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Cat's Claw (A Pecan Springs Mystery)

Cat's Claw (A Pecan Springs Mystery)

Titel: Cat's Claw (A Pecan Springs Mystery)
Autoren: SusanWittig Albert
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head, they concluded that the cat that killed Timms was already dead. The DNA confirmed.”
    “I’m glad to hear it,” China said. “I’ve thought a lot about that cat, the way she looked streaking across the road, all silvery in the rain. She seemed so mysterious, almost ethereal—but incredibly powerful at the same time.” She looked a little sheepish. “I talked about it with Ruby, and she said maybe I’d found my animal totem. Wild cats can show us how to understand the natural flow of our environment, she said. How to appreciate the strength and power of the natural world around us and find our place in the order of things. How to observe when observation matters, then act when action is called for.” Her laugh was slightly embarrassed. “You know Ruby. She’s a genuine mystic. For her, everything is a symbol.”
    “Don’t knock it,” Sheila said seriously. “There may be something to that, you know.”
    China nodded. “Ruby says that maybe the cat had something to dowith my going out to Timms’ place that morning, and finding him. And it’s certainly true that I thought about the cat as I was driving. I wanted to see her again—but I was afraid to. You know?”
    “I know,” Sheila said. “I also know that if you hadn’t found Timms when you did, that part of the story might still be a deep, dark mystery. We wouldn’t know anything about Timms’ pornographic photographs, for instance, which were the reason for the blackmail and his break-in at the computer shop.” She smiled. “Interesting contrast, your methods and mine.”
    China looked thoughtful. “You know, that’s true. I can listen to the neighborhood gossip, and people tell me things they’d never tell a cop. And I don’t have to follow as many rules as you do. If I want to find something, I can go look for it, assuming that I stay within the law, more or less. And assuming that the law doesn’t discover my illegal activities.” Her eyes twinkled. “You have to get a search warrant, or what you find won’t be admissible at trial.”
    “Yes, but when I’ve got that search warrant and I’ve followed all the rules, I can arrest the bad guy and put him in jail,” Sheila replied. “You can’t do that, counselor.”
    “Good point, Chief. But after you’ve arrested and jailed him and the prosecutor has brought him to trial, I can convince the jury to let him off.” A careless shrug. “Or rather, I used to be able do that. Not in my job description anymore.”
    “Good thing for me,” Sheila said, meaning it. “If you were still in that job, we’d be adversaries. Maybe enemies.” She paused, thinking about that. “Not maybe, definitely. We’d definitely be enemies.”
    “Good thing for me, too,” China replied, and her smile lit up her eyes. “I’d rather be friends.”


    China Bayles’ Curry and Cardamom Cookies
    1 cup butter
    2 cups brown sugar
    2 eggs, lightly beaten
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    3 cups flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    ½ teaspoon baking soda
    ½ teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons curry powder (sweet or hot)
    ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
    1 cup pecans, chopped
    Preheat oven to 350°F.
    Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until incorporated.
    Sift dry ingredients together. Add to creamed mixture, a third at a time. Stir in nuts.
    Divide dough into four rolls and wrap each in waxed paper. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, or freeze. Slice into ¼-inch-thick slices and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cookies cool for 2 minutes on baking sheet, then remove to a rack to cool thoroughly. Yields approximately 6 dozen.
    Ramona’s Corn Chowder with Sausage
    1 pound bulk pork sausage (mild)
    1 cup coarsely chopped onion
    4 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
    1 teaspoon salt
    ½ teaspoon ground marjoram
    teaspoon ground pepper
    2 cups water
    1 can cream-style corn
    1 can whole-kernel corn, drained
    1 can evaporated milk or 1 ½ cups milk (non-fat okay)
    6 tablespoons yogurt, for garnish
    Chopped parsley, for garnish
    In Dutch oven or kettle, cook sausage and onion till sausage is brown and onion is tender; drain on paper towel. Return sausage to Dutch oven with cubed potatoes, salt, marjoram, pepper, and water. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer just until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add cream-style and whole-kernel corn and milk and mix well. Garnish with yogurt and chopped parsley. Serves 6.
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