Read KC Frantzen - May the K9 Spy 02 - May Finds a Way: Peril in Paris Online

Authors: KC Frantzen

Tags: #Mystery: Cozy - Dogs - Paris

KC Frantzen - May the K9 Spy 02 - May Finds a Way: Peril in Paris (5 page)

H
ow is this going to work? There’s no footing and it’s dark.

I’m inside the cloth bag and feel myself lifted and placed on something with a hard floor. Good, I can stand.

Wait… Did she put me inside another bag? The cloth bag was pushing it. I can’t breathe and it’s dark and…

Miss Coralee says, “I’ll let you out as soon as we get there.”

I need to think about something else. Running through the field back home, bright sunny sky, without hawks. Or… Sitting on the porch with the Grouch, listening to her latest lesson, me wondering what my purpose is. Wait till she hears about these adventures.

Keeeeep breathing. In, out, slowwwly. Miss Coralee and Mr. Vince are taking a risk to help me. I can do this.

I hear his voice, thanking people as they get off– Wait. What word did Miss Coralee use? Disembark. Note to self: No barking.

She says, “I hope to see you again, rather soon.” And his quiet reply. “Yes. Enjoy an uneventful journey, until we meet again.”

Roger that, Mr. Vince!

Angry footsteps.

Uh oh. It’s
her
.

“You people will be hearing from us – that dog was our valuable property. It’s lost, gone. I texted my employer. We demand payment. Damages.”

I whimper before I’m aware. Yikes.

Miss Coralee jostles my bag. “Sh!”

Must remember my training.

It’s so loud, overwhelming. Machines, music. And I’m straining to understand the assortment of languages. Occasionally there’s a whiff of warm bread and coffee. I’m set down and picked up and shuffled around.

An authoritative voice asks questions first in French, then English. “You carry the black passport of the Diplomatic Service.”

Miss Coralee’s tone sounds confident. “
Oui
, I am assigned to the US Embassy in Paris.”

“Your luggage please.” A zipper opens and closes. Then my bag moves.

“Excuse me sir, notice the seal? This is not a personal bag, but diplomatic.”

Wshew
.

More jostling, then outdoor sounds, a zipper opening and I’m blinded by morning.
Oh Miss Coralee. Thank you for opening the bag. I’m not sure how much more I could take.

She looks towards oncoming traffic and mutters, “Where’s the car? Peter should already have arrived.”

Peter? Where’s Mr. Vince?

Maybe Rukan’s people are everywhere… Maybe…

I inhale sharply.

Why did Miss Coralee offer to help, anyway? She doesn’t even like dogs.

S
omething’s not right.

Can’t put my paws on it, though I’m putting them to work in the rear seat. While Peter drives – whoever he is – I pace window to window over Miss Coralee’s lap. She looks up from texting and glares with each pass. Try as I might, I’m unable to read much without being obvious, though I saw something about SPA. Should I remember what that means?

We’re into the city now. The streets are spacious, with humans walking alongside in both directions. There’s a few of my kind on long leads. Wonder if they have trouble with overexertion, like I do sometimes? I don’t ever want to pass out again. So much drooling. Embarrassing.

Instead of walking, some humans are crammed into red vehicles with no roof, way bigger than Dad’s truck. The sign on the side, in French and English, reads “Hop on, hop off – one day for the price of two.”

Delicious scents are on the breeze. Think I’ll stick my head out. Yikes, the traffic is tight here! If we were moving slower, someone could pass a little gray pooch like me some mustard with a hot dog– yum!

Look at the golden statues of horses and angels – spectacular! The road changes and we begin to cross moving water, far below us. The smell makes me want to roll, though when I look into the distance, it’s pretty, like a silver ribbon. The marker reads
Rivière Seine – River Seine.
Now I understand. Rukan’s operative wanted to toss me “in the Seine” – not insane.

Gulp.
Here we are.

I take a quick look in the mirror at Peter’s eyes, but he seems intent on driving. Miss Coralee is still texting.

I’m staying near the window.

We circle a slim tall pointed object and I notice a sign –
Place de la Concorde.
When we turn between shady trees and drive slowly down a small street, I glimpse the American flag. I’m hopeful and look at Miss Coralee to tell her, but she’s still texting.

There are several tiny buildings in front of a large one, maybe temporary shelters for those men in uniform. The sign is in two human languages:
L’Ambassade des Etats-Unis d’Amérique à Paris – Embassy of the United States Paris
.

And we passed it.

If Miss Coralee and Peter work for the Embassy, why wouldn’t we stop? Something’s wrong!

Gotta go!

I leap through the open window, landing on the concrete and quickly look around.

Brakes screech. “COME BACK HERE!”

“No can do, Miss Coralee,” I woof, sprinting between vehicles as I cross the street. I plunge into thick undergrowth and travel along, sniffing this and that on the way. At an opening, I scan for her car. Nope.

Idea! Use escape and evasion. Sassy would be proud.

I bolt back across and join a crowd taking photos. They aren’t looking down so they don’t notice me.

As we walk, I note the buildings rise five or six stories, like at the training center. But the streets to the side are narrow, with humans walking alone and in small groups, some with dogs. I might find more opportunity on a less crowded street.

Turning at the corner, layers of scents overwhelm me. No cats in sight, but they’ve been by. Recently. Here’s a perfume shop and a clothing store, a dental office. The next several places display chicken, vegetables, fruit, even bread and sweets.
I lick my lips, but no one notices. Guess that’s okay. I want to blend in.

At a break in the sidewalk the crowd of feet stops, so I do too. Like Ms. Schwind taught the first week at boot camp, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” I’m in Paris but figure it still applies.

Why are we still waiting?

Well, I have to keep moving.

I get two paws onto the street when a big truck whooshes by– Jump back! Stinky smoke billows over me.
Hack
.

It sure is different experiencing traffic from the ground.

A vehicle on three wheels turns nearby. Between the driver’s feet sits a Westie wearing a plaid scarf, riding like she’s done this many times. When I smile, she looks the other way. Did I do something wrong?

Ding
. The crowd starts across the street, all at once. I look both north and south, then join in. Not a friendly face any place. I feel very small.

Outside a café, I spy a discarded cup with black liquid still in it.
Sniff
. Like Dad drinks. I’ll be more cautious this time.
Lap lap lap
. Yuk. At least it’s wet.

Shouting!

I raise my head, whiskers dripping coffee onto the concrete.

Angry young humans shove papers at the passersby. A few humans stop to read, but most keep walking, letting the pages flutter down. I’d better trot on past and keep moving.

Sniff.
Here’s one. Hmm, Revolution, Anarchy, Overthrow, Chaos… There were leaflets like this at Rukan’s place, where Dad and Mom rescued me.

Run, before they recognize me!

I tear around a corner and mingle with another group to cross another street, then another, and another, building after building, until I lose count.
Pant pant
. As I’m forced to slow to a trot – mustn’t overexert – a travel agency poster grabs my gaze. “
Visite Washington, DC.”

Yes please.

Wonder how long it’ll take me on paw?

T
hump thump thump
. Must rest. Maybe that hollow will be safe.

As I huddle under the bushes, my concerns form words: I’m absent without leave – AWOL. I don’t even know how to find boot camp, though I sense it’s to the west.

Do I trust Miss Coralee to help me? Doubtful. Mr. Vince? Maybe. He speaks critter after all, and said he’d try to get me home. How do I find him? How will I survive until then?

I sniff others who’ve taken shelter here – pigeons, several cats, no snakes, a rat! Things smell so–

“Grrrr. Keep moving. This is our turf.”

I peer from under a limb. It’s a thin brown puppy and a sturdy white dog, companions to a man who smells like he also lives outside. Hmm. They taught us about teams who operate as homeless – perfect cover. I’ll try the signal.

“Hello Miss White Dog. Do you–”

“Don’t make me repeat myself. Grrrrr. You won’t like it.”

“Okayokayokay. I’m moving.”
Sigh
.

As I continue west, I notice a narrow piece of metal on a tall pole with the words
Rue
and Avenue. I remember Avenue, but
Rue
? April said she rued the day I became part of the family, but that meaning wouldn’t make sense. Some kind of street I’d think.

This one says
Rue Benjamin Franklin
. Dad and I watched something on the Antiquity Channel about him. He was an American who lived long ago. Why is there a street for Mr. Benjamin in Paris?

Sniff.
Peculiar scents linger in the wind here. Suddenly Lucky Jack, the dying rabbit I found back home, comes to mind. But why? My word of the day, why.

Over the top of a high wall, some strangely-shaped objects are barely visible. One looks like an elaborate building with colored glass in its high windows. And the scent seems to be coming from that direction. Odd.

I spy a tiny park with a monument on one end. That shade looks promising. Rest first, then food. I look both ways, then trotting on the striped marks, I cross the
rue
.

Wonder of wonders! The monument is a statue of Mr. Benjamin. It says he was Ambassador to France 1776–1785 and lived in this area before it was part of Paris. Imagine. Me and Mr. Benjamin, Americans so far from home. Makes me feel a bit better, somehow.

I’ll curl up near him and rest.

Something pokes my side.
Sniff.
I scent evil and open an eye. Whoa – A pack of young humans.

“Let’s make it run.”

“We can use it to fight.”

“Not much of a fight.”

“Too small.”

I wag my nub in apology and woof, “I’m sorry for intruding. I’m an American dog in an American park, unfamiliar with your customs and will be out of your way shortly. Would you please direct me to where I can eat and drink?”

The leader of the pack yells, “Fire!”

Ping. Clatter. Zing.
Dirt clods, rocks, and wood chips whiz past me.
Thwack
.

“OW!” I yelp.

The young humans cackle, especially Pack Leader. His tone sounds like Rukan’s boy, Monster.
Shiver.

Clank. Ping.
I sidestep, using the monument for protection. Then the pack splits and several disappear.

Thud.
“OW!” Pelted from the other side. Must escape, but where?

When I look across the
rue
, a group of humans, arms full of grocery bags, trudges by. A woman says, “Why don’t the police do anything about those ruffians? Nothing but trouble since those families came into the area.” An old man walking with a stick starts to speak, but Pack Leader gives him a look. The man shakes his stick in defiance, then ambles on.

Pack Leader points and laughs. “Wise move, old man.”

Mom would say, “Pack Leader, where are your manners?”

I spy a scruffy cat on the wall who ignores me and starts a bath.

One of the young humans seems part of the pack but merely observes. His manner is grave, miserable. Even his clothes are dreary. Maybe he’ll help me… but he doesn’t look strong enough.

Thwack.
“OW!” When I taste blood, I stamp my paw. Enough!

I squint and yank back my lips, baring my lethal vicious pointy fierce fangs.

“Ha ha ha ha. Look at the ferocious dog.”

“OOOhhhh, I’m sooo scared… NOT.”

“It can’t do any damage, too small.”

Fear nips but I’m not going to let it win.
Grrrrrrr. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Dreary Boy calls out, “Let’s go guys. Leave her be.”

Pack Leader says, “What’s your worry, mama’s baby? A little blood bother you?”

“Whatever.” Dreary Boy shrugs and shuffles away.

Pack Leader struts for his audience. “No wonder Director chooses me over him.”

Who’s Director? Why would anyone care what this evil kid says? The pack members aren’t even thinking for themselves, except maybe Dreary Boy. He walked away.

When Pack Leader nods, the other kids raise arms, missiles at the ready.

This is so wrong.

As I dash forward, they close in. A pretty girl with a terrible expression is first.
Thunk
.

OW! Do not whimper. It’ll encourage them.

I veer right, dart left. Can’t break through.

I stand with my back to Mr. Benjamin again to pant. One thing for sure, I’ve got to escape before– Movement attracts my attention. There’s that cat, meandering towards the park.

I cringe as Pack Leader barks instructions. Four close in waving their arms. It’s confusing, and they’re so loud and… Yikes! One grabs my front leg, wrenching me off the ground.

POP!

Aaaaahhh, the pain! I swing around, clawing with all my might.

The kid drops me onto the grass and holds his arm, hollering. Pack Leader says, “Did it hurt? Awh, poor baby. Don’t cry.”

I struggle to get up.
GASP.
Can’t put weight on my leg. I hear a growl, low and deep. Whoa. Didn’t know I could do that.

Must fluff my fur, stand aggressively if I can. I’ll go down fighting. But I
can’t
go down. Must get back, warn about Rukan. That’s right. Survive.

Edgrr’s voice rushes into my mind. “When in doubt and danger, do not stay. Relocate – with care.”

I crouch low, ignoring the pain, and start for a big metal gate across the street. Pack Leader signals and Mean Girl lunges for me. I whirl, evade her and… He’s got me!

I slash Pack Leader’s sleeve and grind my teeth into his flesh. Shirt and skin rip.

“Yaaaooowww.” His face sweats and reddens as he tries not to cry. He shrieks, “I’ll KILL you!” and wrenches me over his head.

Dad, Mom I love you. We’ll meet again – I hope.

“RRREEEHHHRRRR!” The cat leaps – screaming and ripping and clawing and biting.

Pack Leader ditches me to block his face. I’m flailing…

I bounce off the bushes and splat onto concrete.

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