Swamped Chapter 23 Page 5

“Right. Enough.”

You walk over to the closet.

“I don’t know what your story is here, but it doesn’t matter right now. So here’s what we’re going to do. First off, you are staying right there in that closet.”

“Um, okay,” Marshall says awkwardly.

“Rivers. You and I are standing watch here. Crook!”

Crook rushes in. “Er, I can explain… ah… wait, do I need to explain?”

You just shake your head.

“No. Tell Razor that Mudviper and I want to talk to him. After that, I don’t care what you do.”

“You do know he’s going to be busy…”

“He’ll want to come for this.”

Crook rushes off, and you just stand and wait for a few minutes. Everyone is silent, unsure what to say.

Finally, Razor arrives. He looks in on the open closet and groans.

“I haven’t said anything to the prisoner,” Mudviper says, still flipping through the book. “No questioning or other conversation, beyond suggesting the closet as a hiding spot. I admit this may be a violation of the spirit of your orders, but as far as the strict letter of them goes…”

“No, that’s not it,” Razor says. “It’s just that the whole situation’s gotten more complicated. And I suppose,” he says, giving you one of his glares, “that you want me to figure out how to deal with it.”

“Well, if you’ve got an idea, that would be nice,” you say. “But I was thinking you could just come up with an excuse for why we need to keep guards posted in Mudviper’s room and we keep Marshall in here until you’ve sorted things out on your end.”

“I see.” He glances at Mudviper. “My, my, Viper. Your fever seems to be getting worse. I’m not sure it’s safe to leave you unattended.”

“I’m not letting just anyone keep watch, you know,” Mudviper says.

“Of course not. Given your position, and especially the unfortunate rumors going around, you need someone you can trust on duty. Corvus, are you up to the job?”

You let out a sigh.

“Yes, sir.”

“Good, good. Is that all? I’m a very busy man, you know. If there’s any other matter which demands my attention, I’d prefer it to be addressed now.”

Well. Do you have anything else to say to him before he leaves?

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why is this one-armed kid so damned important