"Rhyme and Reason, Part I: Opening Moves" (3/3)

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Micheal A Crawley

Apr 17, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/17/96

Part I- Opening Moves.
Part 3 of 3


Inside the treehouse, Chip wandered over to the living room
couch and sat down with his head in his hands, trying desperately
to figure out what was going on. He still wasn't certain if he
was going over the deep end or not. True his hunch had paid off
and he had saved Monterey's life, but even after the fact, when
he looked at him, the strange ominous feeling was still there,
gnawing at his gut. Worse yet, now the suspicious feeling had
extended to Zipper as well. /Maybe I'll feel better if I lay down
for a bit./ he thought hopefully to himself. Wandering off in the
direction of his room, he continued to ponder his dilemma.
Suddenly, as before, the sensation of danger grew stronger. He
was right outside his room. Remembering that Dale was inside,
Chip stopped and struggled with himself for a moment,
trying to put some sort of logic into the situation. The
sensation of danger had saved Monterey, but what if that baseball
was only a chance occurrence that had nothing to do with his
hunches? he wondered. What if his "hunches" were just his mind
playing tricks on him? Shaking his head clear, he rushed
forward. *He couldn't go on maybes.* He would rather look like a
fool than put one of the others in jeopardy. If this kept up much
longer though....he didn't know if he would be able to take it.
Trying the door, he found it locked. As he did, a small gasp of
surprise from within the room came to his ears. His panic rising,
he backed up, and throwing his weight against the door, he broke
the lock open to find..........*an old female mouse, wearing
ragged clothes who had to be at least in her seventies*.

"Chip!" the female cried with a startled look as Chip drew
himself up short before her. He blinked twice in confusion,
looking startled as well as he looked her up and down.
"Dale?" Chip asked, recognizing the voice as he stared at
the old lady mouse. "Is that you?"
"Aw Chip, what're you trying to do, spoil your own
birthday?" Dale asked in an exasperated tone as the old lady
frowned at him. Though he recognized the voice, Chip still could
hardly believe it was Dale. The disguise was foolproof. If not
for the voice, he would never had known it was Dale.
"What're you talking about?.....And what are you
doing in that outfit?" Chip asked, still not understanding.
"I was going to give this to you for your birthday present."
Dale said, sweeping his hand across the disguise and indicating a
box upon Chip's bed.

Walking over to the bed, Chip looked at the plaque that was
fastened to the large wooden box. "The disguises of Sherlock
Jones." Chip read aloud.
"From his official fan club society-animal chapter." Dale
continued from behind him. Turning Chip moved his attention from
the box back to the old mouse before him. "I...couldn't resist
trying a few on before I wrapped it." Dale admitted sheepishly.
"I was going to surprise you with it, but now......." Dale
trailed off, the rest of the statement obvious. "What's going on
Chip?" Dale asked, now looking at him curiously, "Don't tell me
you thought I was in trouble again?" He paused, looking at him as
if he was trying to examine his friend's thoughts, "Or were you
really that impatient to see what I was getting you?"
Walking back to the door, Chip smiled what he hoped looked
like a normal smile. "I'll tell you about it later, Dale." Chip
said as he took the door handle in his hand. "You just continue
with........whatever you were doing in here that I didn't see
anything of." he rambled, looking up at the ceiling and around
the room nonchalantly before closing the door. A moment later, he
opened the door once more to stick his head in the room. "By the
way," he said to Dale, pointing at him with a wink, and a grin.
"it's you." With that, the door closed again.


Having returned to the terrace once more, Chip sat brooding
for some time now upon the lounge chair in a very foul mood. His
head rested in one hand on the arm of his chair as his other hand
restlessly tapped on his Sherlock Jones book now laying in his
lap. The sense of danger he had been feeling all morning was
still there slightly, only now it was overshadowed by something
much stronger. *Anger*. Anger at the drudgery that his life had
become these past few months. It was all he could think about.
All because of the simple word that Dale had repeated a few
minutes ago from earlier this morning: *Surprise*.
There was no surprises left in his life. No mystery. *Nothing*.
The last good mystery that he and the Rangers had faced that
really got his "mental faculties" working, as Jones would say,
was during the case of the "Ghastly Goat of Quiver Moor" that
they had had down in Scotland some time ago.() Since that time,
the mysteries had been few and far between, and not nearly as
challenging. Usually it was just Fat Cat or Professor Nimnul or
with some overblown, obvious scheme to rob the city blind. Sure
it was a challenge to stop them and their gangs, but there was no
mystery to it, or very little. Very little surprises. Very little
real thinking or deducing.

There was no doubt that he considered his job as a Rescue
Ranger important and he was proud of the accomplishments he and
his teammates had made. Right now though, all he knew was the
feeling as though he was in a terrible rut. As a detective, a
good mystery was one of the things that he lived for. It was now,
as he reflected upon the cases of the past three months that he
felt its strikingly obvious absense in his life. These past few
weeks had been even worse. They hadn't heard a peep out Nimnul,
or even Fat Cat, their two most frequently recurring adversaries,
and their case work had been restricted to helping the police nab
minor burglars who presented no challenge at all, to say nothing
of mystery. And now, even on his own birthday, a day when things
should hopefullly go his way, some outside force that he couldn't
even begin to explain or get rid of, was succeeding in getting
rid of the one bit of surprise and mystery that he could count on
for this year-*his birthday presents*.

Chip sighed heavily as he turned his attention to the book
in his lap he was still tapping absently. Picking the book up to
his eye level, he stared at the picture embossed on its cover.
/Sherlock Jones./ Chip thought to himself, as the full picture of
the detective came into his mind's eye. /You *never* had a dull
case. Your days were always filled with mystery and surprises.
Your enemies were always challenging you to think, to stretch
yourself, to become even better than you were before so that you
might catch them. Me? What do I have? Nothing./ Chip sighed
heavily again. /If only I could have a lot of cases like yours
with different worthy adversaries./ He thought longingly, /Cases
that would challenge me like yours did for you. Or even one
adversary that would let me really see what I could do as a
detective. I wish I could have cases like the ones you've
handled.............../He sighed deeply once more.............
............/What I wouldn't give to have *that*./


In the kitchen, down one level from where Chip now sat
still brooding, a small meeting was taking place between the rest
of the Rescue Rangers. A serious mood hung in the air over all
those assembled as Gadget silently took her seat and trained her
gaze upon Monterey Jack. "Is everything ready?" she asked, her
tone similar to one who was preparing strategy for a battle.
"Oy." Monterey answered, nodding at her, "Everything's
set." Nodding her satisfaction, she turned her attention toward
"Did you get everything we need, Dale?" she asked, her tone
unmistakably one who did not expect or want to hear a negative
"No problem." Dale answered with a grin, though his tone was
as serious as hers, "I got everything down to the last detail."
"Good." Gadget replied.
Finally, she turned her attention to Zipper. "How about you
Zipper?" she said, "Did you ask? Will she do it?" she asked,
looking at him expectantly.
"She said she'd love to." Zipper said nodding.

"Wonderful." Gadget stated, "Then all we have to do is put
the plan into motion."
"One problem." Monterey spoke up.
"What?" Gadget said worriedly, locking her eyes onto his.
Monterey raised his head to look at the ceiling as he cocked a
thumb upwards as well, before looking back at Gadget. "What do we
do about Chip?" Gadget turned a wry smile upon him.
"We get rid of him." Dale said, answering for her, as
he smiled a devilish grin.
"Right." Gadget said, turning her gaze away from Monterey to
fall upon Dale. "Is plan A set?"
"All set." Dale answered. "And even if plan A falls
short, plan B is sure to *finish* the job."
"Excellent." Gadget said, rubbing her hands together in
anticipation, "Then let's get starte-"


A knock sounded at the front door, cutting her off. "Who
could *that* be?" Gadget asked with a frown, turning toward the
front door though she couldn't see it through the closed kitchen
"Beats me." Dale answered with a similiar scowl. "Everyone
knows the schedule, so it couldn't be anyone we're expecting."
"I'll see who it is." Monterey said, rising from his
Opening the front door, Monterey found a pigeon standing
there before him with a small collar fastened around his neck.
"Can I help ya, mate?" Monterey asked with a pleasant and
curious tone.
"Is this the Rescue Rangers?" the pigeon inquired.
"Oy. That's what the sign says, mate." Monterey replied,
hooking a thumb to the plaque fastened over the door.
"Telegram for Chip." The pigeon responded, shortly.
"Oy. I'll take it for 'im mate." Monterey said, holding out
his hand. The pigeon only shook his head at him.
"Specific instructions for it to be delivered in person."
The pigeon replied stolidly.
"All right Mate, I'll get him." Monterey stated with a
shrug. Dispatching Zipper to tell Chip about the telegram,
Monterey, Gadget, and Dale stood by the front door along with the
pigeon, waiting for Chip to arrive. A minute later Chip strode up
to the door with Zipper buzzing alongside him.

"I'm Chip." Chip said as he stood before the pigeon, holding
out his hand to receive the telegram. "Thanks." he stated to the
pigeon as he handed him the small rolled up piece of paper from
his collar. Without further ado, the pigeon turned and flew off.
Gathered next to him, the other Rangers watched as Chip unrolled
the paper and quickly scanned it.
"Who's it from?" Gadget asked. "Some book store near here."
Chip answered, turning it toward them. The others looked and
nodded with mild interest before Chip spoke again.
"Seems I won some sort of mystery book in a drawing. The
place is only a half mile or so from here. I'm going to take a
walk over and see what I won."
"Do you want to take one of the vehicles or planes?" Gadget
"No thanks." Chip replied, "I'll walk. I feel like getting
a little exercise."
"Okay, see you later." Gadget returned, smiling as Chip
headed out the door and closed it behind him. The door clicked,
and from a nearby window, the other Rangers watched as Chip
headed down the tree and off through the park.
"Well *that* was convenient." Monterey said, turning to the
others once Chip was out of sight. "Though you'll still have to
take care of him once he comes back Dale."
"Right." Dale replied, readily.
"I don't know Monty." Gadget stated, looking thoughtful as
she stood there poised with her hand on her chin. "Something's
"Wrong? What's could be wrong luv?" Monterey asked, frowning
as he turned to face her.
"A telegram to be delivered in person from a *book
company?*" she said, looking at Monterey curiously, "It doesn't
make sense."

"Now Gadget luv," Monterey said assuringly, placing a hand
on her shoulder, "you've seen a lot of stranger things than that,
being a Rescue Ranger, eh? It might just be some new policy o'
theirs for prizewinners. Come on now luv. You've got more
important matters to think about." he said, guiding her forward
as Dale fell in step with them, while Zipper kept watch at the
window lest Chip should return, "Let's get to work."
"Okay," Gadget said, still looking pensive, "But it's still


Once he was sure he was out of sight of anyone at the
treehouse, Chip stopped walking, only about twenty feet away
within the shade of another tree. He was glad he left when he
did. He knew he couldn't have kept that poker face going much
longer. Looking back in the direction he had just come, he
exhaled slightly as he took the telegram out of the crook
in his arm and unrolled it once more. Yes it had been a notice
from a book company as Chip had shown his friends,......*or so it
seemed*. For at the very bottom of the notice, written in a very
small script, was a most unusual message. It read.........
*"Are you alone?"* He had covered up the message with his thumb
when he showed it to the others, lest they had asked what it was
about. He himself was about to find out. He turned the paper over
to see if there was writing on the other side. Nothing. He held
it up to the light. Nothing showed through. "Hmmm, I wonder..."
Chip said aloud, rubbing his furry chin. Gently taking a corner
of the paper between his thumb and forefinger, he rubbed it until
a moment later, his suspicion was confirmed. There was a second
piece of paper stuck so closely together with the first piece,
that it looked like there was but one piece there.

"Aha!" Chip cried to himself triumphantly as he peeled back
the first piece of paper to reveal the second. On the second
piece of paper was a short message written in a very faint
handwriting so as not to show through the first piece, Chip
noted admiringly. It was of the same type as that which had given
him the clue on the first page. The note read:

Dear Chip,
I must speak with you at once lad. A matter has come up of
extreme urgency which concerns you and all your teammates.
However, before you tell the others, I must first consult with
you which is why I have contacted you in this manner. Please,
meet me at Police headquarters where all the adventures began, as
soon as possible. I'll be waiting there. Again lad, I must urge
you to tell nothing of this to the others until I have
spoken with you first. Hurry lad! Time is of the essence!

Chip realized he felt his heart beating a little faster as
he read the message. /This has to be what all those strange
feelings of danger all morning were about!/ He still didn't know
why he was getting them, but now, he was certain that he wasn't
going crazy after all. he sighed with relief. /And Plato's the
one who knows what this is all about./ He had recognized his
mentor's handwriting from the short message on the front, but
even so, seeing the name of his old friend to confirm it was him,
sent a shiver of excitement through him. Plato hadn't written
back to him and the Rangers in months! It *had* to have some
conjunction with this new "urgency" that the retired police dog
now spoke of. Now he realized, he and the others were in still in
some sort of danger unless he got to Plato fast, to find out what
this new menace was all about. Stuffing the notice into his
jacket pocket, Chip sprinted off as fast as he could in the
direction of Police headquarters across the street. Even though
it was under adverse circumstances, he still thrilled to the
thought of meeting his old friend again after all this


Back inside Rescue Ranger headquarters, as Zipper still kept
a diligent watch out for Chip's return should he come back for
any reason, the others worked hard at their respective tasks.
Right on schedule, they had begun putting everything they needed
in order, according to the plan they had worked down to the last
detail. Gadget was busy at her task, when suddenly, her
concentration broken, she looked up and over at Dale. "Hey Dale,"
she asked him, a curious, unsure look on her face as she paused
for a long moment............"Do you smell something......?"

* CDRR-Double O' Chipmunk.
** CDRR- Good Times, Bat Times.
^ Tammy has been a good friend of the Rescue Rangers since the
events of CDRR- "Adventures in Squirrel Sitting."
<> As it had in CDRR-"It's a bird, It's Insane, It's Dale!", "The
S.S. Drainpipe", and "Double O' Chipmunk."
^^ CDRR-Pound of the Baskervilles.
() Disney Comics-CDRR-Issue # 24.

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