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Chapter 3

     The Story The Authors
Adam was quite astonished to see a talking cockroach dressed in top hat and tails, carrying a cane and wearing shiny patent leather shoes on 5 of his good feet with the sixth leg being wooden.
"Wot are you lookink at, peasant boy?"
Adam was just about to squash the bug under his own shoe, but instead scooped up the bug and stuffed him into a match box he'd been carrying in his pocket. With the insectile Parisian stowed safely in the matchbox in his pocket, he shoved Muff Potter aside and examined Hadley's pile of clothes, trying to determine what became of the man who formerly inhabited them.
Now [he thought to himself] Buster Keaton's 3 rules for detectives in Young Sherlock Holmes were... but the thought dribbled away there. He couldn't remember. Something to do with... clues! Ah, yes, search for conspicuous clues... Hmmm... Well, besides the truly, truly radically rancid odor emanating from the lining of an even cheaper suit than I would have suspected Assistant Principal Hadley of (worse even than a pair of door-to-door Mormons' suits) besides that, one finds... claw marks! In the lining! Oh golly, dude, this is like, worse than I imagined. Eaten by badgers, fuckin' A! But wait... what're these... um, dude, uh... uh... wait, it's coming to me... bagel crumbs! Christ, what I'd give for a bagel right now, dude, it's been so long since I've eaten it's like I have the munchies from too much a the ol' kind bud... Alright, now, let's see if the dude's wallet is still here...
It was at this point in his reverie that the high squeaky voice issued from the matchbox in in Adam's pocket. "I advise you to look een zee vest pocket, Monsieur."
Startled, I looked around. No one was about, and I knew I hadn't made up the voice as I had recently had a cat scan proving me sane, so who (or what) had just given me advice? "If you do not like my advice, den I dink that you maybe have better idea, no?" said the voice again. "What in the hell..."I muttered, utterly confused. However, in my line of profession, nothing is overruled. So, hesitantly, I pulled the pocket lining out, and with the matchbook in hand I slowly opened it. Hyprgrl
My GOD! It was the Golden Fingernail of DOOM! Right there in my hand! I panicked. jonk
Adam leapt back as if from a striking snake. Gregor snickered. "Heh heh heh. I learn zees treek from my fazzer. Doan worry, Monsieur, you veesion weel be restored een a few meenutes. In zee meantime, however, I seenk zat now I have you undeevided atten-see-own, oui?" Philip
"Yu most comm to zee ahjalad een orderr to condinue!"
"The what?" exclaimed Adam.
"Zee ahjalad."
"What's an ahjalad?"
"Dond be zilly. All Ajgashes know about zee ahjalad!"
Geraldine was puzzled. "My name is Geraldine so don't call me ajgash."

...Oh, how much Adam missed Geraldine then, and so mad was he at Gregor for impersonating her voice that way, that he snatched Assistant Principal Hadley's left oxford from the pile of his clothing and made as if to squash Gregor. "Wretched cockroach of doom!" he spat. "Prepare to be flattened."
"Non, non, pardon, pardon, monsieur!" begged Gregor. "Spare me and I weel take you and you sleeping friend to le jeune femme. I know where zee Bagel Gnomes are keepink her."
Adam rubbed his eyes, his vision finally returning to him. Gregor regarded him curiously, with a tinge of amusement skewing his mandibles slightly leftward; mischief was not a quality Adam was accustomed to associating with cockroaches, and yet this one (look at him; waxing his fucking moustaches, the vain little bugger!) had already tricked him not once but twice in the span of five minutes. The little red light that read DO NOT TRUST was blinking on and off in Adam's head. But the other little red light in his heart that read GERALDINE was blinking faster, and brighter. "Alright," he told Gregor, tossing Assistant Principal Hadley's shoe aside; "Where is she?"
Gregor cleared his thorax and began:

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