The blond-haired boy watched with great curiosity as a clockwork owl with fish lips flew down from the sky and perched on the walkway just in front of him. A look of surprise crossed his face as the owl began to speak:
Hey Jimmy, It’s Emerson Lighthouse. I was wondering if you might do me a small favour. As I’m sure you know I am currently halfway around the world on a death defying adventure, the immensity of which is practically impossible to imagine. Now, in the unlikely event that the unthinkable occurs and I, for whatever reason, am unable to return to New Babbage on schedule, people may leap to the premature conclusion that I am dead and feel at liberty to poke around in my basement. Without going into any details there are things down there I would rather others not find.
So I am hoping you will do me a favour. Could you break into my house and steal a few things for me for safe-keeping until I return? I’d ask my Major-domo but he has this issue with honesty that trips him up sometimes… also as my sole heir he also has a vested interest in the outcome.
If you go to the backyard of my clock office in Wheatstone, you should be able to climb up the pile of coal to get to the roof. Then take the plank to the roof of the house next door and climb through the window under the Tesla cannon turret. Voila you are inside. There is a key hidden in the barrel of the small cannon mounted to the window. You have little arms so it shouldn’t be too tough reaching way in there. That key gets you into the basement.
In the basement next to a bricked up alcove (don’t mind the smell) you should see a portrait that has been wrapped in a blue curtain. Could you take that and hide it somewhere safe until I return? Also there is a red box with the words ‘do not open’ written on the outside. Could you take that as well… it would probably be a good idea not to shake that one too much.
There is a night of free Chivas in it for you if you do this for me. Also, lock up and keep the key with you as well.
PS: This doesn’t sound paranoid does it?
After the clockwork owl had delivered its missive, Jimmy watched as it took flight once more. It had one more very important stop to make before returning to New Nublar.