Swamped

Swamped Chapter 135 Page 15

“I was expecting some kind of unpleasant mush. But this is more like wood,” she continues. “No idea what kind, though it’s weathered all that water fairly well. The color’s pretty weird, though…”

You recognize it immediately as she holds it up. It’s a splinter of darkwood. Why would someone use that to stop up a drain?

“Reminds me of something I saw earlier, actually,” she mutters. But before she continues that line of thought, the knights come back in for another round of bailing.

“Seems to be clearing up,” Burgundy says. “The plan worked, then?”

“Yes, but I’ve got no idea what was blocking the drain.”

“Maybe we can look into that when things calm down.” Burgundy glances around. “Right now, I’d like to ask again if anything’s missing.”

Susan glances around.

“Well, the lockbox where we keep most of our rarer pills has been broken. But Evan already told me about that.”

That doesn’t fit with your idea of a distraction. It’s too noticeable.

“There is less stuff than I remember being here, but it’s all patients’ property anyways. We were cleaning it off, or meant to. I guess someone could have swiped something and hoped we wouldn’t notice… There was nothing here that seemed especially valuable, though. Except maybe that book from the latrines if it turned out to be rare.” She shrugs. “That’s all I’ve got.”

Your mind races. Crow had that book. He showed it to you, that made things worse. That can’t be it.

But your memory is getting overactive again. You’ve been in here today. Rather, your younger self has. They showed you around the place. And there’s something that was important to your job as a clerk that you don’t see in here. But to other people, who don’t have the same duty, it might not be as obvious.

You can’t just directly call attention to it, though. Everyone would wonder how you know. You could tell Evan, you suppose, since you already told him you’re the clerk. But something in your head – which is pounding very hard all of a sudden – is very insistent that you need to get the clinic looking for the item now. And that means you can’t have them wasting time asking questions about why you noticed.

So you should come up with something fast. You’re not sure you can stay conscious if you don’t.

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