Let me tell you a little tale about a mad scientist that looked like Abraham Lincoln. He was a very bad man who specialized in macro-biological weaponry for sale to whoever wanted to pay him. His last great development with devolutionary breeding, was regressing a species of Hungarian dog called the kuvasz back to its ancestral form. A hyper-predatory, phenomenally good tracking, scary intelligent, canid pack hunter called a lobox.
Due to some misunderstandings with United States law ,(He didn't think it was wrong to use NRA members as test targets for his furry prototype assassins) he wound up getting on the Brothers Fredrickson's bad side, and got run over by an elephant for his troubles. Unfortunately his son sicced the pack leader on Harper and myself, so it was a little tense until I managed to convince the lobox that I was meaner than it was and claimed its Alpha standing in the pack.
That would be the previously mentioned Wile E. Coyote and his mate Mitzi who were now on this circus tour. I had restrained their most murderous impulses, but if Guillaume, their handler, wasn't around, anybody who got to close could easily wind up Purina lobox chow and that, would not be pretty at all.
Harper knew all this as well of course. So the pair of us were willing the jet to move more quickly so as to avert a potential bloodbath.
The airport we landed at was small, but they had the car we had arranged for waiting and we were on the road twenty minutes after we landed, heading straight for where the convoy had been found. We arrived there in less than an hour and in the early hours of the morning found us arriving at the crime scene tape. After brandishing a truly astonishing sheaf of paper work at the tired Deputy standing guard, we were waved through and pointed at the Sheriff.
Sheriff Braxton was in his early thirties and looked completely stressed out. However having a dwarf in a business suit walk up to you can act as a stimulating tonic I gather. At least he seemed completely alert when he saw us approach.
"We're two of the owners, Harper Rhys-Whitney and Robert Frederickson, we had called ahead that we were coming ASAP."
"Oh yeah. I got that message." He looked up at the starry sky and gave a dry chuckle, "When you said ASAP, you meant it."
Harper spoke up, "Robbie tends to be an overachiever."
I gave her affronted look which she didn't even have the decency to acknowledge.
The Sheriff spoke again, "Do you have any idea what could have happened or even who's missing?"
"No on the first and Harper's got all the files for the second. Sheriff, these animals have been locked up without food and fresh water a lot longer than normal. Do you mind if I grab a Deputy or two and make sure they're okay while you go over the files? I promise not to touch anything except what's absolutely necessary."
Braxton thought for a moment then nodded, "Go over there and grab Cully. He's a farm boy and can at least help with horses and camels and shit."
"Thanks Sheriff!" Quickly giving Harper a peck on the cheek, I ran over to Deputy Cully and let him know his new purpose in life. He seemed pleased to be able to see the circus animals and I steered him towards the feed trailer and the horses, while I beelined to the lobox pen.
When I got there I breathed a sigh of relief as neither of the double locks was undone. However, for safety's sake I called out, "Coyote! Mitzi! It's me!" before unlocking it with my master keys. The were low happy barks and whines as I moved inside, switched on the lights and began pulling chunks of horsemeat out of the large chest freezer before slipping them into the pen. The two lobox tore into their meal hungrily as I checked the water tank and the flow to their drinking bowls. Finding them clear and relatively full I told them I'd be back in a bit, and left to feed Sadie and Mitch, the lions, and then Tuxedo Dan.
By the time I was on to Dan, Deputy Cully had wandered over and helped me finish up with moving hay for the elephant.
"Anything else sir?"
"I don't think so Deputy, but thanks for your help."
"No problem sir, I've never gotten this close to an elephant, my son will be so jealous."
"Tell you what. When this is over I'll arrange that you and your boy can get a ride on Dan here."
"Thank you sir!" he headed back over to his previous guard post, while I reentered the lobox trailer. Pulling a pair of nunchucks off their hanger, I then unslung the heavy leather collars and leashes from their shelf and stepped over by the cage door.
"Mitzi back!" I rapped the two legs of the nunchucks together and the female lobox went to the back of the cage and laid down.
"Coyote here!" I rapped again and the big male stood next to the bars so I could first scratch him behind the ears and then place the collar around his muscular neck. I then opened the cage and fastened the leash to the heavy D-ring on the collar.
"Out and sit!" Like a smoothly oiled machine, Coyote slipped out and sat on the floor in front of me. I closed the cage door and locked it.
I looked at the apex predator's grinning muzzle and smiled, "All right boy, let's find Guillaume."