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Winchester-Nabu Detective Agency Year Six: Case File No. 16-276

AMBER LOVE 29-AUG-2022 This work is supported by the generous backers who adore my cat stories at and they also get first access to what’s happening with my books and podcast.

Where We Left Off:

The Bunny Hollow Mayor Election was held. We took a moment to get to know some of the rabbit creatures living in the area.

The Outfit:

This has truly been one helluva year with the infiltration of mice. The Cook smelled something “off” in the kitchen during one of the remarkably cooler mid-August days. The Grumpy Old Man went down the cellar steps and came back with (likely a glue trap) something and threw it outside in the garbage. All he would say was that it was a mouse. At least it wasn’t rotting in a wall somewhere. Then you just have to live with the smell for a while.

Though out of sequence, the Winchester-Nabu case files gave an update on the mice on August 1st regarding the use of glue traps. Oy, that was a sickening day.

mice doing tricks

Now we’ll go back to early June. New ant traps were put down and the mice were somehow interested in them. They came out of their secret networks and pushed the ant traps around like some oversized soccer game! What the heck could be in ant bait that mice also want? Was there something more to it? Were the mice trying to move the ant traps for a reason?

Gus and Ollie worked for days trying to eliminate those more intrusive criminal rodents with a penchant for home invasions. It was June 7th when Gus brought a small and exceptionally fast mouse to the Winchester-Nabu offices. They fought their way through Oliver’s office and around my space. I didn’t think I’d be able to catch it even with the best mouser awake and helping. I finally caught the speedy bastard tangled in the tassels of an afghan. It was put into a standard relocation unit and taken outside.

I walked this little shit down the street and released it on the side of the road in the grass. It ran through my feet and BACK ACROSS TO OUR YARD! I have it on video:

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The Grumpy Old Man had warned me about this for years. Every time he learns that I’ve released a mouse, he says, “They’ll just come right back.” That’s usually proceeded by old man grumbling noises, but I don’t know how to type that. I’ve heard you’re supposed to take them a mile or two away. I’m not getting my purse and shoes and transporting mice over to a farm when I just want to be in bed.

That's not gonna happen

On July 8, 2022, Gus brought a dead mouse at 2:48am which is a surprise. A pleasant one. When they’re alive, I have to chase them around, catch them in a jar, try not to get bit like that one big bastard did to me; and then walk them to a relocation spot. The Butler took care of this dead one! Hurray!

Gus outside

The critters who are lucky enough to get into the Winchester-Nabu relocation program are supposed to keep their end of the bargain. They’re supposed to start new lives! There’s a rich environment around here for them. There’s a lovely sloping forest across the street that goes to a pond and trails. Sure, there are cats over there too, but they seem nice. At least in the photos their owner posts.

Gus got rid of the leaders of the Bloody Burrow Gang. Were there more? The facts that we had led us to believe it was a relatively small, ruthless gang of criminals.

Were these mice—the one dead in the glue trap or the one Gus caught and killed—the previously released duo that I managed to peel off a glue trap under the stove? I had set them in that sloping forest mentioned earlier. I can’t imagine they would have a good reason to cross this horribly busy road and make their way back into the house. I reviewed this idea with Oliver and Gus.

“Those rodents had some injuries. They were probably eaten by the owls that night,” Oliver said.

“That’s an unpleasant thought,” I said.

“I was just doing my job,” Gus chimed in.

“I know, Gus. You did good. You killed it so no one else had to.” I gave him pats on the head. “And you did it with only half of your teeth! I’m so proud of you. So do either of you know who those mice were?”

“Allow me,” Oliver began as he sat up from his sphinx position. “The one Gus delivered to you was Murray. He was a fixer. He had a penchant for saying: Any time you become weak, you might as well die.”

“I guess he was ready to go. He went down easy. I could have used more of a challenge,” Gus said.

Oliver in catnip bowl

I asked Ollie what else he knew. The mouse called himself Murray Humphreys but in casual conversation, his friends would refer to him as The Hump. He was part of the Muridae Family, one of the most influential and far-reaching outfits of mice and other rodents.

“Since no one knows who The Old Man disposed of, I can’t tell you anything about that one. And I’m not sure if Speedy Gonzalez got back in. He probably did, but we haven’t seen him,” Oliver concluded.

Case Findings:

It was a gruesome time for the house mouse community, but at least we didn’t bring in an exterminator for them. Gus and Oliver have been doing their jobs; The Grumpy Old Man has gotten more involved in the pest control with less sophisticated ways.

The critter that Gus delivered DOA on July 8, 2022 was Murray “The Hump” Humphreys, a legend in the organized crime outfit of rodents. There’s no word on Speedy Gonzalez.

Case Status: Closed

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