Swamped Chapter 27 Page 8

It occurs to you that the markings might indicate questionable leaves, or old ones. Or perhaps they’re being checked as a source of poison. In which case, the most common marking likely indicates the ones that are known to be safe; it wouldn’t make sense for a pantry to keep a large stock of one type if they were inedible.

Still, you decide to grab a few leaves from the other boxes. You might be able to find out more about them later. You store two leaves from the lone box in one pocket, and three leaves from the uncommonly-marked boxes in the other. Then you grab a dozen leaves from the boxes with the most common marking.

The leaves are bland, but filling. Just three are plenty for you. You put the rest in your mistflower pouch – you don’t know when you’ll next have a chance for a meal.

You head back into the hole, and think on the conversations you’ve just heard. Most notably, on the fact that Corvus’ squad is likely headed here soon. Which means that woman you met earlier, Rivers, will be around.

You don’t really need a detailed conversation with her, though. You just need to persuade her to talk with someone about how to leave the swamp. As long as you’ve got a listening-hole, that should be good enough.

But how will you let her know you’re here? And if she doesn’t think of starting the conversation herself, how will you give her the idea?

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Suggestions:

the birdcalls seemed halfway to work earlier… if she’s getting followed around by shitty birdcalls then they’ll know
If birdcalls don’t work (or if you get drowned out by a responding cacophony of crows from somewhere nearby) you could scratch a crude picture of a bird onto one of your mystery leaves and discretely “deliver” it to Rivers when her squad arrives. Can you fold it into an airfoil or something?