Swamped Chapter 87 Page 9

“Be careful, your shoe’s unbuckled,” you blurt out. It might well be for all you know, you haven’t actually looked. It’s just the first thing you can think of that might make him pause.

And he does stop, briefly, to look down.

“So it is. Damn thing’s always coming undone. I don’t really have time to deal with it right now, though.”

It’s enough of a break, and a shift in his position, that you’re able to get a brief glimpse of what he’s holding behind him. It looks like a sack… a sack with something moving in it. He recovers too quickly for you to really get a sense of the size or anything else, though.

“I could take care of it for you. Won’t take more than a minute.”

“Don’t have a minute. Especially if you’re going to keep blabbing at me. Goodbye!”

With that, he slams the door shut. But you hear a strange muffled noise a moment later. Could it be from whatever was in the sack?

Colleen seems just as curious as you about it. She knocks again.

“Everything okay in there? What was that noise?”

“I tripped because of the damn shoe!” comes the reply.

“Well, he can’t blame me for that,” you say calmly. You doubt that’s what really happened.

Colleen laughs.

“Yeah, serves the jerk right.”

“”Well, I suppose we’re stuck here until we get an answer from the cook,” you say with a shrug. “So why don’t you tell me how you ended up on guard duty out here? I doubt you’re on official orders to stand watch for a birthday party.”

She looks a bit unsettled. So there’s something going on. But it takes a while for her to reply.

“I owe Lou a little favor,” she says carefully. “It’d be nice to have the free shift, but I also don’t like to leave favors lingering, you know? Better to get ’em over with as soon as you can.”

Hmm, she definitely knows something, but she seems wary of talking about it. How should you handle this?

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Ask if all those people in the galley also owe Lou favors. (Lou must be a really generous fellow!)