Swamped Chapter 145 Page 13

You decide to hold off. Jumping in would make you look even more suspicious than you already do, and you might get some good info.

“And just what sort of cargo are we talking here?”

Of course, your own decisions don’t matter much when Long doesn’t care about looking suspicious. You may have to get involved just out of self-defense.

“That’s a good question,” says the priest you don’t recognize. “After all, Brother Vernon’s the one in charge of the cargo hold. So he ought to know what’s gone missing, shouldn’t he?”

It seems that whatever suspicions this man may have about you and Long, he’s more interested in pinning down his compatriot. You get the sense this isn’t something new, either – that he’s been wary of Vernon for some time.

“And I’ve been too busy to figure that out,” Brother Vernon protests. “In fact, I really should be getting back to work. I apologized and that’s what I came here to do. But someone won’t accept my apology graciously!”

“Well, for one thing, you haven’t given my eyepiece back,” the other priest says, annoyed.

“That man gave it to the captain…” Vernon’s voice trails off. “Wait. She asked for it, but I don’t remember you actually handing it over.”

“Well, I’ll be!” Long chuckles, pulling it out of his pocket. “What with one thing and another, it completely slipped my mind. Here you go.”

And several of those things, you can’t help but notice, were Long’s own doing. You don’t think it was even planned – he just did it because he could, not because he had any designs on the eyepiece itself.

He hands the eyepiece to the taller priest, who bows politely.

“Thank you, sir. I don’t have an immediate use for it on shore, but it’s meant to be in my care.”

You’re a little unsettled by how much this guy is taking Long’s presence for granted. But you also notice that Brother Vernon is taking the chance to step away.

Thankfully, Long’s drawing so much attention that Vernon doesn’t seem to have noticed you at all. So you decide to follow him a bit and see just where he’s going.

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