“Yeah, I think we should ask her,” Kester agreed with a nod. “Something’s definitely not right here. My natural detective senses can sense it.”
“Eloquently put,” quipped Sophy with a small roll of her eyes and a little smile.
“I’m Megan, by the way,” the unknown medical student introduced herself, holding out her hand. Kester gratefully took it. “Megan Sharma.”
“Very good to meet you, Megan Sharma,” he simply oozed charm as he spoke, or so he thought. Megan was sweet looking with pretty, deep brown eyes. Definitely girlfriend material, if he wasn’t already practically hooked up with Sophy. Yeah, things were definitely going well between them, he thought to himself, not bad for a first date.
“Your knowledge of cat anatomy has been invaluable,” he complimented.
“Actually, it’s my knowledge of sedatives, more than anything,” she shrugged, then added with a wry smile. “And I should be pretty good at those seeing as my mother was on them for God knows how long. Still is, probably.”
“Ah…well…” Kester didn’t quite know what to say to that. He was never very good at dealing with other people’s personal problems. Perhaps one of the reasons he never thought to become a doctor himself, or indeed anything that involved having to actually be nice to people and listen to the whinge about their lives. He was definitely selfish in that way. But he didn’t particularly care. He’d made enough sacrifices in his own life to become such a brilliant detective.
“Shall we…?” Thankfully, Sophy managed to get them out of the slightly awkward silence by leading the way over to the bar and attracting the attention of Felicity, the landlady. That wasn’t a particularly difficult task, due to the fact that the majority of people in the bar were all still staring at them open mouthed at their latest revelation that the apparently murdered cat was actually still alive and breathing.
“I heard what you said,” Felicity spoke up before they’d even had a chance to formulate any questions. “I feel like such a fool.” She frowned and shook her head, perhaps trying to think back to the moment she found her precious pet lying dead. “I think I just freaked out,” she continued. “I saw him there and…just assumed the worst. Maybe if I’d stopped to actually check him, I would have realised.”
“You didn’t notice he felt warm?” Kester asked.
“No,” she answered simply, looking rather baffled by the whole thing. Kester liked to think he was a fairly good judge of character. Although Felicity didn’t seem like the friendliest woman in the bar, and she certainly wasn’t the most good looking by a long stretch of the imagination, he was quite sure she was telling the truth. He believed that she had no knowledge of her cat’s continued existence.
The group of three as they now were, reconvened, shoulders together in a sort of conference style huddle, to discuss their findings.
“So, somebody wanted to make the cat appear dead, because….because….” Sophy was thinking aloud, and getting nowhere.
“Maybe…” Kester spoke up, then hesitated.
“Go on…” Megan encouraged him.
“Maybe they wanted everyone to be fussing over the cat temporarily, so that they had chance to sneak off and hide the stolen money in the toilets?”
“Brilliant!” Sophy cried, clapping Kester on the back with a grin.
“Really?” He gave her a surprised glance.
“Yes, really. That sounds like an excellent theory.”
Feeling on a roll, Kester spun round and ran over to Ren. The Japanese first year had gone back to chatting with Oscar and Annie, the three of them sat down at a table near the door.
“Ren!” He caught his attention, Sophy and Megan catching up just behind him. “You said that Claude Faulkner went to the toilet….was that before, or after the cat was found apparently dead?”
Ren thought about it for a moment.
“It was before,” he answered finally. “He came rushing back in when he heard the scream.”
“You’re sure on that point?” Kester asked him seriously.
“Definitely,” replied Annie. “I was with him too. I remember seeing Claude come back.”
“Perfect, thank you,” grinned Kester and turned back to his two companions. “That rules Claude out, as far as I’m concerned. Now, we need to think about who would have access to the kind of medicine that would be used to knock out a cat.”
“You’re actually not bad at this, you know,” Sophy leaned over and whispered quietly in his ear, giving him a small wink as she pulled away.
Kester felt his cheeks heating up, the compliment embarrassing and pleasing him at the same time.
“What about someone like you, Megan?” he cleared his throat and quickly recovered, not wanting to spoil the fact that he was impressing his new sidekick. “Someone studying a medical degree?”
“Mmm…difficult to say,” she shrugged. “The kind of sedatives that would knock out a human would probably kill a cat. So, you’d be better off looking for someone studying Veterinary Medicine, or someone with access to those kind of drugs.”
“How can we find out?” Sophy asked.
“I wonder if anyone else was spotted going to the toilet,” Kester mused out loud