Last week, Peabody overturned the evidence right onto the floor, leaving Harry Sheets with a problem. When we left him, he had locked himself into a cabinet to decide his next course of action. (Here’s a link to Part One, in case you’re a newcomer.)
Harry Sheets was alone in the dark, curled up inside a soup pot. His case was going to the dogs. Peabody had spoiled the evidence by dumping it out onto the floor, an event that would have never happened if only he’d grabbed the shoe when he had the chance. Pancakes was right: Harry had been close enough. If only he’d thought better…
A soft knock at the cabinet door startled Harry from his thoughts. He did not answer. Another knock followed.
“Who is it?” Harry asked.
“Fidelio,” the voice repeated.
Harry was confused. “Pancakes, is that you?”
“Yeah, can I come in?”
“Why didn’t you just ask?”
“I thought I had to say the password.”
“There isn’t a password.”
“There’s always a password, like in that Tom Cruise movie. All detectives have passwords.”
“Just come in.”
“No, I want to say the password,” Pancakes insisted.
“I said there isn’t a password, just open the door.”
Harry’s reply was met with silence. He took a deep breath and let it out.
“Ok, go ahead and say the -”
“Fidelio,” Pancakes cut him off.
“Come in,” Harry sighed.
Pancakes pawed open the door and poked her head in.
“What are you doing?”
“Thinking,” Harry said.
“Are you feeling bad about the evidence spilling onto the -” Pancakes started, but Harry cut her off.
“Yes, yes, I’m feeling bad about spoiling the case. Yes.”
“Well, who’s going to solve it now if the great Harry Sheets won’t come out of the pan?”
“It’s a soup pot.”
“Ok, soup pot.”
“Perhaps there’s nothing to solve. Perhaps mom doesn’t even care. She has plenty of pairs of shoes,” Harry said.
“Yes, but those were her favorite shoes!” Pancakes said.
“But how will this help? What good will it do if I solve the case?”
“I’m sure she’ll feel better knowing who the perpetrator is.”
Harry wasn’t so sure. He still felt like he had failed. He tucked his tail further into the pot.
“Harry, you have to get up!” Pancakes wailed suddenly. “You’re our only hope!”
Without warning, Pancakes threw the door to the cabinet wide open and light streamed into, causing Harry’s eyes to close into slits.
“Pancakes, what are you doing?”
“You must get up! Harry, you’re my hero! You can’t quit! Not now! We’ve come so far!”
“But the evidence…”
“Is still here!” Pancakes said. “We can do this. Harry, do you know who you are?”
“I’m a cat.”
“You’re a detective! And you’re my hero! Harry Sheets, get thee from the soup pot and solve this case!” Pancakes pointed towards the kitchen with her stump.
“Do you really think I can?” Harry asked.
“I think you MUST!” Pancakes said. “There’s no one better for the job!”
“If you think I can…”
“I KNOW you can!” Pancakes shouted. “Out!”
Harry thought to himself for a moment. Maybe Pancakes was right. Maybe he could do this. He could solve this case and tell Mom who had puked in her shoe. Detective work was his talent, his joy, his reason for being.
As Pancakes softly hummed the theme to “Chariots of Fire,” Harry felt pride swelling in his chest. He unfolded himself from the soup pot and marched out of the cabinet, head held high.
“That’s it!” Pancakes cried. “I knew you’d find the strength!”
The light stinging his eyes, Harry bravely stepped from the cabinet and into the kitchen, Pancakes following behind. They walked out towards the hallway, their steps matching the rhythm of Pancakes’ song.
“And now, we march!” Harry shouted. He stepped in rhythm with Pancakes and marched down the hallway.
“Today is the day that we -” Harry started.
His march came to a halt. Pancakes slid into his backside, muffling her song against Harry’s rump. Harry had no words.
There, in the middle of the hallway, was the shoe. And next to the shoe was the remains of the evidence, and it was being consumed by Isosceles.
“No!” Harry cried. “Unhand my evidence!” He flew towards the hulking tabby, throwing himself with all his might, and slid across the wooden floor, unable to stop himself, on a collision course with Isosceles and his snack.