Tepic was standing on the Canal Street Bridge, just by the Old Imperial Theatre, admiring the lights along the canal twinkling on the ice below when his friend Beryl bounded up to him. They exchanged greetings, then, as they looked along the length of the canal, the cat let out a long heartfelt sigh.
“What’s up?” enquired the lad.
“Just….” Beryl started, then paused before continuing, “Dreams. Something is wrong, very wrong.”.
“That’s what yer always say,” was the reply, then, because he was basically a truthful boy, “errrrr….. an yer mostly right….”.
“But each time I think what it might be I don’t see any sign of it… Except for Theodore… and Canergak, I see signs of them, obviously, but no Dobermans or anything like that.”
The boy thought for a moment, then said “Mr Theodore is alright, bit slow, but decent…”
“He’s a sign of PJ.” The cat stated flatly.
“True,” the lad continued, “but nuffins blown up yet, which is good…”
“I’m worried that PJ without the Man in Blue might actually be subtle… but I doubt it.”
Tepic was not really sure what that meant, and anyhow, something else had occurred to him, looking over the frozen canal.
“oh… if them Dobermans turn up, take em out on the ice, nuffin like seein a dog try ter skate fer a good laugh….”
Beryl nodded as he contemplated the idea, which obviously appealed to him, then suddenly gripped his head as if in pain. He said “It’s…..”, then lay down flat in the snow. His young friend exclaimed “‘ear! You alright?”.
“Something is wrong…. just…. wrong.”, he got up gingerly, feeling at his head.
“yer got a headache?”
“I haven’t felt like this since I learned my name. These kind of headaches…. I might have acted the same way, but that was a ruse after then…”
The boy looked worried, “maybe yer should drop in the hospital?”, he asked.
“No.” came the immediate reply, “Some of my dreams are about the hospital, and… Canergak.”
“well,” the boy commented with a slight chuckle, “he sertain ain’t taken a shine ter thee an me…”
“Tell Lisa… be cautious,” the cat said in an urgent tone, “she’s not safe”, before gripping his head and keeling over in the snow, twitching.
“then best she moves..” the lad had started to say when he noticed what had happened, “here! Blimey…. he’s out of it..”
He examined his friend, noting the twitching and the firmly closed eyes, and was preparing to try and drag the cat to safety when Beryl suddenly woke.
“yer keeled over, i was gonna take yer up ter the hideout!”
“No!” exclaimed the cat, eyes flashing, “I’ve got to go!”
“reckon we should get yer up there….” Tepic started, then realised he was talking to empty space, the cat speeding away up Jefferson Street. He started off at his top speed, trying to catch him, but by the time he reached the undertakers, there was no sign of the cat.
“Blimey…. where did he go?” he said to himself, concerned about his friend, but also impressed by his turn of speed. There was little he could do, except to spread the word among the other urchins to keep an eye out for the cat, and of course, to send a warning the Lisa.