Swamped Chapter 125 Page 10

“I’ll help you out,” you tell her. “We didn’t see any creature, so I’ll take you back the way we came and you can get your bearings from there.”

“Thank you,” she says. You help her up, while Minnie runs towards the tracks. Hopefully she’ll be okay.

As you walk out, you figure you may as well ask the obvious question.

“Why were you even out here this time of night? Doesn’t seem very safe, especially in a place like this. All sorts of shady characters might be trying to hide out here.”

She pauses a little before answering.

“That’s more or less what brought me out here. There was someone I was supposed to meet with, but they were hesitant to meet somewhere more open.” She pauses again. “Oh, but I make it sound worse than it is. I’m with an orphanage, you see. I received a letter from someone who wanted to bring a child to us. The details were extremely sparse, but they claimed to have found the child somewhere in the wilderness and didn’t think they were in any position to raise one.”

“That sounds pretty suspicious to me,” you say.

“I agree. We spent quite some time discussing it, but in the end we decided that if the child had been kidnapped or the like, it was best that we take care of them until we could determine that, rather than leaving them in the hands of a scoundrel. So I decided to accept their offer. But all I saw was that creature, and then…” She pauses. “Well, it’s clearly too dangerous right now. I dread what’s happened to the child, if the whole thing wasn’t some kind of twisted ruse to get me out here alone. But I’m in no state to deal with it.”

Hmm. Was Setrus the one handing over a child? Or perhaps he was who the donor feared. Either way, it’s not your immediate concern – getting this woman to safety is.

You step out, just in time for someone to run right into you. You both collapse, and the woman screams again. Wonderful.

“Hey, good job!” Arlene shouts suddenly. “I was worried she was going to get away.”

You untangle yourself and get up just as Arlene arrives; she grabs the other person, a woman dressed mostly in black. Must be your thief. The lady from the orphanage is still screaming – maybe because of Arlene’s mask.

“It’s another costume,” you sigh.

“Oh,” she says, calming down slightly. Then she glances at the thief. “What about her?”

“I don’t think that one’s a costume. I think she snuck into the council hall.” You turn towards her. “Any chance you might tell us why?”

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Free Custard.

No, really. There’ve been a lot of people upset about the imprisonment of Captain Custard. Maybe they were leaving graffiti in the council chambers to communicate their displeasure?