Swamped Chapter 7 Page 7

“Just to be thorough, let’s see what you’re both carrying in your pouches. And roll up your sleeves.”

They comply, a little annoyed, but they don’t have anything up their sleeves and nothing unusual in their pouches. You ask Lisa and Grey to take a quick look at the pouches just in case there’s some weird cheating technique you can do with a rock and a ruler, but you doubt that’s going to lead anywhere.

Lisa looks the pouches over and shakes her head, just as Grey holds up a deck.

“Found it. This one’s missing a four, it’s the one Rushy and Penelope were using.”

“Wait, didn’t Rushy use a leaf to get three fours?” you ask. “That was the first move that game.”

Everyone looks a little baffled.

“Why would you bring an extra leaf card to cheat?” Ron asks. “The leaf pile is public. You’d never be able to get away with it.”

“We’ll look into it after dinner,” Grey grumbles. “Does anyone object to letting these two go? Their little issue seems to have been resolved.”

“Seems like it to me,” Lisa agrees. You nod, and the pair take their pouches and run off.

“Well, I suppose that’s it for now.” Grey stands up. “I’ll return these decks to their owners, except the ones we’re using for the actual games. You two see if you can track down Rushy and Penelope. Hopefully we can have this mess resolved before the next four matches start, I’m not looking forward to delaying Round 2 over it.”

“Make sure you get dinner for yourself in there sometime,” Lisa says. “For someone who likes to play games so much, you’re good at overworking yourself.” She turns to you. “Come on, Marshall. Our suspects are probably in the mess hall anyhow. Might as well get some food while we’re there, right?”

“Makes sense to me.”

You head off to the mess hall together, and soon enough find Rushy bragging to some of her friends. Lisa taps her on the shoulder and politely asks to talk after dinner.

But Penelope’s nowhere to be found. Nobody’s seen her come to dinner.

“Guess we’d better grab our swamp mush and then find her,” Lisa sighs. “Don’t suppose you’ve got any idea where to look?”

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