Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Two: Case File No. 40-92
AMBER LOVE 18-FEB-2019 Catch up on Year One and previous Year Two cases 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. For a one-time tip, you can go to the new PayPal.me.
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In the previous case file, we examined the unbelievable discovery of an armored man or robot. We aren’t sure if it was created on Earth, left, then returned or if it’s alien in origin.
Some time in 2018, Gus discovered this neat pit right at the edge of our property. It was too perfectly shaped to be a sinkhole. As I slowly cut away branches and the jungle of overgrown-never-been-pruned shrubbery, I could see there was brick fashioning on at least one side. These are grey cement color blocks not red. They’re larger than today’s average brick too.
This pit has become one of Gus’ favorite exploration spots. It’s pure magic. I got down in it for the first time February 5th. There are so many thorny branches going through it. Of course, as I lowered down and started snipping those overgrown branches, I startled the critter that had Gus’ attention.
I didn’t get a good look at the critter, but Gus found it fascinating. He tries to describe things to me and Oliver. Sometimes I wonder what planet he’s on. He loves fuzzies and feathers and scaley things. I don’t think Gus has seen anything aquatic yet in his life. I’d like him to get more comfortable being by the river, but the first time we tried, there were fishermen and the river was loud so he was too nervous. I tried again recently in a newer park where almost no one goes and the sounds of the tributary made Gus turn around and head back through the thorns he had just made me walk through. I don’t know if seeing fish in something other than a can are in his future.
My favorite elements in the pit are the moss-covered bricks and the tree at the top edge of one side. The tree roots snake their way down to make that side of the pit a series of little caves. It looks like tree roots painted by Salvador Dali. I understood immediately why Gus loves this place so much. Despite the garbage that’s been dumped there, the natural vibrations are still strong. The moss is lush green. The rodents and birds enjoy the space.
As if the pit isn’t fascinating enough, one day I was watching Gus climb around down there and then half his body was gone! Then all of him! I swore he was standing right next to some of the larger stones. Then I noticed an opening. There was a cave!
Gus went in to investigate and meet the cave dwellers. They wouldn’t come out and meet me. Gus said I’m a giant to them and that my attempts to make things neater in the overgrown areas frightens them. They’re afraid of losing their homes.
I told Gus I would never destroy the homes in the pit. In fact, I think it’s so charming and nice down there, I’d like to clean it up and help make it even prettier. If the cave-dwellers approve, we could add that to our list of nature projects. Our list is small, but the projects require a lot of work and would be best with more than one human.
I asked Gus what these cave-dwellers call themselves. They are called lithodomites and their underground home is a small neighborhood or town within the larger state of Lithodom. Lithodom is what I’ve been calling the wall of rocks that borders the north end of our property and goes all the way up the mountain. It does break in certain places. Then it resumes with much larger rocks and boulders.
Now that Gus has gotten to know the lithodomites, I hope he can have a good working relationship with them. As you know, Gus tends to murder small scurrying things. We were lucky the majority of the Supreme Court of Squirrels understood that it’s Gus’ nature to chase anything that appears to be prey.
The lithodomites told Gus about a concern they have. Other than my barbaric human presence, they seem worried about soil erosion. The pit was man-made and at one time a spring house. This makes sense for the location. That part of the property is known for having a mini-stream of water runoff from inside the mountain. Just above it, the trail is normally dry and firm. This spring seems to come out of nowhere as the water rises under that part of the yard. It runs down the slope and into the street. Half of it was still frozen on the day that it reached over 60 degrees. We’ve noticed this erosion too. The tree roots are becoming more exposed every season.
I told Gus that buying topsoil is expensive, but we could research soil erosion and see if there’s anything else we could do. I wouldn’t want to plant trees over there if it’s only going to jeopardize their root systems.
More research needs to be done regarding soil preservation and erosion.