Swamped

Swamped Chapter 149 Page 15

“You haven’t looked through the paperwork, I take it,” you reply, walking towards a small desk in the back.

“What, you think he turned the darkwood into paper?” Mina asks. “Wouldn’t be very useful after that. Too thin, or so I understand.”

“In a manner of speaking, he might have,” you reply. You pick up a stack of papers. “These are inspection forms from the office of the City Conservator. Which is to say, Emil Drake.”

They stare at you blankly.

“So, what exactly does that mean?” Bert asks.

“It means, for one thing, Drake has the authority to inspect this place too,” you reply. “Which leaves us with basically two options. Either Redlake has a hiding place that’s beyond the authority of the City Conservator… or Drake is in on it one way or another.”

You hold up a form.

“Thing is, these forms have no date on them. But a surprising amount of other information filled in. It’s like they’re pre-approved and all that has to be done is filling in the date.”

“So what? We know he’s working with Drake, it’s no surprise they’ve got some kind of corrupt bargain,” Mina replies. “Could be he made that deal to keep Drake’s nose out of his brewery, which leaves this as the safest place to hide the stuff.”

“If that were the case, he seems the sort who’d constantly worry about Drake breaking his side of the deal,” you point out. “I can’t imagine him hiding it somewhere here unless he was sure Drake’s inspectors wouldn’t find it.”

“Yeah, that makes sense to me, too,” Bert says. “So it’s either not here, or it is here and it’s really well-hidden. In which case, how would we even go about finding it?”

Well, your hunch right now is that Drake’s hiding it. But now that he asks, something else just came to mind.

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