“So did you happen to see the kidnappers?”
The priest looks even more surprised.
“I was on the ship. They were gone when we arrived,” he says. But he’s awfully nervous for someone with such a simple explanation at hand.
“Sure. But the lookout ought to be watching the landing spot quite some time in advance,” Long replies. “And this eyepiece seems to have more range than they usually do. So I figured you might have seen something.”
He holds an eyepiece up in front of the priest, who looks absolutely shocked. You’re surprised too – you can’t figure out when he must have grabbed that.
And that gets the attention of another priest. One who looks rather important.
“Brother Vernon,” she says, glaring at him. “Am I to understand you had the eyepiece this whole time? Would you care to explain why you needed that when you were supposed to be supervising the cargo hold in preparation for unloading?”
Supervising the cargo hold? It immediately strikes you that somebody with that job would be well-positioned for slipping an illegal sausage into the supplies. Maybe that’s why he’s expecting someone to contact him.
“Ah, there was a rat running loose some time ago. I grabbed the eyepiece to help me figure out which corner it had crawled into, and, ah, I forgot to return it. Or, um, to ask if I could use it in the first place.”
The other priest clearly looks unconvinced.
“Well, it doesn’t matter at this point, but the lookout’s real annoyed what with how they had to strain their eyes. You’d best go apologize to them right now. And you, sir, I’d appreciate it if you returned our eyepiece.”
“Of course. But I believe my friend here has one quick question for your subordinate before he leaves.”
Said subordinate looks very worried all of a sudden. Interesting.
And while Long’s thrusted this at you, as it happens you have a few questions you want to ask. Still, better pick a good one to start with, one that should give you an excuse to keep the suspicious fellow around for a bit.