Suddenly there was a commotion at the door.
“Sorry chief,” an officer said, poking his head in. “This tortoise here claims he’s an old friend of yours. I think he’s some kinda foreigner. Says he’s got a present for the Smellephant.”
“It’s ok, let him in,” the chief nodded.
It was Tommy, and he was holding a gun. The pointy end of the gun was aimed at a very upset looking ferret. “He’s got no right to do this. Tell him chief.”
Tommy ignored the ferret’s outburst. “Was like you say, Smellephant. Ferret shows up at hospital, looking for Sam.” The tortoise was looking very pleased with himself. “Finds me instead.”
The chief turned to me. “Well well. Looks like the ferret went straight for the chimp, as soon as he heard Sam was still alive. You know what this means, right?”
“I think,” I said, “it means you can uncuff the lady.”
“Thanks,” Lulu said, flashing me a big smile. “I don’t know how I can ever thank you. Or maybe,” she said slyly, “I do.”
“So the ferret was behind everything?” the chief was starting to put the pieces together in his head.
“Nah, ferrets don’t read du Maurier, everybody knows that. He’s just a hired hand, working for the real perp, the one that created a false paper trail, then killed Winthrop, Manny too when the parrot was about to sing, and paid the ferret to plant Winthrop’s glass at my place to implicate me. Then shot Sam when the chimp got wise to the forged records, and used that number sequence to make sure the trail would lead back to Rebecca.”
“So who’s the perp?”
“Someone who knows how to forge documents well enough to make a pile of money once Winthrop’s out of the picture. Someone we all thought was dead — because the ferret told us he was. But our mastermind couldn’t resist leaving a signature — the first animal mentioned in the novel “Rebecca”: A rabbit!
“So,” the chief said, “it was Whiskers all the time! Now that we know he’s the one behind this harebrained scheme, we’ll catch up with him soon enough. But Smellephant, how could you remember something like that, an old book mentioning rabbits?”
“Haven’t you heard?” Lulu said, “An elephant never forgets.”