“Footprints in the mud. Didn’t know what they were, but they didn’t look like any creature I’d ever seen. It looked like the heel of a boot, but the toes were sharp claws. Much sharper than a grebling’s, though the prints were close to the right size.”
“Never known a grebling that cared much for swamps, myself,” you muse. “You think it might be this night hunter?”
“Well. I wasn’t ready to say that. Just that you made me realize it might have been a tamed animal, with some kind of special footwear.” He shrugs. “Maybe it’s the night hunter, maybe it’s something else.”
“Could you describe the claws in more detail? Maybe draw a picture?” the leader asks.
“I don’t remember them too clearly, but I suppose I can give you a rough sketch.”
Long takes out a pad and starts drawing. You think about how to use this pause in the conversation, but you don’t get much of a chance, as someone bursts in.
“Mister Spade! We just got a report in! Real important!”
The leader frowns. You suppose you know his name now, though.
“Show me,” he says. The messenger dutifully hands over a note, and Spade glances over it. Then he looks at the two of you in turn.
“Well, this is interesting,” he says. “And I think it may just concern one of you.”