Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Four:

Case File No. 10-166

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AMBER LOVE 13-JULY-2020 Find out how all this began. Catch up on Year One, Year Two, and Year Three cases at the Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency. Thank you for all your financial and social support! Oliver and Gus are looking forward to bringing you more fascinating discoveries and investigations into the chipmunk mafia, the blue jay gang, the neighborhood critters, and cryptid sightings.

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. For a one-time tip, you can go to the new PayPal.me.


Where We Left Off:

Gus and I had one hell of a scare in the woods when a volkolak charged past us through the trees and up the mountain.


A Lady Without Passport:

Back in mid-May, which seems so long ago and at the time current despite the change of the calendar, Gus and I met a strikingly adorable new chipmunk at the northern border of the woods. She definitely showed a curious personality. Perhaps she smelled the peanuts in my old coffee can. Once she decided it was safe enough to watch us from a distance and protected by all the branches, garbage, and rocks, she kept her eyes on us and didn’t mind showing more of herself.

I simply could not get over this beautiful little smile. I tried to take some videos (shaky and terrible of course) but she didn’t move around much and stayed glued to whatever I was doing. It’s a complete shock that Gus didn’t go after her. He goes after 99% of the chipmunks he sees and on this day there were two in that particular spot. The other one sped away like a blur across the logs and went deeper into the woods.

chipmunk Callie Thorne

I introduced myself and Gus to this little darling critter. At first all I could understand was that her surname is Thorne. It sounded familiar and somewhat regal for the critters around our part of New Jersey. Who was this Ms. Thorne?

I had to confer with Oliver about my suspicions of Ms. Thorne being a noble-critter. I’m the furthest thing from a diplomat. Like, if the Queen came to visit, I’d shake her hand, sit next her and want a selfie and ask her real world crap like, does she have to wear girdles like my Gram did? I don’t have fancy plates anymore. She would get served McVities and tea from mismatched mugs, no saucers, and plates from Kohl’s with chips in them. I think there are fancy plates “for me” amongst all the hoarded stuff my mother maintains. Does this mean I should have some fancy serving ware for giving Ms. Thorne her peanuts?

Research first. Then worry about fancy china.

Tom Hiddleston

Oliver’s research states that the name “Thorne” as we often see it today originated as “Torne,” at its earliest documentation and was associated with family names not far from Wellington. There’s also the variation “de Thorne” which shows some possible French roots. The name is considered by and large Anglo-Saxon. There were Thornes who left Europe for the new colonies of North America to flee from some political and religious persecution.

chipmunk Callie Thorne sitting on a rock

Ms. Thorne appears to be related to one Abigail Burroughs (1738-1822) who lived in New Jersey. That is a remarkably long lifespan! Her bloodline seems robust. She had at least one son, Samuel who married Susan Collins and had eleven children. Those children lived anywhere from seven years to well into their elderly eighties.

Oliver wasn’t able to access the database with more recent history on the Thorne/Thorn/Thorley family tree without registering and paying for access. Something none of us want to do because we heard the company is owned by some rather closed-minded individuals who don’t mind showing their bigotry. Oliver was able to determine that Callie is short for Calendula which means marigold. The marigold name itself has some weight. According to one of my favorite sources on the internet, botanical.com: “It was not named after the Virgin, its name being a corruption of the Anglo-Saxon merso-meargealla, the Marsh Marigold. Old English authors called it Golds or Ruddes. It was, however, later associated with the Virgin Mary, and in the seventeenth century with Queen Mary.”

Marigold plants are edible and you can research ways in which to make broths or use in other things. The color was commonly extracted and used as a dye. It also has some similar healing properties as saffron which is much harder to obtain.

chipmunk Callie Thorne sitting on a rock

With the history lesson over, the cats and I discussed what we think about Callie Thorne living at the edge of the northern woods. The boys agreed it appears to be an honor to have her among us. We’re not sure just how social she is willing to be. She does have one chipmunk neighbor whom Gus frequently stalks. I’m not sure if that critter is harassing Ms. Thorne or why Gus doesn’t like them the way he does Callie.

Gus on a rock

Case Findings:

We are honored to have Ms. Calendula Thorne at the outskirts of the estate and hope that she’ll continue to find us interesting enough to befriend.

Case Status: Closed

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