The Evil Professor Rattiarty
A short while later Bobby went out through the back door to find and torment his little brother Shane. He was definitely thinking of the word “torment” rather than “torture” because of that last lesson about how to treat your little brother better that Grandpa Butch gave him.
Horatio, in hat and smoking his pipe, followed close behind on his heels. Horatio only rarely let Bobby leave the house without him, especially when it wasn’t a school day.
“You have to remember that Shane is a very good boy,” Horatio said. “Being mean to him on purpose doesn’t hurt him as much as it does you.”
“Are you trying to be my conscience or something?” Bobby asked.
“Actually, I prefer to think of myself as the detective. And you are my Dr. Wadlow.”
“I think you mean Dr. Watson. Wadlow was that eight-foot-tall guy we were reading about in the school library.”
“Bobby, you know you were in the library by yourself, right? I only said Wadlow because you were thinking it.”
“Sure, I know. Imagining stuff is one of the few things I am good at. And remembering weird stuff is another. Robert Pershing Wadlow was 8 feet and 11 inches tall when he died at age 22. He was the tallest human guy that ever lived.”
Shane, Bobby’s 11-year-old brother, was swinging on the tire swing that was tied up to a horizontal branch in the old walnut tree near the north grove.
“Hey, Little Dick, wanna see the drowned Turken?”
“Sure.” Shane was a quiet child who rarely teased or picked on anybody. That’s why he had taken to calling him “Little Dick” at about the same time that Mom had named the stupidest turken, “Little Bob.” Shane had merely asked why he was being called a nickname for “Richard” instead of his own name. Bobby never explained anything to Shane.
The boy with the mouse-brown hair and blue shorts hopped off the old car tire that was used as a swing and hustled after Bobby on the way to the horse tank where Bobby had left the body wrapped and ready for burial..
When they got there, the waterlogged and potentially bloated-by-now corpse of Little Bob was missing, except for a couple of soaked turken feathers and the torn cloth.
“Where is it?” asked Shane.
“I swear, when I left it was right here.”
“Well, it’s not here now. Just feathers.”
Horatio snuffled the entire area with his hyper-powered sense of smell.
“Professor Rattiarty!” Horatio declared.
“Of course, it was!” declared Bobby.
“Of course, what was?” asked Shane.
“Horatio says that the body was stolen by Professor Rattiarty.”
“No, it can’t be him again. Didn’t Horatio eat him in that caper three months ago? When he tried to break into the house and get my toys out of my toybox?”
“Rattiarty always manages to survive somehow. It’s miraculous… evilly miraculous.”
“You do know that Horatio doesn’t actually talk, don’t you? I think it all comes out of your evil imagination.”
“If Horatio doesn’t talk, then how did he solve the case of your missing Science report?”
“It was a report on giraffes. I think it was probably you who moved it from the G encyclopedia to the C encyclopedia. I didn’t make that mistake myself. And how can a dog smell a piece of notebook paper stuck in a closed book?”
“Elementary, my dear Little Dick.” Bobby was never going to explain the other meaning of “Little Dick.” “He was detecting your scent with his superior nose. He is actually… ta, ta, ta, TAAAH! Horatio T. Dogg, Super-Sleuth!”
“Sure, he is.”
“I can smell where the body was dragged off to. Do we pursue?” asked Horatio.
“No, no… another time. Right now, I need to pound on Little Dick’s shoulder some more.” So, Bobby beat on his brother again, though only with softened blows. You see, Bobby was bullied a lot in school and around other children in general. Taking things out on Shane was sometimes the only thing he could do. Well, that was because Shane was the only person in the whole world that Bobby could beat up. And then, he suspected, only because Shane let him do it.