THE WINCHESTER-NABU DETECTIVE AGENCY
YEAR TWO: CASE FILE NO. 01-53
￼AMBER LOVE 14-MAY-2018 Welcome to a new year of Adventures with Gus (and Ollie) stories. There are 52 weeks of past entries about the work done at the Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency. This work is supported by the generous backers who adore my cat stories at Patreon.com/amberunmasked and they also get first access to what’s happening with my books and podcast.
Internal Affairs Investigation into Case 53 – Brutality Against a Critter of Interest
Witness Statement: Amber Love
I feel the grumbling sensation of hunger. I want to get up and find something to eat for a late breakfast, but I’ve snacked on the fibrous McVities cookies all morning trying to not feel this hunger. Gus and Oliver act like they’ve never been fed too. Oliver doesn’t eat as much in one sitting as Gus, nor nearly as fast. Gus will have his serving gone in two to three seconds and then wait for Ollie’s leftovers. So, I get it — the boys get hungry.
Knowing that they are fed twice the amount that the doctor suggested in intervals of every four hours, I was notably shocked when Gus “snacked” in the wild.
It all began when we were out on a morning hike. Now that it’s springtime, Gus has been focusing on the protection of the Winchester-Nabu estate borders. I can’t remember the last time we hiked up the mountain. Feels like winter was a long time ago even though March kicked New Jersey’s ass.
There were two previous cases of field mice murders on the Boulevard entrance of the private road (see Year One cases 31 and 52). Detective Inspector Guster Nabu and I followed the orders from Oliver Winchester to send out warnings through our confidential informants network that there is probably a serial killer on the loose targeting field mice. We checked out the usual suspects: predatory birds, neighborhood dogs, and snakes. We haven’t been able to reach the stray cats of the area.
No one was claiming the credit. The unique part of each case was that bodies were found in tact and not eaten. We still believe those cases are related.
While Gus was busy terrorizing Squirrel Warren and the Supreme Court of Squirrels, I focused on taking photos of the scene and of witnesses in the vicinity (some photos submitted into evidence not included in this report). We were supposed to be leaving offerings of good will (peanuts) for the squirrels, chipmunks, wolpertingers, and fae folk.
I saw Gus stand up on his legs and reach his arms up to a fallen branch. I thought he was using his keen Super Smeller™ sense to find clues. He lowered back down to all fours and had something in his jaws. Since I had just spotted some larger rodent scurry off to my left, I didn’t think there was anything for Gus to attack. Plus, what reasoning would there be?
As it turned out, it was tragic. I was appalled. In the clenched jaws of my partner, a mouse so tiny it was smaller than some of the hair tumbleweeds I clean off the floor. It had beautiful grey fur on its back and white underneath. Gus growled and walked towards me then right by. His pace was quick and steady going down the road. Where was he bringing it? To Oliver? To Grandmère? To a secret spot to maul it death?
We reached the parking lot of the Grumpy Old Man’s workshop. Gus paused there. I wondered if that would be his place to let the minuscule rodent out of his grasp and test it for life. Instead, he made a U-turn and headed back up the hill. There in the middle of the road, he released the baby from his jaws. It momentarily showed signs fighting for breath. It would be its last breaths.
I was so reviled, I moved a few inches and pivoted so that I couldn’t see the body. Not that I haven’t seen dead bodies before, but the killing part is super gross. My view was only of Gus’ rump end. He had been growling with pride. From my vantage point, I could tell what he was doing. He chewed! Yes he did! He chewed the whole body three times then it was gone!
Internal Investigation Notes:
This became some Sweeney Todd or Fried Green Tomatoes brand of shenanigans to hide a body. Why, Gus, why? It’s not secret anymore that Gus got booted at a young age from Scotland Yard for not playing by the rules. The details of his dismissal have been so caught up in the rumor mill that it’s hard to tell fact from fiction. Even lies and rumors tend to have a kernel of truth somewhere in them.
I emailed the Commissioner in the Islands, which was where Gus was last assigned before New Jersey, and hoped he would answer my inquiry about the exact nature of Gus’ sacking. He refused to answer “officially” in a traceable communiqué. A few clicks later and I had the encryption passkey and a secure chat window open.
“The boy had some big connections high up. All I can say is that when he was a young constable, he was known to get rough with suspects. His rapid advancement to DI was a surprise to me.”
I wrote back, “Do you know who his connection is? Is it a relation?”
“I was never given that information. He seems like a good boy. Maybe had some bad luck in life on the streets. I guess everyone thought structure and propriety would adjust his attitude and penchant for acting out.”
I thanked the Commissioner and told him that Gus is domineering, but still a most excellent partner for me here in New Jersey. Technically we shouldn’t even call him DI Burton Guster Nabu, but it still sounds impressive. PI Guster Nabu doesn’t have the same ring to it.
Burton Guster Nabu Defense:
Anyway, I got some of the truth. Gus is known for brutality against suspects and sometimes against his friends when he’s being a real asscat. It was time to go to the source and question Gus about why he would devour that innocent baby field mouse.
Gus came into our room and mewed in his demanding way that means he wants attention. It seemed like an opportunity. I gave him some good scritches and took the treat bag out of the nightstand drawer. I used the dehydrated turkey and duck bites to pry information from him. It didn’t take much. He wasn’t interested in keeping his motivations a secret.
According to Gus, that little mouse may have been a youngster, but the story was sadly complicated. I tried interrupting to point out, a kid is still a kid even if they break the law. Momma Mouse crossed the property border from a neighboring yard and escaped by crossing the Boulevard looking for a better life away from humans and dogs, two of which always seemed angry. She made the dangerous crossing while pregnant and sought refuge at the base of one of the squirrels’ tree hangouts. She gave birth there in relative peace, but they were still always scared. Predators were everywhere.
When Gus found that baby, Momma Mouse wasn’t fleeing the scene too afraid to be questioned. She was going after food dropped by Oliver Walnut Holmes. Gus said Momma Mouse and her babies are known mules bringing contraband back and forth across the border. He felt one hundred percent justified in eating the little one.
If this had been in Bunny Hollow, Gus would have to answer to the Rabbit Council. Since it was in the southern district of the bordertown, the Supreme Court of Squirrels will hear the case of Refugee Mouse v. Burton Guster Nabu. It may not even go to trial, but the fact that the squirrels are willing to hear the pleas and see if there’s enough to proceed is a blow against the Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency.
This was supposed to be an INTERNAL investigation only. I’m hoping Oliver Winchester can do something to avert the attention of the Supreme Court of Squirrels. No doubt, I’ll have to do all the paperwork to explain Gus’ justification and our Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency plan of corrective action.
Supreme Court of Squirrels Justices:
- Squirrel Warren, Chief Justice
- Bushtail Washington
- Sonya Squirreltomayor
- Horace Gray Squirrel
- Thurgood Marmotail
- Oliver Walnut Holmes
- Sandra Day A’Cornner
- Benjamin Rodent Curtis
- John Nutledge