From Amarantis Belfire's Journal
The Farm of Eugenia Burton, Steelhead City
"That's not Jeremiah." Fuzz muttered to Mother Superior as they walked out of the barn.*
"Miss Burton seems to think that he is." Mother Superior replied, "She believes he has amnesia."
Fuzz looked at the barn, then back at Mother Superior, "I've seen amnesia victims, the majority of them do not have horns. Looks like an antelope."
"What of his scent? Is it the scent of Miss Burton's farm hand?"
Fuzz pointed to the mistletoe tree located on Eugenia's farm. When she originally planted the tree, her intention was for the Christmas events, hanging it over the doorway to kiss folks who entered (her hopes were for the Baron to walk under it), she was not aware of the tree having the ability to throw off the senses of a Lycan.
"Oh..." Mother Superior replied, "then the latest attack from the chicken thief will have to be solved by other means."
Fuzz motioned to the Jaeger's searching around the chicken coop, "Have to rely on the next best thing to a Lycan's sense of smell."
Greegar Hellershanks marched from the chicken coop up to the sheriff and saluted. Fuzz waved.
"Herr Sheriff, ve hef schniffed de entire chicken koop. Hall scents are from SCHteelheaders. De children, especially, like to visit Miss Burton's farm." the Jaeger reported.
Fuzz nodded, then headed towards the chicken coop. He looked over at Mother Superior, "And this happened as Genie was out discovering 'Jeremiah'?"
"Yes, Sister Christian checked the farm. Found nothing out of the ordinary, then continued on with her rounds. As she was coming back, she heard the commotion. When she returned, nothing but scattered feathers, and more spooked chickens."
"Herr Sheriff," Greegar asked, "do hyu schpeak to animals? Maybe de chickens kan tell hyu vat heppened."
Fuzz studied the inside of the coop as he replied, "Afraid Poultry isn't one of my learned languages. Mostly it's Wolfspeak. On occasion, I can speak a bit of feline. And there are times when Willard is griping and complaining that I wish I never learned the Ratspeak."
"What do we do, Sheriff?" Mother Superior asked
Fuzz turned and began to leave the farm, "I'm going to continue to investigate."
"Off the farm?"
"Yes, off the farm." Fuzz stopped and turned to Mother Superior, "But, keep an eye on 'Jeremiah'. He may not not who they think he is, and the only other Jeremiah I know that's familiar with Steelhead, could mean big trouble."
Outside Steelhead Town Hall
Fuzz made it back to town hall in time to see a large wagon pulled by a team of mules pull up in front. A large man with a coonskin cap was sitting in the wagon, which was covered by a tarp. He saw Fuzz and smiled. Baron Wulfenbach and Veles walked over, curious as to the newcomer.
"Hudson." Fuzz called out, "Haven't seen you in Steelhead in some time. Thought you gave up on doing business with us and stayed with those boys in Portland."
"Ah, Fuzz" the stranger replied, "Those boys in Portland are nothing compared to the fine folks in Steelhead."
Fuzz smiled, then looked at the Baron, "Hudson here's a trapper. One of the best. Used to bring in all kinds of fur. Lately, though, he's making a fortune selling Faux fur."
"Vat iz Faux Fur?" Veles asked
"A faux" Hudson explained as he got down from his wagon, "is a small creature. 'bout the size of a beaver. Cute, cuddly, adorable......dangerous."
Fuzz nodded, "Multiply like you wouldn't believe. They'll eat you out of house and home. Destroyed farm lands, forests, you name it. The only thing they're good for, is their fur. Better than any mink, fox, bear, or rabbit. The high society in Caledon are always looking for Faux fur to wear at functions."
"Ah," Wulfenbach said, "I've seen the fur coats that you speak of. Perhaps Herr Hudson would allow me to purchase some of his fur, depending on if he has plenty to spare."
Hudson smiled, then threw back the tarp, revealing the wagon filled with fur of the Faux, "Damn varmints were running rampant south of Seattle. I got plenty." He turned to Fuzz, "Where's the elf?"
"Vacation." Fuzz replied, "I gave him no choice. He and Tensai had been working non-stop. Katt's running things....until she screams in frustration, then I help with the bureaucracy."
Hudson nodded, then moved closer to Fuzz and whispered, "There's something else I need to show you."
Hudson led Fuzz to the rear of the wagon, and motioned to a large sack. He then opened the sack and revealed the gray and white fur inside it.
"Oh God." Fuzz whispered in shock.
"Yea," Hudson replied, "Got it off a trapper named McGee. Guy's bad news. Said he got it twenty miles east of here."
Veles looked at the fur, his eyes got wide, "Ho, dat looks familiar."
Fuzz looked at Veles, "It does? When did you see this?"
Veles looked at Fuzz, "De day dat Volfgang vas attacked. De kreature dat attacked him. His fur looked chust like dat."
Fuzz looked at Hudson, "Where's this McGee now?"
Hudson shrugged, "Still in Seattle when I left there. But he mentioned that he was returning to these parts, claimed that his hunting wasn't over yet."
Fuzz pointed at the sack, "I'll make sure you get compensated. Veles, if the Baron doesn't need you for anything, I need your help with something."
"Go ahead, Captain." the Baron said, "I will conduct business with Herr Hudson. I wish to present a special gift to Frau Lowey.....NOT a word to her."
Veles gave the signal of locking his lips, then followed the sheriff to the Europan Consulate. The Baron looked at the sack.
"McGee is a werewolf hunter, isn't he?" He asked
Hudson nodded, "Moment I heard his story, I bought the fur, then high tailed it to Steelhead."
"Herr Sheriff is able to take care of himself."
"It ain't Fuzz that needs the protecting."
Inside The Europan Consulate
Anya looked up from her school work to see her father looking in from the hallway and smiled. Fuzz put his finger to his lips, then motioned for her to continue with her work. She nodded, and went back to her studies. Fuzz then turned to Veles.
"The Europan children's dorm rooms?" Fuzz asked
"Gurls or boys?"
"Boys." Fuzz replied, "In particular, I wish to know where Wolfgang sleeps."
Veles nodded, then led Fuzz up the stairs.
Boys Dorm Room
Fuzz walked over to the bed that Veles pointed out as being Wolfgang's. It was pretty evident as it was the only one that wasn't made. Fuzz studied the mess.
"Tossing and turning." Fuzz noted as he got down on one knee and peered under the bed.
Veles nodded, "Oh, ja. Frau Lowey iz vorried sick about him. Herr Baron hes pinched his nose, Hy tink he might hef broken de bridge"
Fuzz got up, Veles didn't notice him putting something in his inside coat pocket. "We'll get to the bottom of this, Veles. Everything's gonna be ok."
Both looked up as a bell sounded.
"School's out" Veles noted
Fuzz nodded then headed out of the room and back downstairs.
The Consulate Hallway
Fuzz found Anya standing at the doorway leading out of the Consulate. He held out his hand as he started to walk by, Anya took it and walked out with him.
"Why is that in your pocket?" she asked
Fuzz looked at his daughter, who looked up, pointing at her nose. Fuzz nodded.
"Trying to help Mrs. Annechen and Wolfgang." Fuzz replied
"Is Wolfgang in trouble?"
"No," Fuzz said, "Sometimes we get forced into things we don't want. But we have to learn to deal with these things. The great thing is, we don't have to be alone when dealing with it."
"Aunt Angelica is right," Anya said, nodding "you DO talk weird."
"Your Aunt Angelica always says the nicest things about me."
Mother Superior held several envelopes in her hand as Fuzz and Anya walked into the office. She handed the envelopes to Fuzz.
"One of those envelopes is a letter from Colonel O'Toole." Mother Superior said, "I hope that means he will be returning soon."
"Hard to say with Hotspur." Fuzz said, placing the envelopes in front of him as he sat down at his desk, "But if he's writing, that means he's on the mend and that the folks in Fusang have been taking real good care of him."
Anya pulled a chair behind Fuzz's desk and sat next to him, folding her hands on the desk and looking up at Mother Superior. Mother Superior smiled, then looked at the Sheriff.
"And what of the chicken thief?" she asked
Fuzz reached into his inside coat pocket and pulled out the chicken feather he found under Wolfgang's bed. "I need to get to it out of the way before tomorrow night. It's going to be a full moon."
The Edge Of Steelhead Forest
Fuzz knelt down on one knee and waited. The night air felt refreshing. He had been staying home at nights to be with his daughter, but too much was going on. After leaving Anya in the care of Miss Katt, Fuzz went do deal with the businesses at hand.
The first business was not a long wait, as the white wolf came out of the forest. She looked at the Sheriff, and the two began to converse in Wolfspeak. After a few minutes, the white wolf turned then headed back into the forest.
Fuzz then caught a scent in the air. He quickly turned and headed back towards Steelhead City.
The Farm of Eugenia Burton
Fuzz jumped over the fence to Eugenia's property and ran towards the chicken coop. He could hear the chickens in a frenzy. He ran into the coop and found the culprit.
"WOLFGANG" Fuzz yelled
Wolfgang spun around, two dead chickens in each hand. His eyes were glowing red. He looked at Fuzz and snarled.
To Be Continued
*To learn more about the stranger in Miss Burton's barn, turn to here