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Stanley Smartpants Short Story

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Stanley Smartpants and the Stolen Bananas

One summer afternoon, just after lunch, Detective Sergeant Stanley Smartpants of the Cat-Haven Cat-Police was deep in thought. He sat at his office desk, chewing the end of a pencil. He was trying to figure out why any cat would want to steal a crate of bananas from a boat in Brixcat Harbour.

Jack calls to say that he has found a witness
Jumping Jack Detective Sergeant - Stanley Smart Pants

Stanley was a Blue Tabby Point Birman, and generally regarded as being a very handsome cat indeed. He had a thick coat of creamy-white fur, a bushy, fluffy, brownish tail, and intense sapphire blue eyes. The distinctive brown markings on his beautiful face and his chocolate brown ears were his most interesting feature. But it was the stylish way he dressed that made him stand out from other cats. Today he was dressed in one of his favourite outfits, a pair of red and black striped trousers and a bright blue waistcoat that matched his eyes. He also wore a really cool pink bow tie with large white spots.

The telephone on his desk jumped into life and shuffled across in front of him. It startled him into biting off the end of his pencil. He picked up the receiver. “Smartpants,” he said, spitting out wood shavings and pencil lead.

“Hello, Sarge, it’s me, Jack. I’ve found a witness in the Harbour Mastercat’s office. He said he saw a cat behaving suspiciously on the harbour road, and he was eating two bananas. He kept looking over his shoulder, as if he was worried about something.” Without pausing for breath Cat-constable Jumping Jack rushed on. “Which reminds me, Sarge, what do you call a cat with a banana stuffed in each ear?”

“We’ve heard that one before, Jack. And besides we haven’t got time for jokes. And slow down, for heaven’s sake. Where’s the witness now?”

“In the Harbour Mastercat’s office. Where I’m calling from.”

“Stay there with him. I’m on my way.”

Stanley checks with the Chief and goes into the Crime Room
Detective Sergeant - Stanley Smart Pants Derek Dimwit Cat-Constable Marmalade Marmaduke Cat-Constable Tammy Tickletummy

Stanley knocked lightly on Detective Chief Inspector Derek Dimwit’s office door, and walked straight in. Derek’s intercom was buzzing and the red light was flashing, but he sat motionless in his swivel chair. He was fast asleep.

“Ahem,” coughed Stanley, as he turned off the intercom. There was not a flicker of movement from Derek. “Ahem, ahem!”
Derek opened one eye and looked at Stanley suspiciously.

“Hi, Chief. Jack’s got a lead on the banana case. I’m on my way to Brixcat Harbour now. Would you like to come with me?”
Derek, a very ordinary, plain black and white moggie, rubbed his sleep filled eyes with his paw. “N-n-n-n-no, thanks Stanley. T-t-t-t-take one of the c-c-c-cat-constables.” Derek had a tendency to stutter when he was flustered. “I’m working on something really important at the moment.”

Stanley smiled to himself as he shut the Chief’s door behind him. He popped his head inside the Crime Room, where the Sugacats latest hit was blaring out from Tammys iPod Shuffle. “Marmaduke, sorry to interrupt your break, but I need you to come with me. Jack’s found a banana witness at Brixcat Harbour.”

“That’s not really fair, Sarge,” interrupted Cat-Constable Tammy Tickletummy, a Seal Point Siamese with an impish, pointed face.

“That’s denying Marmaduke his basic cat rights in the workplace. We’re on break for another fifteen minutes.”

Cat-Constable Marmalade Marmaduke, a slightly overweight Red Tabby Shorthair, who was similar in colour to a jar of Seville orange marmalade, stuffed a final piece of toast and marmalade into his mouth. “That’s all right, Tammy, but I’m ready to go,” he said with his mouth full.

Stanley and Marmaduke go to Brixcat Harbour to interview the witness
Detective Sergeant - Stanley Smartpants Cat Constable - Marmalade Marmaduke Jumping Jack

Stanley and Marmaduke took a panda car from the motor pool and drove into the Cat-Haven-on-Sea town centre, past the level crossing and down to the shore road. They turned right and passed the Cat-Odeon and the new Crazy Golf, which was now called Crazy Adventure Golf for Crazy Cats. They drove on out of the town towards Brixcat, and down the steep hill that led to the town. They pulled into the harbour entrance. A self important cat in a Securicat uniform bustled out of the glass booth and held up his paw.

“We’re the Cat-Haven Cat-Police,” said Stanley evenly, showing his warrant card. “Where can we find the Harbour Mastercat’s office?”

The security-cat pointed with his paw to a wide staircase. “Up them stairs and turn right at top. First office along corridor.”
As Stanley and Marmaduke walked through the door of the Harbour Mastercat’s office, they were greeted by Jumping Jack. His colouring was black and grey in a tabby pattern, and he had a brilliant white neck and a white blaze between his eyes and round his nose and mouth. His hazel green eyes were bright and intelligent, and full of fun. He was an American Wirehair, and his frizzy hair stood up on end, as if he’d suffered an electric shock.

“This is the cat, Sarge,” he said. “Fishercat Freddie. He fishes for mackerel, and when he got back to Brixcat this morning he saw …….. well, I’ll let him tell you.”

Freddie came forward and shook paws with Stanley.

“I’m Sergeant Smartpants, Freddie,” said Stanley. “Tell me what you saw.”

“It was about eleven o’clock this mornin’. I’d just finished offloadin’ my catch and was walkin’ towards the car park. I saw this rather tall cat eatin’ two bananas at the same time. He had one in each paw. He seemed in a bit of a hurry, as if he was runnin’ to the toilet after a curry, and kept lookin’ over his shoulder.”

“He had two bananas then,” said Stanley.

“He was eatin’ two bananas, Sergeant, but he had loads more stuffed in his trouser pockets.”

“Do you have any idea what breed he was?”

“I think he was a Burmese.”

“What colour was he? How was he dressed?”

“He was pretty much brown all over. Tall and slim. And he was wearin’ brown trousers and a brown shirt. For sure he wasn’t a fishercat.”

“Perhaps he was trying to blend into the surroundings,” said Jack.

“Could be,” replied Stanley. “One final question, Freddie. Have you any idea where he went?”

“Oh yes,” said Freddie, with a huge grin on his face. “I was curious, so I stopped to watch him. He crossed to the other side of the ‘arbour, past the marina, and went in to the fish and chip shop, the Cheekie Chippie.”

“You’ve been most helpful, Freddie. Here’s my card in case anything else occurs to you. Jack, Id like you and Marmaduke to sniff around the fish offloading area, and see what you can come up with. I’ll go over to the Cheekie Chippie.”

“I’m hungry, Sarge,” said Jack. “It must be time for lunch. Is it ok if me and Marmy grab a cat-burger at CatDonalds?”

“I suppose so,” said Stanley. “I guess I can pick up some fish and chips myself.” He winked at Jack.

Stanley follows the trail of the suspect to the Cheekie Chippie fish restaurant
Detective Sergeant - Stanley Smart Pants

Stanley strode into the Cheekie Chippie fish restaurant, and approached a pretty Turkish Angora behind the counter. He took out his warrant card and introduced himself.

The Turkish Angora smiled sweetly. “I’m Cheekie Charlotte. What can I do for you, Sergeant.” She smiled again.

“I’m here about some stolen bananas, and ………”

Charlotte gasped. “That’s odd,” she said. “There was a strange cat in here a couple of hours ago. Incredibly he tried to sell me some bananas – even insisted on giving me a free sample. He said I could set a new trend in fish and chip shops, by selling banana and chip butties.”

In spite of himself Stanley laughed. “I take it you didn’t buy any?”
“Good Lord, Sergeant, as if I would! And anyway,” she chuckled, “I’d hardly admit it to a cat-police officer if I had done, now would I? But no, I didn’t.”

Twenty minutes and a piece of succulent cod with a mountain of chips later, Stanley was still licking his whiskers, and preening himself, when his mobile phone rang. It was Jack.

“Sarge,” he said excitedly, “we’re in the marina where all the expensive yachts are moored. We’ve just had a tip off that a cat in a brown shirt and trousers has boarded the Flower of Catminster, the yacht owned by that politician-cat down here on holiday. We …….. oh my God!”

“What is it, Jack,” shouted Stanley down the phone.

“Marmaduke’s just taken a tumble, whisker over paw. Oh no …….” Jack began to laugh. “He’s only slipped on a banana skin!”

“Stay there, Jack. I’ll be with you in two sniffs of a cat’s snout.”

Stanley and Jack board a luxury yacht
Detective Sergeant - Stanley Smartpants Cat Constable - Marmalade Marmaduke Jumping Jack

Two minutes later Stanley had joined Jack and Marmaduke on the jetty opposite the Flower of Catminster. Marmaduke seemed none the worse for his fall.

“I want you to stay here, Marmaduke, while Jack and I go on board. Keep your eyes peeled.”

As Stanley and Jack clambered aboard the luxury yacht, they were confronted by a large, round Norwegian Forest cat, wearing a Captain’s hat. “How can I help you, gentlecats?” he said with a plum in his mouth.

Stanley flipped open his warrant card. “If I’m not mistaken, sir,” he said quietly, “you’re the Cat-Minister of Culture, Sir Lancelot Smiles-A-Lot.”

Predictably, Sir Lancelot smiled, showing a mouthful of highly polished, brilliantly white teeth. “Indeed, Sergeant.”
“This may seem an unusual question, Sir Lancelot, but have you seen a brown Burmese with a load of stolen bananas stuffed in his trouser pockets?”

A guilty look crossed Sir Lancelot’s face. “Well, yes,” he said hesitantly “he’s down below in the lounge. Fed me some absurd story about being from Oxfamcat, and selling cheap bananas to raise money to send clothes to Catmandu. Of course I realised the bananas were stolen.” The same guilty look clouded his face. “I was on the point of asking him to leave when I saw you and your colleague come aboard.”

Stanley knew that he was lying, and that he was probably negotiating an even more favourable price with the Burmese. “Quite so, sir,” he said evenly. “Perhaps we could have a word with him. Let’s ……..”

The suspect makes his escape ... or does he?
Detective Sergeant - Stanley Smartpants Cat Constable - Marmalade Marmaduke Jumping Jack Stanley was interrupted by a flash of brown fur streaking across the deck, making for the bow. Before he could react the Burmese leaped from the boat onto the jetty, and it seemed odds on that he would make his escape. But he had reckoned without Marmaduke who performed a brilliant rugby tackle on the fleeing thief-cat, and brought him down. Jack had reacted quickly and was at Marmaduke’s side in a flash. He pounced on the Burmese and promptly handcuffed him to one of the iron railings that ran alongside the jetty.

An hour later, a van arrived to take the Burmese back to the station. By that time he had admitted the theft, and told Stanley where he had stashed the crate of bananas.

“A good job, well done,” said Stanley as the Burmese was loaded into the van. “I think we deserve a small celebration. We’ll call in at the Kitty Kat Ice Cream Parlour, and I’ll treat you both to a Banana Surprise.”

“What’s a Banana Surprise, Sarge?” asked Marmaduke.

“It’s a classic ice cream sundae served in a tall glass, with lots of ice cream and fruit, and the surprise is that there aren’t any bananas in it!”

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