A Nose for Danger, part 16

I’m not the neatest elephant you’ll ever meet. Sometimes it can take me up to a week just to wash the dishes. Not saying I’m proud of this, just telling it like it is. But on this occasion, I made sure to have a clean cup and saucer for my guest.

“Good morning Mr. Smellephant.” Rebecca greeted me with a big smile. “I’m glad you wanted to chat. It’s a bit early in the day for you, isn’t it?”

“I’ll manage,” I said brightly, trying to look more awake than I felt. I had a long day ahead of me. “Can I offer you a cup of tea?”

“That would be lovely, yes.” She sat prettily while I boiled some water.

When at last we were sitting down — tea for her, strong coffee for me (with an added shot of something even stronger, and very uncoffee-like) — I went over the progress of the case, and the search to find the whereabouts of her mysterious sister. Omitting, of course, the inconvenient fact that at one point I had known her sister’s whereabouts rather precisely.

After seeing Rebecca to the door, I carefully wrapped the teacup in a clean white cloth. I’d already wrapped up the glass Lulu had used earlier in the week. It was time to test my theory. The coffee was already clearing my head, and a good brisk walk to the crime lab finished the job.

“Smellephant, it’s always great to see you.” Hu was her usual chipper self. Surrounded by beakers and lab instruments and various mysterious pieces of glassware, she seemed completely in her element.

“You’re in a good mood today,” I observed.

She laughed. “I’m often in a good mood when I see you. You bring me interesting stuff.”

I put the two wrapped items on her desk. “Think you can pull prints from these?”

She carefully unwrapped the two bundles. “Sure, it’s what I do. I like this real crime stuff. Better than filling out reports all day. When do you need them?”

“How soon can you get them?”

“Sometime later today I think. Shiny things are easy. What are we looking for?”

I smiled. “Don’t want to influence you. You’ll tell me, ok?”

“Sure thing! Did the owl send you?”

“Yeah. How did you know?”

“For some reason he ends up steering a lot of work my way. Lord knows why. Maybe it’s my winning personality.”

“Yeah Hu,” I nodded, “that must be it.”

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