Swamped Chapter 22 Page 11

You can’t remember this part at all. But Feldspar passes by and mutters “pinch”, before looking at another cell’s lock.

Maybe you should ask if he’s fixed the first one, but Shorty’s already launched back into the story.

I sucked it up, Silver was right.
This decision, I wouldn’t fight.
So I got down on my hands and knees
And started crawling through the trees.

The rain poured down and I was soaked.
Thorny brambles pricked and poked.
The ground below was thick with mud,
I feared the wolves would smell my blood.

“There’s no wolves in that forest,” Feldspar mutters. “And they don’t smell blood, anyhow.”

“Well I didn’t know that!” Shorty protests. “Anyhow, I needed it to rhyme. Now, hang on, where was I… right, pinch.”

Shorty clears his throat and continues.

Tired and bruised and cold and sick,
I tried my best to make it quick.
At last I reached where the girl lay,
And hoped for an end to my troubled day.

But no, I still had woes in store,
I was stuck down on the forest floor.
It was so cramped I could not leave,
Even without the child on my sleeve.

I was stuck and couldn’t move an inch,
That’s when I felt a sudden pinch.
I nearly screamed, but held my tongue,
So as not to curse in sight of the young.

But soon after, I started moving back,
Just as my sight started fading to black.
Silver had observed my plight,
And he refused to give up the fight.

Flame’s new device that Silver took,
A length of line tied to a hook,
Had saved my life, and the child’s too,
And of the rest, I know no more than you.

For by now I felt quite faint,
But Silver, that dastardly saint,
Saw to it that I woke up in town,
With a list of lost goods written down.

Shorty looks very delighted to have finished the story.

“So, you don’t know who the baby was?”

“Not a clue. I asked Silver about it when I came here, but he’d only say that he’d taken her to a good home.” Shorty shrugs. “I don’t know if he snatched the jewel or not, either, and didn’t bother asking. Hardly seemed to matter once we were in the swamp.”

Well. That wasn’t really that informative. You’ve got a few points to speculate on, but nothing really useful.

So. Will you talk to someone else, or do you have any more questions for Shorty?

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Is that Starling talking to Dean?