Janet and Jane: The Case of the Monster Hunter: Part Four
"You asked Janet to figure out what happened to our dad?” Corbin asked.
“I know we agreed not to talk about it, but I've been wondering about it recently,” Kell answered. “Since I didn't want to talk to you about it because of our agreement, I went to Janet.”
“Why Janet?” Jane asked. “You two don't get along very well.”
“I'll have you know that we didn't get into a single argument since we got here,” I informed. “As to why he wanted me to help him out, he knew that I'd keep it from Corbin. He thought you would tell him, Jane.”
Jane was quiet for a bit. “I admit, I would have told him. And Janet, you said that mom and dad had some explaining to do. What do you mean by that?”
Oh, Corbin and Jane were in for a surprise. “While we were finding out what happened to Corbin and Kell's dad – and we did find out, actually – we ran across this article that involved him and our parents.”
And I was right. The two of them were surprised. Corbin said in response, “Wait, our dad knows your parents?”
“Your dad knew our parents, yes,” I corrected.
We were quickly approaching my parents' place. I quickly went up to it and went through the front door. I walked in and saw my parents on the couch talking. The moment they saw me, though, they immediately stopped. Yes, very comforting.
“I'm back from my walk,” I announced.
My dad said in response, “That's nice,” in a slightly cold voice. “And Janet–”
“I know, I know, hat.” I took off my hat and put it on the coat rack. “What were you two talking about?”
I was expecting them not wanting to answer. And they certainly didn't. They didn't respond right away and they looked nervous again. This was getting ridiculous.
“Where's that Neopet that was with you?” my mom asked, changing the subject yet again. “What was his name? Kell, that's it. Where's he?”
“He's coming back. Jane and his brother, Corbin, are with him, too.” I leaned on the wall. “About earlier, I knew you two were just trying to change the subject.”
My mom tried to convince me otherwise. It didn't work. “No, Janet, we would never do that. Now where are your friends?”
Again, I was getting frustrated. “Do you know Reginald Merino or not?”
“Why do you even ask us that?” my dad asked. “What makes you think that we know him?”
I would have argued, but everyone else just arrived. My mom and dad were more than pleased to see them – it meant that the subject could easily be changed. I was not going to let that happen.
“They're doing it again,” I complained to Kell. “They keep changing the subject.”
Kell looked over at my parents for a second, then back at me. “Read that article that I found.”
Not a bad idea. I nodded and went through my bag. Oh, why were there so many things in here? I knew that I had to be prepared for anything in this line of work, but I needed to clean out my bag for the longest time. Why did I keep– Oh, here it is. I pulled the paper out of my bag and unfolded it.
“Reginald Merino catches monster that terrorized Haunted Woods,” I read. I couldn't sound more derogatory if I tried. “Along with his close colleagues, Lauren and Matthew Treiger, the three were able to locate and detain–”
“Where did you get that?” my dad asked. He stood up.
“Yeah, where did you get that?” Corbin asked.
I sounded way to confident in my response. “Mr. Camden. Nice guy, really. There's an archive of these papers in Town Hall and he said that we could borrow a couple articles.”
“Give me that,” my dad ordered, reaching for the paper in my hand.
I kept the paper from him. “I'll give you the paper if you answer a simple question truthfully. Don't lie. Do you know Reginald Merino or don't you?”
Finally. I could get them to tell the truth now. They knew I knew. It'd be best to tell the truth right now.
“I have no idea what you're talking about,” my dad said like I said nothing.
Okay, that was it. I stomped my foot and held back the scream I wanted to make so bad. Sometimes my dad could be so frustrating! Even when I was a kid. Now was no different.
“Matt, they already know,” my mom informed. “Yes, guys, we knew him.”
“Finally,” I muttered. I sat down on the couch and crossed my arms.
Jane sat down next to me. She said, “It sounded like you were giving Janet a hard time. Why didn't you tell her at first?”
“That's a complicated subject, Jane,” my dad answered. “We knew him, yes. We were close friends, actually. Similar to how you four seem to be.”
“Just like you told them about the crime ring, Janet, we told him about it,” my mom continued. “Only that didn't end so well. The crime ring caught on and...” She covered her face with her hands. That sentence was never finished. I figured it out, though.
“But the paper,” I argued. I took the other one out and showed it to my parents. “It said that it was because of the monster.”
You should have seen my dad snicker. “The crime ring is very keen on covering their tracks.”
I couldn't believe it. Kell and I thought it was due to an accident. That was what the paper said, at least. If it wasn't a monster and it was a Neopet... And if that Neopet was still roaming free...
“Who is this Neopet?” Kell asked in a near growl. He stood up. “Who is he?”
“Kell, calm down,” Corbin said in a placid tone. The blue Ogrin stood next to his brother and put a hand on his shoulder.
“Corbin, someone out there did who knows what to our dad. Aren't you the least bit angry?”
“Of course I am. I'm just saying that we shouldn't do anything hasty.”
“I agree with Corbin,” Jane added. “Kell, these guys are dangerous. I know you want to help out, but–”
Jane never finished that sentence before Kell angrily left the house. The door slammed behind him. Poor guy. Something told me he needed to talk – and I was the one that was going to do the talking. I got up, grabbed my bag, put on my hat, and went out the door.
He wasn't that far ahead of me. It wouldn't take that much to catch up with him. I just walked at a fast pace and I was next to him in about a minute. Once I was next to him, though, he was silent. I thought he would talk to me.
“Kell, are you okay?” I asked.
“Why would someone do that?” Kell snapped at me. He turned to me and angrily glared in my direction. “My dad didn't do anything bad. He was just doing his job. Nothing more, nothing less!”
I stepped back. “Hey, why are you yelling at me? I had nothing to do with it.”
The Wocky calmed down a bit. “I'm sorry, Janet. I'm just–”
“Mad? Upset? Not sure what to believe?”
He nodded. “Yes, Janet. Exactly.” He sighed and began to walk again. I walked with him. “I knew my dad was gone, but I had no idea a Neopet did it.”
I nodded slowly and understandingly. “I'm sorry. Maybe I should have just stayed out of this entire thing.”
“No, Janet, it's fine. I'd rather know the truth than go on believing what I did.” Kell held his head. “I can't believe someone would do that.”
“I see it all the time. A nice Neopet's life ended because of someone's malicious intent.” I looked at the street. “Kell, this crime ring isn't to be taken lightly. Are you sure you want to help Jane and I out?”
I admit, I expected Kell to think about that. He didn't. He responded rather quickly. I didn't think it took five seconds for him to answer – he actually answered right away. Even then, I expected him to back out of this. I mean, after learning that the crime ring... well, got rid of his dad, I figured he'd want to stay out of this entire situation. To my surprise, Kell said, “I'm sure. I want to help you two out.” He crossed his arms. “I don't what happened to my dad to happen to anyone else.”
I smiled. I admired his desire to help us out. “Thanks.” I looked back up. “Now where are you going?”
“I'm just going to the Coffee Shop. Just for a quick bite to eat. Nothing much.” Kell looked at me. “I could get you something if you'd like.”
I shook my head. “I can get myself something. You don't have to–”
“I know I don't have to. I want to. Think of it as something to pay you back for doing this for me. How about that?”
I was a bit hungry, but I was planning on eating at my mom and dad's place. Though that might not be the best idea after what just happened. I was one hundred percent sure that my mom and dad were talking to Jane and Corbin about the crime ring and I didn't want to go back to that just yet. That and I didn't have the Neopoints on me to get much.
“You know what?” I said to Kell. “I might have to take that offer.”
To be continued…