Swamped Chapter 127 Page 2

“I don’t think so. The hinge pins are loose.”

Mortimer stares at them.

“Huh. I didn’t notice. It’s still hard to spot, honestly – they’re just poking out a little.”

“Yeah, they take ’em out, unlock the door from the inside, then put them back in. But it’s hard to make ’em go in perfectly smoothly.” You think for a bit. “If what you said is right, then whoever’s in there must have had some plan for dealing with the smith. Maybe check if she’s okay.”

“She’ll throw something at me if she sees me!”

“If she’ does, then she’s fine, and she’ll see the light at her smithy and wonder what’s going on. You can drop her mother off while you’re at it.” You hold out your arms in his direction. Grudgingly, he takes the old woman away.

“Fine, but if I get another injury, you’re taking care of me.”

You’re more concerned with who’s in there, frankly. You didn’t mention it, but the tool for taking those hinges out was pretty crude in its first incarnations. It was only about a year or two before you joined the Guild that they had one that worked cleanly.

So whoever’s in there is either from the future, or somehow has access to impossibly high-quality tools. Either way, you’re expecting to be in for something serious when you enter.

Which means, for one thing, you want to be careful about how you make an entrance.

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Is there a back door? Put a low obstacle outside that door in case the occupant tries to run for it when your presence is discovered. Then go back to the front door and knock.