فصل 06

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فصل 06

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CHAPTER SIX

A head for heights

Catwoman ran and jumped across the rooftops to the Hedare factory. She was wearing her leather trousers and her long black gloves with the diamond claws. She wore two black belts across her stomach and the cat mask over her face and hair.

She saw Armando outside the factory. He was getting into a car. When the car drove away, Catwoman followed, jumping from rooftop to rooftop.

The car stopped at a nightclub. Catwoman followed Armando inside.

The barman looked at Catwoman in surprise. ‘What can I do for you?’ he asked.

‘I’d like a vodka and milk, without the vodka. No ice.’

As she drank the glass of milk, she saw Armando going to the dance floor. She finished her milk and followed him.

Two dancers in black leather were dancing with a whip. Catwoman took the whip from them. ‘Excuse me,’ she said as she began to dance, circling the whip around her.

She moved towards Armando and cracked the whip close to his nose. Then she put it around his neck and pulled him to the back door. Armando flew through the door and fell on his back in the street outside. Catwoman jumped onto his stomach. Armando tried to get his gun but Catwoman got it first and threw it away.

‘You don’t know me, do you?’ she said. ‘Well, I know you. You killed somebody a few nights ago. She was a good person. She was a friend of mine. Why did you do it?’

Armando didn’t answer. He was frightened. Catwoman brought her diamond claws close to his face and moved them dangerously.

‘I’m going to ask you one more time. Why did you kill that nice girl?’

‘They told me to do it,’ cried Armando. ‘They told me to open the pipes. She heard too much.’

‘What did she hear?’ asked Patience.

‘I don’t know,’ Armando said. ‘Something about Beau-line perhaps. There’s something wrong with Beau-line.’

‘Of course. Now I understand,’ said Patience. ‘And Hedare isn’t telling people?’

‘That’s right,’ said Armando.

Catwoman got into the Hedare factory through a window in the roof. She went quickly to the room where she had heard the conversation about Beau-line. When she opened the door she saw computers on the floor and papers, broken glass and plastic everywhere. And a body. Dr Slavicky was lying on the floor. Patience could see that he was dead. Someone had shot him.

She heard the sound of police cars and looked behind her. An old man - a cleaner - was standing there. ‘Please don’t kill me too,’ he said. Patience ran past him through the door and escaped.

Sally was watching the news when Patience arrived at the hospital with a bag full of her things.

‘Wow, Patience! You look amazing,’ she said. ‘I love your hair. And those clothes are fantastic. This guy is really good for you.’

‘Thanks,’ said Patience, smiling. ‘Are you going to be OK?’

‘They don’t know what the problem is, so I’m going home. Have you heard the news? A mad woman murdered Slavicky last night. She was dressed as a cat. Look!’

Patience looked at the television and saw a police picture of Catwoman. She looked horrible. ‘I hope I don’t really look like that,’ she thought.

Then George Hedare was speaking. ‘We are all very sad about Dr Slavicky’s death. But don’t worry. Beau-line will be in the shops next week. We’re going to give women what they want. One mad person isn’t going to stop us.’

Patience was so angry that she had to sit down.

Sally opened a small pot of Beau-line. ‘Oh no! It’s nearly empty,’ she said.

‘When did those headaches start?’ asked Patience.

‘A few months ago.’

‘Then please do something for me. Stop using Beau-line. You’re lovely as you are.’

Tom Lone had kept the coffee cup that Patience had given him. It was on his desk. He looked at it now. Then, in surprise, he looked at the box that had had the chocolate cakes in. He picked them both up and looked at them again, more carefully. Then he took them to a detective who knew about handwriting.

‘Did the same person write ‘sorry’ on the cup and the box?’ asked Lone.

‘Well, some things are almost the same,’ said the detective. ‘But there are lots of differences too.’ He pointed to the coffee cup. ‘This person is not very confident.’ He pointed to the box. ‘But this person is extremely confident.

And she’s angry. She may even be dangerous. They’re different people.’

‘I’m very happy about that,’ said Tom. ‘It’s going to be a great weekend.’

Tom and Patience climbed onto the big Ferris wheel at the funfair. The Ferris wheel went round, and they went up and up until they could see half the city. Then the Ferris wheel made a loud noise and stopped.

‘I think we have a problem,’ said Lone. ‘We could be up here for a long time.’

Patience moved closer to him in the seat. ‘I don’t think that’s a problem,’ she said.

Suddenly the Ferris wheel jumped and the seats moved dangerously. People began to scream.

Lone looked down. Black smoke was coming from the machine that turned the Ferris wheel. The machine was breaking! If it broke completely, the Ferris wheel would turn too fast and everyone would fall out.

‘I’ll be back in a minute,’ he shouted to Patience. He climbed out of their seat and down the wheel towards the machine.

Patience heard someone crying. It was a small boy. He was in a seat on his own. As she watched, the Ferris wheel jumped again and the boy almost fell out. He held the seat tightly with his hands, but his legs hung in the air.

‘Don’t worry,’ Patience shouted. ‘I’m coming to get you.’ Like a cat, she jumped quickly towards the centre of the Ferris wheel and then out again towards the little boy’s seat.

At the same time, Lone reached the machine. It was going to break very soon. Quickly he looked for something to stop it.

Patience jumped five metres up to the boy’s seat. She held the seat with one hand and the boy with the other.

‘It’s OK. I’ve got you,’ she said.

Lone found a long piece of metal. He took it and pushed it into the machine. The Ferris wheel made another terrible noise then stopped moving.

Suddenly the seat moved and Patience and the boy began to fall. Patience managed to hold another seat and she caught the boy with her legs. The boy held her tightly as Patience looked for a way to the ground.

‘You’re OK, Patience. I’m going to bring you down slowly.’ Patience looked down and saw Lone. He was turning the machine by hand.

When they reached the ground, Lone took the boy from Patience and gave him to his mother. Then he turned to Patience.

‘I don’t know how you did that,’ he said. ‘Well done!’

‘You did a good job too,’ Patience replied, and she took him in her arms.

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