Red Herrings by Eloise Brown

It’s unusual, me working with the police, but Detective Gooddetective has been a particularly good friend of mine since the Mystery of Boyd Plum Junior, poor boy. This case also concerns the fate of all of Ahoy, myself included. I take out my starchy leather notebook, dusty from the countless cases I’ve solved with it. In it are the briefing notes. Not many notes.

The Sandstorm Beast was last spotted in Silvan Glade.
Captain Barnabas (owner of Landlocked, a famous tavern) is saying that the Sandstorm Beast’s one weakness is cats.

Hopping on a cart and horse I arrive at Landlocked within the expected amount of time, a brief 18 minutes and 41 seconds. It is exactly how I remember it, fine mahogany stained by the scent of ale. I push open the door, straighten my pin (labelling me as K. Buxton Strike- Private Detective) and take a deep breath. It’s important I look my best when meeting potential clients. Even when I’m on a case I am always open to another mystery.

“Kysaiah!” Captain Barnabas roars in his thick Scotts accent.
“I prefer K. Buxton Strike in public, Dad,” I grumble. “I’m actually on a case. Apparently you’ve been saying to anyone who would listen that the Sandstorm Beast’s weakness is cats. Explain.”
“Well,” Captain Barnabas claims, “me friend Sally the Slinky Cat, you know her o’course, was dockin’ near the Great Desert Port, for supplies, an’ that sort er thing. She saw the Great Beast! It froze her two crewmate, bless their souls, but it was afraid of her.”
“And how long ago was this?” I inquire sceptically.
“Why only a couple er Thursdays ago!” he bellows.
“Right…,” I say, jotting it down in my book. “Well, I’m afraid that’s obviously false. The last official Sandstorm Beast sighting was in Silvan Glade, 16 days ago. Nobody, not even the Sandstorm Beast could travel from the Silvan Glade to the Great Desert Port in a mere two days. It also verifies my suspicions. Sally the Slinky Cat happens to be in my collection of wanted posters. I’m not going to listen to anything she says.”
“Oh, look me daughter, all grown up, a detective now!” Captain Barnabas beams.
“I should think, Father, that from now on you should think about your tales before telling them,” I reprimand. “False rumours are not a detective’s friend.”

I walk out, enjoying the sound of my steel-capped boots as they hit the tiled floor.
Before long I am back in Ahoy at Detective Gooddetective’s office. My face is not smiling.
“Well Gooddetective, I suppose you think it’s funny to send me on a wild goose chase for a highly unlikely clue that turned out, as expected, to be a red herring. I will not be working with you for any longer. I have other cases lined up and at least they will fill my bank account,” I sniff before walking out.