His strategy worked.

She had changed. Her highhanded behavior was now a shadow of her new self. Generosity and pity made her looked more beautiful, more genuine than before.

The gossipy murmurs inside the large house had disappeared, replaced by gay laughter exchanged between mistress and staff. Joy brightened everyone’s disposition. It was a refreshing ambiance to live in harmony.

“I am sure he will be back, Ma’m,”Brutus sighed. His modulated voice could soothe the depressed feelings of the weary.

“I miss him a lot,”the mistress was near to tears. “He always reminded me of my husband.”

That was news. For the first time, he understood why was the cat so protected.

“I had no idea he’s that special.” He referred to the cat.

“Learning that my husband was dying crushed me deep inside. I had to be strong. I pretended to be strong. I decided to remove the politeness in me to shield myself from losing my mind when he finally died. Now, with my companion gone, I failed my role. I cannot disobey my real feelings. I feel so alone.”

The bodyguard listened to the revelation like a stunned psychiatrist. Everything became clear. He did recall her change of attitude started when his boss was getting weak.

“Ma’m, I will do my darn best to look for your pet,” he swore, at the same time planning in his mind how to release the cat without arousing suspicion of his role in its disappearance.

“Thank you,” she said simply, looking out the window, perhaps sending an unspoken prayer to the winds.

“If you’ll excuse me, I better go.”

She nodded her permission. There was no need of his service at the moment when all she wanted was peace and quiet.

Before she could move further into despair, one of the household help came rushing to her. The maid nearly tripped on the rug, making the hasty entrance a reason for her to laugh.

“I saw him, Ma’m!”



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