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Kitty Rain 3: The Opal Princess Puzzle

Kitty Rain 3: The Opal Princess Puzzle

~ Contents ~

{Front cover picture: The opal prince and princess}
{Map: The Shelber Gallery yard}
Chapter 1: Red and Yellow Fire Dresses
Chapter 2: Eating Flies
{Picture 1: Clever runner duck}
Chapter 3: The Opal Prince
Chapter 4: The Shelber Gallery Staff
Chapter 5: Fumbling Felix and Moody Lyn
{Picture 2: A slinking shadow}
Chapter 6: The Snoring Cat
Chapter 7: Mr Bilt's Codes
Chapter 8: Ducks are Better than Opals
Chapter 9: The Clues from the Photos and the Floor
Chapter 10: The Opal Recovery
Chapter 11: My Sister is Strong
{Back cover picture: Kitty and the rain}

~ Chapter 1 ~
~ Red and Yellow Fire Dresses ~

“Oh but aren't cats just a little too, oh, you know, boring and commonplace for you,” Kitty Rain West asked her sister Jane.
“If they are good enough for Nathan then they are good enough for me,” Jane informed her.
Kitty put her hands on her hips and was not impressed. Her yellow dress draped about her and her matching yellow bolero fit snugly on her shoulders. She sighed.
“What on earth has Nathan Eastly to do with this?”
“Well,” Jane started. “He's thinking of getting a pet cat. So I was thinking of getting a pet cat.”
It all made sense, to Jane; it all made nonsense, to Kitty.
“What! You can't. And that is a stupid idea. And Mum won't let you. And what about your ducks? Aren't they good enough? And you know cats attack ducks.”
Jane stopped and considered.
“Oh yes: my ducks...I have ducks don't I.”
“Yes you do,” Kitty agreed.
“But, um,” Jane thought aloud.
“But I want Nathan to notice me,” she confessed, hoping for some good sisterly support.
“Getting a cat won't help,” Kitty told her.
“Well, if I have a cat he might talk to me more.”
“It still won't help—unless you bring the cat to home church and let it go in the middle of a sermon. Then he will notice you.”
Kitty laughed but Jane didn't.
“Nooo, I'm not doing that. I want to talk to him about cats, not actually have it with me.”
“If you don't want a cat, don't get a cat,” Kitty said, exasperated.
“I do want a cat. So I can have something in common with him and then we can talk lots and lots.”
“Mmm. Have you completely exhausted the topic of buffaloes?”
“Yes I have. And Adam told Jimmy who told Shelly who told Martha that Nathan is thinking about getting a cat. So a cat it is for me.”
“Oh my goodness,” Kitty sighed contemplating the idea. “I liked it better when you weren't allowed to say his name.”
“Well I'm allowed,” Jane said, sticking her nose high in the air. “Nathan Eastly, Nathan Eastly, Na—”
“Nathan's cat has claws so beastly,” Kitty jumped in.
Jane didn't like Kitty's rhyme.
“No! Nathan's perfect! And so is his cat!”
“He doesn't even have a cat!”
“Yet,” Jane yelled as Kitty ran out of the room to escape Jane's rising anger.
Kitty went to the lounge and sighed. Luckily their mother was out, otherwise she'd be wondering what all the ruckus was about. Kitty's mobile phone rang.
“Hello Kitty, this is Uncle Leroy. I'm ready to go over the details of the case. Are you free for the next hour?”
“Yes Uncle. Are you coming here?”
“No. I want you to meet me at the scene. Come straight to the gallery.”
“Okay, I'll see you in about twenty minutes, as long as the traffic to Clayville is not too busy. Is that okay?”
“Fine, see you then.”
“Bye Uncle Leroy.”
She grabbed some things and a quick drink from the kitchen then, at the front doorway, there was Jane, hands on hips and fuming. Jane's attire was a red dress and together they looked and sounded like an impending explosion. Yellow and red fiery flames of sisterly difference, their two dresses blowing in the doorway by a breeze of frustration.
“Stop putting him down and stop putting me down,” Jane demanded.
“Look, Jane, I love you.”
“And I love you. So what?” Jane fumed, slamming her hands on her red dress to stop the skirt from flapping so much in the wind.
“Um, with such intense family bonding and love that we have, let's not let a meagre little boy come between our unending friendship.” Kitty was on a roll.
“A little boy?”
“He's eighteen,” Jane told her. “That's the same age as you. If he's a little boy, that makes you a little girl.”
“Well I guess it does,” Kitty smiled, which angered Jane some more.
Jane didn't know how to fire back at that. So she stomped around the doorway in a circle.
“Now please, let this little girl out the door as I have a $5000 case to attend to right this minute.”
Jane stopped immediately. Well $5000 was at least as interesting as a cat.
“What's it about, Kitty?” she asked excitedly.
“It's about a prince,” Kitty told her.
“What prince?”
Quack, quack, quack.
“Oh go look after your ducks. I don't have time for this. Uncle Leroy is waiting for me. And stop thinking about cats and Nathan.”
So Kitty, in her flowy yellow dress, brushed past her sister. She swung open the door of her car and jumped inside, perhaps a little too eager to leave Jane behind. She started the engine and whizzed off like a bee to honey, or in this case, like an investigator bee to mysterious honey where the essence of honey was a case dripping with Australian opals in a puzzle for the young Kitty Rain West.
“I don't care about your big case,” Jane yelled to the exhaust fumes.
Kitty was already gone: bees were made to make honey; Kitty was made to solve mysteries.

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