Marvin and Mark, the Moehog twins, were lounging leisurely
in their office. The sign of their door read, "M & M Detective Agency", because
that's what Marvin and Mark did. They solved crimes. Actually, they had only
solved one "crime" and that one had been set up by their mother. Still, it took
a lot more than a sympathy case to demoralize these two young Moehogs, so they
stayed in the business, patiently awaiting the day when they would receive a
call, one for a real mystery.
Marvin, the older Moehog, sported a handsome
chocolate brown coat, while Mark, the younger, had painted himself a snowy white.
Marvin tended to take advantage of Mark's gullible and naive traits, which often
led to heated disputes between the two of them. Mark was tired of being of the
under Gelert He wanted to be the one to find the clues, to crack the case and
solve the mystery.
Though at their current rate of business, it
didn't look at though either of them would be getting the chance to solve any
crimes. Their employment seemed to be pretty comfortable at its current status,
which was zero. This worried Marvin. If they didn't turn up enough Neopoints
at the end of the month, than they could lose their office. It certainly wouldn't
put up a very impressive look at their business if they had to conduct business
from inside a cardboard box on the street.
It was on a rainy, Friday morning when they received
that fateful call. Mark was contentedly reading some mystery story in the Neopian
Times, and Marvin was sitting in his favorite chair, the one that faced the
shiny silver telephone. The brown Moehog stared at the phone, as though willing
it to ring. Marvin sighed. It looked as though another day was going to go buy
with no jobs whatsoever.
Marvin glanced sadly at Mark. When was the last
time that they had eaten something other than omelette and jelly? Marvin grimaced
at the memory of one of his competitors, someone from the Buzz Detective Agency
from across the street, giving him directions to the hidden Jelly World and
the free jelly samples. It was as though they didn't think of them as a threat!
As though they were just some baby Neopets playing make believe.
"Darn Buzz..." he growled. "I'll show them someday..."
The sudden, piercing ring of the telephone instantly
snapped Marvin out of his reverie. Mark looked up at Marvin and grinned hopefully,
giving him the "hooves up" sign. Marvin smiled and picked up the receiver.
"Hello?" he asked, hoping and praying it wasn't
just his mother or the landlord.
"Mmm. Hello. Is this the M & M Detective Agency?"
a gravely voice asked.
Marvin practically dropped the phone. He couldn't
believe it. It was a real customer! And this time it wasn't just a wrong number
meant for the Buzz Detective Agency! He turned to Mark and grinned.
"Why yes sir, this is! And why would you be calling,
may I ask?"
The voice on the other end seemed to grow deeper.
"Listen up. I have a case that's a lot more serious than anything that you've
Marvin puffed out his chest and slicked back
his moehawk, forgetting that he was on the phone and couldn't be seen. "Oh,
I don't know about that, sir. We've encountered quite a few scary things in
our time!" Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Mark roll his eyes and groan.
"Oh?" The voice asked, becoming even more sinister.
"Have you ever encountered anything as, or scarier, than a phantom Warf?"
Marvin eyes widened as he twisted the telephone
cord around his hoof. "Uh, I can't say we have, but, you know... There's a first
time for everything."
The voice chuckled darkly. "You've got spirit.
I like that. Gather your things and come to the Chaskerville manor as soon as
Before Marvin could ask any more questions, the
voice hung up, leaving a very baffled Moehog on the other line.
Mark trotted up to Marvin, tugging at his tail.
"Well? Do we have a case?"
Marvin turned to Mark, his eyes filled with concern.
"Yes Mark, we do. And let me tell you something, it's a Juppie of a lot more
frightening than our mom in a Nimmo suit..."
Without giving Mark too many details about the case at hand, Marvin gathered
up their detective kit, (which came with an ultra cool Furlock Joanes hat, a
magnifying glass and some fingerprint dust,) their bikes, (they didn't have
enough Neopoints for a car) and their business cards. (One hundred copies per
As they were biking up the hill towards the Chaskerville
mansion, Mark constantly pelted Marvin with questions. Mostly about the so called,
"phantom Warf". Finally, Marvin lost his patience and simply told Mark that
if he didn't shut up, he wouldn't get his turn with the Furlock Joanes hat.
They spent the rest of the trip in silence.
Finally, the pair made it up the hill, and saw
the mansion in its full glory. It certainly was creepy, and the surrounding
area was the just the type of setting that Marvin would expect a monster to
live in, but he didn't let that faze him one bit as he dismounted his bike and
trotted slowly up to the front door, knocking thrice on the finely polished
The door opened to reveal a thin, striped Jetsam
who bowed politely at them and escorted them into the living room, where the
entire family of Chaskervilles were seated around a table, on which rested a
thick, leather bound book. The Jetsam bade them into the room and had them sit
down on the chairs, where they were served the finest Borovan and biscuits.
Doing their bests to refrain from stuffing the
many delicacies into their mouths, the two Moehogs shook hooves with Mr. Chaskerville,
who nodded respectfully at them and gestured at his family with his wing. "Ahem.
These are the two finest detectives in Neopia, Marvin and Mark Hog."
"Really?" Piped Mark. "You think we're the best?"
Marvin hissed a warning at him to sit down and
keep his snout shut, while smiling feebly at Mr. Chaskerville. Mr. Chaskerville
raised a bushy brow at the two brothers before continuing with his speech.
"Anyway, as I was saying, these two fine
young Moehogs will be the ones who will capture dear Fuzzy, and return him to
his normal, healthy, happy and cute condition."
"We'll be doing what now?" Mark whispered, receiving
a sharp cuff on the ear from Marvin.
Marvin cleared his throat. "Err, yes. We will
begin right away. But before we do, may I ask, do you have any background information
that you can supply us with about your Warf's, um, problem?"
Mr. Chaskerville sighed sadly. "Yes, as a matter
of fact we do." He reached for the book sitting on the table with his wing.
"This book contains all the noble Chaskerville history, including the legend
of..." he paused for a dramatic effect, "The Warf of the Chaskervilles."
Mr. Chaskerville pulled on his reading glasses
and began to read from the book.
"It is said that a long long time ago, in the
time of the very first Chaskerville, Sir Hugoffery, that a magical Aisha wizard
lived deep within these marshes. Now, Hugoffery was not exactly what you would
call an, er, 'honest' or 'noble' Lenny. In fact, he was quite despicable, I'm
afraid. Anyway, Hugoffery wanted all this land to himself, and that he didn't
want to share it with any Aisha wizards. So, on the night of the thirteenth
of Celebrating, he and his most loyal friend, a Warf, went out into the marshlands
to try and find the Aisha so that they could drive him out. They trekked on
for miles, even when it became too foggy for Hugoffery to see, he still pressed
on, using his trusted Warf as a guide. At last, they found the Aisha's cabin,
and charged on in, demanding that he leave. The Aisha was a feeble old fellow,
so he agreed to leave. But just before he did, he is said to have turned on
Hugoffery and cast a terrible curse on him. The Aisha declared that one year,
maybe not this one, maybe not the next, but that on some year in the future,
on the thirteenth of Celebrating, that something terrible would happen to the
current Chaskerville family Warf."
Mr. Chaskerville closed the book, staring at
both of the astonished Moehogs in the eye.
"We never believed in these stories... Until
now, that is. When our dear Fuzzy has been transformed into something ugly,
hideous and vile." The Lenny threw his wings up in the air. "For Donna's sake,
he's not cute anymore!"
Marvin stroked his chin thoughtfully. "An interesting
story, Mr. Chaskerville. Though I have just one question. How did you figure
out that Fuzzy was really transformed into some hideous WereWarf? Maybe he just
got lost in the marshlands."
Mr. Chaskerville shook his head. "No, that can't
be. My trusted friend, Thomas Terwilliger, saw the transformed Fuzzy on his
way over to our mansion for tea."
Mark scratched his moehawk. "Thomas Terwilliger?
Marvin and Mark turned around to see a well dressed
blue Lupe saunter into the sitting room. He walked over to Marvin and Mark and
shook their hooves briskly.
"Hello," he said, smiling warmly. "I'm Thomas
Terwilliger, and I would like to help you hunt down Fuzzy of the Chaskervilles."
To be continued...