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The Spy Who Loved Monty
By Indy and Chris Silva
Chapter Two

Chapter Two -- The Loss of Love's Labor

       Gadget had finished working on her latest invention, but all during it her mind never left Monty and his emotional scene. It disturbed her, and she felt the need to talk to someone. She put her tools away and walked into the main room, where all the other Rangers had assembled--she wasn’t the only one in need.
       "Monty’s not one to fall apart like that," Chip was saying to Dale. "He also mentioned ‘she’—the last time a woman had been involved in Monty’s life it nearly ended in disaster for us."
       Gadget started to come into the room, but something held her back. She went to her workshop instead. The events that happened to Monty were evidently traumatic and it seemed Monty had deeply scarred by that mission. That disturbed Gadget enough to make her seek refuge in her own little world.
       Chip had seen Gadget’s turn and came into her workshop. It was obvious their thoughts were running in parallel. "Gadget, did Monty tell you anything before he went to his room?" Gadget started putting her tools away. "I think he wanted to, Chip, but something held him back."
       A noise at the door told them both that Dale was there. "What could be so bad that Monty wouldn’t want to talk about it?"
       "Dale, spy missions often involve a lot of danger—things Monty would prefer to forget," Chip said.
       Foxglove poked her head around the corner too. As always, each of the Rangers preferred the others’ company. "Most of us have no idea what the life of spies is like. I can’t imagine Monty being or doing anything other than he is now."
       Chip’s thoughts turned to a new direction. "And the girl....could that be Desiree?
       Dale shook his head. "Uh, nope. I remember him telling about her. That was after all his solo adventure stuff, or so he told me. Then again, he never told me about that one before."
       Foxy smiled slyly. "Then maybe he has a secret love?"
       "Maybe he lost her during that mission," Chip speculated.
       Foxy hugged Dale to comfort her own feelings. "He saved the world but lost his true love, how sad!"
       Gadget’s look was pure sympathy. "Poor Monty! I guess we’d better not talk about it any more--around him, anyway."
       Dale was lost in thought. "Gosh. I wish there was something we could do for ‘im. I mean, he’s always there for us!"
       Agnes was running, but she didn’t quite know from what. She was dressed in a trenchcoat and beret and the bombs were sounding on the right and left of her. She knew she had to get to safety, but where was it? Then a building emerged from the ground in front of her-she ducked inside. Her breathing was fast and panicked. She looked for a place to hide. Nothing.
       Then a hand touched her shoulder and she screamed. A dark face filled her view and she trembled in fear. Then another face came and two shadows fought each other. The second shadow won and suddenly Agnes caught the scent of roses and cheese. Music came from somewhere and she found herself dancing with the shadow and joy filled her being. Then light struck the shadow and she saw the face of a mouse.
       Agnes’ eyes flew open. The nightmare had haunted her for years, and it always ended the same way. She felt drained, but Agnes knew she would have to face him today-dream or no dream.
       Agnes dressed and gathered together her folders. She found directions to Ranger Headquarters from the hotel concierge. It would be doubly painful for her nephew Dale, his wife and their child. She hadn’t been to see him since before the Rangers were formed and she had missed the wedding and the adoption of his child. She dearly hoped they would be glad to see her.
       Once Agnes was outside, she found the Walmouse Astoria provided carrier pigeon transport service for the brave and adventurous soul. It wouldn’t be the first time she’d ridden on the back of a bird in flight. The wind whipped through her hair, and Agnes enjoyed the feeling. She loved living—she’d mountain climbed in Nepal, surfed on the dangerous tides in Australia, and lived in almost every primitive condition. She never tired of the thrill, and loved to be around those who shared her pursuits.
       The pigeon descended and set down at the corner of a sidewalk, a block away from the park. Agnes began a brisk walk, and as she approached the next corner she saw a group of onlookers were gathered around someone. It was a mime, in the middle of the classic "trapped in the box" routine. Agnes stopped, smiling immediately. She’d always enjoyed the street mimes in Paris, and seeing one now was one of the few good memories she had of her time there.
       The mime completed his task and then noticed Agnes. She was hard not to notice with her appearance and distinctive clothes. The mime came over and bowed low to her, and showed her to an invisible table.
       "Ah, merci monsieur!" Agnes said. She had enough of a French accent to stand out when she used the romance language. The mime brought over a "bottle" of wine and "popped" the cork. Agnes enjoyed the game. Then the mime did something unexpected.
       He produced a red rose and gave it to her. It happened so fast, that Agnes had no time to warn the well-meaning soul. He’d put the rose to her nose to sniff it, and when she did, her smile left her face. Her eyes stared into space and it seemed she could hear music. She closed the gap between herself and the mime, put the rose between her teeth and held out her arms.
       The mime thought it was part of the game, and took Agnes in his arms. They began to dance the tango, and the crowd clapped as they danced first one way then the other. Then the mime wanted to finish up, but Agnes wouldn’t let him go! He noticed the blank look on her face and began to get worried. He waved his hand in front of her face, but she didn’t blink. He tried to pull away, but her grip was too strong. The crowd began to titter, then laughed openly.
       They’d been dancing for a good five minutes when the mime finally thought to gently pat her on the cheeks. When he did, the rose fell from her mouth and Agnes snapped out of it.
       "What, what happened?" Agnes said. The mime repeated the looks on her face he’d seen. "Oh, no!" she cried. "Not that again! I am so sorry."
       The mime smiled and bowed, but still looked a bit curiously at her. She shrugged her shoulders. "C’est la guerre, monsieur," she replied. Agnes realized the crowd was still watching them, and she felt embarrassed and made as quick a departure as she could.
       As she approached the park, she saw the large oak tree she’d been told to look for. Suddenly, Agnes found herself hesitating—something she almost never did—and stopped behind a bush.
       "Hello,’s nice, no! Dale, my C’mon Agnes! He’s going to be thrilled to see you—I hope. But what if he’s there? I don’t know that I can take it if he’s there too..."
       At that moment, a female squirrel came into view, holding the wing a young bat as they walked. Agnes gasped.
       " must be. She’s so cute..."
       Agnes climbed a neighboring tree and pulled out the field glasses she kept in her pack. Tammy went up to the main door and the interior was in plain view.
       "He’s not there--good. It’s now or never..."
       Inside, Chip was still discussing the problem with Monty. "I really don’t think there’s much we can do for him, at least for now! If she’s gone there’s nothing we can do, but if she and Monty parted company we still might be able to track her down."
       Dale suddenly had a thought. "Hey! Why don’t we help him get a new girlfriend!"
       Gadget hesitated at the idea. "Well, I don’t know if it’s that easy. You don’t just fall in love that quickly."
       Foxglove giggled and snuggled against Dale. "I did."
       Dale thought a bit, then raised a hand. "I know who’d be perfect for him! My Aunt Agnes!"
       Gadget had a look of doubt on her face. Dale wasn’t known as the greatest matchmaker on earth. "Agnes? Doesn’t sound like a name he’d like..."
       Dale laughed softly. "If you’d seen her, you wouldn’t say that! She’s a knockout--right, Chip?"
       Chip smiled and his mind drifted back to his childhood years. Agnes was a knockout, that was for certain. He’d had the biggest crush on her when he was younger, sort of the way Tammy had felt about him. "Yeah, she’s a knockout and she lives for adventure the way Monty does."
       Tammy had joined the group now, Barbara in tow. "Oh, she sounds great! I’d really like to meet her!" Dale’s countenance turned a bit sad. "But, who knows where she is now? Haven’t heard from her in ages and she never replied to any of the letters I sent out the last couple of years! Sure would be nice to see her again, so she could meet Foxy and Barbara, anyway."
       There was a knock on the door, and everyone turned to look. Dale approached the door, turning back to the others. "Wouldn’t that be funny if it was Aunt Agnes at the door?" Dale answered the door and gasped in total surprise.
       "Aunt Agnes!"
       Agnes stood there a moment, not knowing what to do. Nor did the Rangers for that matter. Dale rushed to her and hugged her hard. "Wow, talk about timing! It’s great to see ya!"
       With that welcome, the nervousness left her and Agnes kissed Dale on both cheeks, in the French fashion. Dale blushed. "Ah, and it is wonderful to see you again, my nez cerise!"
       Gadget found that she immediately liked this person. "Golly, are you French?"
       Agnes shook her head lightly. "No, my dear. I spent a few of my early years in France and just got back from Algeria, so the accent hangs over..." Then Agnes spied Chip, who was blushing already. She walked boldly over to him and kissed his cheeks too, then leaned in close with a sultry voice she loved to tease him with. "And how is my little Guilleret?"
       Chip was so nervous he couldn’t even speak. She was even more beautiful than she had been the last time he saw her! Then he glanced over at Gadget and was reminded that he was a married man. With that reality check, he calmed down and smiled, still a little nervously. "Ag...Agnes, it’s great to see you again! We’ve all really missed you over the years."
       Gadget and Foxglove were giggling. "Golly, Chip! I’ve never seen you at a loss for words!" Gadget said. Tammy was already going into hero-worship mode. "Uh, ma’am? What did you call them?"
       Agnes turned and found herself face to face with the teenaged squirrel she’d seen before. "Please, no ma’am’s here! Now let me’re Tammy, the neighbor and nanny to the kids right?"
       Tammy was surprised and thrilled. "Why, yes! But how did you know?"
       "Dale has written to me about you...about all of you! I feel I know this place so well...but the names. They are French--nez cerise is ‘cherry nose’ and Guilleret is ‘Chipper’," Agnes said.
       Tammy was overjoyed at the last bit of information and ran to Chip, batting her eyes and trying to imitate Agnes’ accent. "Do you like that name, Guilleret?" Chip blushed yet again. Tammy’s crush on him had long since been over, but she still enjoyed reminding him of it.
       Dale and Foxglove started giggling anew, and Gadget politely hid her own with a hand over her mouth. Dale grabbed Agnes’ hand. "C’mon over to the couch and tell us all about your adventures!"
       As they all sat down, Dale looked over to Tammy. "Tammy, could you go get Barbara? I want Aunt Agnes to meet her new grandniece!" Tammy rushed out of the room, and Dale proudly stood up and took Foxglove’s wing. "Aunt Agnes, meet my beautiful wife Foxglove."
       Foxy gave a shy, "Hello, Ms. Oakmont."
       Agnes came over and hugged her on the neck. "Call me Agnes, Foxglove! Dale has told me so much about you in the letters he has written. He is very blessed to have married such a treasure as you."
       Shortly, Tammy came back into the room escorting three children. Tammy guided Alex and Mercy to Chip and Gadget, and then led Barbara over to Agnes. Dale was in an ecstatic mood. "Great! This is the whole gang! Aunt Agnes, may we proudly present your grandniece, Barbara Oakmont."
       The little bat looked up at Agnes and held out her wings to her. Agnes’ eyes filled with tears. Foxglove looked concerned. "Agnes, what’s wrong?"
       Agnes found herself choked up. "I’m sorry, it’s just that after saying so many good-byes to relatives when I would have to leave for assignments, it’s nice to be able to say hello to an Oakmont for a change!" Dale put a comforting hand on her shoulder. Agnes wiped her eyes and composed herself.
       Agnes picked up Barbara and hugged her, then put her down and followed through with hugs for Dale and Foxglove. "Dale, I’m sorry I missed out on all of this...and you. I should have been there for you through all of this—your childhood, your adulthood, the Rescue Rangers, the wedding…and Barbara. Can you both forgive me?"
       Dale gave that good-natured smile he was so well-known for. "Aunt Agnes, you’re here now. That’s all I could ever ask for!" Foxglove hugged Agnes. "Dale’s right, there’s nothing to forgive!"
       Agnes then turned her attention to the youngest member of the Oakmont family. "Barbara, dear little one. Can you forgive Aunt Agnes for not coming to meet you sooner?"
       Barbara smiled and Agnes could see the wheels spinning in the little girl's mind. "If you p'omise to tell me a story, it would help!"
       Agnes picked her up and looked her over approvingly. "Well then! I will tell you many, many stories to make up for all the time I've missed."
       "Oh, goodieness!" Barbara hugged her tightly. Agnes hugged her tightly in return. She had been away from her family so long she forgot how wonderful it felt being with them again.
       Agnes then looked over at Chip, Gadget and their children. "Chip, I’m sorry. I didn’t get to meet your lovely wife." Gadget brought the kids over. "Golly, that’s okay, Agnes. Dale and Foxglove are certainly thrilled to see you. I’m Gadget Hackwrench, I mean was Gadget Hackwrench, now I’m Gadget Hackwrench-Maplewood. It sure is neat to meet you! These are our children, Alex and Mercy," Gadget said.
       Agnes leaned down and offered her hand to Mercy, who took it cautiously. "Your name sounds like the French word for ‘thank you.’ Are you polite, Mercy?" Mercy thought for a moment. "Only when I wanna be," she said matter-of-factly. Everyone got a good laugh out of that.
       The children all stood hesitantly in front of Agnes, and she smiled warmly back at them. "Auntie Agnes, we want...we want to know what Af’ca is like!" Barbara said.
       "Yes, tell us ‘bout the animals!" Alex added.
       "No, ‘bout the tribes!" Mercy said.
       Agnes loved being the center of attention. "Patience little ones, there is time for all those things. I haven’t even gotten to meet you all yet." She smiled at Alex and Mercy.
       "Alex and Mercy—what wonderful names! And Alex, so handsome and Mercy so pretty," Agnes said, as only a relative can. Alex crossed his arms and backed up a bit as all boys do at that age
       Mercy didn’t say anything at first, but finally she quietly asked, "You think I’m purty, Ms. Oakmont?"
       "So much so, just like your mama. But please, you may call me ‘Aunt Agnes’ like your father does. He is like family too me, as I may hope that I may be like family to you as well," Agnes said.
       "Okay, Aunt Agnes..." Mercy said noncommittally.
       Barbara tugged at Agnes’ shirt. "Auntie Agnes! Auntie Agnes! I gotta question!"
       Agnes hugged the cute little bat sitting on her lap. "What is it, little one?"
       "Do they have cannonballs in Af’ca?" Barbara asked.
       Foxy giggled a bit. "Oh, sweetie! Not cannonballs. Cannibals! But who’s been telling you about them?" She looked over to Dale, who gave her an innocent grin.
       Agnes laughed kindly at Barbara’s mistake. "Well, there are a few ‘cannibals’ on the continent, but very rare. Most of the native people of Africa are wonderful, friendly people."
       Alex’s curiosity won out and he approached Agnes again. "Did you ever see a lion?" Agnes grinned at Alex. "Yes, Alex, I have seen many lions. A noble people. I even got to ride on the back of lion during the hunt. Fortunately, my relative small size made me unattractive as a meal so I could walk freely among them as I interviewed them."
       Alex’s interest was really up and he climbed up next to her. "Wow, you rode one? And you talked to them? What are they like?"
       "They can be great fearsome beasts when they want to. Their roar is awe- inspiring, not to mention deafening. Their lives are hard and brutal. They tend to be a little full of themselves, but they do earn the title of ‘King of the Beasts’. For there is none other quite like them. Does that answer your questions, Alex?"
       Agnes gave him a kiss on the cheek. Alex jumped off the couch, rubbing the offended area. "Yecch! She’s one o’ those kissy types!"
       All the grown-ups laughed at the reaction, particularly the guys, since they’d been there before. Gadget caught Alex’s attention. "Alex, you’re forgetting something..." Alex looked at his hands, but he’d washed them. Then he looked to his mother as she mouthed two words. "Oh. Thank you, Aunt Agnes."
       Agnes giggled. "You are very welcome, Alex." Agnes looked at the children and then at Chip and she smiled yet more. "Chipper, it has been such a long time. It seems like only yesterday I was changing your diapers and now you have little ones of your own."
       Gadget giggled again despite herself. Chip blushed again. Gadget decided to bail him out. "Dale’s told us a little about you and your career, but I’d like to know more. How did you get started?"
       Agnes took a seat again along with the others. She closed her eyes a moment and let the memories flow to the surface. "My mother always said I was a dreamer and she was right. Whatever I dreamed, I wrote down and soon I was known for being a good writer. When I was fourteen, I won a contest to become a junior correspondent with International Mouse-O-Graphic."
       Gadget could see why she liked Agnes. They both were prodigies. "At fourteen? What an honor!"
       Agnes took a cup of herbal tea that Tammy brought in from the kitchen. She sipped it and continued. "Chip and Dale could tell you the stir it caused in the family. My parents were against it at first, since it meant I would be leaving the country for some time to cover stories around the globe. That’s where Jeff Hill stepped in. He’d just taken over as editor of I-M-G and he convinced my parents that I’d be chaperoned the whole time."
       Foxy was caught up in the story at once. "What all did you see?"
       Agnes chuckled. "What didn’t I see? Bullfights in Pamplona, the struggle to live in the Arctic…then came my assignment to Nairobi, Kenya and the native mice there. I grew very attached to them and it showed in my writing. I won an Ace Award for that story and gained the label of "Lady Hemingway" from my peers.
       Tammy sighed, "Woooooooow……"
       Agnes smiled in kind. "But it wasn’t all fun and games. By the time I was twenty, I was starting to burn out as a columnist. I needed a change, and Jeffrey got me a job as a storyliner with the Rescue Aid Society. It was just what I needed—the travel was still there, but now the stories were more strictly mouse-interest. I soon found myself volunteering for missions."
       Chip found himself becoming rapt up in the telling. "You never mentioned that before! Were they dangerous?"
       Agnes took a breath and when she began again her voice took on a slight edge. "Some of them. Some of them were very dangerous—but I found I enjoyed it. Then the R.A.S.C.A.L.S. asked me to join them."
       "And you’d been writing all that time? How come I’ve never seen a book written by you?" Gadget asked.
       A shade passed over the beautiful chipmunk’s face. "It is not for lack of trying, my dear. It seems incroyable, but I never could get an idea together! I have many stories I have yet to use, but none of them ever fell into a book form."
       Dale’s eyes were filled with wonder. "Aunt Agnes is a SPY?! COOL!?"
       Agnes fidgeted a bit. The Rangers sensed the same discomfort they’d seen in Monty earlier. "Oh, now do not get the ideas of the James Bond type, Dale. I was only with them for around a year or two. In fact, the most notable thing I carry from that time is a reaction I have to..roses."
       Gadget tilted her head. "Roses?" Agnes sighed lightly. "Yes. The Brie region of France is famous for two things-its roses and its cheese. Ever since that time, whenever I smell a rose I, uh, dance."
       "Dance?!" the Rangers said.
       Agnes blushed a bit. "I know, it is a strange thing. But something comes over me now when I smell them. I start dancing the tango! It has gotten me into trouble a few times."
       "What happened?" Dale asked.
       Agnes put down her cup of tea and thought back, chuckling a bit. "One time Jeffrey gave me a bouquet of roses to thank me for a great job I’d done and I ended up dancing the tango with him for four hours nonstop in the newsroom until someone finally removed them!"
       Gadget smiled along with her. "Golly, it’s funny you should say that. Our friend Monty has a strange reaction to cheese. Especially Brie, it’s his all time favorite cheese. Sometimes he’ll just wax poetic over Brie, talking about its color, texture and smell. He goes into an eating binge whenever he smells it. As you can imagine, it’s gotten us into lots of trouble, too. Say, where is Monty? You’d like him, he’s a lot like you."
       Agnes suddenly tensed up. "I....I do not think so my dear." Dale looked troubled. "What’s wrong, why don’t you want to meet Monty?" Agnes got a worried look on her face, as if she were trying to make a decision. Then she did. "Dale, I feel so ashamed! But...I could not tell you why I never visited!"
       The Rangers started to get up in alarm. Agnes held up her hand. "No! No, I must tell this--it has been a burden on my soul for too long and besides you deserve to know, since you are all his friends. But you must all promise me not to tell Monzy...."
       Dale looked confused. "Huh? Why not?"
       Chip got up and took Agnes’ hand. "Aunt Agnes, what are you talking about? Did something happen between you and Monty?"
       Agnes got up and hugged the two boys, then sat back down. Gadget brought her a handkerchief and she dried her eyes. "This happened back in ‘82—the last year that R.O.D.E.N.T.S. was in official operation. I was on a mission with the R.A.S.C.A.L.S.—it was supposedly an R.A.S. relief mission to some mice in the region of northern France. But in truth, we were charged with a duty most delicate and important."
       Chip looked deep in thought for a few moments, then he snapped his fingers "Aunt Agnes, would this have anything to do with the terrible danger that could have destroyed the world? The mission that Monty was a part of?"
       Agnes started at Chip’s mention of the mission. Could they have been pretending for her all along? "He told you? Did he tell you about me?"
       "Would you believe he told us about this less than three hours ago? He uttered ‘she’ once and changed the subject. What happened?" Chip asked.
       "Yeah, he’s really busted up over what happened there," Dale added.
       Foxglove still had that idea in her mind. "Were you two in love?"
       Agnes sighed and began again. "For a time, we were. It was a difficult time for both of us, I suppose—missions are like that. Though he had a better outcome than I did. Very well, I will tell it from my side. My group was to rendezvous with a contact arranged by the R.A.S.C.A.L.S. and receive a top secret item that had been recovered by one of our operatives. The contact was Monzy—oh, he was gallant! We were like two children together in a paradise--if you can call an old cheese factory paradise."
       Dale could not have been more surprised. Monty and his Aunt Agnes? It was amazing! "But what happened, Aunt Agnes? We didn’t you two stay together?"
       "My group and Monzy were there several days due to enemy agents trying to track us down before we could safely leave for Paris," Agnes started, then she paused a moment--memories began forcing their way up. "We danced, we drank wine and ate of the finest cheese Brie had to offer. We made plans for the future and exchanged momentos."
       Dale’s jaw dropped. "Zowie!" Gadget was all attention, as was everyone else. "Golly! Why didn’t you get married?" Foxy giggled a little. "Dale, if she’d married Monty, that would have made him ‘Uncle’ Monty!" The tears started to flow again, and Chip and Dale came over to comfort Agnes. "Thank you, mes petits!" Agnes said.
       "What did happen, Aunt Agnes?" Chip asked.
       Agnes stared off into space and the sound of bombs filled her mind. Her voice changed from its usual vibrance, almost going flat. "It was the morning of the second day at the warehouse. Our group leader—he called himself Ramrod—went to check on Monty who was watching out for any sign of trouble in another part of the building. Then it happened! Bombs struck the warehouse and in a matter of seconds the entire building was rubble! It took me hours, but I struggled out with the help of Percival, the other member of my group. I could find no trace of either Ramrod or Monzy....that is until two months later…"
       The sadness in her eyes was truly pitiful to see. "I had gone to Paris in hopes that he would be there, looking for me. Then I....I picked up the Mouse du Monde--the mouse newspaper of Paris. In the personaux section there was a picture of Monzy and a girl named Desiree! It was their wedding announcement."
       Agnes had to stop a moment to recover herself. "When I saw that, my poor heart could not take it—I had lost him to another! And so I returned home to the states. I am so sorry, my dear Dale! I should not have let it fester so long but I could not bear to have this wound on my soul bared, even as it is now...."
       Dale suddenly realized how great a misunderstanding had formed. "But, Aunt Agnes, Monty never..."
       At that moment, Monty entered headquarters. His arms were full of groceries. "Boy, those grocers buy the worst brands ‘o cheese they can find! It seems a mouse can’t raid mouse traps these days without......" Two pairs of eyes locked as Agnes turned to see the voice she remembered so well.
        Agnes could only whisper. "Monzy...."
       Monty dropped the groceries, stunned. "Great gallopin’ gouda! Agnes, luv!" he managed. Agnes tried to make it to her feet once, and failed. Chip came and helped her, and she forced her mouth to work. " is good to see you again. But where is your wife Desiree?"
       Monty was all confusion. "Desiree? But Agnes luv, we were never married!"
       Agnes’ eyes grow large as the words reached her brain. Suddenly the room spun and she fainted. Dale managed to catch her before she hit the floor and with Chip’s help they moved her to the couch. Monty was caught in his tracks, and a strange feeling began to stir in him.
       "I’ll get some water!" Gadget said, running for the kitchen. "Is she okay?" Tammy asked. She took the children out of the room to avoid any more confusion than was necessary. "Yeah, she’s okay. She just fainted," Dale said.
       Gadget ran back from the kitchen and poured water on her face. Agnes awoke, muttering. "What...what did you say, Monzy?"
       Monty hesitantly approached the couch, as if he were facing a judge. "Agnes luv, I said I never married Desiree. I sorta left her at the altar. Just as well, seein’ as how she was a bad apple to begin with."
       The adrenaline kicked in and Agnes jumped up in an amazing show of will and kissed Monty amorously.
       "Golly......" Gadget said. Tammy had come back just in time to see the wondrous leap. "Wooooooow......." Tammy said, soaking it all in.
       Monty melted in her arms for a moment, then he quickly disengaged himself from her and backed away. The look in his eyes was pitiful. "Forgive me, Agnes!" Agnes was in pure happiness. "Forgive you, my love? Of course! Now we can...." She reached for him. Monty backed away more, the hurt coursing through him. "It was all my fault, it was all my fault!"
       Concern was written all over her face. "What is it, mon petit chou?"
       Monty turned his face away at first, but Agnes pulled it back toward her. "Don’t be afraid," Agnes said. "You can tell me."
       "I’ll try, Aggie..." Monty was shaking with the duty of telling something he never thought he would. He managed to find the couch. "It was that last full day at Brie. We’d had such a fine time that last night, but when Ramrod came ta me the building was bombed. Everything was falling down ‘round me ears an’ I saw Ramrod jump for an empty cheese box. He made it lass, but then...but then...."
       Agnes shared his nervousness, but did what she could to console him. "Go on..."
       "Another bomb hit, and a fire started! I could hear ‘im callin’ for help but...but....I couldn’t reach him!" Monty said in despair.
       Agnes was shocked. "He’s dead? Ramrod is dead?! I couldn’t find either of you and...."
       Monty put his hands over his head. "He’s dead and I should’ve been able to save him! I should’ve! I should’ve!" Monty was suddenly overcome by the guilt and ran into his room and locked it before Agnes could get there. She banged on the door, the tears coming.
       "Monzy, please open the door for me. Why do you run?" Agnes pleaded.
       Monty answered from inside, "Go away! I’m no good! Just go!"
       The Rangers stood by Agnes, amazed at the turn of events and not knowing what to do. Agnes banged on the door again. "But Monzy, we have been apart for so long, why must we be apart another second longer?"
       Monty was crying now. "I can’t stand it! Go, please!" Agnes’ voice took on the desperation her heart felt. "But Monzy, don’t send me away! I can’t bear it..." Monty yelled from inside, "Don’t you understand? I betrayed you! I betrayed you!" Monty began sobbing.
       Agnes didn’t understand this reaction at all. "Monzy, you tried to save him! I’m sure you tried your best. I forgive you!"
       "No, you can’t! You can’t! I’m lower than a snake!" Monty replied.
       Gadget came over and put a hand on Agnes’ shoulder. "Agnes, maybe he just needs some time. After all, this has been a shock..." Agnes looked downhearted, but agreed. "I will go. There is another I need to speak to about what happened in Brie. Perhaps he can give me answers and explain what troubles Monty so much."
       Chip hugged Agnes again. "Don’t worry, Aunt Agnes. We’ll talk to Monty while you’re gone. I can’t believe he’d betray you!" Dale joined the hug. "Chip’s right. Monty is one hundred percent true blue!"
       Agnes looked back to the door. "I pray you are right, mes petits. I pray you are right." Agnes took one more look back toward Monty’s room. Then she left, her tears still flowing. Monty was still sobbing in his room
       "I betrayed you...I betrayed you......"

Agnes Oakmont is a creation of Chris Silva and Indy. The Rescue Rangers are copyright Disney and used without permission, but with the utmost respect.

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Chip, Gadget and Dale, Monterey Jack, Zipper, Tammy, Foxglove, Fat Cat, and Nimnul are copyright Disney. All photos are used without permission. Dale appears courtesy of Aaron's Disney Clipart Collection. The Ranger audio is what the site designer (Indy) has recorded off of television. The Ranger audio is copyright Disney and used without permission.