeah. I’d forgotten what it was called.”
“Tell the Captain I’ll have it to him by noon.
Police Captain’s Office Noon
“Come in, Maury. Do you have the Noisemaker Case report?”
`“Yes, Captain.” Maury said, handing him the report. “It was a difficult case to solve.”
“Indeed. You’re our best detective, Maury. We are honored to have you on the Honolulu police force.”
“Thank you, sir. Officer Kewpie helped me on the case.”
“The Mayor was pleased with your work in arbitrating a win/win solution with Youra and Ima Werewolf,” the Captain continued. “He recommended that we give you and Kewpie three days off with pay as a reward for your efforts in the Noisemaker Case.”
“I appreciate that, Captain, but I was working on the kidnapping case involving The Golden Chopstick.”
“We have been tracking that steamer for two days, Maury, when it disappeared from our radar screen, this morning.”
“How could it vanish like a ghost?” Maury asked.
“I don’t know,” the Captain replied. “Perhaps a tidal wave hit The Golden Chopstick as it was passing by land. Those tsunamis can destroy anything.” “I remember the tsunami that hit Puerto Rico. The waves were twenty-feet high. And a super typhoon in the Philippines had wind gusts up to one hundred and eighty-four miles-per-hour.”
“Take your cellular telephone with you, Maury. We’ll call you if we get any information on the missing steamer.”
"What do you plan to do on your days off?” Maury grinned. “What I always do when I want to relax. I go fishing.”
Lake Wilson Oahu, Hawaii January 7 5 p.m.
“I’m glad to have your company on this fishing trip, Kewpie,” Maury confided.
“Have you caught any fish, today?”
“No. Didn’t have a bite. Maybe the fish are on a diet.” “I can’t understand it. A state record forty-three pound catfish came from these very waters. We spend all day fishing for bass, trout and catfish without even seeing a freshwater fish.”
“We all have moments of frustration when we’re fishing,” Kewpie exclaimed. “Some days the fish are jumping onto your fishhook and some days they’re not. Today happens to be one of those bad fishing days.”
“You’re right,” Maury agreed. Let’s go deep-sea fishing tomorrow. We can share a 50-foot yacht at Kewalo Basin. How’s it sound to you?”
“Great. When does the yacht depart?”
CHAPTER 8. THE PACIFIC OCEAN
Pacific Ocean Day One 1 P. M.
“Kewpie! Is that you splashing in the water?” Maury yelled
“Yes.” she replied.
“Thank goodness you survived. I remember the crash and the yacht splitting in two when the whale smashed into it, this afternoon. A moment later the sun disappeared.
Hey! I can stand up.” “So can I. How can we be standing in the ocean?” “Could we have been swallowed by a whale like Jonah?”
“Anything’s possible. Let’s explore this place,” Maury suggested. “I see light coming behind me. Maybe it’s a way out of here.”
* * *
“Here it is. It looks like a wooden crate of flashlights.”
“There’s a swordfish jaw!” Maury cried, pointing. “I’ll use it to pry open the crate. Give me a hand, and we’ll get it opened faster.”
“We did it. The water-soaked crate opened easily. Reach in and get some flashlights.
” Maury jumped back. “Whatever’s in this crate looks and feels like carrots but glows like powerful flashlights.” “Can you read the stenciling on the case?”
“Chernobyl Flashlight Company,” he read. “Guaranteed to glow for 48,000 years. Money-back guarantee.
. These Russians are shrewd marketers,” he chuckled. “Give them lemons and they make lemonade.” “They are true capitalists. Combining carrots and plutonium and calling them flashlights is brilliant marketing.”
“Right, Kewpie. Take a Russian flashlight and explore the area to your left. I’ll take one and explore to my right. Yell if you discover anything. I won’t be far away.”
“Okay. See you later.
Kewpie moved slowly, carefully placing one leg after the other into the knee-deep water. In the distance she heard a familiar sound.
“Maury!” she cried. “There’s a voice coming from a shipping crate. We’re not alone here!”
Maury slashed through the water to Kewpie’s side. He wielded the swordfish jaw like a knight protecting a damsel in distress
. “Where’s the voice coming from?” he asked.
.“The black crate!””
Maury pressed his ear to the side of the crate and listened. “The cries are faint,” he muttered. “Someone needs our help. Let’s pry it open.”
He inserted the swordfish jaw between the boards and signaled Kewpie. “On the count of three pull the jaw toward you. One. Two. Three. Pull!”
Kewpie pulled with all her strength as Maury pushed. The boards separated.
Maury dropped the jaw and entered the crate. “Hold your flashlight up. There’s a semi-conscious man in here. I’ll get him out.” She shined her flashlight in the man’s face. “Good lord,” Kewpie gasped. “It’s Ken, who saw Butch slip the necklace in your pocket. He looks terrible.”
“I found a lifeboat from The Golden Chopstick,” Maury said, pointing to the right. “I’ll carry Ken. It’s drier over there.” Maury tried to lift him, but Ken was too heavy. He dragged him gently through the water toward the lifeboat.
“Kewpie,” Maury cried, “tilt the lifeboat, and I’ll pull him into it.”
* * * “
.Okay. Ken’s safe while we look for supper”
Maury nodded. “I’ll make an inventory of everything we can use to my right and you go back to the left to search. Take the jaw with you for protection, Kewpie. I left it by the black crate.”
“Meet you back here in an hour.”
Honolulu Police Station 3 P. M..
“Sergeant, has Professor Bear heard the recording of Maury’s call to 911?” the captain asked.
“Yes sir. Just got off the phone with him. The professor analyzed the low-pitched sounds he heard as Maury spoke. He established that they were the barks and whistles of a large whale.”
The captain nodded. “Nothing we can do about this. Call the Coast Guard. Explain the situation to them. They’ll be on the lookout for a shipwrecked crew.” “Yes sir!” the sergeant replied.
Pacific Ocean Day Two January 9 4 P.M.
“I’ve made a list of everything we’ve discovered,” Maury said. “Could you look it over to see if I’ve missed anything?”
“Certainly. I’ll review it while you speak with Ken. He’s strong enough now to sit up. He asked to speak with you.”
Maury walked to the lifeboat. Ken smiled and patted him on the shoulder. “I thought I was done for until you and Kewpie found me.
” “Start at the beginning,” Maury said. “Tell me the whole story.” Ken spoke for the next hour.
“Did Ken tell you whatever happened to him?” Kewpie asked.
“He said that Butch probably spiked his drink at Mickey Finn’s. When Ken awakened he was in a wooden crate surrounded by boxes of black pepper. He heard a loud crash and doesn’t remember anything after that.” “It was terribly mean for Butch to Shanghai Ken.”
“Absolutely. Ken told me that Butch’s boss, Commando Joe, has delusions of grandeur and boasted of plans to enter politics, next year. Joe imagines himself as a future Honolulu mayor and congressman. I’ll do my best to prevent it.”
“Incredible. The Al Capone of Honolulu as an elected leader of Hawaii; I can hardly believe it.”
* * *
“You saved our lives, Kewpie, when you found the crate of sardines,” Maury said. “There are enough cans to last a year.”
“We were lucky that each sardine can had its individual key to open it. But I don’t want to spend a year in a whale’s belly. I want to go home, now!”
Maury nodded. “Ken should recover by tomorrow. We’ll get a good night’s sleep, and then plan our escape.
Kewpie and Ken dozed off after dinner. Maury lay awake until early morning, rethinking his escape options. He knew three lives depended on the execution of his plan in which there was no room for error. He diagramed the plan on a sheet of paper from his wallet and was still holding the sheet when he fell asleep at 3 A.M.
Pacific Ocean Day three January 10 8 A.M.
“What are you and Ken doing?” Kewpie asked. She stared at the wooden crates stacked like building blocks in the whale’s mouth and coughed, “Ahhhhh-choo!”
Maury the Mouse signaled Ken to rest and turned toward Kewpie. “Sorry to awaken you,” he whispered. “We’ve been working for an hour on an escape plan.”
“How can I help? I want out of here!”
“Have you ever eaten a Thai Tiny Hot Pepper?”
“Only once. It’s a scorcher. My mouth was on fire for days. It’s one of the world’s hottest peppers. Why do you ask?”
“We found a crate of them. The peppers are so tightly-packed in jars that we don’t know how to get them out.” “It’s just like getting olives out of a jar,” Kewpie said, enthusiastically. “Get the first one or two out and the rest will come easily.”
“I’m glad I studied Zoology at Doll College,” Ken said, “and learned about mammals, including whales.”
“I thought whales were fish,” Kewpie said incredulously.
.“No, Both whales and people are warm-blooded mammals,” he continued. “Whales also have an esophagus connecting their mouth and stomach.”
“So they can get a tummy ache just like us?”
“Absolutely,” Maury added. “They cough like other mammals, too. That will help us escape.”
“You men are s-o-osmart. I’m a lucky girl to be stranded inside a whale with two brave and resourceful men.”
Maury smiled. “I appreciate your confidence, Kewpie, but I have to admit that I’ve never escaped from the mouth of a giant whale, before.”
“Me either,” Ken added.
Kewpie shrugged. “George Washington had never led a nation to independence before. Like Washington, Maury will lead us to freedom. I believe in you.”
“When should we be ready to escape?” Ken asked. “Jonah spent three days inside his whale. This is our third day.”
Maury picked up the sheet of paper on which he had diagramed an escape plan. “Read this, carefully,” he said. “Kewpie, you sew our raincoats together…they’ll make a sail for our boat. Use seaweed for thread and fish bones for needles. Ken, help me move the lifeboat. Then, get the black pepper and Thai Tiny Hot Peppers out of their jars. We’re ready to escape tonight!”
“I’ll sew the raincoats securely,” Kewpie promised.
Maury grabbed the lifeboat’s stern. “Ken, take the bow. I’ll push and you pull.
We have to move forward of the whale’s tongue.”
“Whew, Maury. That’s the heaviest boat I’ve ever moved.”
“Are you a sailor, Ken?”
“I crewed on a friend’s sailboat He had a sloop, which had one big sail called the mainsail and one little sail called the jib.”
“Our boat won’t have a jib,” Maury said, “just a mainsail. Kewpie is making it for us.”
“It’ll be as flexible as a cat’s tail!” Kewpie cried. “Are you fellows hungry?” .
“Let’s have lunch,” Ken suggested.
“Fine with me,” Maury said. “Pass the sardines.”
“Save some for me, guys,” Kewpie yelled. “I’m part of your team, too.”
Escape Plan Phase One 5 P.M.
Kewpie smiled as she handed the mainsail to Maury. “Is everything all right?”
Maury nodded. “Yes. I have a knot in my stomach. I know how General Eisenhower felt a few hours before the Normandy Invasion in World War II.”
“General Maury,” Ken said, laughing, “Colonel Ken and Colonel Kewpie want to know our tasks and duties before our invasion into the Pacific Ocean. What orders do you have for us?”
Maury glanced at Kewpie and noticed that she was grinning.
“It’s a good idea to be relaxed before an engagement with the enemy,” he said. “We’re battling for our lives against a larger and stronger foe.” “We’re going to give someone a whale of a tummy ache, aren’t we?” Kewpie joked. “You bet,” Ken chuckled. “We’ve got a crate full of hot peppers positioned in the back of the whale’s mouth. At Maury’s signal I’ll cut a seaweed rope which now prevents the crate from spilling the peppers into the whale’s stomach through his esophagus.”
“Kewpie and Ken, I need some help,” Maury cried. “Hand up the open jars of black pepper.”
Kewpie glanced up at Maury. “Be careful standing on those crates. If you fall you’ll hurt yourself.”
“Don’t worry about me. I’ll be careful. Once we have the black pepper up here, Phase One of our escape plan will be complete
. Escape Plan Phase Two 8 P.M.
. Kewpie sat on the floor of the lifeboat.
“Make sure we have enough food!” Maury yelled.
“There’s enough sardines to last a month,” Kewpie replied. “We have paddles, flashlights and your duffel bag. You have the mainsail.”
“Excellent,” Maury cried. “Ken, are you ready?”
“Cut the seaweed rope and jump into the lifeboat!”
Kewpie watched the crate of Thai Tiny Hot Peppers tumble into the whale’s esophagus on its way to his stomach
. Ken crowded into the lifeboat beside her. “Go get ‘em, Maury!” Ken yelled.
“What’s he doing?” Kewpie asked. Ken grinned
. “Maury’s using the mainsail as a giant fan to push the black pepper into the whale’s nostril, which is also called a blowhole. The whale will have to surface to sneeze.”
“Then, the sneeze will propel us out of the whale’s mouth,” Maury cried. He tightly grasped the mainsail as he jumped into the lifeboat. “His tummy ache should keep him busy as we escape. Three thousand, two thousand, one thousand. Get ready, here we go!” Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh-choooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
Honolulu Police Station 8:30 P.M.
“Captain,” the sergeant said. “The Coast Guard reports an earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale has been recorded in The Pacific Ocean near where Maury disappeared. They’ll send a C-130 surveillance aircraft there tomorrow.”
CHAPTER 9. THE LIFEBOAT
Pacific Ocean Lifeboat 8:31 P.M.
“Help!” she cried.
“It’s all right, Kewpie,” Maury said. “Ken and I are here with you.”
“Why is our lifeboat moving so fast?”
“A human cough can travel up to one-hundred-miles per hour,” Ken replied. “A whale’s cough moves even faster.”
“When we slow down, we’ll hoist the mainsail,” Maury added.
“Maury will use his sextant to sight stars when the clouds disappear.” Ken interrupted. “He’ll measure the angle between the stars and the horizon to determine our location.”
Maury nodded. “I’ll record the angle of the North Star, and the time I took the reading. After waiting a few hours, I’ll take another reading of the North Star with the sextant, record the time and check the results in my Nautical Almanac.”
“What will that tell you?” Kewpie asked. “We already know we’re in The Pacific Ocean.”
“The Nautical Almanac will tell us precisely where we are,” Maury said.
Kewpie watched Maury unzip his duffel bag.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“I’m just checking to see if my sextant, compass and Nautical Almanac are ready when the clouds clear. As soon as the salt water in my cellular telephone dries, I’ll call Honolulu.”
“You were so-o-osmart to bring them,” Kewpie said. “Did you think we might be shipwrecked when you took me deep-sea fishing?”
“No. I wanted to practice celestial navigation,” Maury replied. “My father took me into the ocean in his sailboat many times when I was young. We practiced using the sextant to fix our location using the stars or the sun. My skills became rusty since I hadn’t been at sea for many years. I decided to practice on The Captain James Cook. I never got that chance, as the whale destroyed our fishing boat.”
“It’s lucky for us that you brought your navigation tools along,” Ken added. “Without your sextant, compass and Nautical Almanac we wouldn’t know where we were. We could be in China and never know it.”
“That’s where you might have ended up,” Kewpie said, “if the whale hadn’t swallowed you.”
“Yes. I’m fortunate that you and Maury rescued me from the black pepper crate. Thanks!”
“You’re welcome,” Kewpie replied. “You would have done the same for us.”
Ken pointed to the sky. “We’re slowing down and the clouds are clearing. I can’t see the North Star.”
“Neither can I,” Maury agreed. “This is a bad omen.”
“What’s wrong?” Kewpie asked.
This means that we’re no longer in the Northern Hemisphere,” Maury said. “We’re south of the Equator. We must be thousands of miles south of Honolulu.” He held his sexton vertically and pointed at the moon. He wrote a figure in his notebook. “In a few hours I’ll take another fix on the moon. By morning I’ll know where we are.”
“Should I erect the mainsail?” Ken questioned.
“Yes,” Maury replied. “You and Kewpie get some sleep. I’ll take the first watch tonight.”
“Good night,” Kewpie said.
“Wake me in four hours,” Ken requested.
January 11 8 a.m.
Kewpie stared at Ken, who was sleeping in the bow. “Maury,” she said. “Did you find out where we are?”
Maury nodded. “We’re moving south toward New Guinea.”
“New Guinea is a series of islands, located ninety-three miles north of Australia. Some of these island are unexplored.”
Kewpie shuddered. “I read a National Geographic article about salt water crocodiles attacking people in the seas off the coast of Australia. Are they around New Guinea, too?”
“Probably. Watch for both sharks and crocodiles,” Maury warned. “I’ll remind Ken about them when he awakens.”
“There’s a sail on the horizon!” Maury shouted. He shaded his eyes and looked into the sun.
“It’s an oceangoing double canoe with a sail,” Ken said. “It’s coming right at us.”
“It looks like an ancient Hawaiian catamaran,” Kewpie exclaimed. “I’ve seen pictures of them in history books. I hope our rescuers are friendly.”
“This is strange,” Maury said. “The strangers sailed by, signaled us to follow, and sailed off to the southwest. They didn’t even stop to see if we needed any help.”
“We better follow,” Ken suggested. “At least they know where the islands are.”
“We’ll follow them.” “They were strange looking,” Kewpie observed. “They all looked alike and had bushy hair with red noses, just like clowns in a circus.”
Maury scratched his chin. “That’s interesting. I recall a circus ship was destroyed by a storm in this area one hundred years ago. Everyone was rescued but the clowns.”
Coast Guard C130 Surveillance Aircraft 5 P.M.
“We’ve checked the area south to the Equator,” the pilot reported to ground control in Honolulu. “No sign of survivors.”
“Keep checking, but take care if you fly around New Guinea, “ ground control replied. “The red-nosed cannibals are on the warpath, again.”
“Roger, out,”the pilot said. He continued circling. When his fuel gauge registered half-empty, he turned the aircraft north and headed back to Honolulu.
Coral Island Pacific Ocean, New Guinea 6 P.M.
“Watch out!” Kewpie yelled. “We cleared that coral reef by inches.”
Maury lowered the mainsail.
“Ken and I will row into shore from here,” he said. “Because of these reefs we’ll take the same course as the strangers we’re following.”
Kewpie stared at the coral located just below the surface of the water. “Here we are a mile from shore and there are razor-sharp coral reefs.”
“Many a sailor has likely been shipwrecked here,” Maury added. “What mariner would suspect these obstacles so far from shore?”
“Do you know what language they speak in New Guinea?” Kewpie asked.
Maury smiled. “English is the official language, but more than 700 languages are spoken. If the strangers don’t understand us, we’ll use sign language.”
Kewpie adjusted her broad-brimmed hat to shade her eyes from the bright sun. She cupped her hands above her eyes and stared ahead. “The strangers are pulling their catamaran onto the beach. They’re about one-half mile ahead.”
Maury listened to the beat of drums from shore. He and Ken dug their oars deeply into the ocean as the lifeboat cut through the water like a swan racing toward its mate.
“Stop rowing,” Maury said. “We’ll drift into shore from here.”
“Look at the soggy timbers in the water,” Kewpie exclaimed.
Ken pointed toward shore. “Do you see the crusted cannon by the beach?”
“Maybe we’ll discover Blackbeard’s pirate treasure!” Kewpie said.
Maury laughed. “Blackbeard plundered Atlantic shipping lanes nearly three centuries ago. They never located his buried treasure. But there were many Pacific Ocean pirates whose treasures were never located.”
“Which buccaneer had the largest treasure?” Kewpie asked.
“Maurice Lavasseur, a French privateersman-turned-pirate was known as “The Cat,” Maury continued. “Le Chat captured the treasure ship El Gato De Oro. He was captured by a French warship in 1730. Le Chat went to the scaffold without revealing where he had buried his treasure of gold, diamonds, rubies and emeralds.”
“Watch out for that piece of a ship floating toward us!” Kewpie cried.
All three silently stared at the name carved into the bow as it drifted past them, El Gato De Oro.
Coral Island Beach 7 P.M.
“Maury, look at the villagers on the beach?” Ken asked. “Do they look friendly?”
“Keep together when we get ashore,” Maury said. “Let me do the talking.”
The boat glided to shore and stuck firmly in the white coral sand. Maury grabbed his duffel bag and jumped out.
Kewpie and Ken, come ashore!” Maury telled..“We’ll drag the lifeboat off the beach into the grove of palm trees.”
“I’m scared,” Kewpie said. “The villagers are carrying sticks and spears. They don’t look friendly.”
“I have an idea,” Maury said. He opened his duffel bag and took out the ukulele.
Kewpie whispered, “Sing some hapahaole Hawaiian tunes, Maury.”
* * *
The villagers crowded around Maury as he played song after song.
“They’re smiling and laughing,” Kewpie muttered. “Now they’re starting to dance to the music.”
Ken grasped Kewpie’s hand. “May I have this dance?” he asked.
“Yes.” She and Ken joined the villagers dancing on the beach.
Maury played Hawaiian tunes as drummers accompanied him beating on hollow logs until early morning.
Beach January 12 7 A.M.
“What’s our next step?” Ken asked.
“I spoke with the chief, last night,” Maury said. “He told me that the villagers would like to have us for supper, tomorrow.”
“Did he mean for supper or as supper,” Ken asked. “I’ve heard that headhunters and cannibals live in New Guinea.”
“He said for supper but he might have meant as supper,” Maury replied. “It’s best if we escape tonight. These Stone Age people are unpredictable.”
“What about the pirate treasure from El Gato De Oro?” Ken asked. “Should we try to find it before we leave?”
“I wouldn’t advise it,” Maury cautioned. “In British colonies, found treasure belongs to the government. Only in America do the courts normally award it to the finder.”
“Look!” Kewpie cried, pointing. “Here comes the chief.” Maury glanced at the tall man coming toward him, accompanied by three spear-carrying bodyguards. Maury opened his duffel bag, removed his cellular phone and dialed a number.”
“Honolulu Police Department,” a voice answered.
“Sergeant, this is Maury. We’re in a delicate situation with possible cannibals in New Guinea. I’d like you to speak with the chief. He’ll be here in a moment.”
“Sure, Maury. What’ll I tell him?” “Tell him that bad things will happen unless we leave his island tonight. You’re the best teller of tall tale I know. This should be a snap for you.”
“Okay. Put him on,” the sergeant laughed. “This should be a hoot.”
Maury walked up to the chief. “Chief, in the sky is the Great Spirit who brings you rain. He creates sun for warmth and gives you sweet potatoes, yams and bananas. He helps your fishermen harvest the sea. He watches over you and your people.”
“I understand,” the chief replied, pointing to the sky. “The Great Spirit lives there.” Maury nodded. “The Great Spirit would like to speak with you.” He handed the cellular phone to the chief, who looked at it curiously.
“Put this part to your ear,” Maury explained. “Speak through that other part.”
“Is this you, Great Spirit?” the chief asked, cautiously.
“Yes,” the sergeant replied. “I command you to assist these people to depart tonight. They are friends and need your help. Provide them with food and drink for their journey.”
The chief fell to his knees. “Oh Great Spirit, I will do anything for you. They shall depart tonight. My tribe will assist them.”
“Very good,” the sergeant said. “Do as I say and your tribe will prosper.”
“Your wish is my command,” the chief muttered. He held the cellular phone in his trembling hand.
Maury took the phone. “See you, soon, Great Spirit,” he said.
“Okay, Maury,” the sergeant replied. “Be careful and good luck. Watch your back.”
* * *
That night, Maury, Kewpie and Ken set sail for Australia.
CHAPTER 10. THE RESCUE
Australian Air Rescue Command Midnight January 14
“A satellite has picked up a faint signal from Maury the Mouse’s cellular phone,” the Australian official said.
“Did everyone survive the encounter with the Red-Nosed Cannibals?” a newspaperman asked.
“Yes. We’ve been told that Maury, Kewpie and Ken are in good spirits, but tired from their adventures.”
“When can we interview them?” a television reporter inquired.
The official shrugged. “We Australians are famed for being great search and rescue people. As soon as we locate their boat and rescue them, it will be their decision when they’ll allow interviews. If you’ll excuse me, I have other business to attend to.”
“This is the adventure story of the century,” a radio reporter announced. “It’s more exciting than ‘Stanley and Livingstone’.”
“Is that the film where a newspaperman located a missing missionary in Africa?” a reporter interrupted. “Didn’t Spencer Tracy play Mr. Stanley?”
“I think so,” the radio reporter replied. “Do you think they’ll make a movie about the adventures of Maury the Mouse?”
“I hope so,” a reporter said. “It could be a bigger blockbuster than ‘Gone With The Wind’. Maury’s escape from New Guinea cannibals is the story of the year!” ”
Pacific Ocean Australian Coast Guard HH65 Dolphin Helicopter January 15 1 A.M.
“Sergeant,” a voice over the intercom said, “ report your progress.”
Sergeant Thompson adjusted his night-vision goggles. “It’s a big ocean, Captain. Haven’t seen them yet.”
“Keep looking. We have fuel for another hour in the air. They’re out there.” “Yessir! . I see like a cat. If anyone’s here I’ll find them
.” Lifeboat 1: 15 A.M.
“Can you hear the airplane, Kewpie?”
“Yes, Maury. It’s too dark for them to see us.”
Maury sat upright and pulled two Chernobyl flashlights from his duffel bag. “You
wave one,” he said to Kewpie. “I’ll wave the other one.”
Ken slept while Maury and Kewpie focused their flashlights into the sky.
Australian Coast Guard HH65 Dolphin Helicopter 1:15 A.M.
“Positive sighting, Captain!” Sergeant Thompson cried. “There’s a lifeboat to
“Good job, Mate,” the Captain replied. “I’ll notify headquarters. Get into your wet
suit, sergeant. We’ll hover over the lifeboat in five minutes. Have the boarding ladder ready.”
Australian Air Rescue Command 1:45 A.M..
The Australian official was smiling as he approached the lectern. “I am happy to
announce that the Australian Coast Guard has rescued Maury the Mouse and his friends.
We have notified the American Embassy and officials in Honolulu.”
Where are they now?” cried a voice from a crowd of reporters.
“They have already landed on Australian soil, and are being de-briefed by the
American Ambassador. After a few hours sleep, they’ll grant interviews to the press.”
“Will they remain long in Australia?” a newspaperman asked.
“No. Maury has expressed a desire to return home as soon as possible. He has
unfinished police business to attend to in Hawaii.”
Honolulu Mayor’s Bedroom Honolulu 2 A.M.
ring, ring, ring, ring. The mayor stared at the clock, and grabbed the telephone.
“Do you know what time it is?” he shouted.
“Sorry to wake you,” Police Commissioner Johnson apologized, “ but Maury the
mouse just phoned me.”
“You awakened me for this?”
“Maury told me he was coming back to Honolulu to arrest Commando Joe for
kidnapping. That’s bad news for you with elections coming up in sixty days.”
The mayor nodded. “Maury has become too important a figure in the news during the past two weeks. He could run for most any public office in Hawaii and win. My job’s in peril with him around.”
“My job is shaky too,” the police commissioner interrupted. “The mayor always
appoints the police commissioner. If you’re not re-elected, I’m out of a job.”
“What do you propose we do with the Mouse?”
“Get Maury out of town. We’ll send him as far from Hawaii as possible.”
“Where?” the mayor asked.
“We’ll appoint him to the FBI National Academy at the United States Marine
Corp base at Quantico, Virginia. This eleven-week course in law enforcement will keep him out of town until the elections are over.”
“What will they teach him?”
“He’ll learn everything from the latest detection methods in solving computer-
related crime to forensic topics as DNA testing,” the police commissioner said. “About 1,200 policemen attend these courses each year.”
“Move fast! Independents voters are already talking about drafting Maury to run
against me for mayor.”
“Okay. He’ll be in Quantico by the end of the month.”
“Good,” the mayor sighed. He hung up the phone and stretched out in bed. A
smile was on his lips as he began to snore.
Honolulu Police Station January 16 8 A.M.
The sergeant jumped up. “Maury, your suntan looks great. When did you get back?”
“Our airplane landed early this morning. Escaping from the reporters was tougher than from the headhunters. Thanks for your assistance.”
“It’s part of my job,” said the sergeant grinning. “We policemen have to stretch the truth like politicians sometimes. Incidentally, the mayor wants to see you in the commissioner’s office.”
* * *
Maury’s fists clenched shut as he listened to Police Commissioner Johnson lecture him about the future
. “I just returned!,” Maury protested. “I can’t leave Honolulu while Commando Joe is on the loose!”
“Joe’s skipped the country,” the commissioner remarked. “When he learned that we’d sworn a warrant for his arrest he flew to London. Scotland Yard has been alerted.
” “It’s a great honor,” the mayor interrupted, “to select you for The FBI National Academy. Only the finest policemen are sent there. Here is your airline ticket, Maury. You depart for Quantico, tomorrow.”
“Keep me up-to-date on the manhunt for Commando Joe,” Maury replied, placing the ticket in a pocket. I wonder what adventures I’ll find on the mainland.
FBI National Academy February 1 8 A.M.
“Telephone call for Maury the Mouse,” the loudspeaker blared.
“He’s at The Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Greenville, South Carolina,” his
roommate cried out. Maury’s speaking with the children and will return tonight after ten.”
“Have him call the FBI director when he returns.”
Shriner’s Hospital for Children Greenville, South Carolina Hospital Auditorium 9 A.M.
“You children voted Maury the most outstanding American of the year,” the administrator said. “It gives me great pleasure to introduce the famous Honolulu detective, Maury the mouse.”
Maury stared at the audience as he approached the lectern. The bright lights reflecting off the children’s leg braces and wheelchairs momentarily blinded him. He smiled and said, “I am happy to be here today. Before my career is over I hope to meet children in all twenty-two Shriner’s Hospitals in the U.S.A. and Mexico. I’ve already visited children at the Shriner’s Hospital in Honolulu.”
A tear flowed down his cheek.
“Tell us a story!” a child in a wheelchair cried from the first row.
“Good suggestion,” Maury replied. “Would you like to hear a story which I wrote on the airplane from Washington? It’s called ‘Why Leaves Change Color’.”
“Yes!” When the children stopped cheering Maury began his story.
“The plains of Eurana were empty for millions of years as frozen rivers of ice,
called glaciers, crept slowly across the land. These glaciers pushed earth into odd shapes like a child shaping clay.
“Later, when sunlight finally broke through thick clouds holding the earth
hostage, sprouts poked their heads from soil. One of these sprouts grew into a
magnificent maple tree in the forest, at the edge of the plains of Eurana, now known as Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“This tree’s name was Mabel. She was a large maple tree when she celebrated
her twelfth birthday. Mabel’s roots firmly anchored her twenty-foot trunk into the soil, deeper than other maple trees growing nearby. The gray bark, brown leaves and a crown of top branches, spread in all directions like bicycle spokes on a wheel. Her leaves wer different than oak, black walnut and pecan trees growing in the forest. Sunlight reflected in a circle from Mabel’s top branches. This gave her the dignified look of a princess every summer.
“Despite her youth, Mabel was greatly admired by older oak, black walnut, pecan and maple trees. They liked to hear her laughter and the cheer she brought to the forest. If a beauty contest had been held, she would have been the winner among the trees in Eurana Forest.
“Birds loved to be near her. A nightingale built his nest in a bush under Mabel’s
branches. It serenaded her every night. Fireflies danced in the moonlight as the bird sang and whistled melodies for hours, to the delight of every tree in the forest.
“Mabel was modest about her looks. When an oak tree announced that Mabel’s leaves and flowers glowed like diamonds and rubies, she laughed and pointed her leaves toward the sky. “I owe it all to Mr. Sun. Without his help I’d still be a seed in the ground, Mr. Oak tree.”
Maury paused to catch his breath.
“What happened next?” a boy on crutches in the back row shouted.
“A black walnut tree was curious and asked this question: ‘I sprouted from a
black walnut in the ground. Why do I look different than you? This question has been bothering me for a long time.’
“The other trees stopped their chatter. They often thought about the same
question. But they were afraid to ask. They feared that others would think them silly.
“Mabel thought for a moment before replying. ‘Mr. Black Walnut,‘ she said, ‘I’m
glad you asked that question. Trees are smart, but we’re not destined to know answers t everything in our lifetime. Look at the redheaded woodpecker. He can fly from place to place. Mr. Woodpecker told me about his travels to distant forests. Why can’t trees fly like the woodpecker? No one knows. Some knowledge is beyond our grasp.’
“The trees nodded their top branches in agreement and resumed gossiping.
“Mabel was respected for her intelligence throughout the forest. She often helped solve local problems. When Mr. Oak and Mr. Black Walnut argued about which one should be the home of a redheaded woodpecker, Mabel suggested they allow the bird to decide.
“The woodpecker was diplomatic, as most woodpeckers are. ‘I’ll live in the black
walnut tree during the winter and fall,’ the bird explained. ‘Since Mr. Black Walnut has a deep knothole, this will shelter me from the cold wind. Then, in the spring and summer seasons I’ll move to the oak, and take advantage of the gentle breeze and sunshine near Mr. Oak’s top branches.’
" Both trees nodded in agreement.
“Mabel settled disputes like this one in a friendly manner. The results were
usually win/win situations for everybody, since she was a good listener. Mabel knew that if she heard all sides of any dispute, a solution would become obvious to both parties sooner or later.”
Children in the audience giggled, nodded in agreement and fixed their attention
on Maury as he concluded his story.
“In addition to leadership ability, Mabel was also color-conscious. For several
years, she studied the sky and grass. Every fall, she noticed that grass on the Eurana plains turned brown. In the spring it changed to green. Mabel was upset that her leaves and flowers stayed brown year-round.Even the sky gets bored with its blue color, Mabel thought, and becomes black every night.
“That summer she considered all sides of the problem.
“Two months later, Mabel announced to maple trees in the forest, “I plan to change the color of my leaves, before they fall off every winter.
“ ‘What color will you become?’ a young maple tree asked.
“ ‘Red,’ the redheaded woodpecker suggested. ‘Then, you’ll be known as a red
“Mabel nodded. ‘That’s a brilliant idea, my friend! Tiny red flowers sprouting from my limbs will signal spring. Then, I’ll dress in green leaves every summer like the grass. When I get bored with a green-leaf overcoat, I’ll change to red like the woodpecker.’
“A month later, a young maple tree said, ‘You look beautiful in your
new clothes, Mabel. Next year, I plan to change my leaves to look just like you!’
“ ‘Me, too! echoed other maple trees in the forest. ‘We will be dressed in color
twice a year!’
“ ‘Not me!’ a sprout of a tree objected. ‘Yellow’s my favorite color!’
“ ‘Become a yellow maple tree,’ Mabel suggested. ‘When birds tell trees around the world what we have done in Eurana Forest, they’ll envy us at first. A few maple trees may dislike us for being different, but some shall follow our lead. We’re innovators who set dress trends for forests around the world.’
.“The sprout noticed that the Eurana Forest trees were smiling. She
grinned at Mabel and lifted her tiny branches toward the sun. ‘History will record we trees were fashion designers for the world!’ she cried to the north wind, which signaled agreement by whistling a happy tune through her upper twigs.
“There has been little change in forests of the world since Mabel was young.
Red maple trees are still bored with only one color. A few trees dress in yellow, but most prefer red leaves in the fall. However, they all brighten their lives by changing color twice a year.
“I am happy to be here with you today,” Maury concluded. “I’m coming into the audience to speak with each child individually.”
The children applauded and then surrounded Maury with their autograph books
FBI National Academy February 2 9 A.M.
“Hello, this is Maury the mouse calling. May I speak with the Director?”
“Yes, I will tell him you’re on the phone,” the secretary replied.
“Maury, this the director speaking. Congratulations on your achievement at The Academy. It is not often that the top man in his class is also voted ‘The Most Giving and Helpful’ trophy.”
“Thank you, sir.”
“Did you enjoy your side trip to Greenville? I received a wonderful report about your talk with the youngsters at the Shriner’s Hospital.”
“It was a heartwarming experience,” Maury replied. “On my way back to Honolulu, I plan to visit the Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Los Angeles.”
“You kept a family tradition going by being Top Man in your graduating class. Your uncle was also Number One in his class last year.” Maury laughed. “Uncle Sherlock never told me he was Number One. He’s one modest mouse.”
“Is he still active in police work?”
“Yes sir! He’s now a chief inspector at Scotland Yard, like his father, and grandfather.” “
The British side of your family is well known in police work, Maury. I understand one of your relatives studied with Sherlock Holmes in London.”
“Yes,” Maury said. “He lived at 221B Baker Street and closely watched everything Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson did solving crimes. In the Sherlock Holmes movies and BBC Television series, you can see him if you look closely at the grandfather’s clock. He observed both men from behind the clock. It was his observation tower.”
“He was self-taught, I imagine,” the director said.
“Yes. He learned to solve crimes from a master. Holmes was the world’s greatest
“Perhaps, Maury. But, you are a close second behind Holmes. I have heard about the seemingly unsolvable police cases, like the Werewolf Case, which you recently solved in Honolulu. Congratulations! ”
“Thank you, sir. Without the help of another police officer I never would have solved that case.”
“I wish you continued success in your career. May you have a pleasant flight home. Say hello for me to the children at the Shriner’s Hospital in Los Angeles.”
“I will, sir. It was an honor to be selected for the FBI National Academy.”
“We were honored to have you with us. Bye, Maury.”
Washington National Airport Washington, D.C. February 3 8 A.M.
Maury plugged his laptop computer into a wall receptacle, booted up his computer and clicked his mouse for Internet access.
He typed a message to the Honolulu police department: Flying to Los Angeles, this morning. Will spend the day at the Los Angeles Shriner’s Hospital. Then, I’ll return to Honolulu. Be back to work in two days. Have you any news from London about Commando Joe? Regards, Maury the mouse.
Los Angeles International Airport 2:45 P.M.
Maury opened his laptop computer and checked his E-mail. “There’s a message from Commissioner Johnson!” he exclaimed. He read the message slowly. No word from London on the whereabouts of Commando Joe. When you return, we have a special project for you. “
When you return we have a special project for you,” Maury repeated. I wonder what they’ll have me work on next? What can it be? “If it involves a journey to London, I’m ready,” he said out loud. “It would be fun to see Uncle Sherlock again.”
CHAPTER 11. FLIGHT TO HONOLULU
DC-10 Passenger Jet Los Angeles International Airport February 4 9 a.m.
Maury watched the man in a green suit walk toward him. He’s as big as a gorilla but moves like a cat, he thought. The man slid into the seat next to him. A stewardess approached Maury. “We have a full passenger load to Honolulu,” she whispered. “Otherwise I’d move you to a seat with more room.”
Maury nodded. The guy sitting next to me must be a sumo wrestler. My body’s pinned to the side of the airplane.
The man in the green suit turned to Maury. “Do you play trivia?” he asked.
Maury gazed into his eyes. “Yes, I play trivia, but I’d like to know something about whom I’m playing with.”
“Tell me about yourself.”
“My name is Wu Fat Jr. If you think I’m big, you ought to see my father. I’m the runt of the family.”
“How heavy are you?”
“What business are you in?”
Wu smiled. “I’m vice president of my father’s importing/exporting business. You may have heard of Wu Fat International?”
Maury nodded. We reviewed a case study of Wu Fat International at the FBI National Academy, last week, he thought. Wu Fat’s one of the biggest racketeers in America. Like father, like son. “I’ve heard of your company,” Maury replied. “Don’t you import noodles?”
“True. We import many products for sale in the United States.”
“Start your trivia questions.”
Maury smiled as he noticed the red triangular flag tattooed on the back of the man’s right hand.
“What is described in this children’s riddle, ‘Long legs, crooked thighs/Little head and no eyes’?”
“I know that,” Maury exclaimed. “It’s a pair of tongs!”
“Excellent,” Wu replied. “Now ask me one.”
“Identify the sport champion known as ‘Big Red’.”
Wu grinned like an oversized Budda. “That was the nickname of the 1973 triple-crown-winning racehorse, Secretariat”
“What boxer felt the greatest anxiety after June 22, 1938?”
“Max Schmeling, when he returned to Germany after being ko’d by Joe Louis. Schmeling then tried to meet with Hitler who had predicted his victory. Hitler considered his loss in the boxing ring a disgrace to the master race and refused to meet the German boxer.”
“You’re good,” Wu admitted. “I’m impressed.
Their trivia game continued until the loudspeaker blared, “This is the Captain speaking. Please fasten your seat belts. We’ll be landing at Honolulu International Airport in twenty minutes.”
Wu stared at Maury. “I enjoyed our game. I hope to see you again. By the way, where do you work?”
Maury grinned as he turned to the man in the green suit. “I’m in the police business; a detective with the Honolulu police department. I’m sure we’ll meet again.”
Wu glared at Maury and ignored him for the rest of the flight.
16 Tiki Lane, Honolulu 3 p.m.
“Welcome back, Maury,” Kewpie cried. “How was your trip?”
“I learned new police techniques at The FBI National Academy,” Maury said. “I also saw The White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Supreme Court, several Smithsonian museums, and met many children.”
“What children, Maury?”
“Burned and crippled children at The Shriner’s Hospitals in both North Carolina and Los Angeles. Did you know the Shriners don’t accept any money from the federal government for their treatment of kids eighteen years and younger. They provide free care to these youngsters.” “Amazing that there’s anyone who doesn’t want a freebee from Uncle Sam.”
Honolulu Police Station February 5 8 a.m.
Maury stepped inside and looked around. “It’s good to be back. I missed this place.”
The sergeant jumped to his feet and shook Maury’s hand. “Heard you had a wonderful trip to the mainland. Congratulations on being Top Man in your FBI class last week. The commissioner asks that you join him in his office.”
“I’m on my way.”
“Come in Maury,” Commissioner Johnson said. “Have a seat.” He pointed to a sofa. Maury sat and stretched his feet. He noticed the dark circles under the commissioner’s eyes.
After a long pause the commissioner spoke. “Crime has escalated since you left Honolulu. We’ve had more unsolved crimes in the past thirty days than we had last year.”
“What type of crime?” Maury asked.
3“Gang crime. Chinese and Japanese gangsters are pushing the Mafia out of Honolulu. It may be the reason that underworld thugs like Commando Joe have left town."
“What gangs do you suspect?”
“The Tongs, Triads and other oriental secret societies.” The commissioner sighed. “I haven’t had a good night’s sleep all week. We’ve been plotting recent crimes on this Honolulu map.” He pointed to the wall.
Maury ambled to the map. “I see the map is covered with colored pins, to indicate robbery, extortion, gambling, violence and murder.”
“Yes, there are more than a thousand pins on the map,” the commissioner said dejectedly. “I don’t know where to start. Do you have any suggestions?”
Maury nodded. “Wu Fat Jr. was on my flight to Honolulu.”
The commissioner looked wide-eyed. “His father’s the biggest racketeer since Al Capone. Could you describe the son?”
“He’s a huge man, dressed in green from hat to shoes. Wu wore gold rings on each finger and had a Triad tattoo on his right hand.”
The commissioner opened his desk and removed a photo. “Is this him?”
Maury glanced at the photo. “Yes.”
“Your job is to follow this gangster,” the commissioner said. “Find out what he’s doing in Honolulu. He may be the reason for this new crime wave. He’s a dangerous man so be cautious. The rings on his fingers provide a legal way to carry brass knuckles wherever he goes.”
“l’ll be careful, Commissioner. Before I start this special project, the FBI Director asked me to fill you in on what I learned about oriental secret societies at Quantico This should take all morning.”
The commissioner picked up his telephone and dialed. “Sergeant,” he said. “I’m in an important meeting. Hold all calls.
” Fu Ling Yu Chinese Restaurant Honolulu February 6 noon
“Be careful, this tea is hot!” Kewpie cautioned.
Maury grinned. “I am careful when I dine at Fu Ling Yu’s. He always serves scalding tea to officers of the law.”
.3“What a mean man! Why is he so unfriendly to the police?”
“He is a business associate of mainland racketeers. Serving extra-hot tea is his way of showing contempt for law and order in Honolulu.”
“How did you enjoy your shrimp with cheese and sprouts, Maury?”
“Excellent. How was your Moo Goo Guy Pan?”
“It was very tasty. Are you having dessert, Maury?”
“Fortune cookies come with the meal. Do you like them?”
“Absolutely. No Chinese meal is complete without a fortune cookie with the message tucked inside. Many people believe these messages.”
Maury watched the waiter approach his table with his luncheon bill and a plate with two fortune cookies. He handed Maury the bill and placed the plate on the table.”
“Did you enjoy the meal?” he asked.
“Delicious,” Maury said. “Compliments to the chef.”
When the waiter was gone, Maury learned over the table. “Kewpie,” he whispered, “Fortune cookies often hold the key to solving a police case. Open yours and see what it says.”
Kewpie broke open the cookie. “It reads, ‘Wu Fat will bring you good fortune.’ What does yours say?”
Maury picked up his cookie and pulled out the message. “Trust man in green suit and your life will be fruitful.”
“What do they mean?” “It means that we have an uphill fight to keep racketeers from taking over Honolulu. ”
Kewpie shrugged. “I have to balance my checkbook, Maury. Could you drop me off at home?”
“Sure. My work has just begun. I’ll see you tonight.”
16 Tiki Lane Living Room 8 p.m.
“Hi Maury,” Kewpie said. She looked up from her knitting. “I didn’t hear you come in.
What’s in your paper sacks?”
“They’re filled with fortune cookies. I visited both of Honolulu’s fortune cookie factories.”
“Let’s open them and read our fortunes.”
“You open this bag and I’ll open the other one,” Maury suggested. “Spread them on Mother’s table.”
“There are four different messages,” Kewpie exclaimed.
“I noticed that. Half say ‘Wu Fat will bring good fortune’ or ‘Trust man in green suit and your life will be fruitful.’ The other messages read ‘Ah So will bring good fortune’ or ‘Trust man in black suit and your life will be fruitful’.”
“Who is Ah So?”
“He’s a gangster who dresses in black,” Maury replied, “like gangsters in a 1930 movie.
He’s a Tong and Wu Fat is a Triad.”
“So they’re natural enemies.”
“Yes, enemies like the cobra and mongoose. Whenever there gangs meet, a fight breaks out.”
“Can anything be done to keep peace in Honolulu?”
“Possibly. Tomorrow I’ll discuss my plans with the commissioner.”
Honolulu Police Station Police Commissioner’s Office February 7 10 a.m.
“Have you cleared your plan with the District Attorney’s office?”
Maury nodded. “Yes, Commissioner. At each fortune cookie factory, the DA
recommended we knock and announce our presence before presenting our search warrant. This covers us against future charges of unreasonable search and seizure.”
“We have to be careful,” the commissioner cautioned. “Lawyers for criminals
always try to suppress evidence and civil liability if they can prove someone made an unconstitutional entry in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.”
“We’ll present our search warrants properly.”
“When will the judge have the two warrants signed?”
“He said they’d be ready by noon. The SWAT team has been alerted.”
. Wu Fat Fortune Cookie Factory 12:15 p.m.
“Maury, you’re in charge,” the SWAT team leader said. “How many men do you need?”
“One man to guard every entrance and exit. Another in back to prevent anyone from escaping out a window.”
“Right,” he said as he signaled his officers into position.
Maury walked to the front door accompanied by three policemen. He knocked and cried,
“Police! We have a warrant to search your business.”
The door opened, and a man with a pigtail stood in the doorway. “Me no speak English, Copper,” he muttered.
“Here’s the search warrant,” Maury replied as the policemen entered the factory. “We’d like to look around.” Maury walked toward the fortune cookie machine, while the policemen searched for evidence of gambling records, stolen property and other criminal activities.
FBI Surveillance Vehicle 4 p.m.
“Bingo,” the FBI agent cried as he removed his earphones. “Maury, listen to the
telephone call we’ve recorded.” He pressed the play button.
“This is Wu Fat Jr. Did the police find anything?”
“No, boss. We hid the gambling slips and stolen jewelry in your office. They’re in the secret compartment inside the Buddha.”
“Good work. The cops also searched Ah So’s fortune cookie factory and arrested him. He’s in the Honolulu jail.”
“We’ll be careful. Triads are too smart for the police.”
16 Tiki Lane A week later
“Maury, your court-authorized wiretap broke the case,” Kewpie said. “Your idea to switch the messages in the fortune cookies was pure genius.”
“I knew that people believe in the prophecy of these messages,” Maury said. “So I
changed Wu Fat’s messages to read either ‘Wu Fat will bring bad fortune’ or ‘Do not trust man in green suit or your life will be the pits’.”
“And you changed Ah So’s messages to ‘Ah So will bring bad luck’ or ‘Never
trust man in black suit’,” Kewpie replied, laughing.
“It was easy. I sat at the computer, made a few changes and it was done. Both men and their gangs lost face in the community when Honolulu’s citizens opened their fortune cookies this week.”
“When is their trial?”
“It starts next month. Racketeering carries up to twenty years in prison if convicted.”
“They’ll be convicted, Maury. The evidence you uncovered shows you’re
Honolulu’s smartest policeman.”
“Only time will tell, Kewpie… Only time will tell.”
CHAPTER 12, THE FORTRESS Wu Fat Fortune Cookie Factory
February 15 10 a.m.
“When did you get the call?” Kewpie asked. She followed Maury past the police barrier into the vacant factory.
“This morning,” he explained. “An informer said the gang stashed jewels in the commercial freezer.” Maury opened the freezer door for Kewpie and started to follow her when he fell. The door slammed behind him
. “What happened?” Kewpie asked. “Someone pushed me,” Maury explained.
“I heard a bolt click shut outside.” “Was it Wu Fat Jr? He’s out on bail.”
“It could have been anybody,” Why didn’t I ask for backup on this search? he thought. He shone his flashlight against the ceiling. I’m glad I changed batteries this morning.
“What’s in your briefcase?”
“Sorry it’s not a crowbar…only my cellular phone and laptop.”
“Call 911 and they’ll rescue us.”
Maury opened his briefcase and picked up the phone. He punched 911 and waited. “The signal can’t penetrate the thick walls. This cellular phone is no help. Let’s explore the freezer, Kewpie
.” “What do we look for?” “Three things; first, a way to escape; second, a plug-in electrical receptacle for my laptop computer and; third, any frozen assets
” “What are frozen assets, Maury?”
“Many criminals hide ill-gotten gains in freezers. Look for precious stones like diamonds as well as money. I have only one flashlight, so walk directly behind me.
” Kewpie stiffened. “It’s getting colder in here,” she said. “Someone’s lowered the temperature.”
“You’ll be cold in your summer dress. Take my trenchcoat. It’ll keep you warm.”
Standing in the dim light, she wanted to throw herself into his arms and cry ‘protect me.’ Kewpie fought to gain control of her emotions. “You’re my knight in shining armor, Maury. You rescued me from the white whale and cannibals. Now you’ll get me out of this freezer.”
Maury grinned. “I hope you’re right. Keep a lookout for an electrical plug-in. If we don’t find one, we may spend a long time here.”
“I hope not. Achoo! I’m getting chills.”
“Have a seat on that bench in the corner. I’ll keep searching.”
Maury watched Kewpie take a step and flip into the air before crashing on the floor. He rushed toward her.
“Are you hurt?” Kewpie brushed the flakes of ice from her coat as Maury helped her stand. “What happened?”
“You slipped on black ice, Kewpie. That’s ice which is transparent to light.”
Kewpie cautiously stepped toward the bench and sat down. “I’ll wait for you here.
Be careful.” Maury crouched low like a boxer as he moved forward. “I’ll be careful.” He shone his flashlight into the darkness. Kewpie followed Maury’s progress by watching the reflection of his flashlight on the steel walls. She shut her eyes and hummed a tune she had heard on Honolulu television:
A little girl was frightened,
She wished to be in her house,
She knew she had not a thing to fear,
For she was in the care of Maury the mouse.
Kewpie turned over. She opened her eyes as she felt someone holding her. “What’s happening?” she sighed.
“I caught you before you rolled off the bench,” Maury replied. “You were asleep.”
Being in his arms felt wonderful, Kewpie thought. I must remember to fall asleep more often. “Did you find a way to escape?”
“This freezer is an impregnable fortress,” Maury replied. “We can escape only with help from the outside.”
“Did you find an electrical receptacle for your laptop?”
“Yes and no. I couldn’t locate a plug-in, so I did the next best thing.”
“What’s that?” Kewpie asked, curiously.
“I carefully tapped into the electric light circuitry in the freezer. This connected me to the fortune cookie computer. I changed the messages in all the fortune cookies. Every message now reads, ‘Help! Maury the Mouse and Kewpie are trapped in a freezer in Wu Fat’s Fortune Cookie Factory’.”
“That’s wonderful news, Maury!”
“If this doesn’t work, I also sent E-mail messages to all my friends in Honolulu and the mainland through the fortune cookie computer. However, the language translator converted my E-mail messages into Chinese.”
“That’s no problem. You’re a wonderful detective, Maury. You make me feel safe whenever we’re together.”
“Thanks for the compliment.”
Kewpie watched him as he sat on a side of beef. Maury stretched, sighed and fell asleep.
Honolulu Police Station Police Commissioner’s Office 5 p.m.
“Sergeant, can you read Chinese?”
“No Commissioner. The Chinese translator’s left for the day. He’ll be back tomorrow morning at eight.”
“Get Maury’s E-mail message translated first thing tomorrow.”
Honolulu Telephone Company February 15 8 a.m.
“The 911 system has overloaded,” the telephone operator cried. “We haven’t had this many phone calls since Pearl Harbor.”
“What’s happening?” the supervisor asked.
“People are calling to report messages they found in fortune cookies.”
Wu Fat Fortune Cookie Factory 9 a.m.
“Maury, wake up!” Kewpie exclaimed. “Someone’s banging on the door.”
“Maury?” a voice screamed.
“Yes!” he yelled. “Can you get the door open?”
Kewpie sighed when she felt the fresh air rush into the freezer.
Photographers’ flash bulbs blinded her as she and Maury walked from the freezer into the sunlight. She turned to Maury and kissed him on the cheek. “My hero,” she cried over the cheers of the bystanders.
Governor’s Mansion Honolulu Noon
“Commissioner Johnson, did you see the TV news?”
“Yes, Governor. Maury’s a hero again.”
“My re-election campaign begins next week. Maury could become an opposition candidate.”
“We’ll get him out of Hawaii
. He’s a threat to me, too. Any suggestions where we send the Mouse?”
The governor chuckled. “Siberia,” he joked.
“Wherever you send him, get him out of town fast!”
” Boss Tweed Law Firm, Honolulu
February 16 10 a.m.
William Marcy Tweed V leaned his feet on the desk, puffed a fat cigar and sighed, “In my business you don’t take chances. You go with a sure thing.”
“Boss, he’s not a politician!” his aide replied.
Tweed roared with laughter. “Voters distrust politicians and think most of them are crooks…and they’re right!”
“But is the Mouse electable?” the aide inquired. “He’s just a police detective.”
“Look what happened in Minnesota a few years ago. A former pro wrestler was elected governor. Anything’s possible in politics. Don’t underestimate the voters. They’ve even elected dead men into office.”
“Does Maury the mouse know anything about being governor?” Tweed sat back in his leather chair and chuckled. “Of course not. Did General “Ike” Eisenhower know anything about being President of the United States before he was elected? When Ike assumed office, he spent eight years playing golf while others ran the country.”
“Is Maury the mouse a golfer?” “Who knows? If he’s not we’ll teach him the game. He’s our only chance to unseat the governor.”
“When’s the Mouse coming to see you?” “He’ll be here in thirty minutes. Let’s get ready. You stay where you are. Maury will sit between us. The media will be waiting in the conference room to interview him before the awards luncheon.”
Maury took his foot off the accelerator as his sports car glided to a stop by the sign marked Visitors. He hopped from the car and ran toward the door marked Boss Tweed Law Firm.
Boss Tweed rose from his chair. “Maury, come in. We’re looking forward to meeting with you.” He pointed to the sofa. “Sit here by my aide, Dick Connolly.”
Maury looked Tweed in the eye as he shook his hand. “I’m pleased to meet you, Mr. Tweed.”
“All my friends call me Bill.”
Maury nodded and turned to Connolly. “A pleasure to meet you, Dick.”
“Before the awards presentation, Dick and I have something to discuss with you,” Tweed said as placed his arm on Maury’s shoulder.
Maury looked surprised. “Sure, go ahead,” he replied.
“Five generations ago, the first William Marcy Tweed was a volunteer fireman in New York City. He entered politics and became a leader in his city.”
Maury nodded. “Historians called him Boss Tweed, didn’t they?”
“Yes, they did. You’re an honorable public servant like him.”
“Thanks for the compliment.”
“He enjoyed being a fireman,” continued Tweed, “But he knew he could do more good for his city as a politician, so he ran for public office. He even served in Congress.”
Connolly placed his hand on Maury’s shoulder as Tweed returned to his desk. “You may be the best police detective in Honolulu,” Connolly said, “but you can do more good for Hawaii as a politician; just like Bill’s ancestor did for New York City.”
Smoke from Tweed’s cigar trailed him as he walked toward Maury. “Give it some thought, my boy. The Tammany Hall Party needs a candidate for governor. The public loves you.”
Connolly smiled. “Do you play golf, Maury?”
“Yes. I shot a 74 at the Ko Olina Golf Club recently. The elevated tees and numerous water hazards make it a challenging course.”
“As governor, you can be on the course nearly every day,” Tweed emphasized. “You’ll be shooting sub-par golf like a professional in weeks.”
“We’ll phone you tomorrow.” Connolly said as he glanced at his watch. “It’s nearly time for the awards. Come along, gentlemen.”
16 Tiki Lane Living Room 6 p.m.
“Hello Kewpie,” Maury said as he ambled into the room. He held a gold box in his hand.
“You were on the five o’clock TV news Maury. They showed the luncheon and the award you received from the businessmen of Honolulu.”
Maury opened the gold box.
“What a beautiful medal, Maury!” Kewpie exclaimed. “What’s it called?”
3“The Order of the Purple Mouse. It’s an annual decoration given to an outstanding Hawaiian.”
“You deserve it,” Kewpie gushed.
Maury blushed. “I wanted you to see it before I showed it to Mother.”
“She’ll be so proud of you.” Maury turned to leave
. “Bye. See you later,” she said as the door closed
. Basement 6:15 p.m.
“What’s for dinner, Mom?”
“Give your old mom a hug, Maury. We’re having your favorite dessert, cheese pie a la mode. Kewpie’s coming for supper.”
“Wow, that’s wonderful. I’ll practice playing my ukulele until dinner’s ready.”
Living Room 8 p.m.
“What are you reading, Kewpie?” Maury asked as he opened the door.
“A biography of President Teddy Roosevelt,” she replied. “Did you know that he once was a lawman… a deputy sheriff in the Dakota Territory?”
“No, I didn’t know that.”
“Then, he became police commissioner of New York City, governor of New York, vice president and then president.”
“Kewpie, I’m just a police detective who plays the ukulele. I know nothing of politics. Boss Tweed asked me to consider becoming a candidate for governor.”
“You’ll get my vote, Maury! This is exciting. Are you really entering politics?” “I’ll think about it tonight. I have to give Boss Tweed my answer in the morning.”
Governor’s Mansion 8:15 p.m
“Commissioner Johnson, I’m told that Boss Tweed has spoken to Maury about running against me in the election.” “What shall we do, Governor?” “Use common sense! Send a copy of the FBI file on Tweed to Maury, tonight. Put it in a plain manila envelope so he won’t know it came from us.” “A messenger will deliver it within the hour.”
16 Tiki Lane Basement. February 17 1 a.m.
Maury stretched out his body on the bed and yawned as he read the last page. He closed the FBI file, and dropped it to the floor. A moment later he was asleep.
CHAPTER 13. THE CHALLENGE
Boss Tweed Law Firm, Honolulu 9a.m.
Boss Tweed’s face was beet-red when he slammed the telephone on the desk.
“What’s wrong, Boss?” his aide said. “You look like the stock market crashed.”
“My plans crashed!” Boss Tweed growled. “No one does that to William Marcy Tweed V !”
“What happened? Was the call from Maury the mouse?”
“Yeh, it was. Maury is a r-e-a-l rat!”
“Maury’s a mouse, boss.”
Tweed clenched his teeth. “He’s a rat!” he growled. “Do you know what we do to rats?”
“We make sure they won’t bother us, again. We get rid of ‘em…permanently!”
“Do you want me to handle it?”
“This time we need a professional. Place a call to Wu Fat Jr. Tell him I want to talk to him…alone”
Honolulu Police Station Office of Detectives 9:15 a.m.
“Maury,” the sergeant said, “the commissioner wanted a meeting but you were on the telephone. He said to see him when you finished your call.”
“I was speaking with Boss Tweed. Tell the commissioner I’ll be there in a moment.”
Police Commissioner’s Office 9:17 a.m.
“Come in Maury,” Commissioner Johnson said. “I understand that you had a
conversation with Boss Tweed yesterday.”
“Yes, Commissioner. I met him and his aide, Dick Connolly, before the awards
“What do you think of Tweed?”
“He’s a devious fellow. Someone sent me a FBI file on Tweed yesterday. Do yo have any idea who might have delivered it?”
The commissioner looked Maury in the eye and smiled. “With the Freedom of
Information Act and Privacy Act making so much data available, anyone with a computer can research nearly any subject. What did the FBI say about him?”
Maury lowered his voice and walked up to the commissioner. “The file listed
every crooked politician in town, and Tweed was at the top of the list.”
“His Tammany Hall Party has a bad reputation in Honolulu,” the commissioner cautioned. “You could ruin your career by associating yourself with a man like Tweed.”
“I called Tweed this morning to tell him I wanted nothing to do with him or his political party. Did you know that he wanted me to run for governor in November?”
The commissioner laughed. “You for governor?” he repeated incredulously.
“That’s the funniest thing I’ve ever heard. A police detective as governor.”
Laughter echoed in the room when Maury wheeled around and left the
commissioner’s office. He slammed the door behind him.
Independent Party, Honolulu 9:25 a.m.
“The telephone’s ringing,” a man in the white hat said. “I’ll get it.”
“This is Maury the mouse,” a voice on the other end of the line whispered. “Do
you need a candidate for governor?
16 Tiki Lane Living Room 8 p.m.
“Maury,” Kewpie cried. “Put down your newspaper. They’re talking about you on
“…and Wu Fat Jr. has issued a challenge to Maury the mouse,” the announcer concluded.
“What was this about?” Maury inquired. “I only heard the end of what he said.”
“It’s something about a duel, Maury. It’ll be in the newspapers, tomorrow.”
Basement Apartment February 19 7 a.m.
“Here’s today’s ‘Mouse Times’,” his mother said. She laid the newspaper next to a bowl of cereal.
“Thanks, Mom. I’m curious about someone challenging me, last night. I hav time to read the newspaper as I don’t have to be at work until eight.”
Honolulu Police Station 8:15 a.m.
“Sergeant, I’m Philippe, a friend of Maury’s. I’d like to see him.”
The sergeant pressed the intercom button. “Maury, Philippe is here to see you.”
“Send him in.”
Office of Detectives
“ Hello, Maury.”
“It’s nice to see you. How’s your wife?”
“She’s fine. We were reading the newspaper this morning. She told me to see you and offer our assistance. I will be your second in the duel.”
“I appreciate your offer, Philippe. I haven’t decided if I’ll take part.”
“Maury, you must accept. Otherwise, you and the entire police department will lose face in the community. Since you were challenged, you have the choice of weapons.”
“I’ll think about it, Philippe. If I fight, you’ll be my second.”
16 Tiki Lane Living Room 8 p.m.
“Sorry to interrupt, Kewpie. What are you reading?
Kewpie put the book on her lap. “It’s ‘The Three Mouseketers’.”
“They had the same problem I have. What did they do when they were challenged to a duel?”
“They selected their best weapon, and the time and location for the duel.” “Thank you, Kewpie. My problem is solved.”
Main Street Boxing Gym, Honolulu February 28 noon
“This is Flora Dora, from Hawaii TV, speaking from the Main Street Boxing
Gym. We have the answer to the question which is on all lips in town, ‘Will Maury accept the challenge from Honolulu’s underworld?’ Here is the man who will answer this question.”
She handed the microphone to Maury who faced the camera when he spoke. “I accept the challenge from Wu Fat Jr.”
The spectators cheered. “Go get him, Maury!”
My second will be a friend, Philippe, who now stands beside me.”
“We love you, Maury!” a voice yelled from the crowd.
“Our duel will be held in a twenty-two-foot-square boxing ring,” Maury
continued. “We’ll wear boxing gloves which I’ll personally select. The match will be fought under the Marquis of Queensberry rules. Box office, radio and television proceeds will be donated to charity.”
“I’ll use the same tactics that Gentleman Jim Corbett did against John L. Sullivan in 1892,” Maury whispered to Philippe.
“With the same result, Maury. Good always triumphs against evil. We all know that,” Philippe replied, grinning. “Let the preparations begin!”
Thirty Days Later Boss Tweed Law Firm, Honolulu April 1 9 a.m.
“The fight’s tomorrow, Dick,” Boss Tweed growled. “What are the odds?”
“Five to one on Wu Fat Jr. for a decision or KO win. Only cops think the Mouse
has a chance. Wu Fat’s a cinch to win.
“They said that when Liston fought Ali, Dempsey fought Tunney and Tyson
fought Douglas,” Tweed muttered. “The underdog won each time.”
“How much are you betting on Wu Fat Jr?”
“Put five hundred Benjamin Franklins on Wu to win.”
Dick Donnelly’s eyes narrowed as he scratched his graying head. “Five hundred Benjamin Franklins?” he said. “How much money is that?”
“Fifty-thousand,” Boss Tweed replied. “It’ll be the easiest dough I ever made. It’s a sucker bet.”
Wu Fat Jr Training Camp, Honolulu 10 a.m.
“This is Flora Dora, from Hawaii TV, speaking from the challenger’s training
camp, where Wu Fat Jr. has been training for the past month. Also present is his opponent, detective Maury the mouse.”
Flora stuck a microphone in Wu’s face and asked, “How did you train for this
Wu smiled at the camera as he replied, “I went on a diet when I started training. I now eat only two Peking ducks a day, along with fifty chicken wings, and three hundred fortune cookies.” He held out a piece of duck in his huge hands. The grease dripped from the duck to the floor. “Would you like some?” he asked.
Flora looked wide-eyed at the duck. “No thanks,” she said. That greasy stuff
would make me sick. I feel ill just looking at it.
Sitting at a table on the opposite side of the room, Maury the mouse watched Wu Fat Jr. pop two chicken wings into his mouth and start chewing.
Wu Fat Jr turned blue and slumped to the floor.
Flora screamed, “Help! Someone please help!”
Wu pointed to his throat.
Maury raced across the room as the TV cameras recorded the scene for the
shocked viewers at home.
16 Tiki Lane Basement apartment 10:15 a.m.
“Mrs. Mouse, Maury’s a hero again. Come look at the TV!” Kewpie cried.
Maury’s mother turned the oven off and ran from the kitchen. “What happened?”
“Wu Fat Jr. choked on chicken bones,” Kewpie replied. “Maury ran across the
room, and began the Heimlich maneuver.”
“I’ll show you,” Kewpie said, as she made a fist with one hand and reached
around Mrs. Mouse. “I’ll place this fist against your abdomen just above the belly button and below the rib cage.”
“Did Maury do this to Wu Fat Jr.?”
Yes,” continued Kewpie. He covered his right fist with his left fist and pressed
inward and upward. After the second press, both chicken wings flew out of Wu’s mouth.”
“He saved Wu Fat Jr’s life?”
“Did Wu thank Maury for saving his life?”
“ The TV reporter said that Wu did whisper something to Maury before he left the room, but she couldn’t hear what he said. I’m going to Maury’s training camp today. I’ll ask if Wu thanked him.”
Maury the mouse Training Camp 3 p.m.
“Hi Kewpie,” Philippe said. “Maury’s relaxing, today. The day before the fight
we take it easy.”
“How’s his training going? What’s he been doing this week?”
“Maury’s boxing has gotten rusty since he left college.”
“Wasn’t he on the boxing team?” Kewpie asked.
“True. He was Paperweight Champion and captain of the team. As he aged, he lost speed but still retained punching power.”
“Could you show me how you trained Maury?”
Philippe grinned. “Place your feet shoulder-width apart and face this mirror.
Move your left foot forward, knees slightly bent with your chin tucked in. Hold your fists on either side of your chin, elbows pressed close to your body.”
Philippe folded Kewpie’s right thumb over the top two knuckles near the
fingertips. “Focus on hitting with the top two knuckles, and keep your wrist straight when throwing a right-hand punch,” Philippe advised.
Kewpie danced to the right and left throwing punches at an imaginary opponent.
“That’s good footwork,” Philippe said. “You’re a well-conditioned athlete,
Kewpie. Have you ever thought about becoming a professional lady boxer?”
She grinned. “I just wanted to understand what Maury’s been doing for the past month. How do you think he’ll do in tomorrow’s fight?”
.“Maury’s always a winner. His speed and agility are assets. Although he’s
outweighed by Wu, his advantage is that Wu’s training is in sumo wrestling where they push, pull, trip or throw their opponents to or off the mat. All that is illegal in boxing.”
“I’ll be watching the fight with Maury’s mom. I know he’ll win.”
Philippe shrugged. “The bookies have established Wu as the favorite at five to one odds. That doesn’t mean much. They also had Gentleman James Corbett a heavy underdog when he soundly beat John L. Sullivan over a hundred years ago.”
“Can I talk with Maury?” Kewpie asked, tentatively.
“Sure. He’s relaxing in the next room. Don’t stay too long.”
Kewpie knocked and opened the door.
“Come in, “ Maury said. He was sitting on a sofa reading a book. “It’s good to see you, Kewpie.”
“I wanted to wish you good fortune in the fight tomorrow. What are you reading?”
Maury held it up. “It’s a positive attitude book written by Norman Vincent Peale. I’ve learned at lot from it.”
“That’s a wonderful book. I’ve read it, too.”
“We have a lot in common, don’t we?”
Kewpie blushed. “Yes, it’s true.”
“When the fight’s over, we’ll spend more time together,” he said.
Kewpie kissed him and opened the door. She looked back and asked,
“What did Wu say to you when you saved his life today?”
“He said ‘I owe you one’.” Maury scratched his head. “I don’t have any idea what he meant.”
Kewpie understood. She was smiling on the walk home.
CHAPTER 14. THE FIGHT
Fight of the Century Honolulu 7 P.M.
Lightning flashed through the northern sky in the Kalihi Valley. To the south, a sharp wind pushed heavy waves into Mamala Bay, pounding the coral reefs guarding Waikiki Beach.
Kahuna, owner-chef of Honolulu’s largest restaurant checked his watch and
stared at five-hundred empty seats. He signaled a busboy to come over.
“Where are our customers?” Kakuna stammered.
“They’re all at the fight,” the busboy replied.
The busboy smiled. “The Fight of the Century.”
Holoholo Boxing Auditorium, Honolulu April 2 7:05 P.M.
The black stretch limousine cut through the crowd like wind through tall grass. The vehicle stopped with a screech at the front entrance, as pedestrians scurried out of its way. The driver, a large man in a dark suit, glided catlike around the car and opened a rear door.
Boss Tweed stepped out, smoothed the creases from his raincoat and ran inside followed by his aide, Dick Donnelly, and two bodyguards. Donnelly and the bodyguard looked like triplets with their pin-stripe suits, black shirts and white ties. They shuddered as thunder crashed in the Pacific Ocean nearby.
Maury the Mouse Dressing Room 7:10 p.m.
Philippe paced across the room. He turned to cut man, Bob Fitzsimmons III.
“Bob, how do you think Maury will do tonight?” he asked.
“My grandfather said this in 1902 when he fought heavyweight champion Jim Jeffries, and I’ll say it tonight.‘The bigger they are, the harder they fall’.”
“Yeah,” Philippe replied smiling. “But your grandpa got KO’d by Jeffries.”
“It’ll be different, tonight,” Fitzsimmons growled. “Maury’s too fast and elusive.
Wu Fat has eaten too many fortune cookies in his lifetime. Although Wu is strong, he’s big and moves in straight-ahead charges like a bull. Maury the mouse will play the Matador tonight if he wants to win.”
“Is Maury still asleep in the trainer’s room?”
Philippe nodded. “I’ll check on him.”
Trainer’s Room 7:15 P.M.
“Come in, Philippe,” Maury said. He picked up his ukulele and started singing a hapahaole tune.
“You’re a talented musician, Maury. After you retire from the police force you
could work in Hollywood.”
Maury stopped playing and stared through a window at the darkening sky. “I
haven’t finalized any future plans. After this fight I’ll consider available options with my family.”
“Will you consult with your mother?”
“Yes,” Maury replied. “I’ll seek advice from Kewpie, too.”
Wu Fat Dressing Room 7:20 P.M.
“Wu, you are a ‘yokozuma’, a grand champion sumatori in sumo wrestling,” h trainer said. “What you do, tonight, will reflect on your father, your mother and all the mobsters who support you in Honolulu.”
“Are they all here tonight?”
“Not all of them. Your father hasn’t been released from jail on the mainland.
Your mother’s waiting in San Francisco, but Honolulu’s gangsters have bought the ringside seats. You’ll have more than two hundred screaming supporters close to the ring.”
“Good, I won’t disappoint them. I will smash Maury the mouse as flat as an ant under a sumatori’s heel.”
16 Tiki Lane Basement Apartment 7:30 P.M..
Kewpie grasped Mrs. Mouse’s left wrist. “There’s a photo of Maury,” she cried as they stared at the TV set.
Holoholo Boxing Auditorium Main Lobby 7:30 P.M.
“Flora Dora, reporting for Hawaii TV. The auditorium is packed tonight for the 8 P.M. fight between a Honolulu police detective named Maury against sumo wrestler and gangster, Wu Fat Jr. Some call it ‘The Fight of the Century’.”
A group of stone-faced men in pin-stripe suits, black shirts and white ties brushed past, pushing Flora out of camera range. The cameraman turned the camera to his right as Flora picked herself off the ground and smoothed her new hairdo.
“More than ten thousand seats have been sold, ranging from $15 sitting near the rafters to $500 ringside,” she continued. “It’s expected that with the television proceeds, more than one million dollars will be raised for local charities.”
“Next, we’ll show you film clips from interviews we conducted yesterday with
16 Tiki Lane 7:35 P.M.
Mrs. Mouse smiled as she saw the softness in Kewpie’s eyes when Maury
ppeared on television..
“Maury is the underdog,” Flora began. “He was challenged to a duel by Wu Fat Jr. Could you tell us what strategy you plan to use in the fight?”
Maury stared at the camera. “I’ve trained hard,” he said. “I ran six miles a day to keep my muscles limber. My endurance is very good since I eat a high-fiber, low-fat die which my mother prepares for me.”
Mrs. Mouse sighed. “It’s wonderful for a woman to know she’s appreciated and loved.”
“Yes,” Kewpie replied, sadly. “It must be a wonderful feeling.”
“Is it true,” Flora said, that you sparred ten rounds every day with heavyweight fighters to prepare for this fight?”
Maury nodded. “Yes. It enabled my trainer to develop a fight plan which will help me win this fight.”
“What ‘s the plan?”
He grinned. “You’ll find out as the fight unfolds.” Kewpie scowled as the camera shifted to Wu Fat’s training camp.
“Wu Fat is a sumo wrestling champion,” Flora said. “He’s dressed only in a
mawashi, the loin cloth sumo wrestlers wear in the ring. I understand that you’ll be wearing different attire in the ring.”
Wu showed a sumo-sized grin. “The boxing commission forced me to wear
something under my loin cloth.”
“What did you select?”
“French-cut silk boxer shorts, the same kind my idol used to wear.”
“Your idol?” Flora questioned. “Who’s that? Butterbean?”
“Naw! It’s Big Al,” Wu replied. “Al Capone from Chicago!”
Mrs. Mouse turned away from the TV set. “Kewpie,” she said, “why do men
Kewpie shrugged. “Why is the sky blue? Why do men never ask directions?
Could be the testosterone. Mrs. Mouse, it must be genetic!”
Holoholo Boxing Auditorium 7:40 P.M.
“Boss, we gotta problem, a gangster wearing a zoot suit whispered.
Boss Tweed’s vulture eyes narrowed as he jumped to his feet. “What problem?”
“What are we gonna do when Wu finds out what Maury’s wearin’ in the ring?”
“What are you talking about?”
“Don’t ya understand, Boss? He’s wearin’ white.”
“So what. I’m wearin’ a white tie.”
“Yeah, Boss but Wu’s superstitious.”
“Big deal! I’m superstitious about Friday the thirteenth, so I never have anyone rubbed out then. I always wait until the next day.”
“Well, white’s the most unlucky color in China. It’s the color of misfortune and
“Gangsters from all over the mainland and Europe are here tonight,”
Boss Tweed growled. “If Wu knows what’s good for him he’ll fight to win, no matter what Maury’s wearin’ in the ring.”
Tweed bit the end off his cigar as he sat down in his ringside seat. “The Rocky
music is playing,” he said. “Maury the mouse must be about to enter the ring. Remind the men to boo the Mouse and cheer for Wu.”
Maury the Mouse Dressing Room 7: 45 P.M.
Maury legs dangled off the dressing room table. “Philippe,” he said, softly, “I’m ready to go.”
A voice from the hallway shouted, “We’re ready for you, Maury! The police
honor guard is waiting.”
16 Tiki Lane Basement 7:47 p.m.
“Here comes Maury on TV!” Kewpie cried. “Look how confident he looks as he walks though the crowd toward the ring.”
“Who are those ten policemen escorting him?” Mrs. Mouse asked.
“That’s the police honor guard.”
“Maury’s a man of honor,” Mrs. Mouse said. “He deserves an honor guard. Do
you have any idea where Wu is?”
Kewpie shrugged. “He’ll probably be in the ring, shortly.
Holoholo Boxing Auditorium 7:50 p.m.
“Hawaii TV’s Flora Dora, reporting from ringside. Maury the Mouse is already in the ring, loosening up by shadow boxing. Experts are impressed with his hand and foot speed.”
Perspiration covered his back like a cloak, as Maury stretched his shoulder
muscles. He glanced at the clock hanging above the ring.
“The Chinese music signifies that Wu is making his way to the ring,” Flora
announced. She pointed to the rear of the auditorium. “There he is.”
Maury stared as Wu slowly approached with his duck-like walk. He saluted his friends at ringside, hopped to the ring apron and somersaulted over the ropes.
Wu’s trainer was waiting in the ring.
“Have a seat, Wu,” he said as he opened a cardboard box. “I’ll lace your boxing gloves.”
Wu jumped up and charged across the ring toward Maury. The crowd roared as the referee grasped Wu’s arms and led him back to his corner.
“Get your gloves on, Wu, or I’ll disqualify you!” he demanded.
“I’ll get you, Mouse!” Wu shouted as he pointed at Maury.
16 Tiki Lane 7:55 P.M.
“What’s Wu so agitated about, Kewpie?”
Kewpie laughed. “Since Wu was the challenger, Maury had the choice of gloves and he selected white ones. White is the color of death to the Chinese.”
“Oh dear,” Mrs. Mouse sighed. “Wu doesn’t appear to be very bright.”
“He has the mind and body of a bull.”
“A bull with a top-knotted sumo hairdo.”
They watched the referee speak to both fighters in the center of the ring.
“This ten-round match will be divided into three-minute rounds with one-minute breaks between rounds,” the referee explained. “There’s a standing eight-count and three judges will score the bout from ringside. I am the third man in the ring. Go back to your corners and come out at the bell.”
“Let’s get ready to rumble,” he shouted as the lights dimmed.
“I can’t take any more,” Mrs. Mouse said. “I’m too nervous . I’m going to my
bedroom to lie down. Let me know what happens.”
Kewpie nodded as Mrs. Mouse scampered into her bedroom and closed the door.
Kewpie watched the television screen as the referee separated the fighters in the final round. After he sent them to their corners to await the decision, the referee leaned over the ropes and took the judges’ scorecards. He checked the scores and approached the microphone.
“Judge Rodent has the match scored 96 to 94 Maury the mouse,” the referee
cried. He waited for the roar of the crowd to subside. “Judge Chen scored the fight 96 to 94 Wu.” The ringside spectators shouted approval. “Judge Crater scored the fight 95 Maury, 95 Wu. This fight is a draw.” He held up both fighters’ hands in victory.
Wu approached Maury and embraced him. “Nice fight, Mouse,” he said.
“You’re a good fighter, Wu. Charity was the winner tonight.”
A bedroom door opened and Mrs. Mouse peered around the doorway. “Is the fight over?” she asked. “Is Maury okay?”
Kewpie smiled. “Maury was magnificent. The fight was a majority draw. In every round, Wu charged like a wild bull. When he arrived at the spot where he thought Maury would be, Maury was somewhere else.”
“So he was too fast for Wu.”
“Yes. Your son is one of Honolulu’s best athletes.”
“Maury is wonderful.”
“Mrs. Mouse, I agree.”
Maury the mouse Dressing Room 9:15 P.M.
Maury stared at a crack in the ceiling as he collapsed on the dressing room table.
“Nothing is perfect in life,” he sighed.
“You’re a philosopher,” Philippe replied.
“Maury nodded. “I pledge to dedicate my life to making this a more-perfect
“Signing off for Hawaii TV is Flora Dora, reporting from this most-exciting
The television camera focused on the crowd, filing from the auditorium like a flock of noisy sheep.
“Tomorrow,” she continued, “Hawaii TV will have live coverage of Maury the
mouse’s press conference. He’ll answer the question that’s on everyone’s lips, ‘What are his future plans? Tune in at noon.”
CHAPTER 15. ROVING CRIME FIGHTER
Honolulu’s Town Hall
Hawaii’s governor was tall and slender, about forty-five. His trousers were creased knife-sharp, and he was dressed immaculately like a fashion model.
A breeze from the northeast almost blew the papers from his hand, but he grasped them firmly as he walked toward the microphone. The Town Square clock struck noon when he began to speak.
“Maury the Mouse developed an original plan to stamp out crime in our city,” he said. With a sweep of his arm the governor pointed to Maury who was seated in the audience. “I’d like to introduce our famous crime fighter,” he continued. “Maury, will you discuss your plan? Come here and stand by my side.”
Maury nodded as he walked up the steps to the speaker’s platform. He shook the governor’s hand, grasped the microphone and faced the crowd. The sunlight streamed through the crown of a large palm tree, reflecting a warm glow on the crowd. He waited for the applause to subside.
“Last night,” Maury said, “most of you attended my fight with Wu Fat Jr.”
“Everybody in town was there!” a reporter yelled.
“Absolutely. We counted on Hawaii’s gangsters being at the fight. We weren’t disappointed. Over two hundred of them were ringside.”
“While Maury fought in The Fight of the Century,” the governor interrupted, “search warrants were issued and the gangsters’ homes and businesses were searched by police. Sweatshops were raided. Illegal immigrants forced to work there were freed from bondage imposed by these gangsters. Stolen money and jewels from recent robberies were recovered. The jails are now filled with more men in zoot suits than we’ve ever had before…all because of this plan which I have with me today.” He handed the microphone back to Maury.
Maury grinned at the audience. “My recommendation was to get the gangsters into a central location. By arresting them as they left the fight last night, we have broken the hold of organized crime on this city. If our jury system works, like I think it will, these criminals shall remain in jail for many years. My duty to all citizens is to create a community where a person will feel as safe in darkness as in daylight.”
The governor placed his hand on Maury’s shoulder as the crowd cheered. “The election for governor will take place next month, and Maury will be one of the key advisors in my re-election campaign. I have always been aware of the needs of the people.” The governor held up his right hand as if he was testifying in a courtroom before a judge. “Therefore I pledge not to raise taxes and will propose a tax rebate of our projected state surplus. This should average about eight hundred dollars a family.”
The TV cameras moved closer to the stage as the governor handed Maury the microphone.
“After the election, The Governor has appointed me a Roving Crime Fighter.”
“What’s that?” a reporter yelled.
“I will be on callto fight crime wherever it rears its ugly head,” Maury continued. “Cities around the globe with crime problems can call the governor’s office for assistance. If the problem warrants it, my staff and I will be available to help them.”
“How many are on your staff, Maury?” a voice cried in the crowd.
“Just one other person and I’d like her to join me.” He smiled as he pointed at Kewpie who was seated in the front row. Her floral-print skirt floated in the breeze as she proudly marched soldier-like up the steps. She was dressed in a loose-fitting blue blouse, which blended with Maury’s white suit and hat. He took her hand and smiled.
A commotion in the back of the audience caught Maury’s eye. A heavy-set man in a black pinstripe suit elbowed his way through the crowd. His padded shoulders made him look more formidable and people quickly moved out of his way. He removed the cigar from his lips when he reached the stage.
“Who’s that man with fire and hatred in his eyes?” Kewpie asked pointing at the man with the cigar.
“Boss Tweed,” Maury replied, “and he looks upset.” The governor’s bodyguards prevented Tweed from climbing on the stage, so he stood fifteen feet from the governor and shouted, “You can’t do this to me! It took me twenty years to build up my law practice, and now you’ve thrown all my clients into jail. I don’t have the manpower to defend them all at the same time.” He glared menacingly at Maury.
“Tweed,” the governor said, “your days as a shady lawyer are over. Your clients will be in prison for years. There’s no future for you in this city.”
Boss Tweed laughed contemptuously, sneered at the governor and stomped off.
“I don’t like the way he looked at you, Maury,” Kewpie whispered. “I can take care of myself.”
“I know you can, but I’d like to help.”
Maury nodded. “You’ll be great assistance to me in the future. You showed creativity in the Werewolves of Honolulu case. I need your assistance now, Kewpie.”
“I’m glad of that. After you meet with the governor, I’ll be waiting for you at home.”
The scent of her perfume floated past his nostrils as he inhaled deeply. “I’ll see you soon,” Maury promised. He hummed a tune and watched her disappear into the crowd. The governor signaled him to follow. “Let’s review your role in my re-election campaign and plans for the future.” He trailed behind the governor. On the way to the governor’s office, all Maury could think about was how pleasant he found the scent of perfume, especially if it was being worn by his friend, Kewpie.
16 Tiki Lane, Honolulu Basement April 3 7:45 P. M.
“I hear footsteps,” Kewpie whispered. “Maury’s home.”
Mrs. Mouse dashed to the oven and removed a steaming casserole. “Kewpie, could you please put it on the table?” Kewpie nodded and grasped the bowl with two potholders. She placed it on a fireproof pad on the dining room table. Mrs. Mouse turned off the lights and put her index finger to her lips. She glanced at Kewpie and said, “Shhhhhh.”
The door opened and Maury strode in.
Something smells good. Maury sniffed the air and glanced into the darkened room.
Mrs. Mouse flicked the light switch and cried, “Surprise! Happy Birthday!”
Maury laughed. “I’d almost forgotten today is my birthday.” He stared at the party hats they were wearing. “Do you have a hat for me?”
“Sure,” Mrs. Mouse replied, as she reached behind her and set a hat on Maury’s head. “Dinner’s ready. Have a seat between Kewpie and me.”
“Yes, Mom,” Maury said obediently. He helped both women be seated and then took his place at the head of the table.
“Is the casserole a cheese pasta?”
“It certainly is, and Kewpie helped me bake it. Both the pasta and birthday cake are made with stone ground whole wheat flour to keep you strong.”
Maury looked at Kewpie and winked.
* * *
After dinner, Maury strummed his ukelele as he looked at the remains of the cake.
“Play another Hawaiian tune,” Kewpie pleaded. “I’ll put the last piece of cake in the refrigerator. It’ll make a snack for you.”
“Play Aloha Haole,” Mrs. Mouse requested. “It’s my favorite song.”
“Sure, Mom.” He began to sing. Rrrrnnnggg.
“I’ll answer the phone,” Mrs. Mouse said. “Hello, who’s calling? The Governor? Yes, he’s here. I’ll get him for you.”
She handed the phone to Maury
. He listened without speaking, and finally said, “Kewpie and I will report to your office at nine, tomorrow.” He hung up the receiver and looked glum.
“What’s wrong, son?”
“A kidnapping, Mom. The governor won’t discuss it over the phone. It’s of the highest priority.”
“Oh dear,” Mrs. Mouse sighed. “Is it the President?”
Maury shook his head and smiled.
Governor’s Office April 4 9 A.M.
“Kewpie and Maury, the Governor’s expecting you. Go right in,” the secretary said.
She held the door open. The governor walked toward a picture window and sat on a circular couch by a coffee table. He motioned Kewpie and Maury to sit beside him. “Wu Fat Jr. has been kidnapped,” the governor said.
He opened an envelope and placed the ransom demand on the table. Maury stared curiously at the drawing and lettering on the sheet. “Have you ever seen anything like this?” the governor asked.
“We need time to study it, Governor,” Maury said. “Kewpie and I will analyze the markings.”
The governor walked back to his desk as Maury and Kewpie stared at the mysterious sheet. “The ransom demand looks like it was torn from a bound notebook, Kewpie. The writing was made with a red crayon and the circle is in blue.”
Kewpie examined it for a minute. She faced Maury and cupped her hand as she whispered, “The circle with the number 52 in it is a major clue. Remember the bus trip we took to the north shore last year?”
“Of course,” Maury stammered. “The Circle Island-North Shore bus is number 52.” He glanced at the governor.
“The FBI Director called me, last night,” the governor said in a tired voice. “He faxed me the ransom note with the crayon scrawls. The director requested that you be assigned to the case.”
“How much time do we have?” Maury questioned. “Wu Fat Jr.’s father was given three days to pay a one-million-dollar ransom.” “We’ll begin work now,” Maury said confidently. He shook hands with the governor. I’ll keep in touch with the Police SWAT Team and phone you with a progress report tonight.”
Ala Kamaaina Plaza 10 A.M.
“Your disguise is wonderful, “Kewpie said. “You look like Groucho Marx with the glasses, big nose and moustache.”
“In your dowager dress and white wig, no one would recognize you as a young lady.”
Maury saw the bus coming. “Let’s sit in the back of the bus and look for clues. We’ll act like elderly tourists.”
Circle Island-North Shore Bus 52 11 A.M.
“Maury, we’ve been here for an hour. I haven’t seen a clue. Have you?”
“Be patient, Kewpie. It’s a three-hour trip to circle the island.”
The bus stopped at a shopping center and two men dressed in zoot suits got on and sat behind the driver.
“Maury signaled Kewpie to follow him as he approached them. He tapped one of the men on the shoulder. “Pardon me, sir,” he asked. “My wife and I are tourists. Are the winter waves of Oahu’s north shore the ones we see in the opening shot of TV’s Hawaii Five-O?”
“Yeah,” the first man answered.
“We’re goin ’to the north shore."
"Getoff when we do and ya’ll see the waves.”
“Thanks, mister,” Kewpie said.
“Always glad tohelp tourists,” chimed in the second man with a Brooklyn accent, as Maury and Kewpie returned to their seats.
“There’s our first clue,” Maury whispered, glancing at the two men. “They may hold the key to the solution of this case.”
“Why did you slip a pin into the shoulder pad of one man’s zoot suit?” Kewpie inquired.
Maury spoke quietly. “That pin contained a directional finder which is connected to a satellite navigation system. With it, police can track the two gangsters anywhere on this planet.”
“It’s new technology that I learned at the FBI Academy. Watch them, Kewpie! The men pushed a buzzer to exit the bus. We’ll follow them like bloodhounds on a trail.”
“Yes!” Kewpie exclaimed. She tightly gripped Maury’s hand.
CHAPTER 16. ASSASSINS Kapu Warehouse 11:15 A.M.
An ambulance siren shattered the silence as the men looked at their cards.
“Whatcha gonna do, Rusty? In poker, either call or drop out of the pot!”
He glanced at his shoulder holster without seeming to, and then glared at the man across the table
. “I’m thinkin’. There’s fifty bucks in the pot, Charley. It’s a lot of dough.”
Small piles of cigarette butts crowded the ashtray like circus midgets packed into a Volkswagen.
“I’ll call,” he said.
Charley laid his cards face up on the table. “Two pair. Aces and eights.”
Charley slammed the table with his knuckles. “Rusty, that’s it for me. Ya got all my dough.” He rose from the table and walked toward the only window in the room.
“Cigarette smoke stinks in here worse than the LA smog.”
“Ever think of quittin’?”
“Naw, but the smoke kills my eyes.” He opened the window. “What about you?”
“Don’t mind it,” Rusty said as he looked at his watch. “When’s our relief crew comin’? We’ve been holding the Chinaman over twenty-four hours. ”
“They’ll be here about noon. The password is fortune. That’s what we’ll be worth when we get the million-dollar ransom from Wu’s old man.”
Circle Island North Shore Bus 52 11:30 A.M..
Brakes screeched as the bus pulled to the curb at the north shore. Two men in zoot suits exited from the front door and casually strolled toward the beach.
“The sun reflects from the ocean like a laser beam,” Maury said as he held the back door open. Kewpie stepped off on the warm pavement. A moment later, the bus disappeared around the corner.
Kewpie took sunglasses from her pocket and slipped them on. Maury signaled her to follow him.
“We must be careful,” he said, grasping her hand. “Let them get a few blocks ahead so they won’t know anyone’s tracking them.
” Kewpie nodded. Maury opened his camera bag and removed a cellular phone. He punched in a number and a voice answered. “Satellite surveillance, may we help you?”
Maury laughed. “Hercule, is that you?”
“Yes. The FBI director told me this was an important case and you needed expert help to solve it.”
Maury whispered to Kewpie. “My brother, Hercule, is one of the foremost experts on satellite tracking.”
“I heard that,” Hercule said. “Your men just stopped at a Chinese restaurant to pick up a Peking Duck. Wait five minutes to separate them from you. They’re moving toward the warehouse district. Roger. Out!”
Maury pointed to a bench by the shore. “Be seated, Kewpie. We’ll review my plan. We’re on the right track. The Peking Duck that the gangsters picked up was probably lunch for Wu.”
Kewpie stretched her feet toward the waves, which crept up the beach like sand crabs slowly advancing on land and then quickly retreating into the ocean. “My feet hurt,” Kewpie sighed. “I’ll never wear new shoes on a police case, again.”
“That’s why they call us gumshoes. We detectives wear soft-sole shoes so the bad guys can’t hear us coming.”
She stared at Maury’s new Nike’s. Maury opened his cellular phone when it began to ring. “Hello.”
“Your man and his companion entered a building at 33 Buggy Whip Drive,” Hercule said. “That building’s been abandoned since Henry Ford brought out the Model T in 1908.”
“Alert the police SWAT Team. Kewpie and I are on our way. Roger. Out.”
Maury adjusted his shoulder holster and reached into the camera bag to check that extra ammo clips were there. They were. “It’s time to go,” he said as he took Kewpie’s hand. “We’re on our way to rescue Wu. Watch out for spiders and rats.”
Kewpie trembled as they walked east together
* * *
Kewpie watched the SWAT Team silently surround the building like a hungry wolf pack circling a wounded moose.
Maury was chatting with the lieutenant when a door opened and two men in zoot suits stepped into the street. “Arrest them when they turn the corner,” the lieutenant whispered. Bring them here for interrogation.”
Kewpie watched proudly as Maury flashed his badge and the men immediately raised their hands. He slapped handcuffs on them and led them toward Kewpie who was concealed in an adjoining courtyard.
“What are your names?” the lieutenant demanded.
“I wanna see my lawyer,” the first man stammered. “Same here,” the second man echoed. “Boss Tweed is my lawyer, too.”
“How many gangsters are in that warehouse?” Maury asked, pointing at the building the men had just exited.
“What’s a gangster?” the first man said.
“You’re a comedian, Charley,” the second man cried, slapping him on the back. “Let the fuzz find out for themselves.”
The lieutenant turned to his aide. “You and Kewpie stay here and guard these men. Maury and our SWAT Team will storm the building.”
Ten SWAT Team members adjusted their gas masks as the lieutenant handed a mask to Maury. He then raised his index finger. A policeman carrying a sawed-off shotgun nodded, and fired a tear gas grenade through the open window.
“Follow me,” the lieutenant yelled as the men charged into the warehouse. When Maury reached the top floor, two gangsters were gasping for breath. They lay spread-eagle on the floor, each guarded by a policeman. Two Glock semiautomatic pistols were in the corner by an overturned table. Hanging from a coat hook was a Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle. Maury sniffed the air. “The aroma of warm Peking Duck is floating from somewhere behind this wall. Find the secret door and you’ll find both the duck and Wu.” He leaned against the wall, took a step forward and disappeared.
The lieutenant’s eyes widened and his jaw dropped. “Men,” he said in amazement, “Maury isn’t known as Honolulu’s best detective since Charlie Chan for nothing. Get to work. Follow him!”
Capitol Press Room April 5 9 A.M.
“Was this your greatest case?” a reporter shouted. Maury was blinded by the photographers’ camera flashes.
“Confucious said,” he declared, shielding his eyes from the glare of the lights, “that a journey of one thousand miles begins with the first step. We have begun our journey in Honolulu to stamp out crime, and have made great strides by solving Wu’s kidnapping case.”
“But the more crooks you catch, the more there are,” a TV reporter said. “They’re multiplying like roaches. You and Kewpie can’t be everywhere at once.”
“Maury and Kewpie will fight crime wherever in the world they are needed,” the governor interrupted. He stood by the microphone with Maury and Kewpie. “They will spend the day with me providing details of how they solved this kidnapping case. We’ll have another press conference following our meeting.”
“I wonder what Maury’ll tell the governor,” a newspaper reporter muttered, as he watched the door close in the governor’s office. He looked through his notes while he waited in the crowded press room for Maury’s return.
Governor’s Office 9:30 A.M.
“What’s holography, Maury?”
Maury rose from his chair and walked to the window. “It’s a form of picture making that produces a three-dimensional image by harnessing light from a laser.”
“Crooks used holography when they kidnapped Wu,” Kewpie added.
“Are crooks this sophisticated?” the governor asked.
“High tech crime is already rampant in society,” Maury continued. “The men in zootsuits used a holograph to create a fake wall at their headquarters. They hid Wu behind it.”
“How could you tell it was a fake wall?” the governor questioned. “Everyone else thought it was solid.”
“I saw the halogen light bulbs reflecting at a forty-five degree angle above the wall. It produced a three-dimensional holograph of a wall, behind which I discovered Wu tied securely to a heavy chair.”
“Amazing detective work, Maury!”
“Maury’s also an amateur magician,” Kewpie said. “Magicians mystify with illusion. A holograph is just another form of illusion. A crook would have to have the cunning of a fox, the skill of a surgeon and the brain of Albert Einstein to fool Maury.”
Maury blushed as he stared out the window. “Out there,” he said pointing toward the horizon, “is a window of opportunity to fight crime. Kewpie and I have solved baffling crimes in the past and we will do it in the future, all over the world.”
“Absolutely,” the governor said. “At this time, Wu is cooperating with the district attorney in giving evidence against the kidnappers. Wu has even implicated Boss Tweed, who he says is the man behind his kidnapping. Tweed is a snake… hard to catch but venomous when cornered.”
Kewpie glanced at the governor. “In my opinion the million-dollar ransom demanded for Wu’s return was to reimburse the gamblers for the million dollars they lost on his fight with Maury. When the judges declared the fight a draw, the gamblers lost their bets as fast as a roulette player in a casino betting on a number, when zero comes up on the wheel.”
Maury nodded. “Informants confirm that Boss Tweed lost fifty-thousand dollars on the fight.”
“Wow!” the governor exclaimed. “This may provide the thread we need to convict Tweed and jail him and his crooked associates. Shady characters like Tweed exist on the borderline between an honest and crooked life.”
“It’s difficult to convict a hoodlum,” Maury said. “Look at former New York Mafia boss, John Gotti. It took five or six trials before the DA could find a jury which convicted him of murder and other crimes.”
“White collar crime is also a terrible thing,” Kewpie said. “Taxpayers lost billions in the savings and loans scandals of the 1980’s, and millions in crooked land schemes of the 1990’s, like Whitewater Development.”
The governor smiled. “A crook is still a crook whether dressed in an Armani suit or a zoot suit. Blue-and white-collar crimes are both against the law. You and Maury, with the help of the police and FBI, are the only defense the common citizen has against crime. I thank you for your dedication, from the bottom of my heart.”
A tear ran down Maury’s cheek. His voice cracked as he shook hands with the governor and said, “I pledge to make this world a better place by fighting crime as long as I live.”
“Me, too!” Kewpie cried.
Capitol Press Room 11 A.M.
Thunderous applause met the governor as he approached the lectern and spoke into the microphone. “Ladies and gentlemen, your applause should not go to me, but to Maury and Kewpie. I am but a politician, not a crime fighter.” He pointed at Maury and Kewpie. “They have dedicated their lives in making the world a safer place in which to live by fighting criminals.”
When the applause stopped, he said, “Law enforcement has its hands full, fighting crime in their respective cities around the world. Police need all the help they can get, from professionals like Maury and Kewpie. Maury will explain his new job.”
Kewpie was thrilled by the cheers which greeted Maury. Her eyes followed him as the governor handed him a microphone. “In the future, Kewpie and I will work around the world, assisting police who request our help. She’s an expert at fingerprinting and lab ----------”
At the first blast of machine-gun fire Maury grabbed Kewpie and dove for cover. People screamed as bullets crashed into the wall behind where Maury had stood.
Tires screeched outside as a black sedan sped out of view. “International gangsters play for keeps!” Maury cried to the crowd. Kewpie and the governor brushed off their clothes.
* * *
.That night, Maury and Kewpie were airborne on the way to their new assignment.
CHAPTER 17. HIJACKED
Somewhere over the Pacific Ocean Seat 27C 9 P.M.
“What would you like?” the stewardess asked, answering his buzzer call.
“I have a question for you,” a passenger replied. He smiled showing a row of sharp flashing teeth. “Is that gentleman, in the bulkhead seat, the Honolulu detective, Maury the mouse?” He pointed toward the front of the airplane with his gold pen.
“Yes,” she said. “We’re honored to have Maury aboard. Are you a friend?”
“No, but I’d like to meet him.”
“Are you a detective, too?”
“Heavens no. I’m a public relations man. I create images for famous people like my father did. He helped shape J.P. Morgan’s image when he suggested to a photographer that J.P. hold a midget on his lap. That photo changed Morgan’s image from a ruthless robber baron to a lover of children.”
“The public must be stupid if they can be so easy duped.”
“They aren’t very bright,” he said smiling. “Look at some of the politicians the public elects year-after-year.”
“What’s your name, sir?”
“Kelada, Max Kelada.”
“Maury and his assistant, Kewpie are napping now. When they wake up, I’d let you know.”
Kewpie awakened and stared at Maury curled up in aisle seat 7D beside her. I never knew Maury snored. She gently removed a blanket from an overhead rack and covered him with it. She shut her eyes. A moment later she was asleep.
“We have a celebrity on board,” the stewardess said. “Maury the mouse is on his way to London.”
“I’d like to shake his hand,” the Captain replied. “I’ve never met a hero, before.”
“You better get in line. He’s asleep now. One of the passengers wanted to meet him, too. I’ll signal when Maury awakens.”
“We’ll be flying into a thunderstorm within an hour,” the co-pilot said. “That should wake everybody up.”
“Fasten your seat belts,” a voice echoed on the intercom. “Severe weather is ahead. Keep all packages securely under your seat or in the overhead rack.”
Maury groaned as his eyes blinked open. The smell of brilliantine was in the air and a hand stuck in the air a few inches from his nose. “My name is Kelada, Max Kelada. I’m as well known in public relations as you are in law enforcement.”
Maury reached out and shook hands
. Kelada sat in an empty seat across the aisle. “Have you heard of me?”
Maury thought for a moment. “Didn’t W. Somerset Maugham write a story, ‘Mr. Know-All’about a Max Kelada?”
“You have an extraordinary memory, old chap. Maugham wrote about my father. Bit of luck, we meeting like this. Are you also going to London?”
“Yes.” Kewpie opened her eyes and stretched. “Kewpie,” Maury said, “meet Max Kelada. He’s English.”
“How do you do. Are you a policeman?”
Kelada laughed. “I’m a sculptor who shapes people’s image. I can transform an average man into a media star or take an ordinary girl and make her a movie queen.”
“Could you make me into a movie star?” Kewpie challenged.
“Anything is possible with someone as lovely as you.”
Kewpie blushed as Maury’s eyes flashed with jealousy. “I’m sorry, Mr. Kelada. Kewpie and I have a great deal of work to do. We’ll talk when we change planes in Chicago.”
Kelada nodded, stood up and walked back to his seat.
“What a nice man,” Kewpie said. “He told me I was lovely. Why don’t you ever talk to me like that?”
Maury rolled his eyes, opened up a notebook and showed Kewpie instructions from the governor. “This is our next case,” he said. “We must know the facts before we land in London.”
Kelada adjusted a Union Jack tie clasp, leaned his seat back and relaxed. A man across the aisle scribbled a note on a paper napkin and buzzed for a stewardess.
“It’s that guy with the red turban,” the steward said. “See what he wants.” The stewardess nodded, and walked toward the back of the plane. “How may we help you?” she asked sweetly. He shoved the note at her. The stewardess read it and turned pale. When she regained her composure she signaled him to follow her. They reached the captain’s cabin and she knocked. The door opened and the man in the red turban pushed the stewardess into the cabin ahead of him. The door clicked shut behind them.
“Mr. Mouse,” a voice said. Maury opened his eyes to find Max. Kelada’s face a few inches away. “It’s important or I wouldn’t have awakened you.”
“Kewpie jumped from her seat as if a firecracker had exploded under her. “What’s wrong?” she whispered in a startled voice. Kelada handed Maury a crumpled cocktail napkin. “I heard them talking. A man in the red turban gave this note to the stewardess. She seemed in shock as she dropped it on the floor and walked toward the front of the plane with him. When he pushed her into the pilot’s cabin, I knew we had a problem.”
Maury held the note up to the light and read aloud, “I have plastic explosives strapped to me. Take me to the captain or I’ll blow up the airplane.”
Maury grabbed his cellular phone and dialed. “Governor, this is Maury. We have either an airplane hijacker on this flight or a comedian.” “The hijacker was seated in seat 26D,” Kelada interrupted. Maury relayed this information to the governor, and then placed the phone on his seat. “Kewpie,” he said, “you and Mr. Kelada stay here and wait for the governor’s call. I’m going to the captain’s cabin. If I’m detained, you’re in command.” She nodded. Kewpie watched Maury knock on the cabin door. The door opened, and he disappeared from view.
* * *
The ringing cell phone shattered the silence like a fingernail scraping a blackboard.
Max Kelada handed the phone to Kewpie. She listened and took notes. “Thanks, Governor,” she said. “Maury’s still in the Captain’s cabin with the hijacker. We’ll leave the phone connected so that the police can listen in. Roger, out.”
“What can I do to help?” Kelada asked.
“Please have the steward give you all the maroon napkins on the airplan
e. Then ask passengers if they’re carrying needles and thread with them.”
“Yes. Ma’am.” Kelada walked into the first class section and began an animated discussion with the steward.
“Are we finished, Mr. Kelada?” Kewpie inquired.
“Nearly. We ran out of thread sewing two hundred and fifty turbans, so we’re using safety pins on the turbans for the passengers in the back row.”
“Get everyone ready. The hijacker’s been in the Captain’s cabin for hours with Maury. He could come out any minute.”
“We’re ready. Most of the passengers are already dressed with maroon turbans on their heads.”
“Why are we doing this, Kewpie?” Kelada asked.
“The Governor told me that the hijacker’s name is Icarus. He’s a cousin of the Maharajah of Mousepur, and is upset about young people not wearing turbans in his country, especially when riding elephants. When he sees our passengers wearing turbans it should have a positive effect on him.”
Kelada looked at Kewpie with admiration. “I must say, but you’re one bright woman. You have both beauty and brains.”
Kewpie blushed. “I wouldn’t say that too loudly when Maury was about. He might take offense.”
“Are you offended?”
“No,” Kewpie replied, grinning. “Every woman likes a compliment, even if she may not deserve it.”
A rusty hinge squeaked as the Captain’s cabin door opened. The stewardess walked out followed by Maury the mouse. She went to the galley while Maury ambled up to where Kewpie was seated. “I like the hats everyone’s wearing,” Maury joked.
Kewpie explained what the Governor had told her about the hijacker.
“What are his demands?” she asked
. “He wants respect from the young of his country whom he feels should wear turbans. He plans to make a statement to the world by threatening to blow up this airplane.”
“How could he get explosives through airport security?”
Maury shrugged. “Airport security equipment isn’t sophisticated. Metal detectors can stop a man with a gun but can’t detect plastic explosives.”
Kewpie nodded. “I remember the plastic explosive that terrorists hid inside a radio cassette player on Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988.”
“Since the plane blew up, not much has changed. Politicians have held numerous meetings to discuss the problem but security is not very different now than it was then.
” “Nothing has changed with male politicians in charge,” Kewpie challenged. “Women politicians would get things changed. What the world needs are more women in positions of power!”
“One thing’s for sure,” Maury said, “women couldn’t mess up the world any more than men have already done.”
Kewpie turned to Max Kelada, who was sitting silently across the aisle, and winked.
The stewardess walked up to Maury. “Mr. Mouse, I’m bringing the vegetarian breakfast that the hijacker ordered. Do you have a message for him?”
“Yes. Tell him that after breakfast I’d like to speak with him.” Maury placed a maroon turban on his head as the stewardess walked into the Captain’s cabin. “It was a brilliant idea of yours, Kewpie, to have each passenger wear a turban.”
“Thanks, Maury. When the hijacker leaves the Captain’s cabin, let’s both meet with him.”
Maury nodded and returned to his seat. A moment later he was asleep. * * *
“Will Maury the mouse please report to the Captain’s cabin?” the Captain announced on the intercom. “We are minutes away from the western coastline of the state of Washington.”
Kelada watched as Maury and Kewpie rose from their seats and moved down the aisle toward the front of the plane
. Captain’s Cabin
“Let Maury in,” Icarus growled. The door swung open and Maury and Kewpie stepped inside.
Kewpie watched Icarus stare wide-eyed at their maroon turbans. “You have respect for the red turban?” he stammered. “I thought I was the only one left in the world who respected it.”
“Look at the passengers,” Maury replied as he opened the cabin door. “They have respect for the red turban, too.” Icarus stepped through the door into the first class section and walked to the tail of the airplane and back. “I am ashamed of my actions,” he said despondently. “I felt so alone. Now, I feel I’m among friends.”
“Change takes time, Icarus,” Kewpie said. “It took American women until 1920 to gain the right to vote in national elections, thanks to the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution."
“Indeed, progress in social issues often moves at glacial speed,” Maury added, “especially when the group in power must give up power in order to share it with others.
” Icarus nodded and walked back to his seat. He opened his carry-on suitcase and removed a canvas container. He turned toward Maury and Kewpie. “I salute you, and all passengers whom I have inconvenienced. Ask the pilot to level off at 10,000 feet. Inform me when we’re at that altitude.” Certainly,” Maury agreed. He turned and walked to the front of the airplane. Kewpie watched Icarus slip the harness of the canvas container around his shoulders and body and between his legs. “That’s a parachute!” she stammered. “Exactly,” he replied smiling, “with a ripcord.” “This is the Captain speaking. We’re leveling off at 10,000 feet.”
“Goodbye!” Icarus cried as he grasped the rear exit door handle. “Fasten your seatbelts. Au revoir.”
“Good luck to you, Icarus,” Kewpie whispered. She felt the rush of cold air flood the airplane as Icarus tumbled through the open door and disappeared into the clouds.
CHAPTER 18. MAX KELADA UNMASKED
“There is panic and chaos in Chicago,” the Captain explained over the intercom. “We’re low on fuel with a damaged rear door, so O’Hare Airport will let us land. We change planes there, but all flights are grounded until a local emergency is resolved.”
“That’s terrible,” Kewpie moaned. “Do you know what’s happening, Maury?”
“No, but I plan to find out.” Maury stepped into the aisle and walked briskly to the Captain’s cabin.
Kewpie glanced at Max Kelada writing notes in a spiral pad across the aisle. I wonder what’s he’s doing?
* * *
“I’ve never heard anything as scary before,” Maury muttered. “Are you sure that’s what airport ground control told you on the radio?”
“Mr. Mouse, that’s exactly what they said. They also mentioned that the police would like your aid in solving these disappearances. A Chicago detective named Ratner will meet you and Kewpie at the landing gate at O’Hare Airport.”
Maury nodded. “I’ll look for him. Have a good landing, Captain.” He closed the cabin door behind him and strolled to his seat.
“Fasten your seat belts,” a voice announced on the intercom. “We’ll be landing this ‘Tin Can’ in Chicago in twenty minutes. Prepare for landing.”
Maury took his seat and fastened his seat belt.
Kewpie couldn’t contain her curiosity any longer and turned to him. “Has there been a major bank robbery?” she inquired.
“It’s worse than that. Two gorillas have disappeared. Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo housed thirteen giant lowland gorillas yesterday at bed check, but only eleven were there today for breakfast. Missing were Mighty Joe Young III and Kismet, a female gorilla on loan from Brookfield Zoo.”
“Any clues, old chap?” Kelada asked.
“No. They’ve asked that Kewpie and I assist in the investigation.”
“Wasn’t Kismet the same lady gorilla who rescued a youngster in 1996 when the three-year-old child fell into the gorilla pit at the Brookfield Zoo?” Kewpie asked.
“Yes,” Maury replied. “She’s a congenial ape, but Mighty Joe has the meanness, size and brains of his grandfather. Hollywood made a movie of his grandfather’s life. Chicago schools are closed, barricades are in place around town, and the public is cowering in their homes. Terrified policemen are fleeing the city like many did in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.”
“May I come along and watch you and Kewpie in action?” Kelada said.
Maury shook his head. “Max, police work is a dangerous job. Kewpie and I are professionals. You stay with the other passengers at the boarding gate in the airline terminal.”
“Okay,” Kelada mumbled as he walked to his seat in the back of the airplane.
“That must be him,” Kewpie said pointing to a man in a brown suit holding a sign, Maury and Kewpie.
“Detective Ratner, I presume,” Maury said.
“Yes,” he replied, “J. Edgar Ratner, but friends call me Ed. I recognized you and Kewpie from photos faxed me by the FBI. I’ve been appointed your liaison with the Chicago police. Step into the security room, so I can brief you on this unusual case, He inserted a coded plastic card in a metal box and a green door marked Security opened.
They sat at a long table at the far end of the room. Above the table was a map of Chicago. “This is the Lincoln Park Zoo,” Ratner began, aiming his laser pointer at the map. “That’s where the escape took place, last night.” He shifted the pointer to the west. “And here is the Brookfield Zoo where Kismet used to live.”
“How many miles between the two zoos, Ed?” Kewpie inquired.
Ratner counted on his fingers. “It’s about ten miles. The police are baffled. The gorilla enclosure was locked when we arrived, and Mighty Joe and Kismet had vanished. Most businessmen are afraid of opening their firms, and people are too frightened to leave their homes. Even airport operation has closed. The police don’t know where to start on this case.”
“Let’s start at the beginning,” Maury said. “Please take us to the Lincoln Park Zoo. Kewpie and I wish to see the remaining gorillas and examine the scene of the crime.”
Ratner smoothed his whiskers and walked to the door. “Follow me,” he said.
Four Hours Later
“Begin boarding at gate H5,” a voice boomed on the intercom. “Flight 762 will leave for London in thirty minutes. Those needing assistance board first.”
Kelada read the last page of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and closed the book. He stared at his watch. “They’ve been gone for half a working day,” he muttered. “Holmes would have solved this case of the missing apes by now.”
Kelada signaled for a stewardess. “Where are Maury and Kewpie?” he demanded.
“Maury’s solved the Gorilla Case,” she said. “He and Kewpie should board in a few minutes. They are passing through airport security, now.”
Kelada heard the front door open. Maury and Kewpie walked into the cabin, sat down and buckled their seat belts. Kelada slipped into the seat across from Maury.
Kewpie turned toward Kelada. “It was a baffling case but Maury solved it. We found both gorillas in the garden of an indoor cypress swamp exhibit at the Brookfield Zoo. They were on their honeymoon.”
“It was elementary, Kewpie.” Maury interrupted. “Mighty Joe picked the lock on the gorilla enclosure with Kismet’s hair pin.”
“The janitor in the gorilla house was studying to be a locksmith,” Kewpie continued. “Mighty Joe studied his books in the evening when the gorilla house was deserted. Apes are smart…with recorded IQs of up to forty-five.”
“So he learned how to pick locks,” Kelada replied, shrugging. “You found how the apes escaped, but how’d you discover where they’d gone?”
Kewpie grinned. “We followed the trail of banana peels. They led to the Brookfield Zoo. One day, people will say that Maury is the world’s greatest detective.”
Maury blushed, as the airplane raced down the runway on its way to London. He knew his greatest adventures lay ahead
. DC-10 Flying East to London
“Do you know what I want to know more than anything else?” Max Kelada asked as he stared across the aisle.
“What?” Kewpie replied.
“Have you and Maury the Mouse ever tangled with the Mafia?”
Kewpie grinned as she nudged Maury. “Maury, you tell him about it,” she said.
“To fight the Mafia or Cosa Nostra as it’s called today,” Maury began, “you have to understand that the Mafia is now like the United States was before the Revolutionary War in 1775. Each of the thirteen states was independent with its separate militia, then. There was a centralized government in Philadelphia with limited control over these states.”
“I don’t understand, Old Chap.”
Kewpie interrupted, “Each of the twenty-six Mafia families in the U.S.A. is similar to a separate independent state, with its own leaders and militia.”
“That’s correct,” Maury said. “The New York Mafia might form a loose alliance with its neighbor, the New Jersey Mafia to control an illegal enterprise like a trucking monopoly at east coast seaports for fruit imports. The effect of gang wars of the 1920’s convinced Mafia leaders of the advantages of cooperation between rival groups and the value of having strong political connections.”
“At the present time,” Kewpie continued, “the Mafia has its own centralized government in the U.S.A. with limited control over each regional Mafia family. This centralized government is called The Syndicate, which is known as The Iron Fist Inside a Velvet Glove. The unpopular Volstead Act of 1920 generated the growth of highly organized bootlegging rings with nationwide and international contacts. Bootlegging profits enabled the Mafia to gain control of powerful politicians and judges in cities like Chicago and New York, with bribes.”
“When Prohibition ended in 1933,” Maury said, “the Mafia was rich enough to plow their profits into legitimate businesses like construction, hauling and real estate. Then, they spread their tentacles overseas like a giant octopus, and hired hundreds of lawyers and accountants to squirrel their funds to Swiss bank accounts.”
“Can’t the U.S. Government do anything to stop them?” Kelada stammered.
“It’s seldom they convict a top Mafiosa for anything but tax evasion,” Kewpie added. “Unless you get an insider to testify against a Mafia boss, it’s nearly impossible to jail him.”
“I say, didn’t Joe Valachi and Sammy Gravano testify against their Mafia bosses?”
Maury nodded. “Yes, but Gravano was New York Mafia boss John Gotti’s right-hand man and best friend. Without Gravano’s testimony, Gotti would still be wearing Armani suits instead of prison gray.”
“Gotti died in prison,” Kewpie corrected. “Tell him about your fight with the Mafia in Honolulu, Maury."
“It started with an international crime boss named Commando Joe.”
“Joe was a dangerous man,” Kewpie added. “He conspired with the Mafia to frame Maury for the theft of a pearl necklace.”
“Joe stole the necklace and had an associate slip it into my coat pocket.”
“The Mafia wanted Maury out of the way so they could gain a foothold in Honolulu as they had done in the other forty-nine states,” Kewpie said. “But they failed and charges were dropped against Maury. Whereas they succeeded everywhere else, it’s solely because of Maury that the Mafia failed to corrupt politics in Hawaii.”
“The police issued an arrest warrant for Commando Joe, but he escaped to London.”
“Is that why you chaps are on your way to London?” Kelada inquired.
Maury smiled. “That’s one of the reasons, Max. The English judiciary in the United Kingdom is not influenced by gangsters paying bribes, as it sometimes is in the United States. The English are not as prone to corruption as are American politicians.”
“I recall reading about China gaining American missile technology after contributing money to a major political party,” Kelada said.
“In America, some politicians regularly sell their votes for money,” Kewpie muttered. “It is our job to prevent this from happening in Britain.”
“That’s a capital idea, chaps! I’ll help in any way I can. Incidentally, how do you know I’m not an agent for the Mafia?”
Maury laughed. “Kewpie’s already checked you out with Scotland Yard and the FBI. You have an impressive background with the OSS, Britain’s Office of Strategic Services.”
“It’s heroes like you who make the world a better place in which to live,” Kewpie added. “The OSS undercover work you did in Iraq in 1990 was extraordinary. It paved the way for victory in the first Gulf War.”
“I do as much as I can for Queen and country,” Kelada said emphatically, “with the same dedication you and Maury have. We both will make the world a safer and more-honest place in which to live.”
“It may seem like an impossible task,” Maury said. “But never say never.”
Kewpie raised her glass. “If we could put a man on the moon,” anything is possible. If you can imagine something it can be achieved!” Three glasses clicked together as Kelada, Kewpie and Maury bonded their friendship
. * * *
A stewardess walked up the aisle and stopped at seat 7D. “Maury the Mouse,” she said, “please report to the Captain’s cabin. There is an urgent call for you from Britain’s Prime Minister.”
Kelada watched Maury get up and pace down the aisle through the first class section to the Captain’s cabin. The door opened and Maury stepped inside. “What do you think is up?”
“It must be urgent,” Kewpie replied, “or the Prime Minister would have waited to speak with Maury until we landed at London’s Heathrow Airport.”
Kelada nodded. He opened his briefcase and removed a spiral pad.
He was still writing in the pad when the door to the Captain’s cabin opened an hour later. Maury stepped out looking grim and walked back to his seat without making eye contact with anyone.
CHAPTER 19-- MAURY ARRIVES IN LONDON
London’s East End London, England
He grasped the cane gently like a fine gem.
The door swung open and two men in zoot suits strutted in. “Boss,” one of them asked, “when does the Mouse get into town?”
Commando Joe checked his watch. “Maury the mouse and Kewpie land at Heathrow Airport in an hour.”
“We’ll be ready.”
“Tail them. Discover what they’re up to. Remember, no rough stuff until I give the okay.”
“Sure, you’re the boss!”
Joe waited until he was alone. He locked the door and twisted the handle of his cane until it came apart. “I was a genius to design a rifle that looked like a cane,” he muttered.
He inserted two 38-caliber bullets and screwed the handle back on the cane. If I need this, I’m ready.
Heathrow Airport, London
“I’ll take the carry-on bags, Kewpie,” Maury said with a wave of his hand. “You and Max go ahead.” Inside the terminal, Maury’s eyes flashed like a spotlight searching the night sky for enemy planes.
A man approached and threw his arms around Maury. “Uncle Sherlock,” Maury said. “It’s great to see you, again. Let me introduce my partner, Kewpie and a friend, Max Kelada.”
Kewpie stared at the stranger in the green deerstalker cap. “Uncle Sherlock, Maury has told me much about you. Congratulations on your promotion to Chief Inspector at Scotland Yard.”
“Thanks, Kewpie. I worked hard for it.” He turned to Kelada and extended his hand. “Good to see you, Max. Cheerio, Old Chap.”
“See you for supper, tonight, Kewpie,” Kelada said as he walked off to the luggage claim area. “S
cotland Yard will help you through customs. Then, we’ll meet at your hotel for a briefing.”
At the fringe of the crowd Maury spied two men in zoot suits, wearing homburg hats pulled down over their ears. As soon as he made eye contact, these men turned away and disappeared like ghosts into the crowd.
Professor Moriarty Bed & Breakfast
Kewpie walked to the window. “Aren’t these rooms wonderful, Maury? I can see Buckingham Palace a few blocks to the northeast.”
“My room has a view of Scotland Yard,” Maury said. “They’re located only two blocks from here. We’ll spend a lot of time there in the next few days. I hear footsteps in the hall. I’ll see if it’s uncle.”
Maury opened the door, and Uncle Sherlock stepped into the room. “Kewpie and Maury,” he said, as he laid his trench coat on the bed, “Britain is in a crisis. It’s as bad as anything that happened to us fighting the Axis forces in World War II! Our potatoes have disappeared. The thief’s demanding ten-million-pounds ransom!”
“Can’t you eat something else?” Kewpie asked. “Other vegetables have as many vitamins as potatoes.”
“You don’t understand,” Sherlock interrupted. “Fish and chips are the traditional British meal. English men and women have thrived for centuries on meals of fish and chips. You Yanks call chips French fries, but they’re chips to us.”
“The British economy has come to a standstill,” Maury said. “Longshoremen refuse to load and unload ships, workers throughout Britain boycott their jobs and parade in the streets by Parliament, carrying signs, No Fish & Chips, No Work!.”
Sherlock stared out the window and pointed. “There is our Queen at Buckingham Palace. Unless we locate the missing potatoes, she may be an ex-Queen by next week. The government could collapse. After you unpack, could we meet at Scotland Yard?”
“We’ll be there in thirty minutes,” Maury replied.
Scotland Yard Office of Chief Inspector Sherlock Mouse
“Welcome to Scotland Yard, Maury and Kewpie,” Sherlock said pointing to a couch. “Have a seat.” He walked to a wall map of London and took a pointer in his hand. “This is where the potatoes from Ireland were stored,” he said, aiming the pointer at the center of London. “They disappeared two days ago from the East India Docks on the Thames.” He moved his pointer to the northwest. “Our home-grown potatoes were stored here in Manchester. They disappeared without a trace yesterday. Scotland Yard has every available man on the case.”
“Could we see a list of foreign agents and gangsters living in England?” Maury inquired.
Sherlock flipped an intercom button on his desk. “Please bring in the gangster list!” he commanded.
East India Docks London
“Are you in charge of this storage facility?” Maury asked, flashing the Scotland Yard badge he was assigned.
“Yes,” the manager replied. “One night, potatoes were stacked in boxes from floor to ceiling; the next morning, this warehouse was empty.” “Did you see any unusual activity on these docks?” Kewpie asked.
The manager hesitated in thought. “There was one thing. A few days ago, the Longshoremen’s Union sent us workers who dressed funny. They wore zoot suits.”
London’s East End
Commando Joe sneered into the telephone receiver. “Are you finished yet?”
“Yeah boss,” a voice grunted. “We repainted the trucks and changed the license plates.”
“Is the merchandise secure?”
“Yeah. They’ll never find it.”
“The Mouse is smart.”
“Don’t worry, Boss. He ain’t that smart!”
Professor Moriarty Bed & Breakfast
Kewpie watched Maury studying a pile of photographs. “What’s our next step, Maury?” “As soon as Uncle Sherlock gets me a Potato Dog we’ll be ready to act. The Potato Dog is like a bloodhound. Once he gets the scent of a potato, he’s relentless in his pursuit.”
“I recall seeing those dogs sniffing luggage at the airport,” Kewpie muttered.
“A Potato Dog will help us bring these crooks to justice. I’ve studied the videotapes from the security cameras. There is only one man bold enough to ask a ransom for the return of England’s potatoes.” Maury can find the potatoes, she thought. He’s never failed before. If the case is solvable, he’ll find the spuds. “Eureka!” Maury cried, holding up a photograph. He grabbed the telephone and dialed Scotland Yard.
Scotland Yard Office of Chief Inspector Sherlock Mouse
“You have the eyesight of an eagle, Maury!” Sherlock exclaimed. “I reviewed the photos from the security cameras at the East India Docks but didn’t notice what you saw.”
Kewpie flashed a smile. “That’s why Maury is America’s best detective,” she said proudly. “He solves the unsolvable.”
Maury blushed. “This case isn’t solved yet, Kewpie. It’s like a baseball game. We’re in the first inning of a nine-inning game. We’ve got a lead but the game isn’t finished. Anything could happen. We could even lose.”
“We’ll get the bad chaps, Maury,” Sherlock said as he slipped into a trench coat and adjusted his cap. “Are you ready to go? Our men are waiting. We can brief you on the way.”
“Ladies first,” Maury said with a wave of his hand. Kewpie nodded and opened the door.
Police Truck #8 On the highway heading Southwest
Kewpie stared at the soldiers seated on wooden benches surrounding her. “Are those Uzis loaded?” she whispered.
Maury nodded. “We can’t underestimate the enemy. He is cunning and violent. We must be prepared for anything.”
A soldier with silver eagles on each shoulder approached them. “Hello Kewpie,” he said, holding out his hand. “I didn’t mention this to you over dinner last night. It’s classified Top Secret.”
“Are these OSS operatives with you?” Maury inquired.
“Yes, they’re communications and explosive experts… just like your Navy Seals.”
“Max Kelada does the tough work for Scotland Yard,” Sherlock interrupted. “He always gets the job done.”
Kewpie laughed. “You’re like a British version of Maury the mouse.” Max grinned and looked into her eyes. “Kewpie, my dear, more like James Bond 007, I’d suspect.”
OSS Headquarters London
“General, Colonel Kelada’s troops are in transit. They’re passing through Winchester now. They expect to be at Weymouth within the hour.”
“Good, Sergeant. It was a capitol idea to examine those security camera photographs. Which of our men discovered the thief’s road map?”
“It wasn’t one of our men, Sir,” the sergeant replied. “It was that American chap, Maury. He and his partner Kewpie are with Colonel Kelada on this mission.”
“Righto. Keep me up-to-date on the Colonel’s progress.”
Police Truck #8
Kewpie eyes sparkled with pride as Maury explained the police work performed prior to the mission.
“Max, I reviewed the security photos and located several showing a zoot-suited longshoreman reading a map. It took a magnifying glass to see that they planned to take the stolen potatoes from London to the docks at Weymouth.” “
Why didn’t they load them on barges in London?” he asked incredulously. “It would have been a lot less work.”
“Rising tides in the Thames, Max,” Sherlock explained. “Those Buggers were no dummies. They knew that hurricane winds caused the channel water to surge over the banks that night. Any barge venturing out into the Thames would have capsized. Therefore, they dropped Plan A and adopted Plan B.” “What’s Plan B?” “Plan B was to have lorries transport the potatoes to another English Channel seaport which was unaffected by the weather.” Sherlock’s cellular phone rang as he turned to Maury. “A lorry is a truck,” he whispered. He activated the phone and listened.
“Good show, Maury,” Kelada said. “What’ll we do at Weymouth?”
“The chief inspector can fill you in on the details when he gets off the phone with headquarters,” Maury said.
“Roger, out,” Sherlock exclaimed as he clicked off his cellular phone. He smiled as he spoke. “At Maury’s request, we’ve been computer-scanning the name of an American gangster named Commando Joe. No evidence turned up in government files until Kewpie suggested we also run a scan of his name backwards.”
“Have you heard of Odnammoc Eoj Isle?” Maury inquired. “The island was purchased by a man with the same name, earlier this year.”
“I’ve never heard of it.”
“It’s the newest of the Channel Islands off Britain’s southern coast,” Sherlock added. “Volcanic activity created this rock island, last year. Nothing grows there, but it contains giant underground caverns… just the right size to store Britain’s stolen potatoes.”
“Odnammoc Eoj is Commando Joe spelled backwards,” Kewpie noted.
“Brains and beauty are a dangerous combination,” Max said with a laugh. “You and Maury are a formidable team for any criminal.”
“Indeed,” Sherlock chuckled. “The gales that blow north from the English Channel have subsided so we’ll have a smooth trip on the water. A detective is awaiting us at the Weymouth docks with a Potato Dog. This sniffer dog will lead us to the stolen goods.”
Weymouth Docks A man with a dog greeted them as they stepped off the lorry. “I’m Detective Bailey and this ‘ere’s me dog, Oscar.”
Kewpie watched this man in his ill-fitting suit and overcoat shake hands with Maury and Sherlock, and walk off with them into a red-brick building. She pointed at Max Kelada and signaled him to come over. “Max, something’s wrong. Could you check the identity of Detective Bailey with the OSS? Get a Fax or a full description over the phone on a secured line that no one can tap. Maybe it’s woman’s intuition, but something’s wrong here. Also, get a full description of the Potato Dog.”
“Do you think that the detective and the dog are imposters?”
“Something tells me we better check them out.”
.“Okay, Kewpie. I’ll call headquarters right now. And while I’m at it, I’ll take a patrol with me to check out the boat crew at the Weymouth docks.”
“I’ll brief Maury on what we’re verifying with the OSS,” Kewpie said. “Let’s meet in an hour to compare notes.” “Righto. My men are on full alert. I’ll order two-man patrols throughout the area.” From a nearby rooftop a man in a zoot suit crouched in the shadows watching them. He picked up his cellular phone and dialed a number. “Boss,” he whispered, “the Coppers is ‘ere.”
CHAPTER 20-- THE BOOKIES
Weymouth Docks Southwest of London
“Blimey, did you see that?” the corporal cried.
“See what, Mate?” the private questioned.
The corporal pointed to a rooftop overlooking the docks. “A flash of metal gleaming in the sun,” he said.
“Alert Colonel Kelada!”
He inched to the edge of the roof and peered down at the soldiers armed with Uzi submachine guns. They had the front of the building barricaded and were staring at the roof. He patted the inside pocket of his zootsuit. Yes, the 9mm Lugar is still there. He quickly examined it, clicked the clip firmly in place and removed his cellular phone from his suit pocket. He punched a button and a voice answered.
“Hello, Boss,” he stammered, “the coppers spotted me. I can hear footsteps comin’ up the stairs. What’ll I do?”
“Don’t say anything if they capture you,” Commando Joe grunted. “We’re switching to Plan C now. Try sneaking down the fire escape.”
“Righto, Boss.” He turned around and saw an Uzi pointed at him
. “Drop it!” the private commanded. He must have sneaked up the fire escape, he thought. Slowly he held out the Lugar at arm’s length, thumbed the clip-release button as the magazine fell to the rooftop. He set the gun by his feet and raised his hands above his head as the corporal burst through the roof entrance door.
“Come with us!” the corporal demanded. “The colonel has a few questions for you.”
OSS Headquarters London
The General picked up the ringing telephone. “Did you receive the Faxes we sent you on Detective Bailey and the Potato Dog?”
“Yes Sir,” Colonel Kelada replied. “They are both under arrest as imposters. Our patrols located the real Detective Bailey and the Potato Dog tied up under the docks. They also arrested a gangster shadowing us. Maury the mouse is interrogating him now.
“How did you suspect that Detective Bailey might be a fraud?”
“Kewpie saw the man’s clothes and suspected him as bogus right away,” Kelada said. “The real Bailey is six-foot-three, whereas the imposter is only five-foot four. The crooks didn’t fool Kewpie with their attempt to cut down Bailey’s suit and overcoat to fit the imposter.”
“She sounds like quite a woman.”
“Aye, General, in more ways than one!”
Weymouth Docks HMS Sunfish
“I want to see a barrister!” the gangster in the zoot suit cried. “I ain’t saying nothing.”
Maury picked up the man’s cellular phone and pressed the redial button. He could hear the phone ring and a man’s voice answered. “Hello.”
“Is that you, Joe?” Maury asked. The phone clicked and went dead.
Maury turned to the corporal. “Throw this man in the Brig along with the two imposters – the phony detective and the dog.”
” The gangster was handcuffed and led from the room, as Kewpie walked in. “Max has filled me in on the imposters. Did the other prisoner talk?” Kewpie asked.
“No,” Maury replied. “After we read him his rights he shut up like a clam. I pressed the redial button on his phone and a familiar voice answered. Guess who?”
“Absolutely. We must make haste to Odnammoc Eoj Isle before the crooks can escape. According to the phony detective, their plan was to show us an uninhabited island three miles away. They were to claim it was Joe’s island.”
“Max has talked with the Captain. We’ll be underway in ten minutes as soon as the soldiers and their equipment are on board. We’re bringing a Humvee, flamethrowers, rocket grenades and ammo. The Royal Navy is flying cover for us with F-16 jets and an Apache helicopter.
” HMS Sunfish English Channel sailing southwest Captain’s Cabin
“How much longer, Captain?” Max asked.
The captain checked his watch. “We’ll be there in twenty minutes, Colonel.”
“Good. I’ll get my assault troops ready for disembarking.” He left the room, leaving Maury and Kewpie with the captain.
“Do you think we’ll catch him, Maury?”
“Kewpie, it’s difficult to say. Joe is a slippery fellow who’s hard to catch like a greased pig. If we’re lucky or he’s careless we’ll corner him. Arresting him is difficult but it’s not impossible. Remember that the difficult is achievable, but the impossible just takes a bit longer.”
Maury motioned Kewpie to follow him as he ambled onto the deck. From the stern they watched the ship tie up at the dock as the gangplank was lowered and the soldiers charged off the ship followed by Max in the passenger seat of the Humvee. F-16 jets streaked overhead above the clouds.
Two Hours Later
Max held his teacup high. “A toast to the Royals,” he proposed, “and a toast to Maury and Kewpie, without whom this crisis would not have been overcome.”
“Hear! Hear!” the captain shouted. “Britain is saved. The potatoes have been located.”
“Aye,” Max said. “As soon as we let the Potato Dog off his leash he dashed through an opening in the rocks covered with fallen limbs. We discovered a secret underground cavern where we found the crates of stolen potatoes.”
The General walked onto the deck and saluted Maury. “I’ve just come from the Prime Minister who has asked me to convey his deepest respects and admiration for your professionalism and perseverance.”
“Maury and Kewpie are like our Northwest Mounted Police…the Mounties who always get their man.” Max added.
Maury grinned. “Our man escaped, this time. Any idea how Joe disappeared?”
“Submarine,” Max said. “The Royal Navy reported sonar soundings of a sub which left the island today, heading southwest toward Ireland.”
“We’ll get him next time!” Kewpie exclaimed. “Bad guys always lose in the end.”
Maury nodded. “Yes,” he muttered. “I’ll arrest Joe if it takes forever.”
Kewpie smiled. “Maury will find Joe,” she said, “even if he has to trail him to the end of the earth.”
“Are you returning with us?” Max asked.
“Kewpie and I would like to stop off at Stonehenge,” Maury added. “The prime minister gave us the morning off. See you later.”
* * *
Kewpie stared in awe at the forty-ton stones and opened her guidebook. “Did you know that Stonehenge is a 4,000 year-old astronomical observatory?”
Maury nodded. “It may be that old, but it would never have lasted another fifty years,” he replied, “had not the British government fenced off the stones in 1978. Tourists were chipping pieces of the rocks for souvenirs.”
“It wouldn’t have taken 750,000 annual tourists long to destroy these rocks. Don’t you think that Max was nice to drop us off on our way back to London,” she sighed. “He’s such a fine gentleman.”
“It’s his job, Kewpie, to keep an eye on us for the OSS as well as coordinate our work with Scotland Yard,” Maury shrugged. “Stonehenge is only fifty miles northeast of Weymouth on the way back to London.” “Where did Max go after he dropped us here?”
“He’s with the Wiltshire police. The Prime Minister arranged this private visit before normal opening hours. The PM told Max that it was the least he could do for us after we saved England from collapse by locating the ransomed potatoes. By the way, how’d you like Max’s guidebook?”
“It’s great! The guidebook says that the arrangement of the rocks at Stonehenge gave the Iron Age creators early warning of meteor storms,” Kewpie continued. “The most recent meteor storm was in 1908 when a meteor exploded over Siberia with the energy of a hydrogen bomb.”
“The builders of Stonehenge even built underground shelters nearby,” Maury added. “Generations later, people used them for burial chambers. Many believe they initially served as shelters to protect the people from meteors. A meteor striking the earth was more common then than it is now.”
“How do you know so much, Maury?”
He laughed. “I read the guidebook before Max gave it to you.”
“You’re a sneaky mouse,” she purred, with a twinkle in her eye.
Stonehenge Visitor Center
A child on the two-decker bus pointed out the window as he saw the stranger. “That’s a Humvee, Mom. Just like they had in the Gulf War.” He watched as the vehicle came to a screeching stop in the VIP area, and a man in uniform jumped out.
“The soldier’s running through the security barrier toward the rocks,” his mother declared. “He’s sure in a hurry!”
Maury wheeled around when he heard heavy footsteps behind him. In the distance he could see a man in a uniform approaching. “Kewpie!” he cried looking at his watch. “Something important must have happened. Max wasn’t supposed to pick us up until eight.”
Kewpie and Maury were waiting for him at the rope cordons, which protect the stones from tourists during visiting hours. Max was panting heavily when he reached them. “Come with me, please,” he gasped. “The Prime Minister needs to talk with you immediately.”
“Is it about Commando Joe?” Maury questioned.
Max breathed deeply until his breathing normalized. “We don’t know for sure, if it’s that chap or another. You solved one crisis and another one rears its ugly head. Looks like your vacation is cut short again.”
Kewpie could hardly contain her curiosity. “What’s happened, Max?” she asked. “What’s the crisis?”
“It’s about the Books!” Maury scratched his whiskers. “I don’t understand.”
“The Bookies!” he hissed. “Betting is legal in Great Britain.” He motioned them to follow as he headed back to the parking lot at the Visitor’s Center. “I’ll tell you about it on the way to London. Stonehenge officially opens in thirty minutes. Let’s hurry and beat the traffic.” All three ran to the Humvee and piled in.
Humvee Speeding Northeast on the Highway to London
“The English and Irish are similar in only two ways,” Max explained as he weaved through the morning traffic. “They have the same two ingredients in their blood: horses and gambling. You add them together and you get horse racing. That’s where the crisis has arisen.”
“It sounds interesting,” Maury said. “Is this about fixed races?”
“Very perceptive, Old Chap. You may have hit the nail right on the head. Nags, which never won a race in their lives, are suddenly showing up at English and Irish tracks at a hundred-to-one odds, and are winning most races. An avalanche of last-minute bets have been placed with bookies on these horses. Bookies lost ten million pounds at the Royal Shakespeare Steeplechase in Stratford-upon-Avon last weekend. Fifty million pounds have been lost by bookies this year.
” “I recall a similar situation in the United States,” Maury interrupted. “It was one of the cases I studied at the FBI Academy.
“We’ll be in London before noon,” Max said, handing a cellular phone to Maury. “This phone gives you a direct hookup to Scotland Yard.” Maury clicked the PWR and SEND buttons in sequence and a voice answered, “Scotland Yard. Where may I direct your call?” Maury spoke for several minutes. Then he clicked and held down the PWR button to end the call. He was deep in thought for the next two hours as Kewpie and Max chatted. London Max stared at the congested traffic ahead. “We’re on the outskirts of London. Shall I take you to your flat?”
Maury looked at Kewpie. “ I’ll be going directly to Scotland Yard. Want to come along, or would you prefer to go back to the bed-and-breakfast and freshen up?”
“I’ll come with you.” “Just drop Kewpie and me at Scotland Yard, Max.” “Be glad to.” He turned the wheel to the right, changed lanes and a few minutes later stopped at the curb. “Here we are, chaps,” Max said smiling. He ran around the Humvee to open Kewpie’s door, but he was too late. Maury had already done it and was helping Kewpie onto the sidewalk. “Cheerio, chaps,” he said. “I’ll pick you both up for supper at seven.” He winked at Kewpie, jumped back into the Humvee, sped around the corner and disappeared.
Book 1, Chapter 21
CHAPTER 21-- STONEHENGE DERBY Scotland Yard Office of Chief Inspector Sherlock Mouse, London
“Capital idea to have Kewpie work undercover at the Derby!” Sherlock exclaimed.
Maury the mouse grinned. “I thought of it on the ride from Stonehenge. Like
Homer’s Trojan Horse gained entry to Troy in The Illiad, and 9/11 terrorists used student visas to enter the U.S.A., she’ll gain entry to the innermost secrets of the racetrack. That’s why I phoned you this morning. Kewpie was delighted with the plan.”
“She’s changing into her outfit in the next office. I hope it fits.”
“Kewpie’s a genius with a needle and thread. She’ll make it fit.”
“We already have our people working undercover at the racetrack,” Sherlock said. “She’ll be well-protected.”
“Kewpie will be all right,” Maury added. “After all, I’ll be there too. Have you discovered any irregularities at the track?”
Professor Moriarty Bed & Breakfast Westminster, London 7 P. M.
He walked stiffly to the door, checked his watch and knocked. “It’s seven,” he muttered. “Right on time.”
The door opened and Maury peered out. “Come in Max,” he said, sweeping his arm toward the sofa. “Have a seat. Kewpie’ll be out in a minute.”
Max adjusted his tie, and looked disapprovingly at Maury’s jeans and cowboy shirt. These Yanks must all be casual dressers, he thought. Only the Brits know proper dress.“What type of food would you like, tonight, Maury?” he asked.
“Chinese,” a voice purred behind him. Max turned and stared wide-eyed in disbelief. “Is that you, Kewpie?” he whispered.
“Yes.” “You look just like a jockey,” he laughed. “Are we going to a masquerade?”
“That’s not funny, Max Kelada!” Kewpie hissed. “Not funny at all!”
Max’s face flushed red. He stared down at his toes like a youngster caught with his hand in the cookie jar. “I didn’t mean to laugh, Kewpie,” he stammered. “I just never expected to see you dressed like that; boots, riding cap and racing silks”
Kewpie’s eyes flash with anger.
This is a good sign, Maury thought, as Max continued to blush and mumble like a grammar school child at the blackboard.
For the first time, Maury felt jealous of anyone else sharing Kewpie’s life. He broke the awkward silence, “Okay, Max and Kewpie, Chinese it will be. Let’s get some egg rolls and Won Ton!”
Maury led the way, followed by Kewpie and Max as they walked down the stairs to the street and strolled toward The China Restaurant.
The China Restaurant
A waiter with a pigtail met them at the door, and bowed. “Come with me, please,” he said, waving toward the rear of the restaurant.
Maury pointed to a table with a red-checkered tablecloth in the corner. “We’d like to sit there.”
The waiter nodded, placed three menus on the table, gathered up the fourth place setting and disappeared into the kitchen.
Maury held the chair for Kewpie and sat beside her. He stared at Max who was seated across the table.
Max spoke apologetically. “I’m truly sorry to have offended you, Kewpie. It must have been the shock of seeing you dressed as a jockey that made me laugh.”
“You’re forgiven,” she said. “Maury, you were right. If my disguise could fool Max, it should fool the crooks at the racetrack.”
“Are you a Better, or Punteras they’re called in Britain?” Maury asked.
“I place a pound or two on a nagonce in a while,” Max replied. “I’m told that the bookies are worried about taking bets on the Stonehenge Derby, this weekend.”
“True,” Kewpie answered, adjusting her rider’s breeches, which stretched down to her boots. “The chief inspector said you’d also be investigating.”
“Yes, I suppose so. I meet with him, tomorrow, and he’ll outline my role.” He stopped talking when the waiter brought the hot tea and took their order.
When the waiter returned to the kitchen Max turned to Kewpie. “How long have you had an interest in horses?” he questioned.
“As a young girl growing up in Wyoming, I read books about horses… ‘My Friend Flicka,’ ‘Thunderhead’,’ Green Grass of Wyoming’and ‘National Velvet.’My horse was an Arabian with a sleek coat, straight back, arching neck and long, slender legs; a racehorse named Cochise.”
Before Kewpie came to Hawaii,” Maury interrupted, “she made a name for herself in Wyoming. She was the state barrel-racing champion, a horse trainer and raced as an apprentice jockey.”
“Interesting,” Max said. “Did you win any races, Kewpie?”
Kewpie shook her head. “I came close,” she said, “but I was often beaten by a nose, a time or two. In most races I finished in the money. Out of a pack of about ten horses, I’d generally guide Cochise to a second-or-third-place finish. Maybe if Cochise had a bigger nose I’d have won a few races!”
The waiter placed the steaming dishes on the table, turned and left the room. He walked into an office behind the kitchen, shut the door and bolted it. He picked up the receiver on a red telephone and dialed.
“Yeah?” a voice answered.
“This is Chang, calling,” he said. “Maury the mouse is here with a jockey and another chap.”
“Did you listen in to what they’re saying?” “I couldn’t hear very much, but I did overhear them discussing a horse named Cochise.”
“Good work, Chang. Follow them when they leave and report back.”
London’s East End
Commando Joe smiled as he replaced the cellular phone in his pocket. That Mouse will never get the best of me, he thought. Joe pressed a button in a drawer and shouted into a speaker on his desk, “Get the limousine ready. We’re going to the racetrack!
” Outside The China Restaurant Westminster, London
“Don’t look back,” Maury whispered. “We’re being followed.”
Kewpie reached into her purse and grabbed her racing goggles. She adjusted them over her eyes. “Maury, it’s the waiter from The China Restaurant.”
“How can you tell?” Max asked. “Do you have eyes in the back of your head?”
Maury laughed. “Kewpie uses a gadget that bicyclists use to see behind them,” he said. “It’s a small rearview mirror which attaches to the left side of your goggles.”
“You Yanks have the newest technology.”
“It’s a new use for old technology, Max,” Kewpie added. “Let’s walk toward the theatre district. We can lose this bozo in the crowd.”
Professor Moriarty Bed & Breakfast Westminster, London
Kewpie opened her door and turned to Maury and Max. “See you fellows in the morning.”
Max waved as he walked down the stairs.
Maury hugged Kewpie. “You’ll do a great job tomorrow, Kewpie.”
She turned toward Maury as she entered her flat. “I’ll be ready. See you in the morning.”
Maury nodded. “Sleep tight! We’ll drive to the racetrack at nine.”
The Next Day
A Black Mercedes Driving Southwest on the highway toward Stonehenge
“I’m nervous, Maury,” Kewpie admitted.
“Your horse may be nervous, too,” Maury replied. “He arrived in Great Britain, last night, by airplane. Scotland Yard expedited him through customs.”
“He’s faster than his mother was,” Kewpie said with a smile. “Cochise was a gentle breeze, but Son of Cochise runs like the wind.”
“He has his mother’s genes,” Maury said. “Who was his father?”
“Strike The Gold.”
“Wow! Didn’t he win the Kentucky Derby?”
“In 1991,” Kewpie said with a grin. “And if I have anything to say about it as his trainer, Cochise’s son will win the Stonehenge Derby this weekend.”
“In addition to being the trainer, you’ll be our back-up jockey, Kewpie. Wearing a blonde wig, no one will recognize you.”
“Your Groucho disguise fools the crooks, too, Maury. They’d never think that behind the false mustache, big nose and glasses is the world’s most famous detective.
“If disguises were useful for Sherlock Holmes in solving cases, they’ll be useful for Maury the mouse and Kewpie.”
“You bet they will,” she said as she stared at a distant sign. “The racetrack is straight ahead.”
Stonehenge Racetrack Wiltshire, 75 miles Southwest of London
Maury stopped the Mercedes in front of Barn 5 and Kewpie jumped out. “I’ll park and meet you inside.”
“Meet me by my horse.”
Kewpie took an apple from her pocket and walked into the barn. A security guard approached her. “May I see your identification?”
She held out the I.D. which Scotland Yard had given her.
“Hmm,” he grunted. “You’re Liz Tudor, the trainer and back-up jockey.” Another guard appeared out of the shadows. It was the Chief Inspector.
Kewpie walked to stall 2 and whispered, “Hi there, fella. How was the flight to London?” The stallion took another bite of hay and turned to look at her. She sounds familiar, the horse thought, but I don’t recognize her. He ignored Kewpie and resumed eating the hay and grain.
She stared at the stallion for a few minutes. “I remember you when you were a newborn foal in the spring over three years ago,” she whispered. “Í knew your Mother, Cochise. We rode in many races together. I was the lady who named you Son of Cochise.”
The horse stopped eating and walked to Kewpie. She held out the apple to him and he took a bite, then another and another. She stroked his muscular neck as Maury appeared behind her. “Son of Cochise, meet my friend and partner, Maury the mouse,” she said. “And Maury, meet the next winner of the Stonehenge Derby, Son of Cochise.”
Maury checked his racing form. “This stallion weighs a thousand pounds and is about nine-feet long from the tip of his nose to the tail,” he muttered. “His pre-race odds are ten-to-one. This form says he’s sixteen-hands tall. How big is that, Kewpie?”
“Five and one-third feet from the ground to the highest point of his back.”
“Are you going to take him out on the track for a training gallop today?”
“No, Maury. He needs rest after the long flight from America. I’ll spend the night here with him. I’m a horse whisperer, you know. I’ll ask him to find out from the other horses what they know about the hundred-to-one long-shots winning many of the English races this season,”
“That’s a wonderful idea. I’ll wander around the track and see what information I can pick up. Goodbye, Kewpie, see you in the morning.”
“Have a productive day.” She watched him walk past the guard and out of the barn. She entered the stall and put her cheek on the stallion’s neck and began whispering, “I was a friend of your Mother’s…”
At the far end of the barn Chief Inspector Sherlock Mouse turned to the other guard, an undercover Scotland Yard detective. “Marlowe,” he said, “if I didn’t know better I’d say that horse is talking to Kewpie.”
“It sure looks that way to me, too. And, Chief Inspector, I ain’t even had a drink yet today.” Marlowe laughed and returned to his seat beside the barn door.
Chief Inspector Sherlock Mouse inched forward, keeping in the shadows. He could make out a word or two when he was twenty feet away, but as he drew closer he could understand every word the horse was saying.
Book 1, Chapter 22
CHAPTER 22-- THE RINGER Underground Shelter, Wiltshire, near Stonehenge 8 A. M.
“He can fly, Boss,” the jockey hissed, the next day. “The race is in the bag!”
Commando Joe scowled. “Look, Butch. I graduated from the school of hard knocks - studied Al Capone’s management style which says there’s no such thing as a sure thing.”
“This is his eighth race in England and Ireland. He won the first seven. We’re gettin’ rich.”
“After the Stonehenge Derby we’ll skip the country,” Joe said. “The bookies should be broke by then. We’ll return when they have dough again.”
“The fix is in. It’ll be a piece of cake when I ride Eclipse on Saturday.”
“Butch, I’ve told you never to use our horse’s real name! He’s running as Socrates!”
He slouched into a chair by the horse. “Sorry, Boss.”
Joe pointed his finger at Socrates. “Is the makeover finished?”
Butch jumped up, grabbed a brush and a can of white paint. “Almost,” he said. “The black paint’s dry…just have to touch up his forehead with a dab of white.”
“A crafty smile lifted a corner of Joe’s mouth. “Let me check him before you go to the track. Everything’s got to be perfect.”
Stonehenge Racetrack Wiltshire, 75 miles southwest of London 9: 30 A. M.
A pickup truck towed a horse trailer to the main gate and stopped. The driver removed papers from the glove compartment and handed them to the gate attendant.
The attendant nodded and returned the papers. “Go to Barn 5. Socrates will be in stall 9.” Pointing to the right, he said, “See that red building? Barn 5 is behind it.”
Marlowe heard the noise and peered out the door at the horse trailer.
“They’re bringing in another ‘orse.”
Chief Inspector Sherlock Mouse walked outside with his clipboard. “Nice horse, you have.”
“His name is Socrates,” the driver said. “At the gate they told me he’ll be in stall nine. These are his papers.”
Sherlock glanced through them. “Follow me,” he said as he walked into the barn.
“Lead the way.
” Red Building
Maury the mouse stared out the window at the black Arabian stallion being led into Barn 5.
“Hey, you with the shovel,” a voice yelled. “Get back to work. When we finish here we move to Barn 5.
” Maury walked to the pile of manure and resumed shoveling. Kewpie dismounted, that evening, and led Son of Cochise from the track. She walked by Max Kelada, wearing the track official’s uniform of a blue blazer and white slacks. He smiled and said, “Nice workout, Miss. Your horse looks ready.”
Kewpie nodded and kept moving. She turned to Son of Cochise. “You look thirsty after your workout,” she cooed. She led the horse to Barn 5, and shut the gate to stall 2 behind him.
“Have a great supper. See you in the morning. Ta Ta.” She stroked his mane and walked out of the barn to the Stonehenge Jockey Clubhouse.
Maury was sitting at a table in the far corner. Kewpie stopped when she was ten feet away and held her nose. “Whew, Maury,” she stammered. “You smell like a stable.”
Maury stretched his sore shoulder muscles and grinned. “The Chief Inspector’s a genius about assigning undercover agents. Who would suspect a man with a shovel? I’ve already talked to the other workers, jockeys and some of the officials. Did you know that Max is working undercover as a track official?”
“Yes. I saw him today. Have you found anything suspicious at the track?”
“I can’t put my finger on it. Something just isn’t right.”
“What’s right,” Kewpie said, “is that Son of Cochise had a terrific workout this afternoon. I put him in his stall a few minutes ago. I’ll check in the morning to see what he’s learned from the other horses.”
“He should learn plenty,” Maury added. “Horses have a reputation of being real blabbermouths.”
“What’s the name of the jockey scheduled to ride my horse?”
“England’s Jockey Club suggested Swifty Shakespeare.”
“He’s a terrible jockey. The reason his nickname is Swifty is that he’s finished last in every race. He’s a joke with the other jockeys.”
Maury paused. “He was the only jockey available in England.”
“He’s so bad!” Kewpie exclaimed, “that no one else wanted him. That’s why Swifty was available!”
“What do you suggest?”
Kewpie stuck out her hand. “Shake hands with the new jockey. I have a vision of guiding Son of Cochise to victory on Saturday.”
Maury paused for a moment. “Okay. You’ll ride the horse in The Derby.” We won’t announce the change of jockeys until the day of the race. “If the crooks have paid Swifty Shakespeare to hold back his horse, it’ll be too late for them to do something about it.”
“Great thinking, Maury.
Kewpie opened the gate to stall 2, the next morning, and stepped inside. Maury leaned on his shovel, nearby. She put her lips to Son of Cochise’s ear and began whispering.
Maury could hear Kewpie saying, “You say his business slogan is ‘We Stand Behind Every Horse We Sell.’ It’s fantastic that the British would allow such things to happen.” Son of Cochise felt someone staring at him. He raised his head, saw Maury standing a few feet away and winked. Then, the horse lowered his head and continued speaking with Kewpie.
Stonehenge Racetrack, Barn 5 Wiltshire, England
Thunder exploded in the northeast, a day later. Horses whinnied and shifted nervously in their stalls. Kewpie stroked Son of Cochise. “Be calm, fella,” she cooed. “We’ll have a training run today, rain or shine.
” She pointed to a brass weather gauge near the barn entrance.” “Maury,” she whispered, “would you please check the weather?” He nodded and walked toward the gauge. The needle on the barometer showed 29.75 inches of mercury. Maury tapped its glass covering. The needle dropped quickly to 28.75. He walked back to stall 2. “Kewpie,” he said, “it’ll definitely rain today.”
* * *
As he worked, that morning, Maury thought about what Kewpie would tell him at lunch. He made mental notes on each of the other nine horses in Barn 5, especially an Arabian named Socrates who was running at 100-1 odds.
Kewpie waved as Maury strolled into the Stonehenge Jockey Club for lunch. “I ordered two chicken salads,” she said. “Is that okay?”
“Sure. That’s fine. He sat down next to her as the waiter brought their salads.” The waiter filled their water glasses and turned to Kewpie
. “Miss, are you one of the jockeys?”
“No. I’m the trainer for Son of Cochise.” “May I have your autograph, please? I save autographs.” Kewpie took a paper napkin and wrote ‘Liz Tudor.’ She handed it to the waiter.
“Thanks, Miss. Good luck with your horse on Saturday.” He took the napkin, tucked it into his pocket and returned to the kitchen. He stepped out the back door, entered a public telephone booth and dialed a number.
“Yeah!”a voice growled. “Boss, the trainer for Son of Cochise is here for lunch. Her name is Liz Tudor. She’s having lunch with one of the stable boys.”
“What’d she order?
” “Chicken salad.”
“Hmm, that’s a jockey’s lunch. Keep reporting to me whenever something happens.
” “Yes, Boss.” The waiter hung up and marched back into the kitchen. He watched Kewpie and Maury through the glass window in the kitchen door until they walked out together an hour later.
Max Kelada leaned on the rail at 3 P.M., as the horses thundered by on their training runs. Mud splattered on his raincoat. Maury tapped him on the shoulder.
“Max, did you read Kewpie’s report?”
Max wiped the rain from his face. “Maury, let’s get out the rain. It’s pouring harder than before.” He walked into the covered grandstand with Maury trailing behind.
“I saw her report,” Max muttered. “It’s only the word of one horse against another. It’d never stand up in a court of law.”
“But Max… it shows us the crook’s modus operandi,” Maury emphasized. “In the States we call it their m.o., or method of operation. They regularly fix races by having jockeys pull the leading horses, so their ringer horse can sneak through to victory. Sometimes the crooks mix a tranquilizer with a competitive horse’s feed or partly-plug his nostrils, the day before the race. This slows the horse.”
“I see,” Max said. “But Kewpie’s report didn’t pinpoint who the ringer was. Do you have an idea which horse it is?” “I don’t know,” Maury replied. “But I’ll look over some records tonight. I’ll review them with Kewpie and give my report to the Chief Inspector, tomorrow morning.” “Is she still on the track with Son of Cochise?”
“Kewpie’s just finishing her training run. She’ll take the horse back to its stall and give him a rubdown. “ Maury, how does the 2.4 kilometer distance of the Stonehenge Derby compare to your Belmont Stakes?”
“They’re both 1-1/2 miles. That’s one-quarter mile longer than the Kentucky Derby.”
“Can Son of Cochise handle that distance?”
“Join us for supper tonight. You can ask Kewpie, yourself.”
“I’ll be there after I check with the track bookies.” Max smiled as he walked out into the rain.
Maury replaced his rain hat and strolled toward Barn 5.
Barn 5 7 P.M.
“Remember, Marlowe,” Sherlock Mouse said, “Son of Cochise eats grain and drinks water supplied by only Scotland Yard. The bloke who sells grain to the track has a motto ‘We Stand Behind Every Horse We Sell’. I wouldn’t trust anyone with a motto like that.Would you?”
“No. I wouldn’t trust a bloke who says that… Afraid of them druging the ‘orse, Chief Inspector?”
“Aye, these crooks are tricky. Maury advised we not use feed supplied by the track. It’s less than two days to the race. We can’t take chances.”
“I’ll watch Son of Cochise like he was The British Crown Jewels,” Marlowe promised.
* * *
After dinner, Maury left Max and Kewpie together. He returned to Barn 5 and reviewed the daily records of each horse. He smiled as he closed the record book, waved to Marlowe and opened the barn door
. “See you, tomorrow,” Maury said. The door clicked shut behind him as he stepped outside
, . * * *
Maury finished writing his report by candlelight. He lay in his cot expecting to take a short nap. The next thing he knew a rooster crowed. Maury sat up, shook his head and glanced at his watch. “Golly,” he muttered, “it’s Friday morning. I must get this report to Scotland Yard without delay… the fate of British horse racing hangs in the balance.” He placed the report in a manila folder, and held it tight against his side as he rushed to Barn 5. He knew that Kewpie and his uncle, Chief Inspector Sherlock Mouse would be there.
Book 1, Chapter 23
CHAPTER 23-- THE JACKAL
Underground Shelter Wiltshire, near Stonehenge Friday 8 A.M.
Butch paced across the room like a caged weasel. “Tomorrow is the big payoff, Boss,” he said. “I’ll take Socrates for a training run this morning. You want me back here?”
Commando Joe grinned. “No. Talk to the other jockeys and make sure they know what to do tomorrow. Give each jockey an envelope filled with pound notes. Tell them there’s a thousand more for each of them after Socrates wins the Derby.”
Butch took the nine envelopes. “Righto, Boss. I’ll call you at noon.”
Joe nodded. When Butch had gone he picked up his telephone and dialed. A deep voice answered, “Hello.”
“Is this the Jackal?” Joe asked. “Commando Joe’s calling.”
“Yeah, it’s me.”
“Do you still have your dart gun?”
“Yep,” the Jackal replied.
“I have a job for you tomorrow.”
Stonehenge Racetrack Barn 5 9 A. M.
Maury leaned against stall 2 as Chief Inspector Sherlock Mouse and Kewpie crowded around him.
“Maury the mouse, you’re a smart bloke!” Sherlock exclaimed. “Our chemist tested the grain.
Tranquilizers showed up in the grain of all the horses except one.”
“Which horse?” Kewpie asked.
“It was Socrates, with 100-1 odds wasn’t it?” Maury interrupted.
“Definitely,” Sherlock answered. “It looks like Socrates is the ringer horse. I’ve sent Marlowe and Max to interrogate the jockeys.”
“Max tells me that bookies are nervous about this race,” Maury said. “Another long-shot winning a race could bankrupt them.”
“That’s what we’ll try to prevent,” Kewpie added. She turned to Maury. “When will you announce me as the jockey on Son of Cochise?”
“Just before the race starts. We don’t want to give the crooks advance warning.”
Kewpie grasped the reins, opened stall 2 and led Son of Cochise toward the track. “My horse will rest after Swifty Shakespeare takes him on a slow training run,” she said. She climbed on a box, mounted the horse and trotted off.
Maury shielded his eyes from the sun as he stared after Kewpie. “Beautiful day for a ride, isn’t it?”
“Aye,” Sherlock said. “It’ll be a sunny day, tomorrow for the race. I’ve already talked with the weatherman at the track.”
“Uncle Sherlock, I have a request to make,” Maury said as he scanned the horizon. He fixed his gaze on a telephone company truck parked nearby. “Go ahead.”
“Each day we’ve been here, that telephone company truck has been parked by the track.” Maury pointed to the north. “Would you check out the license plate to see if it’s legitimate? Keep an eye on that worker climbing a telephone pole by the truck. Marlowe could interrogate him when he returns to his truck.”
Sherlock looked up. The man on the telephone pole adjusted his safety belt, took out his binoculars, and trained them on the track where Son of Cochise stood. “What do you know,” Sherlock muttered. “The bloke could be a spy!”
He turned to Marlowe who had been listening. “Check out that truck’s license plate and then grab that bloke when he leaves his perch on the pole. Keep an eye on him.”
Marlowe nodded, pulled out his cellular phone and dialed. A voice answered, “Scotland Yard.”
Track 11:30 A.M.
“Stop that!” Kewpie screamed as she ran out on the track. “I told you only to let him stretch his muscles in a half-speed workout.”
Swifty Shakespeare slowed Son of Cochise and approached. “Sorry Miss,” he said grinning. “I thought interval training would speed him up.”
Kewpie jaw muscles tightened. “Swifty! Any jockey should know that speed work isn’t a good idea the day before a race! It tires a horse! Anyone with brains knows you stop interval training the week of the race!”
Swifty blinked. ”I forgot.” He dismounted by the rail, handed the reins to Kewpie and marched to the Jockey’s Clubhouse. Swifty made a beeline for the nearest telephone and dialed a number written on his cuff. He whispered into the receiver, “I ran the legs off the ‘orse, this morning, Boss. Son of Cochise’ll be dead-tired tomorrow.
“Good…Did you get an envelope from Butch?” “Aye.” “Play it my way and there’s a thousand more for you.” “This race is in the bag.
” Barn 5 11: 45 A. M.
Maury and the Chief Inspector stood outside the barn door. Kewpie led Son of Cochise past them into stall 2. She began brushing his reddish coat.
“He’s frothing at the mouth and perspiring,” Maury said. “He must have had a good workout.”
Kewpie counted to ten before replying. “That idiot jockey tried to sabotage my horse…running him at top speed! I won’t let him touch this horse again!”
“We’ll give instructions to keep him away,” Sherlock added. “No one but trainers will have access to Barn 5 from now on.
” Stonehenge Racetrack
The Jackal drove the electric company truck to the main gate at 5 P.M.. A guard walked to the car, The driver smiled and gave him a sheet of paper. “You’re here for the track loudspeaker system?” he questioned, glancing at the work order.
“Yeah.” “Didn’t know it was broke.”
“It’s not broken.Just checking that it’ll work perfectly, tomorrow at the Derby.”
“Okay,” the guard said, pointing toward the track, “park next to that telephone truck in the north lot.”
“Sure.” The guard stared after the truck as dust flew from its tires in the light breeze.
The Jackal firmly grasped a violin case as he locked the electric company truck and walked into the grandstand./ . It was deserted. He opened a door at the top of the staircase and stepped onto the roof. He crept to the edge overlooking the track like a panther stalking its prey. Stretched flat on the roof he opened the violin case. A blind man couldn’t miss from this distance. This job’ll be a piece of cake. He flexed his trigger finger and waited.
Underground Shelter Wiltshire, near Stonehenge Saturday, 7 A.M.
“Coppers outside, Boss!” Butch shouted, panting for breath. His chest heaved like an out-of-shape sprinter at the finish line. “I was on guard duty by the road. Two cars of Coppers are comin’!”
Commando Joe jumped up, smoothed his silk suit and grabbed Butch by the collar. “Run out the back way,” he ordered. “I’ll meet you at the track. Get Socrates ready. Now git!”
Joe watched Butch disappear through the secret door before he removed a painting on the wall, revealing a combination safe. The dials whirled like a hummingbird’s wings and the safe swung open. He threw the papers and thousand pound notes into a suitcase, slammed the safe shut and replaced the painting. Grabbing his silver cane in one hand, and the suitcase in the other he slammed the secret door behind him.
Tires screeched as Maury the mouse jumped from the passenger seat of the first police car. Three detectives in another car pulled up behind him. “Follow me!” Maury shouted as he sped into the underground shelter.
Stonehenge Racetrack Barn 5 8 A.M.
“That telephone company bloke spilled the beans,” Chief Inspector Sherlock Mouse said, grinning. “He’ll testify for the Crown against these criminals. Maury’s at the crook’s headquarters now, arresting the race fixers.”
Kewpie continued brushing Son of Cochise. “Commando Joe’s a slippery snake. Maury’s been trying to catch him for months.”
Rrrnnnggg. Sherlock picked up his cellular phone. “Hello,” he said. “Bad luck, Maury. See you in an hour.”
“They missed bagging Joe,” Sherlock explained. “The crooks cleared out of their hideout in a hurry. Maury’s looking over papers and weapons they left behind.”
“Chief Inspector, we towed off the bogus telephone truck this morning,”
Marlowe interrupted. “What’ll we do with the stolen electric company truck parked next to it?” “We’re checking fingerprints from both trucks at Scotland Yard. We’ll tow them away before the race starts. A guy with a violin case drove the second truck here last night, and disappeared.”
“The veterinarian should arrive shortly,” Kewpie added. “He’ll take the horses’ temperatures and check their hearts. Later, he’ll give each horse a visual check as it approaches the starting gate.”
Sherlock nodded. “Marlowe, when the vet comes, check his I.D. Then stick with him like glue until he’s finished. We don’t want any monkey business going on before The Derby. Make sure he checks for tiny sponges. It’s a crook’s favorite way to slow a horse. Don’t want any sponges in the nostrils restricting air flow, do we?”
“Aye, Chief Inspector.” At the far end of the barn a door opened and a tall man walked in ca
rrying a small black bag. Marlowe dashed up to him, and flashed his badge.
The sun blinded him as he rolled over, stretched and yawned. “Another day, another dollar,” the Jackal muttered, glancing at his watch. He stared toward the main parking lot, which was beginning to fill with cars. They’ll straggle in here for the next couple of hours.. With 100,000 spectators, I’ll lose myself in the crowd after the job.
Barn 5 10:30 A.M.
Kewpie adjusted her boots as Maury and Max Kelada walked in. “Hi fellas! What’s the news?”
“I’ve given my report to Scotland Yard,” Maury replied. “The Chief Inspector is checking out a few more facts. He’s assigned Max to work with me today. We’ve got to find the crook who drove the stolen electric company truck here yesterday.”
“He’s up to no good,” Max said. “Any crook on the loose is dangerous… especially the day of The Derby.”
Maury kissed Kewpie. “How’s my girl?” he asked.
Kewpie beamed. “I wondered when you’d do that. I’m fine.”
Max sighed. “I guess the best man won this time. Second best isn’t bad in any race.”
“To guarantee that Son of Cochise has a chance at first place,” Maury said, “I’ll be looking around the grandstand for the crook who arrived in the electric company truck. Max will look for him, too. We’ll keep in touch by cellular phone with the Chief Inspector and Marlowe, who are both working with track security personnel to keep order.”
Kewpie watched Maury dip a sponge into a water barrel and walk to stall 9. He ran the wet sponge over Socrates’s left leg
. “I knew I was right,” Maury muttered as he approached Kewpie and Max. He held out the sponge to them. “What do you see?” he asked.
“Nothing but a dirty sponge,” Max grumbled. .
“That’s not dirt,” Kewpie interrupted. “Is it black paint?”
Maury smiled and nodded. He took a racing program from his pocket. “Kewpie, did you read about Son of Cochise?”
“No. What’d the program say about him?”
“ Number 2 in the starting gate has big feet, wide chest and light weight which makes him a competitive distance horse racing either in mud or on turf.”
“Turf. What’s that?” Maury inquired.
“It’s the same as grass,” Kewpie answered. “Most British races have turf tracks. In America the races are usually held on oval dirt tracks.”
A voice blared over the loudspeaker: “One hour to post time. All horses proceed to the saddling area.” Maury unfolded Scotland Yard’s custom-made saddleblanket. “Max, bring the saddle. We’ll get the horse ready outside where the betters can look hiover. Then, we get back to work.” He whispered to Max, “Kewpie will make her move to take over the lead in the backstretch, about halfway through the race.”
Lying flat on the roof the Jackal traced the oval track with his binoculars. He stopped when his gaze reached the middle of the backstretch on the far side of the track away from the grandstand.I’ll aim for the numbers.. It’s a sucker shot. He pulled a hat over his eyes to shield the sun, loaded a tranquilizer dart in his rifle and waited.
Book 1, Chapter 24
CHAPTER 24-- MAURY DEPARTS
Stonehenge Racetrack Outside Barn 5 Saturday 11 A. M.
Maury nudged Max. “Doesn’t Kewpie look majestic when she’s seated on her horse?”
It was as if he was a spectator watching a slow-motion movie. For the first time, Maury saw Kewpie as more than just a fellow crime-fighter.
“You’re a lucky bloke,” Max replied. “She’s a fine lass. Just the type of girl you bring home to mother.”
“I’m finally realizing that.” Maury checked his watch. “Kewpie won’t be called to the starting gate for thirty minutes. Has the Scotland Yard truck arrived?”
“Aye. They’re examining the electric company vehicle in the north parking lot.”
North Parking Lot
Maury stuck his head in the back of the truck and came face-to-face with Talleyho. Maury jumped back in a karate stance.
Max laughed. “Maury,” he said, “karate isn’t much good against a dog. Meet Scotland Yard’s best detective, Talleyho. He always gets his man. Talleyho, this is America’s top detective, Maury the mouse.”
Max handed the dog’s leash to Maury. “He’s the best bloodhound in England. There’s not a scent that Talleyho can’t pick up. He’ll lead you to whoever drove this truck to the track. I’ll keep an eye on Kewpie while she and Son of Cochise make their way to the starting gate.”
The bloodhound licked Maury’s face. Talleyho sniffed the ground as he pulled Maury after him.
Grandstand Inflamed eyes sparkling and loose jowls bouncing with each step, Talleyho cut through the crowd into the grandstand. He bounded up the steps with Maury close behind. The bloodhound sniffed the door to the roof and stopped. Maury took his cellular phone and punched a button. “Max, the bloodhound’s pinpointed the crook from the electric company truck. He’s on the grandstand roof and the door to the roof is locked. I’ll pick the lock. After that I’ll be on the roof. Send someone to back me up.”
“Message received,” Max replied. “I’m at the starting gate with Kewpie. I’ll be your backup. Be right there.”
Trumpets blared, followed by a cheer from the crowd. “They’re off!” the announcer screamed into the loudspeaker. “British Sterling, number 5 has taken the lead, followed by Socrates, number 9 and Son of Cochise, number 2.”
Maury slowly opened the door and stepped onto the roof. Crouching low, to make less of a target, he saw a man lying flat on the edge of the roof, ten feet away.
“They’re coming into the backstretch with Son of Cochise taking the lead from British Sterling. On the outside Socrates is closing fast,” the voice echoed on the loudspeaker.
The Jackal raised his rifle and fired as Maury leaped through the air. The Jackal felt the impact. He dropped the rifle on the hot metal roof. Momentarily stunned, he staggered to his feet to defend himself.
Maury crouched in a karate stance as he moved between the Jackal and the rifle.
“You came too late, whoever you are,” the Jackal grunted. “My job is done. Now I’m going to do a job on you!”
He shuffled toward Maury and threw a haymaker punch at his head, as Max Kelada burst through the door onto the roof. Maury ducked under the punch and threw a short uppercut. It caught the Jackal perfectly on the point of his chin. He collapsed at Maury’s feet.
“Arrest this man!” Maury ordered. “Handcuff him, Max! What happened in the race?”
“A photo finish,” Max replied, as he slipped a pair of handcuffs on the Jackal. “Socrates and Son of Cochise crossed the line together. With fifty meters to go Son of Cochise tired, allowing Socrates to catch him at the finish line.” “Maury nodded. “It was yesterday’s interval training that wore out Kewpie’s horse.
This crook got off a shot before I could stop him. I’m going down on the track to assist Kewpie. Watch this guy when he comes to. I’ll take Talleyho with me.”
“Righto. Be careful, Maury.
This chap may have associates in the crowd.”
Kewpie dismounted and walked Son of Cochise toward the grandstand.
“You’re a brave horse who ran a courageous race,” she cooed. “Let’s cool down by walking until the judges decide who won this race.” She removed a tranquilizer dart embedded in the Kevlar saddlecloth. Turning to the Chief Inspector she handed the dart to him. “Evidence,” she said.
Butch steered Socrates to the center of the Winner’s Circle, and sneered at Kewpie. Women is nothin’ but trouble, . In the distance he stared at Maury running toward him with a dog on a leash.
“Great race. Kewpie!” Maury yelled as he ran past. Kewpie blew him a kiss and watched him run toward the judges who were viewing the finish line videotape.
“This is the third vote we’ve taken,” the chief judge said. Three out of the five judges believe that Socrates is the….”
“Stop!” Maury cried as he ran between the judges and the video camera.
“Who are you?” a judge asked.
“I am the man who’s here to prevent a terrible injustice from occurring.
Socrates is that famous American horse, Eclipse, in disguise!”
From a corner of his eye Maury saw a man in the crowd point a silver cane at him. A bullet whizzed by Maury’s nose and smashed into the video camera.
“After that man with the cane!” Maury cried, handing Talleyho’s leash to Marlowe, who rushed into the crowd after the shooter.
Maury walked back to the chief judge and said, “Bring me a cup of paint remover and I’ll show you an imposter.
* * *
“Joe escaped,” Maury said. “Tallyho tracked him to the main gate where his trail disappeared.”
“The judges are indebted to you and Kewpie,” Sherlock said. “They almost declared the ringer horse the winner. Once you ran paint remover down Socrates’ side you showed him to be Eclipse… Now that you’ve saved racing in England, what are Kewpie’s and your plans for the future, Maury?”
“Marriage, if she’ll have me.”
“Yes,” Kewpie beamed. “Oh, yes…yes!”
London’s East End
He stormed down the hall, three days later, and stopped before the full-length mirror. Pointing at the figure in the mirror, he muttered, “I’ll get even with that Mouse if it’s the last thing I do. Maury the mouse hasn’t heard the last from Commando Joe.”
Butch squinted. “Whatchasay, boss? Were you speakin’ to me?”
“No! I was talking out loud. I’ve got a job for you…surveillance work. Can you do it?”
“Yeah, Boss. I’ll disguise myself as a monk. I got along brown robe with a hood at a second-hand shop. Not even the coppers’ll know its me. I shaved my head after the Stonehenge Derby.”
Joe clenched his teeth and grimaced. “Don’t mention the Derby to me! We lost a bundleon it!” He moved his hands an inch apart. “If I had been this far to the right when I fired, that mouse would be strumming a harp in the sky.”
“It was a tough shot. Your cane gun always pulls to the left.”
“Yeah, but one of the spectators bumped my arm when I fired.”
Whatcha want me to do?” “Tail the Mouse. Follow him and map out his daily itinerary. When I’ve got his daily schedule I’ll make my plan of revenge. Keep in touch with me by cell phone.” “Right. I’ll stick to that Mouse like flypaper.”
Scotland Yard Office of Chief Inspector Sherlock Mouse
“Kewpie enjoyed Buckingham Palace,” Maury said. “She looked cute when she curtsied to Queen Elizabeth.”
“A curtsy’s a way of showing respect,” Sherlock added. “I was proud of you and Kewpie, nephew. The Queen doesn’t award The Order of the Royal Horseman to everyone.”
“Kewpie and I thanked her for this honor. She also congratulated us on our engagement and insisted we spend our honeymoon at her Royal Hunting Lodge in Scotland.”
“The Queen loves horse racing as much as any Englishwoman or man. You and Kewpie saved this sport from ruin. England is indebted to you both. She’d be honored if you accept her offer. Did you?”
“Yes, Uncle. We accepted on the spot.” Maury replied. “At tomorrow afternoon’s wedding, Max has agreed to be best man. Will you give the bride away?”
“ Absolutely. What time is it?”
“The wedding’s scheduled for three at the Café Royale in Mayfair. I’ve hired the orchestra. And Kewpie’s selected the caterers for the afternoon tea following our wedding.”
She walked into the room, smiled at Sherlock and blew a kiss to Maury. “I feel like a princess in a fairy tale,” Kewpie gushed. “Did you read the front-page story in The London Times?” She handed the newspaper to Maury.
Maury took it and read aloud. “Once upon a time there was a Princess named Kewpie who found her Prince Charming…
Café Royale 3:30 P.M.
“May I have the first dance with the bride?” Max asked, the next day. Without waiting for an answer he took Kewpie’s hand and waltzed to the dance floor.
Other couples joined them as Maury accepted congratulations from the chairman of the English Bookies’ Union, Joseph Fish.“You saved our skin, Maury,” Fish repeated as he continued to pump Maury’s hand. “We bookies would have been out of business if you hadn’t discovered the ringer horse in The Derby. Paying for this reception was the least we could do. May you and Kewpie have years of happiness together.”
Maury pried himself away from Fish and the other bookies, who wanted to shake his hand and walked toward the dance floor. He located Kewpie, tapped Max on the shoulder and whispered, “May I cut in?” Max smiled. He placed Kewpie’s hand in Maury’s, and watched as they danced off, to the beat of a Glenn Miller melod
. Max made his way to a large marble table where tailcoated waiters were placing trays of crumpets with jam, scones, wafer-thin sandwiches minus their crusts and a selection of pastries. He ignored these and turned to a man dressed in a brown monk’s outfit. “Padre, where’s the tea.” The man pointed to the north. “It’s in the corner.” “Thanks,” Max said as he strolled to get his afternoon cup of Royal India tea. Sipping the tea, Max watched Kewpie floating around the dance floor. “She’s as light on her feet as a butterfly,” he muttered. “I’m happy for her. Maury’s a great bloke. If I couldn’t marry her, I’m glad she picked a friend of mine for her husband.” He thought about the monk he had spoken with. I remember his voice from somewhere. But when he walked back to the pastry table, the man had disappeared.
Heathrow Airport, London 8 P.M.
“Bye,” Kewpie cooed. She picked up her purse as Maury brought the carry-on luggage to the boarding gate. Then, one by one they hugged her, and when she and Maury disappeared down the boarding ramp Sherlock and Max called, “Bon Voyage” and “See you in a fortnight.”
Kewpie stared out of the airplane window, trying to locate Sherlock and Max inside the terminal. All she could see was a man in a brown monk’s robe snapping pictures of her airplane with a digital camera.
Sherlock’s face lit up for he knew that he’d see Maury and Kewpie again in fourteen days. However, Max had a hollow feeling in the pit of his stomach as he stared blankly at the airplane as it sped down the runway and disappeared into the clouds.
End of Book 1 There are 3 books in this series, “The Adventures of A Honolulu Detective Named Maury the mouse.”