You don’t have a plan yet, but maybe you can stir things up and get an idea out of that. You head back over.
“Sorry for the trouble,” you say, sounding as embarrassed as possible. “Turns out it was right at the cleaning station, in plain sight. I just didn’t catch it.”
“Told you it wasn’t here,” the sailor grumbles. “Now can you just leave me be? Or did you lose something else?”
“Well, if you could help me bring the carrots over here, it’ll be easier to peel them…”
“Ain’t my problem,” he mumbles. “And I’m busy right now.”
“You don’t look very busy,” you note.
“If you must know, I’m proofreading,” he shoots back. Then, suddenly, it dawns on him what he said. “Ah, that is, a friend of mine is trying to write a book and wants me to look over it. She’s hoping to get it printed off when we get back. So I’m just glancing over one of the chapters while I keep an eye on things in here.”
“Oh, really? Well, I wish her the best then,” you reply, turning around.
So if you could catch a glimpse of whatever he’s reading, that might tell you what you need to know. For the moment, though, you get to peeling carrots. Maybe something will occur to you while you’re working.
Go wash up some of the most reflective cutlery so you can spy on them while looking the opposite direction. How good are you at reading reversed letters?