Here is Tugger Nutts #6, Tugger Nutts and the Midnight Snatch
Tugger Nutts and the Midnight Snatch
Tugger Nutts always loved the atmosphere of peace and love France offered to all who could experience it. This trip was a visit to Paris, a place Tugger Nutts only visited once before when he was very young. A city full of romance and great food splayed out before him.
The city had had a string of strange jewelry related robberies as of late. Tugger Nutts’ old friend had asked him to visit and help out on the case. The head detective had clues, but no definitive leads.
Justice needed to be served. This crook had an indecent run, but Tugger Nutts would stop it. He had a way of chewing through the information and finding the hard truths. He also had a way of chewing through anything that was put in front of him for too long.
Tugger Nutts arrived at the police station. He asked to see his old friend, and detective contact. Tugger Nutts found himself munching rug while waiting for his friend. They needed a new rug in here anyways, it didn't match the drapes.
“Ah ! Mon vieil ami, (Ah! My old friend,) Tugger Nutts!” The detective embraced his old friend. “Je suis tellement heureux que vous ayez pu venir . Cette affaire a l'équipage d'instruction perplexe. (I am so glad you were able to come. This case has the investigating crew stumped.)”
Tugger Nutts bleated happy greetings. He assured his friend he would do everything within his power to help catch this crook. Tugger Nutts wanted to hoof it to the latest crime scene.
The criminal had robbed six places already. Two were homes of wealthy families. Two were gold jewelry stores. And the other two, of which one was the most recent, were diamond outlets. The only thing which connected the crime scenes was a handkerchief the thief would leave behind as their signature.
“(The thief cut through a glass window or door. The criminal was fast and quiet. The places the crook visited had no active security systems; they were down due to electrical grid problems. It seemed random at first, but each area that went dark was a location of a hit. The police have no idea how the person could shut down the electricity for slightly longer than it takes to rob the target.)” Tugger Nutts’ old detective friend was very troubled by this crime spree.
Tugger Nutts walked around the diamond outlet. He inspected everything. He paid very close attention to the entrance point. He looked to his friend and asked about the handkerchief’s location.
His friend pointed to where they found it. “Le mouchoir lui-même est dans le casier de la preuve à la station. Nous pouvons voir quand vous êtes prêt. (The handkerchief itself is in the evidence locker at the station. We can see it when you are ready.)” Tugger Nutts took one last look over of the area then decided the handkerchief was his next step.
They arrived back at the station, where the rug was being replaced, and headed to the evidence storage. The detective signed them in to record their visit, then opened the locked vault door and ushered in Tugger Nutts. The two walked back to the box containing the six handkerchiefs.
Tugger Nutts examined the evidence. The handkerchiefs were made of fine silk crafted in a circular shape. They were a light blue in color in the center, the outer edge a deep purple. They had a strange monogram on them. The police could not find any information on it.
Tugger Nutts examined the handkerchief carefully, and almost started eating a second one before his friend stopped him with a laugh. “Pas manger la preuve! (No eating the evidence!)” Tugger Nutts shook his head and bowed it in apology.
Tugger Nutts decided he had to get something to eat. Afterwards he was going to go back to his apartment and think about the case. He would see his friend again tomorrow. He said his goodbyes and walked away.
Tugger Nutts thought about the handkerchief, it's color, size, shape, texture. The only thing he didn't know was how it tasted, but that probably wouldn't reveal anything other than for his curiosity. The strange monogram was impressed on his memory, he could've sworn he had seen it before somewhere.
The next day, Tugger Nutts went back to the police station. He asked about the other locations, all the gathered interviews and information. He then asked what time the blackouts and robberies would happen.
“Les coupures de courant se produirait pendant environ une demi-heure , environ le quart de minuit à trimestre après. (The blackouts would happen for about half an hour, from about quarter to midnight to quarter after.)” The detective pulled out a map of the city and its electrical grid. The electric controller had no information on how the crook was able to shut down certain areas for such a length of time.
Tugger Nutts studied everything. He believed he found a pattern. Some more research would have to be done, hopefully before the thief struck again. That strange monogram was sure to be the key.
Tugger Nutts went out to inspect the crime scenes. He watched the electrical wires and all their junction boxes. If a team of crooks were to interrupt certain junctions, they could put out the electricity of a small area rather efficiently. This wasn't a one man gig, this was a team robbery.
Tugger Nutts also started examining the information on the stolen items. The thief could've taken many more items, but only certain ones were pilfered. There had to be some connection between them. Maybe it was just the limited time to swipe things, but Tugger Nutts didn't think so.
Tugger Nutts enjoyed the food and drink of France. He and his detective friend talked about the case, Tugger Nutts revealing his thoughts on it being a team not a one man job. His friend and the other officers thought that as well, but there was no evidence of anyone else involved at this time. The electrical junctions had no prints or even evidence of tampering.
“Celui qui faisait cela était très bon. Ils sont efficaces et ne laissent pas de traces. (Whoever was doing this was very good. They are efficient and leave no traces.”) The detective sighed. “Nous espérons vraiment que vous pouvez nous aider , Tugger Nutts. La force de police entière est à votre disposition si vous en avez besoin. (We really hope you can help us, Tugger Nutts. The entire police force is at your disposal if you need them.”)
Tugger Nutts assured his old friend once again he would solve this mystery. But first, Tugger Nutts would need one of the handkerchiefs for his own investigation. It may become destroyed in the process so it will have to be removed from the evidence log. Tugger Nutts believed he was so close to solving this case he could taste it, but that would have to wait until after he received the handkerchief.
Tugger Nutts thought deeply as he sampled the handkerchief. He believed he had tasted something similar to it before, a long time ago. He had met a little boy in an alleyway. The little boy would tell stories how he used to belong to one of the richest families in France. Tugger Nutts tried very hard to recall every detail about that child.
Suddenly, Tugger Nutts knew he had tasted this handkerchief before! He knew what the monogram on it was! He knew who the thieves were. Tugger Nutts needed to do some research at the genealogist, the historian, and the auction house to gather the information he needed to close out this case. Once he had all the pieces to this elusive puzzle in place, Tugger Nutts would set a trap for the crooks.
There was once a family of Balls. They were one of the richest families of France, for a very short time. Their fortune was spent very quickly on expensive jewelry, clothes, food, and other items of the rich and nobility. The monogram on the silky handkerchief was part of their family crest.
Unfortunately, their riches were not wisely spent and the family became poor. Their belongs were sold at auctions to pay for their taxes and other foolish expenditures. The young boy Tugger Nutts had met in the alleyway many years ago was one of the descended Balls.
The items that had been stolen recently were family jewels. The Balls’ family jewels were separated and sold to various people throughout France by auction houses. Many of the family jewels had returned to Paris by one circumstance or another. With the Balls’ family jewels in one place, it seemed the perfect time to reclaim the thief’s, or thieves’, heritage.
Tugger Nutts examined the lineage of the Balls’ family jewels. He found two more places where they resided in Paris. The thieves must be planning their next heist for the perfect time to grab the Balls’ family jewels again. Tugger Nutts was determined to get into this midnight snatch.
One of the biggest Balls had one of the largest set of family jewels. She loved the larger things she could get her hands on. Her dresses would bulge with her large family jewels sticking out. She loved showing her family jewels off in public.
This particular family jewel was now in the possession of a wealthy store owner. Tugger Nutts looked over the electrical grid to see where the thieves would need to be to create the blackout needed to shut off the store’s alarms. He informed his detective friend of his plan.
The police went to their locations. They hoped Tugger Nutts’ plan worked. These thieves needed to be stopped. The police wanted to put a kick in the Balls’ plans.
Tugger Nutts talked to the store owner. He explained what was happening in the city and the plan he had formed to catch some Balls. Tugger Nutts would be in the store when the midnight snatch comes.
Midnight slowly approached. Tugger Nutts told the police not to act until after the main thief had the family jewel in hand. They were prepared to catch whoever was shutting down the electricity. Tugger Nutts had his trusty pack filled with items he may need.
The clock on the wall moved to 11:45 pm, then stopped. The crooks had begun their theft attempt. Tugger waited to hear the criminal enter the store. A slight scraping was heard as the thief cut through the glass door. A quiet thud, and the glass was placed on the floor, out of the thief’s way. Soft footfalls made their way towards the Balls’ family jewel, and the awaiting Tugger Nutts.
The crook grabbed the jewel and put it into a Balls’ sack. Tugger Nutts jumped into the midnight snatch. The thief was surprised and tried to run. Tugger Nutts leaped and followed quickly.
The lights came back on as the two fled from the store through the Paris streets. Tugger Nutts lunged and grabbed the Balls’ sack. He bit down hard on the Balls’ sack and family jewels. The thief tried pulling away from Tugger Nutts grip. The sack containing the Balls’ family jewel ripped open. Jewelry of different types spilled out onto the Paris street.
Tugger Nutts’ detective friend arrived and placed the crook officially under arrest. Tugger Nutts gathered the family jewels in his mouth and placed them in his trusty pack. The Balls’ sack was torn wide open. Now it was time to reveal the crook behind the midnight snatch.
Tugger Nutts expected to see the young boy, now a man, to be under the mask. He was surprised to see it was actually a young woman. He could still see the Balls on her face though; she was definitely one of the descended Balls.
The little boy was not a member of this rogue group. The crook’s friends were responsible for shutting down the parts of the electrical grid; a couple of them worked, or formerly worked, for the power company. The thief started her crime spree when she discovered the location of her Balls’ family jewels in Paris.
“Merci beaucoup, mon ami, (Thank you very much, my friend,)” the detective said as he affectionately patted Tugger Nutts. “Nous ne pouvions pas résoudre cette affaire sans vous. (We could not have solved this case without you.)” Tugger Nutts enjoyed his friend’s happiness. Tugger Nutts pulled out his camera from his trusty pack and took a photo of the entire police squad. He now had a picture of his friend Detective Frederic for his wall.
Drop by and talk about anything you want. This is where all cheese-related discussions should go
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I must say, I really am enjoying these stories. Most of all im impressed at your sheer dedication to Tugger Nuts and to the wonderful cavalcade of innuendo's that follow. As a writer myself I applaud you and your excellent works.
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