The Spy Who Loved Monty
Agnes’ emerald eyes opened. She had been unconscious for some time, but she had no idea how long. She tried to ask for help, but realized she was gagged. A soft yet tough material bound her arms and legs to the velvet-lined chair she was sitting in. As her mind began to clear, she found that she was staring at--herself.
On all the walls, there were pictures of her. The walls themselves were black, so as to accentuate the photographs of her, which were spotlighted. Many of the pictures she recognized immediately from the signature pages of the International Mouse-O-Graphic. Others seemed to have been clandestinely taken of her. They were from different time periods and locations.
**Whoever this is, they’re persistent,** Agnes thought.
Agnes began studying the photos and trying to remember where they were all from. Perhaps one of them held the clue to who was behind all of this. Agnes looked at the pictures with a mixture of shock and disbelief. They turned out to be images of some of the most important and personal moments of her life.
She made an involuntary gasp when she saw a family photo of her with her brother Duncan and his family, and in her arms she held a very young Dale. She blinked away her tears at the sight. "Dale, I should have been there for you more often."
She knew that Dale would never have put her in this kind of predicament. But who would? Slowly she studied the photos, and she stopped at the one in Russia. She was in a fur parka, standing near some shacks in Siberia. She had been forced to negotiate with the local mouse potentate to interview the mice who were struggling to survive. At the end of the story, the potentate wanted to confiscate everything she’d written because of the negative tone the stories took on. Several of the Siberian mice smuggled her and her photographer out of the area during one night of terror. They had just been able to make it to the Siberian Express ahead of the potentate’s men. In her mind’s eye, she could still see them, waving their swords at her in anger. Still, she was a long way from Siberia, and that was years ago.
**Besides, Ratkin wasn’t the type to go out of his way. Look where he was,** Agnes reasoned.
Her eyes continued to search, and fell on the picture from the Lisbon papers of her being chased by a human toreador at the bullfight she’d attended in Pamplona. It was part of her vacation in the south of Europe, and she’d never seen a bullfight--and after that, she’d jokingly said that once was once too many.
The toreador had come out in all his splendor and had performed brilliantly. The lovely senoritas threw red roses to him. Unfortunately, one of those roses had landed short and plonked right on Agnes’ head. That set her off, and she went into her trance, jumping right into the bullfight ring and dancing the tango. Suddenly, the cheers changed to laughter. The toreador was confused, and began looking around for the trouble. When he found it, his temper was riled--toreadors are after all some of the more egotistical types on the planet.
A well-meaning Spanish mouse jumped from the stands and grabbed her, trying to get her out of harm’s way. But Agnes was too strong and they ended up dancing a very adversarial brand of tango. The toreador charged, and the mouse finally managed to arm Agnes up and they ran through a small hole in the wooden door as he threw the sword. It missed, but the toreador hit the door hard. The laughter still rang in her mind, and Agnes had no doubt that if that toreador knew who and where she was, he would exact some measure of revenge. But again, long ago and far away.
Agnes knew she had made some enemies over the years, but why would they have followed her all this time taking pictures of her?
**And who would be so annoying as to take these pictures?** Agnes mused, and then she stopped on a particular photo and had to smile in spite of her immediate situation. The picture was of Grantley Garrison—"the world’s biggest pest" as she’d dubbed him. The mouse was a positive leech, and had the single worst talent that anyone can be endowed with--the power of the boring conversationalist. She’d met Grantley at the awards banquet where she won her first Ace Award. Grantley had won one as well for the London newspaper he worked for. Agnes had come up and congratulated him, and that was all he’d needed.
"I say, did you know that the first dozen Ace Award winners were French?" Grantley asked. Agnes shook her head.
"Well, let me tell you! The French have the worst food you can imagine. Don’t even go to Paris! Did you know that Paris has a mean humidity of 63 percent? Of course, that doesn’t compare with the Amazon. Were you aware that the Amazon has the most species of plants and animals on Earth? And what a collection of birds! Of course, the best place to see birds is at the Royal Zoo in London. Did you know that the only purple cockatoo in captivity is there? And then there’s the replica of the Sureluck Jones museum...."
Agnes spent the next two hours listening to trivia on every country on Earth and everything under the sun that lived there. As she thought back, she realized that Grantley wasn’t vindictive, but simply aggressively boring. She’d finally been rescued by Jeff, who had whisked her away
The idea of someone being vindictive shifted her mind in a totally different direction. She looked again at the photos, and in the lower left corner she spotted one that was older than the others. It was the official group shot that had been taken of her, Percival and Ramrod when they’d been at R.A.S.C.A.L. headquarters in Whitehall.
**Ramrod. Now there’s someone who could be vindictive.**
Agnes let her mind slip back to her time at Brie. Ramrod and Percy had both seemed quite nice at first. But once the mission started, Agnes could immediately see that there was something quirky about Ramrod, like an instrument that was out of tune. When they rested, she could feel him watching her. His demeanor was cold, yet calculating. And one time, a French peasant had come running up to them, asking for help. Ramrod had not only treated the peasant rudely, he had searched the mouse under gunpoint.
Percy had apologized afterward, but the mouse had been embarrassed and angered--as had Agnes. Then Ramrod had done something that had surprised her. The next night, they arrived at a farmhouse and Ramrod told them he would scout around. When he returned, he came back with a box of chocolates and a soft blanket for Agnes. He’d apologized for his rash behavior earlier and explained it was due to training. Agnes was amazed at the change in him, and Ramrod had begun to open up some around her. The next day, they reached the cheese warehouse. She could perfectly remember the conversations that day.
"Percy, check out the area and make sure there’s no hostiles," Ramrod said.
Percival saluted. "Right, sir." Percival went off to reconnoiter, and Ramrod opened the door to the warehouse.
Ramrod looked around with satisfaction. "Good--it’s deserted. Come on in Agnes." Agnes followed him in. "Thank you, my friend. Ah, this place could even be charming if not for our reason for being here!"
"My family has friends that are in the cheese business. I remember all the free samples I had to eat as a boy," Ramrod said, dusting off some cheese crates. "Front row seats. No waiting."
Agnes smiled at Ramrod. "The service here is magnificent, waiter. Perhaps my friend and I could have some cheese?" Ramrod opened a large crate. "Mais oui, mademoiselle. Would you like brie, brie, or perhaps brie?"
Agnes giggled. "I think I would rather have brie instead. Come, sit with me Ramrod. How did you get such a name as ‘Ramrod’, anyway?" Ramrod sat down, a bit nervous at being so near to Agnes. "It was the nickname the boys gave me during training. They said I was so obsessed with duty that whenever it was my turn to command, I was a real ‘Ramrod’. They were right."
"A man of duty from birth, that is so charming. What is your life like outside of mission and duty?" Agnes asked. Ramrod hesitated for a few moments. "I have been tutored since a young age. My parents did not approve of me fraternizing with other children, so my life has essentially been study and duty. Sometimes I prefer it that way--the world has been so wasted."
Agnes picked up her journal and made a few notes. "This mission could certainly make one believe that, but there is so much beauty out there—so much life and happiness! It’s threats to life like these that make us appreciate all the good things we take for granted."
Ramrod pulled out a pipe and began smoking it. "Agnes, you’re an idealist. But you’re young--you’ll soon learn that the world is never black or white. It’s always grey and just when you think you’ve found something you can trust it vanishes."
Agnes stopping writing and looked at him curiously. "What happened to you that made you so fatalistic? Surely there was a time in your life when the world was not so dark and cold?"
Ramrod look away from her. "Maybe...once. But anyone who bases their dreams on the past is a fool. We must be realistic and face the here and now. It might would be better for the decadent world if someone like the R.O.D.E.N.T.S. took over--at least then there would be some semblance of order."
Agnes had a look of horror on her face. "Surely you cannot mean that! The R.O.D.E.N.T.S. are evil incarnate, they kill, destroy and steal. They do not represent order, they are chaos masquerading as order! They will take all that is good in the world and corrupt it. They must be stopped, for the good of all."
Ramrod laughed and Agnes shivered when she did. "You only say that because the R.O.D.E.N.T.S. have committed to using extreme measures. But animals have been using the same means for ages. It is simply that this so-called ‘progress’ has moved our minds to want more, faster and quicker. But that leads to waste. The R.O.D.E.N.T.S.’ philosophy is to minimize waste and maximize efficiency--two goods we have been living by ever since we became civilized."
Agnes looked at him, dismayed. Ramrod held up a hand. "Now don’t take on so, Agnes! It’s just my philosophy teacher talking. I know the R.O.D.E.N.T.S. must be defeated. I can admire their thinking, but disagree with their means simultaneously." Agnes appeared somewhat relieved. "I worried that perhaps you had sympathy for the enemy, forgive me."
Ramrod ate his ration of cheese. "Not at all--the R.O.D.E.N.T.S. have lofty ideals, but they have no scruples. Their goal is to disrupt the world, but this one-sided target of the world is not enough. One must be balanced--ideals cannot be placed above everything--especially the company of a lovely young lady."
Agnes blushed at his compliment. "And I should not be so quick to jump to conclusions in the company of a handsome young munk." Ramrod smiled and saluted her hand. Then he turned toward the door. "Percy must be looking for me by now. Philosophy says that only a madman could rule the world. Some day, I may apply for the job." Ramrod left quickly, leaving Agnes to contemplate what he had said
A terrible picture began to form in her mind as she looked at these photos--a picture of a madman that had followed her for nearly half her life. Ramrod was every bit as cold, calculating and ruthless as any R.O.D.E.N.T. agent she had ever encountered. He’d finally taken that step and become the madman that he said he would. He desired her and had hunted her all these years without giving the slightest hint of his presence. He had spun the web and now she was trapped.
Suddenly, a door opened behind her and two rats entered the room. They checked her bonds, and then pointed to the pictures. "Do you like the pics? We had them put up for you special so’s you wouldn’t feel your accommodations were second rate! Right, Harve?"
"Right, Dan! After all, it’s not every day that we get to ransom so beautiful a captive!" Harve said as they removed her gag.
"Go ahead and yell--the soundproofing’s in place now," Dan said.
Agnes muttered some things in French that shouldn’t be translated. "Who do you vermin work for? What is this ransom you speak of?" Harve laughed heartily. "We’re self-employed, Miss Oakmont! After all, entrepreneurship is the best thing that’s happened to the modern business world!"
"We’re here in the extortion business, Agnes--if I may call you Agnes. You will be well-treated, provided your boss comes through with the gold bullion that will be your ticket to freedom," Dan added.
Agnes grabbed a thought and decided to play a wild card. It was worth a try. "Jeff will pay the ransom, of that there is no doubt. But where is your boss, Ramrod?"
"Oh, he.." Harve started. .
Dan slapped his mouth. "Harve, you idiot!"
An overhead loudspeaker came on, and a voice sounded over it. "Never mind, gentlemen. She would have learned the truth, if she has not already. You are excused." Dan and Harve left, downtrodden.
"Let me congratulate you, Agnes. You are more perceptive than I realized. How fortunate..for me!" the voice said. Agnes frowned hard. She knew that voice all too well. "So! It is you, you wicked fiend! You lied to Monzy all those years ago! Your evil kept me apart from my true love all these long, lonely years!"
The voice turned angry. "You cannot fool me, Agnes! It took me a long time to figure it out, but I know your secret now. And soon there will be nothing--or more importantly--no one to come between us!"
Agnes didn’t like the sound of that. "Come between us?!? What do you think you have figured out, you monster?" The loudspeaker filled with laughter, and then shut off. Agnes struggled with her bonds, then gave up in frustration. Her frustration was slowly turning to fear. No one knew where she was or who had her...or what Ramrod had planned for her.,
"Monzy, where are you my love? You must come for me…" Agnes began sobbing lightly. "You are my only hope."
Monty was breathing hard, but still managed to keep the lead to the docks. The words spoken so long ago by Sparky came to Chip’s mind, and he found the words better applied to Monty--nothing can stop a motivated mouse. Monty was certainly that—the Rangers had been hard-pressed to stay with him. The salt air filled their lungs now as they approached the city docks. They were a mixture of old tin buildings, long wooden piers and eccentric characters.
Monty motioned to the others. "Come on, blokes! Pier eight’s the one we want. Ol’ Sharky will know if anyone’s been around."
The Rangers followed the motivated mouse to the pier in question. Forklifts held large crates of cheddar, swiss, brie, and mozzarella among others. Monty made straight for the far side of the pier, where a seedy-looking rat was holding court with several other dock-walloping mice.
The rat named Sharky was so-named for his toothy grin and his predatorial-looking features. His voice was gravelly, and nothing on the docks happened without his knowledge. Monty raised an arm as he approached. "Ahoy, Sharky, mate! We’re needin’ your help mighty bad!"
"Monty, you old sea salt! What you be doing down here this time ‘o day? Must be something terr’ble to pull you and your mates down ‘ere!" Sharky said.
Monty came up next to the rat. Sharky was a little bigger than Monty, but not more husky. "Mate, you have no idea. We need your help somethin’ awful. We’re lookin’ for two chipmunks—one’s a cold lookin’ cuss and the other is beautiful enough to make you believe that angels walk among us."
Sharky raised an eyebrow. He pulled the three rats with him aside and they conferenced a minute. "No pretty chipmunk’s been seen ‘round ‘ere, but Cutter ‘ere says a lubber crew came through this mornin’, all secretive-like. They could be the ones."
Monty shook Sharky’s hand brusquely. "Sounds like a good place ta start. Did ya happen to see where they went?" Sharky spoke low with Cutter again. "Cutter ‘ere’s gonna lead you to where he saw the lubbers go. You’re a good mate, so if ya need help you know where Sharky Cortone is."
Cutter led the Rangers through a rusty abandoned building and then the sea rat stopped and pointed. His voice was nearly a match for old Sharky’s. "I saw ‘em go through right there, the old cheese storage warehouse across the way. Better watch your step--they look loaded for whale."
"Thanks mate, we owe you and Sharky a big one for this," Monty said, patting the rat on the back and then headed toward the warehouse with the Rangers close behind. Chip caught up with Monty and began walking backwards in front of him so he could face him. "Monty, we can’t just waltz in here, we need to be careful! This may just be a trap."
Monty’s face was steeled in determination. "It’s not a waltz, Chip. It’s more of a tango..."
Gadget, like Chip, was for discretion. "Well, if they are waiting for us we could see if there’s a back way in..." Monty just pushed on and entered the building, oblivious to any dangers. "Or we could just go in," Gadget said flatly. She turned on her miner’s lamp, attached to the miner’s hat she had inexplicably brought with her. Chip sighed and joined Gadget. "He’ll be okay. Let’s get after him!"
The Rangers slipped into the shadowy interior of the warehouse. It was huge--almost endless by Ranger perspective. Stacks of unevenly-piled crates stood high throughout the building. There were several sets of stairs along the sides of the building and a catwalk above with office space on either end.
"Wow! You could play hide-and-seek in here and win every time!" Dale said, his voice echoing. Chip shushed him. "We’d better stick together, this smells like a trap." Monty didn’t care. "Trap or no, we got a no good, dirty chipmunk to find and he’s got somethin’ very special to me. Uh, no offense mates, that didn’t come out right."
" No offense, Monty. He’s no example of my kind," Chip said generously.
"An instant later, the massive structure was filled with a voice that Agnes had been arguing with only minutes before. "I see your manners have not improved, my ponderous Australian."
Monty’s paws balled up into fists. He spoke through clenched teeth. "Show yerself ya bloomin’ traitor an’ tell me what you did with my Agnes!" Chip leaned close to his chiroptic comrade. "Foxglove, use your sonar to locate the source of that voice."
Ramrod’s voice had a taunting sound to it. "I am touched that you and your friends would come to visit. I regret that it will be the last visit you will make anywhere!"
The Rangers looked around and begin collectively moving toward a defensible position. "Where’s Agnes?" Monty shouted. "Show yourself so I can break one of your bones for each year ya kept us apart!"
Suddenly, the doors of the warehouse shut, echoing loudly. Gadget’s light and the skylights high above were the only illumination. Chip turned back to Foxglove. "Any luck yet?" Foxglove shook her head. "The noise must be coming over several loudspeakers. I can’t get a precise fix."
"I am sure you have many questions, Monty. We have some time before your demise, so I will be glad to answer them," Ramrod said. Unlike Monty, Dale’s voice revealed desperation. "What did you do to my Aunt Agnes?!"
"She better be safe or so help me, tonight is your last night on this earth!" Monty yelled.
"What are your plans for us and for Agnes?" Chip demanded.
"How can you be so selfish as to come between two people who were in love?" Foxglove asked.
"You weren’t loved as a child, were you?" Gadget added.
Zipper buzzed his disapproval of Ramrod and everything he stood for.
Ramrod’s voice was unmoved, though he allowed the German accent to come through now. "First, my real name as you may have guessed is not Ramrod. I was born Georg Udet, the son of a wealthy aristocrat in the Rhine valley region. I only went to the best schools, and when I left home I had the choice of several careers. However, my beloved philosophy teacher gave me something for which I will always be grateful—a disdain for the lofty goals of others. The R.O.D.E.N.T.S. shared my philosophy, so I joined their organization and eventually earned the honor of joining their elite assassin squad. I spent several years of my adolescence in England and developed a masterful accent and knowledge of British culture and customs." The British accent returned. "I was a regular blighter from London, eh old bean?" Ramrod laughed, the noise echoing maddeningly.
"I’m gonna hurt you real good," Monty said darkly.
The noise in the warehouse did not reach Agnes’ soundproofed room. But she could tell something was up when Ramrod strode in with a high degree of excitement.
"He’s here, isn’t he?" Agnes asked expectantly.
Ramrod was nonchalant. "He is indeed. And soon I will lay him at your feet!" Much to Ramrod’s surprise, Agnes let out a triumphant laugh. "I knew that my Monzy would come to my rescue! You think you will overcome him? Ha! You will lay at his feet very soon!"
Agnes continued. "The Rescue Rangers are with him, no doubt. They will deal with your henchmen. Then after you are defeated, Monzy will come through that door and will take me in his arms and we will kiss with all the passion and intensity of that first kiss we shared so many years ago. Then, if my dreams come true, Monzy will ask me to be his bride!"
Ramrod nearly laughed himself. "I know you, my little pigeon! You use him as an excuse to deny the truth, but soon you’ll realize that you were always meant for me."
Agnes’ look was pure poison. "If not for your madness and evil, Monzy and I would have been together a lifetime ago." Agnes spit in Ramrod’s face. Ramrod wiped the spit from his face and Agnes thought he would strike her. Instead, he laughed bitterly. "Put on all the airs you wish, my sweet. I know he and his friends have poisoned your mind. But when I kill him, you will see that I, Georg Udet, am your true love!" Ramrod said.
Agnes stared at him in disbelief for a few moments, then laughed again—this time sarcastically. "YOU? IN LOVE WITH YOU? I would rather die with Monty than spend one more second with you! I disliked you from the moment I met you and now that your true colors are revealed I can only hate you!"
Ramrod smiled a smile so sinister than even Agnes dreaded the sight of it. "Soon, my dear. Soon you will realize the truth. But enough for now. When I return, you can meet your Monty--or what’s left of him." Ramrod did a curt about-face and left the room, shuffling his left leg as he went. Agnes had a bold sneer on her face. "Monzy will rescue me, Ramrod."
The Rangers were running out of options. "Let’s try the other side of the warehouse! There’s got to be a clue as to where he is!" Chip said.
Ramrod was still taunting them. "I know that you think you are in love with her, Monty. But you have deluded her, and now you must pay for that! I will enjoy every moment."
Monty was looking everywhere, getting in a worse and worse mood. "I don’t know what you are more, a bigger fool or a bigger coward!" Slowly the group moved in the direction of the sound of the voice, aided by Foxglove’s excellent hearing.
Dale was getting concerned now. "Monty, maybe it’s not such a good idea to keep taunting him like that."
"You will all pay--you, your friends, all of you. If you hadn’t poked your face into my affairs all those years ago, I would have been happy! Now I will be happy. But as Genghis Khan said, ‘It is not enough that I win. My enemies must be made to suffer.’ So it will be with you," Ramrod said.
Foxglove had to partly cover her ears as they approached the far side of the warehouse and the loudspeaker spurting Ramrod’s words. She pointed up to a series of office suites on the second floor. Chip’s eyes narrowed. "I don’t like this. There should have been an encounter of some kind by now. Keep moving." The group climbed the stairs toward the offices
"We’re coming for you, Ramrod!" Monty challenged.
"Aunt Agnes better be safe or you’ll be sorry!" Dale added.
Ramrod’s voice was now blaring at them. "I want you to know the pain and suffering you’ve caused me, Monty. It took me a long time to plan a satisfying demise for you, but I finally came up with an appropriate forum. You do recognize the symbolism of the cheese warehouse, I trust?"
Gadget pulled out a pair of wire cutters and deactivated the loudspeaker. "There! Now let’s find him!"
Ramrod’s last words were still echoing in Monty’s mind. "Yeah, it’s where you broke Agnes’ heart...and mine."
Chip walked up to the main door of the office. It was cracked open a bit. "He’s got to be waiting for us in there. Wish you’d brought your plunger gun at least, Gadget." The group walked in slowly, then a corridor appeared going off to their left and right. Ramrod could be heard to the right. Monty barged ahead madly in search for Ramrod and Agnes. Chip pulled out his magnifying glass and began looking for clues. Foxglove took up and aerial and auditory search of the office. Dale frantically searched everywhere, and Gadget began following the wires that the speaker was attached to.
Then the ingenious mouse pointed up. "Look! The wires go along the ceiling to that last room at the end of the hall."
"It’s got to be a trick, or a trap. Must be," Chip said.
Dale was only thinking of his Aunt. "Do we rush him? He might hurt Agnes!"
Monty rolled up his sleeves. "Step aside, mates. I got a date with destiny!" Monty’s face took on a mask of grim determination and he began slowly walking toward the door.
"Be careful, Monty! There’s no telling what mood he’s in!" Gadget said.
Monty was too focused on his objective to hear Gadget’s words. He picked up his pace and continues toward the door. Chip tried to caution him, "If you bust down that door, he might do something dreadful to Agnes. We’ve got to be careful!"
"I don’t think he’s listening..." Dale said, running to keep up. "Monty, wait up!"
Zipper tried to hold Monty back, naturally to no avail.
Foxglove flew down next to Chip. "But Chip, he’s going to do something bad to her if we don’t do anything!"
Chip knew she was right. "Well, if we’re going then we’re going as a team! Rescue Rangers, away!"
Ramrod had been speaking all this time, but now his words seemed to egg them on. "I’ve been waiting fifteen years for this moment, and now finally I’m about to have my moment in the sun! Come to me, Monty! Come if you dare! I am back!"
"I DARE!!!" Monty yelled at the top of his lungs, as he hit the door full force. The door gave way under Monty’s strength and the Rangers were right behind.
Dale had his fists up. "All right, where is he!?"
Ramrod did not seem moved at their entrance. "I know you won’t disappoint me old bean, because I certainly won’t disappoint you."
Monty’s eyes flashed and looked everywhere. "Show yourself you coward, if YOU dare!"
Gadget’s eyes followed the wiring. "Up on the wall! It’s...it’s..."
Chip saw it. "No! A tape recorder!" Chip said. "He’s been leading us on a wild goose chase!" Monty picked up a doorstop and hurled it mightily at the recorder. It struck and the recorder crashed to the ground. Chip circled the machine then stopped on the far side.
"Look!" Chip said. There was another tape taped to the body of the recorder. "Let’s switch it out!"
Monty popped the old tape out and helped to pull the other one free of the masking tape. "Now let’s see what else that no-good skunk’s got ta say."
Ramrod’s voice returned. "Ah, you have arrived at last. I hope my first tape was not too much of a bother for you. By now you know that I have intentionally brought you to this room. There is of course a reason for that. Go to the wall opposite the window, and you will find a concealed door. Go through, and you will be in a cargo elevator. Push the button for the basement level, and once you are there proceed 50 meters until you come to a junction to your left. When you are there, wait. You will be met."
Monty headed for the concealed door. "Time for action...enough talking. It’s the end for you, Ramrod."
Again Gadget was pained to hear Monty speak such things. Chip had to stop him. "Monty, wait!"
Dale helped Chip. "He’s setting us up!"
Gadget ran over to Monty, who was already testing the wall. "Monty, you’ve got to keep a level head! He’s trying to make you play on his terms."
Dale felt helpless and wanted some reassurance. "Come on, Chip! We’re counting on you here—you have to outthink the master plotter, and hurry!"
Chip knew what Dale said was true. "The only problem is, he’s holding the high card at the moment. We need a way to tip the odds in our favor." Then Chip seized a thought.
"Gadget, can you rig something to be used as a diversion?" Chip asked.
Gadget took off her helmet. "I could use the spare battery for my lamp to create a flashburn. Would that do?"
Chip nodded. "Get it ready. We’ll go and meet him, but not the way he plans on it."
Dale didn’t like the way they were being led into this. "Maybe we should split up and see if there is another way down besides the elevator?"
Chip had considered that. "Possibly. I don’t like the idea of splitting up though unless we have to. We’ll likely be outnumbered as it is."
Monty was getting tired of listening. "Would you make yer minds up? Agnes is down there somewhere!"
"We can’t just run in there! That’s what Ramrod wants! We’ve got to think this through," Chip said.
Gadget thought some more. "Well, I might could use that electrical wiring from the loudspeaker to electrify the floor of the elevator. Then if we could lure them onto the metal partition they’d be knocked out. But we’d need insulators for our feet."
The others noticed that Dale had an unusually thoughtful look on his face. Dale’s mind sorted through the uncountable spy movies he has seen. Then he knew what had bothered him--the villain always trapped the elevator.
"Ramrod’s already trapped the elevator. Maybe we can use the traps against him!" Dale suggested.
Gadget studied the idea a moment, then approved. "Hmm...let’s check it out. Monty, have you found the entrance yet?"
"Two minutes ago! I’ve been waitin’ fer the lot o’ you to make up yer minds!" Monty opened the secret panel to the freight elevator and the Rangers stepped inside warily. Everything appeared normal.
"There doesn’t seem to be anything out of the ordinary...." Chip said.
Gadget took her time and gave the elevator a good once-over. Then something caught her eye. "Hey, there’s a wire painted to look the same silver color as the wall. It’s coming from the elevator button and it leads to the ceiling. Check it out, Foxy..."
Foxglove flew up to the ceiling and with Zipper’s help tipped up the paneling. She gasped.
"What is it, lass?" Monty asked.