From DemiChat and the City of Gold

 

Chapter 7 (page 68 od POD version)

The drums started the next day at dawn and beat until sunset when Demi and I witnessed a line of torch light on the crest of the mountain up ahead. They started at dawn the day after. The drums seemed to say to me,

'We will eat you, we will eat you

We will eat you if we can.

We will eat you, we will eat you

We will eat you, when we can.'

More and more drums joined the noise. I barked warnings at the Jaspers. Demi saw my agitation. 'Les Jaspers have a scientific mind fixed on their task of finding la lost cite and its artefacts. Their minds are full of that and not worrying that les drums might mean danger for us,' she said.

'And you?' I asked.

'Being frightened of fear is le worst fear of all. We will face whatever danger is ahead of us when it comes.'

From DemiChat and the Lost Mummy

 

Chapter 5 (page 52 od POD version)

The Attarine souk turned out to be a maze of streets, too naroow for the Jaspers' jeep. We left it at the entry. The souk had no roof but the tall buildings either side shaded it from the intense morning sun. Small boutiques and anitque shops crowded the streets, and I was intoxicated by a host of exotic scents, which Demi identified as lotus oil, rose petals, Arabian balsam and frankincense.

We had walked for some 50 mtres when Mufas stepped out from the shadow of a doorway. I thought I saw movement at his feet that reminded me of the cat Sera we'd met the day before. But when I took a more thorough look there was nothing there.

Mufas led us into the Adom Tourist Shop. It was cool and dark. Fans whirred overhead. Vases of all sizes covered in hieroglyphics, golden candlesticks, miniature pyramids and statuettes of pharaohs overcrowded its shelves. Statues of a black cat sitting upright on its hindquarters featured prominently on one wall.

'The cat-goddess, Bastet, not to be confused with Cleopatra's cat, Bast,' whispered Demi.

 From DemiChat and the Kent Street Mystery

Chapter 1  -  Police Dogs

 


T he day I met DemiChat was both the saddest and the happiest day of my life.


It was a typical rainy London day: grey clouds, grey buildings, grey pavements and everyone dressed in grey clothes. All grey except for the police men and women of the Dog Squad of Scotland Yard who stood at attention in their stark white and black uniforms waiting for the Police Commissioner and guests of honour to arrive.

I was one of those guests.

My response vehicle had pulled up at the kerb and my uniformed handler had opened my comfortable soundproof air-conditioned kennel compartment. I looked out at two straight lines of police officers leading from the kerb to the Town Hall steps at Chigwell in the Redbridge Police Borough. My tail drooped.

The badges on the police officers’ hats glistened and their boots shone in spite of the raindrops. Everyone smiled and their happiness should have brightened my mood but nothing could lift my spirits.

My handler pulled me down to the wet pavement and into a puddle. I shook my front paws. I looked up at him all dressed up in his best uniform to meet the Commissioner.


‘Cheer up, Lord Flannery,’ he said. ‘How many police beagles get a medal from the Commissioner on their retirement day? It’s not the end of the world.’


Not the end of the world! It was for me. It was the end of the world as I knew it!

From DemiChat and the Kent Street Mystery

Chapter 2Detectives

Page 13 ...

DemiChat quickly undid my lead with her claws and turned and ran down the hall. Her speed stunned me and without thinking I followed her grey tail, skidding on the wooden floorboards as I went.


She stopped at a tall wicker basket full of umbrellas next to the staircase and sharpened her claws. I waited.

‘I will show you la kitchen with its wonderful fireplace and la library later. It is much more interesting upstairs.’

Demi bounded up the stairs and I followed her. There were only two bedrooms upstairs and a bathroom, the smaller bedroom piled high with unopened boxes.


‘More treasures of interest only to archaeologists and collectors,’ she purred. She turned, flicked her tail and ran into the main bedroom. By the time I caught up to her she was sitting on a window seat in front of a huge window with its curtains pulled back. I did not want to invade Demi’s space when she had been so kind to me so I sat at the foot of the window seat and looked around the room.

A double bed in its centre with a white paisley flowered bedspread dominated the room. Built-in wardrobes lined one wall and on another wall was a set of drawers with a TV set on top.

‘Come up here, Monsieur Flannery, and look at the only thing that has kept me sane.’

I jumped up next to her and looked out the window. The rain somewhat blurred the clarity of what we could see but I realised that the house was set on a little hill on a curve in the poplar lined street. From the huge bay window there was an unrestricted view of the rose garden and most of the street.

Houses very similar to the Jaspers’ surrounded it except for the construction site immediately across the street where the workers were packing up for the day. I noticed that the builder’s sign dominated the site entrance – GROSTO CONSTRUCTION PTY LTD it read.

Each home in the street had a lawn and a garden of some sort with a path up the centre leading to the front door. The lawns were all a lush green and well kept. The gardens had an array of flowers but no garden was as beautiful as the Jaspers’ white and red rose garden.

‘Not the street, Monsieur Flannery,’ she laughed. ‘I was not talking about the street!’

‘Not the street?’

‘Non.’

‘What then?’

She pointed at the TV! ‘I spend my lonely days watching TV or DVDs of old Sherlock Holmes movies and modern detective stories. I watch l’activity in Kent Street when the credits roll or during advertisements, Monsieur Flannery,’ said Demi.

I looked from the TV screen (where indeed a Sherlock Holmes movie was playing) to the view of Kent Street...

From DemiChat and the Kent Street Mystery

Chapter 5 - Purple Powder

Page 52 ...

Rome is a stranger’s nightmare with its winding streets, a piazza around every corner, hills, staircases and fountains. It was difficult to stay on their trail and I relied upon Demi’s knowledge of Rome to keep up with them. I realised that the man knew exactly where he was taking Julia. We caught up to them at the gates of the Villa Borghese, Rome’s principal park.


The Villa Borghese is not like an English park, ordered and natural with many beautiful well-kept lawns and gardens. The Villa Borghese has barren, unkempt grass and its attraction seemed more cultural than natural to me, with buildings, statues and the like. We stayed behind cover.


‘Look, Monsieur Flannery. They are buying entry tickets to le ‘Museo Borghese’. And that man with Julia asked for them in Italian.
Let’s slip in behind them,’ said Demi.

‘What is this place?’ I panted, as we entered a huge foyer and crept past a sculpted portrait of a lady lying down. ‘I have never seen anything like it.’


‘It was once a private house,’ replied Demi, ‘but now it’s a museum.’


‘And that sculpture?’

‘Pauline Bonaparte.’


My curiosity was piqued. ‘Of the famous French Bonaparte family? ’


‘Yes,’ purred Demi, keeping her eyes on Julia and the man as they climbed the marble stairs slowly and moved into a large room of paintings. Demi continued, ‘Pauline Bonaparte was l’eccentric sister of l’Emperor Napoleon. I will tell you about her one day.’


Demi and I followed Julia and the stranger into the room and slid under a couch against a wall...

 

 

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  • 'DemiChat' is on the NSW Premier's Reading Challenge List for 2012
 

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