Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Five:
Case File No. 08-216
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Where We Left Off:
Gus and Oliver had to solve a difficult case in which a catbird was murdered.
Boss of Bosses:
Hopefully any fireworks in your area didn’t cause distress to you or your animal companions. I don’t know why everywhere that normally has fireworks that are dangerous and cause such distress haven’t switched to light shows. I’m sure light also has its drawbacks, but it’s not explosive and probably a lot easier for ground and ocean wildlife to deal with.
It’s time to take a look at the chipmunk mafia and see what’s been going on since Chipcent Donofrio took control away from Cheeks Moretti. Please appreciate this ridiculous organization chart because it gave me so much trouble.
Chipcent Donofrio was the first of all the chipmunks to appear after hibernation ended in spring. He was skittish and didn’t seem to remember that we are the deliverers of peanuts and seeds. I posit that hibernation causes some amnesia, but only in memories that are superfluous. It took weeks of occasional peanut payments for Chipcent to be less scared, but he’s not going to come running and get peanuts from my hands like chipmunks on Instagram. None of our chipmunks will do that.
Once Chipcent was comfortable enough to sit on a rock while Gus and I were up in the junkyard’s observation deck, the Dove’s Nest, we were able to get information on the change over of La Cosmunk Nostra.
“Moretti wanted to retire,” Chipcent told us. “That’s not always allowed in our line of work, but he was a good don.”
“Is Cheeks sticking around our area?” Gus asked. His body language told me that he was ready to sneak up closer to Chipcent and thinking about pouncing.
“Yeah, yeah. He spends some time in that fortress of his, but he prefers to lay low now and spend time outside the border. South, ya know.” Chipcent kept twitching his head and looking around to see if anyone was getting too close. The blue jays would land on nearby rocks for their snacks, but they didn’t come over to the chipmunk while he was talking to us.
“I’ve seen a small chipmunk that’s been moving around where Sgt. Burrows used to patrol and going up to Cheeks’ rock fortress. Do you know anything about it? Looks like a pretty small critter and scared of everything. Nothing like Sgt. Burrows,” I said in a lower voice than normal so I wouldn’t come across as booming to little chipmunk ears.
“That’s Benny Squint. I guess you can figure out the plan for him,” Chipcent said with his eyes focused on Gus who had eased forward a couple of centimeters.
“They’re going to train this little Benny Squint fellow to take over for Sgt. Burrows?” I kept my eyes darting between Gus and the chipmunk.
“You got it, Toots. Now if you don’t mind, I gotta bring these peanuts back to the missus.” Faster than we could ever move, Chipcent whipped around between the rocks where he stashed the peanuts. Gus ran over to see where he went like someone trying to capture David Copperfield from a puff of smoke as he disappears.
Back at the office, we told Oliver the news about Cheeks Moretti retiring, but that there’s a new up-and-comer covering some of Cheek’s neighborhood, the domain of Sgt. Burrows, R.I.P., around the burning bushes and southern border.
After interviewing Chipcent Donofrio, the Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency learned that there was a peaceful transition of power as Cheeks Moretti decided to retire from his lead role in the chipmunk mafia. Chipcent is partners with Munka Kelly, who is a known super spy. Cheeks continues to get his peanut deliveries even though he uses the rock fortress only as a pit stop. Phillip “Benny Squint” Lombardo is new to the neighborhood and being trained to take over for the vacancy left by Sgt. Burrows, who was killed during an incident with Gus.
Case Status: Open