Long Tail Al: Well, Slimy what do you fink of that? I must say a bit of Big Tom’s property would do me fine. Spending me old age out in the country wiv a laid table every day. At least 3 kinds of mouse to choose from. Reckon we can trust that Grey yobbo?
Slimy: Dunno boss, might be an idea to have a rekky down in his part of the woods, just to see the lay of the land.
Long Tail Al: Now you’re talking Slimy, one of the reasons I ‘ave you around, ain’t for your scent in any case.
Slimy: I take a lick at least once a week boss.
Long Tail Al: Now that’s wot I mean. We can smell you coming before you arrive. That’s one of the reasons why I’ll be sending Charlie out to the country just to ‘ave a look around. ‘E’s at least a bit on the discrete side, don’t talk a lot, ‘ardly notice ‘e’s ‘ere. One of the reasons he nicks me mice when I ain’t looking. Go and get ‘im will ya Slimy.
Slimy: Will do, boss. Probably down in the sewers looking for a rat.
Long Tail Al: Where you been, Charlie. Bin looking all over the place for ya.
Charlie: About that mouse Al, it weren’t my fault. ‘e wasn’t even proper dead, still breaving, so I had to finish the job off properly. Didn’t know you’d already had a sniff of ‘im.
Long Tail Al: Well, you got plenty of opportunity to make fings right again. I got a job for ya.
Charlie: Anything for you boss. Want me to catch a few rats?
Long Tail Al: Not this time, just a bit of a recky down in the country.
Charlie: Reconaissence was me speciality when I was younger. I was always the one with the soft paws, no bird could hear me coming even when I was sitting under the tree.
Long Tail Al: That why I reckon you’re the cat for the job. Want you to take a walk in the country. Down the road to the first village.
Charlie: You mean big Tom’s patch.
Long Tail Al: Yea, that’s the one. Just ‘ave a look around. I wanna know ‘ow many cats he got in the troop, ‘ow big and what sort. And keep your eyes open for a scrawny grey cat there. Let me know what ‘es up to, ‘e turned up ‘ere last night with a proposition and I’m not sure if ‘e really means wot ‘e says, or just wants to line ‘is own fur coat. Oh, and Charlie, do a bit of a posh miaow like they do down in the village. We don’t want them getting suspicious. And ‘ave a good lick before you go, diving around in those sewers ain’t the best smell for a cat to ‘ave.
Charlie: Will do boss, and I will be so quiet that they won’t even know I’m there. When do I ‘ave to go, I’ve got some lady business to deal with this evening.
Long Tail Al: I’m afraid your lady friend will ‘ave to wait until tomorrow evening. And if she can’t wait until tomorrow evening, I am sure there will be another one waiting for yer. ‘Ave I made myself clear Charlie.
Charlie: Ok boss, in that case this evening. Perhaps I might find a bit of fur on the way.
Long Tail Al: Charlie, you are on a secret mission for me, forget the fur on the way, otherwise your fur will be flying tomorrow.
Bobinette: Nera, did you notice that grey was not ‘ere last night. I sink ‘e went into the town.
Nera: Yes, I wonder what he’s up to. I have a feeling that he paid a visit to Long Tail Al which disturbs me a bit.
Bobinette: I ‘ave ‘eard of Long Tail Al. ‘e is the big red tom cat that leads the cat pack in town. Some say he grew up in a church.
Nera: There are a lot of stories going around about Long Tail Al, but it is true that he lives in the cellars of the church, where most of his pack live. I think one of us should follow Grey the next time he goes out in the evening to see what is happening. I will ask Tabby to go.
Bobinette: Tabby? Do you think that’s a good idea, after his catnip addiction problems. He will have to concentrate.
Nera: The only catnip in town is probably the catnip Grey took with him and if he gave it to Long Tail Al and his gang, there there is certainly none left now.
Bobinette: But why Tabby, I am sure Romeo could do that job.
Nera: There are a few reasons. Just look at Tabby, an unimpressive Tabby cat that looks like any other Tabby cat. No-one would notice her and she doesn’t miaow a lot, so her country accent wouldn’t be noticed. There is also another reason, but that must remain as our secret.
Bobinette: You are making things very mysterious Nera.
Nera: As you know Tabby is my sister, she was the second born and doesn’t look like me at all. Our mother told me why. After she said goodbye to my father on that evening – he was a black Norwegian cat that belonged to the neighbour – she was on her way home and met a large red impressive cat that did her a favour.
Bobinette: You don’t mean Long Tail Al.
Nera: Yes, Bobinette. You know how we female cats can be, and Long Tail Al is Tabby’s dad, although I am sure Tabby will not notice the connection. I mean let’s be honest, how many of us cats really remember our parents.
Bobinette: And you sink that it would be a good idea to send Tabby into town in that case.
Nera: I am sure, Tabby does have something unknown in her character. Apart from catnip sniffing, she is the best mouse catcher that we have here, and has even brought home a few birds almost as big as she is. She just doesn’t know any fear.
Tabby: Hello Nera, Hissssss Bobinette, What’s the conversation about. You both look quite serious.
Nera: We are a bit worried about the way Grey is carrying on. Mysterious visits into town in the evening and it looks like he is going again this evening.
Bobinette: Hisssssssss Tabby. Yes, we must do something about it.
Tabby: So what are we going to do about it?
Nera: I was wondering what you could do about it.
Nera. Yes you, The next time we notice that Grey is going to town you can follow him and find out what he is planning. Those town cats can be very sly. We think that you should follow Grey and let us know what’s happening.
Tabby: Well I don’t mind going to town, I feel quite at home there. You just have to know where to go and what to say. No problem.
Bobinette: I am impressed. I would be too frightened to go to town.
Tabby: It’s just a feeling I have when I am there, that it is no more dangerous than in the country. I will keep an eye on the Grey movements and when I notice he is getting ready to disappear in the evening I will follow him.