A Little Spice Chapter 3

By ExpletusNox

---------- Meimi

Thomas’s daily visits to me have proved more lucrative than just the business he comes with by purchasing my food for Augustine -- I learn about everything that is going on while still keeping my kitchen open. Somehow Thomas can always keep every detail straighter than even Arthur, the most organized person that I have ever met. At least I can trust him to be reliable.

Everyone is so surprised by Augustine’s behavior but I can tell anyone that it was expected. Maybe I know Augustine a little better than other people but I am more surprised at all of their reactions instead of his. Every afternoon, Augustine joins me at my counter for lunch. At first, I was enthralled to have him -- he was always willing to talk and to try all of my new recipes. But then he became self-centered. All be bragged about was himself and his nobility. His money and yes, his precious rose broach.

Perhaps he expressed this to everyone and if he did then I’d be even more surprised about their reactions.

But whatever... I don’t understand why I am thinking so much about this. My business is still doing well and that is what is important to me. I do hope that Augustine recovers his broach and recovers from his emotional trauma however I cannot put someone that I ‘sort-of’ consider a friend to get in the way of what is important to me.

Then there is Mel. Mel... Mel... She likes my ice cream. Orders it a lot. And as I’ve told myself before, the business is the most important thing. I am not the type to get involved with people’s emotions. I don’t want to disappoint them because I lack the talent to assist people. I am not Thomas.

The biggest question in my mind is why I am dwelling on this. I am doing what I do best. That is all that I can do. If I did not have my restaurant then I would be downright useless to everyone here. So I will stick to my true talent: cooking.

The business is the most important thing.

---------- Arthur

I might have surprised Meimi a bit but I think I even surprised myself when I offered to bring a dish of stew and a fresh garden salad to Augustine. Despite the feelings, she allowed me to bring his dishes to him. She might have thought that I was being gracious and even now I feel the guilt piling on. The mere thought that I am deceiving another person and will deceive even more before this is over, is truly devastating. But doing this is the only way that I can get to Augustine...

The steaming stew smells delicious and maybe I will indulge in some after my interview. Nothing like some warm food to help me start writing a newspaper. Maybe I’ll have a little of the salad also. Meimi’s food is always wonderful and it will do wonders to my writing. It might even help to distract me from my guilt...

It’s oppressing. The emotion of guilt is the worst thing that I have ever felt. Kidd’s plan was originally a harmless one. At least, I did not think that it would harm a soul when he told me the idea but now things are just out of control. Kidd pretends to know exactly what is going on. He seems to have expected everything that has happened so far, and just wants to go along with the initial plan. I want to back out however I know that Kidd won’t let me so it’s better to live with a little guilt instead of facing Kidd.

So I’ll listen to Kidd. He seems to really know what’s best.

“Who is it?” A disgruntled voice comes through the thick, oak door upon me knocking. Augustine may be a dramatic man but the deep, weak tone in his voice is enough to lie guilt upon me as thick as the door that stood between us.

“It’s Arthur. I brought you a little something to eat. Thought you might like some of Meimi’s stew. “

“Leave it on the doormat -- I’ll get it when I’m ready.”

“Augustine, don’t you think that you might feel a little better if you talk to someone?”

“No, sir. I really do not want to speak with anyone.”

“Any reason why?”

“I am not presentable right now and nothing will help me until my rose broach is found.”

“Well... What if I had a way for you to get your broach back? I can write an article for the paper and Kidd can work to find it. He is very successful as a detective. Why, just the other day, he found my...”

“Boy...” Augustine interrupted me. “You certainly know how to talk.” And then he falls silent again, as if thinking of something to say. “Fine... The door is unlocked. Anything to get my broach back.” And so I step in...

... The interview did not last long. Augustine seemed intent on finishing it quickly. I believe that it might be because he hasn’t showered in a few days. Blood is still dried in his hair -- I can only imagine how much showering he will have to do in order to get it out however knowing Augustine, he will not mind.

Before returning to Meimi’s restaurant, I must make a quick trip to the inne... I am sure that Kidd would like me to speak with Mel as well.

---------- Geddoe

“During the past three days, there has been a string of thefts made throughout the castle. The thief has taken two items from two people. Both of the stolen items meant a lot to both of them and both are incredibly emotional -- i.e.: “They took... Branky... They better not mistreat him or whoever did take him will become my new puppet,” says Mel, the victim of one of these senseless crimes and we are all aware of how Mel keeps that Branky of hers... I would hate to see the person after Mel is through with them.

However, I wonder what Mel would do with anyone who could offer information on the location of Branky. I am sure that she would greatly appreciate the help. “Anything. I’ll give anything. Anything that I have. I have a lot so if anyone can find any information about my broach, please tell me,” says Augustine, the second victim of said crimes.

If anyone has any information, please contact me or the owners. And it appears that these crimes will not stop, so do your best to protect your most precious belongings.
     -- Arthur

I half expected him to ramble on and on about this. After all, it is the biggest gossip in the entire castle. Hmm... Wonder how he knew that these crimes would continue... Interesting...

---------- Arthur

“You wrote this! You quoted him saying what!?” It was always easy to ignore it when one’s parents was yelling at you because you knew that they will forgive you no matter what you did. But when a friend is yelling at you, it is different. Everyone is afraid to disappoint their friends.

“He seemed very set on asking you to help.” Hopefully that will help my case a little bit but knowing Kidd, I can feel myself filling with doubt. “And Augustine is a very rich man, so he will easily be able to pay off you and whoever else comes forth with information.”

“That’s not the point!” I expected that. “Everyone knows that Augustine will hire the best and everyone knows that I am the best. Mel might take anything from anyone but she can’t pay like Augustine can. People are going to flock to him with any sort of clue...

“How are they going to find anything worth while? Augustine isn’t stupid enough to accept just anything. He loves his money way too much.”

“Exactly but he still offered all of that money or anything that he owns to everyone. I know you tried to convince him to hire me and if he does, the masses of people like us are going to be scrambling to follow me around so they can hopefully find out what I do at the exact same time.”

“Okay.” Now Kidd is turning into a parent. He sounds so much like my mother that all I can do is agree with him.

“Of course, your paper is going to make so much so congratulations on that but hopefully your little mistake won’t cost me too much.”

A silence falls between us and it simply feels wrong for me to leave. A powerful aura hangs around me that makes me feel that he wants to say something but is holding back -- with Kidd, it doesn’t happen often so I think I might as well embrace it while it is here.

The two of us are sitting in Kidd’s dank, dungeon office. I never really like how dark and dirty it is down here but Kidd somehow does. He has always been a dark person -- I understand that he met Thomas when he was solving a so-called murder case. I honestly cannot understand what type of person would lead a bunch of people to believe that a man was murdered when he truly was not.

“Excuse me, sirs.” While pondering some of these things, Augustine had joined the two of us in the cell. “I hope I am not interrupting.” I am greatly surprised that he is out and about but as I look a little more closely at him, I realize that he is completely clean. He looks just as he usually does which I feel helps to ease my guilt a bit.

“Don’t worry about it, Augustine. We were just talking about a possible article for his paper -- I am planning on offering my services to the rest of the castle because it seems that yours isn’t the only theft so far.” Kidd’s words came freely before I even had a chance to comprehend the words that were being exchanged. It did not ease my guilt enough...

“Oh... Well... I hope I can convince you to run my investigation before anything else. I’ll certainly pay you a lot for it -- if you find anything out, that is.”

“Of course! I can work you in first. That won’t be a problem at all. “ Kidd’s eyes seem to shine with greed at the sheer thought of money. They boy is more than greedy, I swear it. He is cynical and I can only help but wonder what is going on deep within the confines of his dark mind.

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