Neither Hyde Nor Heiress
by Barney Brazil
The four sleuths and their dog relaxed in the cushiony chairs that constituted their booths in The Malt Shop, their favorite hang out. Goofy Shaggy Rogers eyes matched those of brawny Fred Jones, both glum with disappointment. Each had shared a harrowing tale that failed to confound their friend, the brainy Velma Dinkley.
Now it was perky Daphne Blakes turn. You guys will never believe how close I came to losing my valuable jewels last night.
If it involves danger, Id believe it, Shaggy rolled his eyes. Youre the only one who runs into more monsters than ol Scoob and I. His canine pal nodded in agreement.
The redhead ignored them. Well, I was asleep in my bedroom in my pink nightgown
The one where the black band is tied around the purple cloth at the top? Fred asked, unaware that he had apparently lost his inner monologue. Shaggy gaped as Daphne blushed furiously. The fact that Freddies seen her in that racy lingerie a number of times was certainly no mystery, Velma mused to herself.
At any rate, I was fast asleep, when a sudden noise woke me. I started to scream, but a green hand was clamped over my mouth. A gravely voice warned me not to cry out. I found myself face to face with the evil Mr. Hyde.
Which one? Velma wondered aloud. Weve faced several of them.
The one with the green skin, wearing those brown pants, green overcoat and brown hat, who lived in a swamp and stole jewelry, Daphne shot back without batting an eye. He ordered me to tell him where the jewels that I received from my Aunt Olivia. I guess he must have read about her generous gift in the local paper.
He must have escaped from prison, Shaggy trembled.
Or was out on parole, Velma offered. Please continue, Daphne.
The redhead shuddered as she continued her tale. Rather than thank me for divulging the location of the jewels, or simply absconding with them, he chose to tie me up and gag me for my reward.
How did he do that, Fred asked eagerly.
Daphne managed a smile at the blonds obvious interest. He tore several strips from my silk purple sheets, then used those to bind my wrists and ankles, pushing me down on my chest next to my bed. I asked him to have the decency to leave me on my soft, comfortable mattress. He laughed and yanked a strip from the satin cover of my pillow. This thick material was jammed between my lips, and tied behind my head.
Having the rapt attention of her audience, the danger-prone Daphne continued. Helplessly, I watched him pull the two most valuable necklaces from my secret drawer. Rather than honor my last verbal request, he merely looked back at me for one last leer, then made his way to the window, where he pulled up the handles, slipped through the opening, and pulled the glass down behind him.
So you lost the jewels? Fred gasped in disbelief.
The redhead caught her breath before speaking again. I dared not do anything while he was in sight, but the moment he slipped away, I yelled out for help at the top of my lungs. Luckily, Police Officer McClanrahan was a block away, and heard my cries for help. He ran toward my call. The cowardly Mr. Hyde dropped the necklaces, before disappearing into the night. But I shall have nightmares about the ordeal for the next several weeks.
Wow! Shaggy exclaimed, earning an additional nod from Scooby.
Ill bet you could sell your story to the press! Fred observed.
I highly doubt that
.since it never happened, countered a skeptical Velma.
How did Velma know? Look below to read the answer.
I beg your pardon, Daphnes eyes blazed.
Last nights event couldnt have happened, Velma began. As you yourself said, you were helpless, bound and gagged. Mr. Hyde closed the window behind himself. You couldnt have possibly issued a shout with the pillowcase wedged between your teeth inside a closed building that the gallant Officer McClanrahan could have heard a block away.
Shaggy and Fred turned and looked at Daphne, whose shoulders sagged. I give up, she admitted. I made it all up to see if I could fool you this time.
Cheer up, Velma beamed as the foursome rose to their feet. You werent robbed. That means you can cover the bill and the tip! Fred, Shaggy and Scooby joined her in laughing as a red-faced redhead forked over several bills before they left The Malt Shop and headed for the flowery Mystery Machine.
More coffee, sir? The waitress inquired.
No thanks, came a deep voice behind the newspaper. He had just read the story about the generous inheritance that the chatty redhead at the booth next to his was gabbing about. Now she gave him a few extra hints that he could employ when he paid her a special visit that evening. Given that she had made up the story, she wouldnt be expecting the same attack to recur tonight, he mused.
And whats more, her friends would never believe it if he left that night with a helpless hostage bundled into a nearby car to ensure a greater share of the inheritance, which would slow down any police investigation of the kidnapping.
Shall I prepare your bill Mister
.. the waitress said upon her return.
Doctor, if you dont mind, the bespectacled man responded. Doctor Jekyll.