Canergak shouted for Arnold to stop Rasend, to bolt the doors quickly. He was the only one left in the creatures path, but Arnold ignored the order without hesitation. He grabbed Lo and ducked into Maddox’s office and was prepared to run for the iron cage inside to lock themselves within.
Once they were out of his way though Rasend simply barreled out of the unsecured doors to its freedom.
Canergak shouted in dismay as he rushed down the stairs, and once Arnold saw that Lo was all right he also chased after the escaped wolf. They didn’t have time to catch up…the wolf howled as it jumped into the canals.
The creature splashed into the muck below and disappeared from sight. There was no sign of it anywhere, and no hints of it swimming. Canergak rounded on Arnold, furious, “Do you know what you just allowed?”
“I let it jump into the canal,” Arnold replied, crossing his arms and staring at the man defiantly, “And I’m not going in after it.”
For one moment it looked as if Canergak intended to throw Arnold into the canals, but then Lo ran past them. Arnold turned his head and didn’t see the blow that Canergak landed on his head with his cane.
There was a burning sensation that passed through the cat, who leaped back and roared at the old man, who didn’t blink at the display. “That thing is not just a ‘moreau’. There was enough human in it to contract the verdagrim!”
Arnold wanted to claw the man in retaliation, but the corner of his eye saw Lo climbing over the rail and about to jump into the canals herself.
The cat turned away from Canergak and grabbed her arm, holding her steady while the young girl searched the water desperately searching for signs of life.
“Let her fall,” Canergak muttered as he turned away. “Now we must hunt down what you would call a ‘werewolf’.”
“How do you know it’s even alive.” Arnold asked, while Lo shouted, “What if he drowned!”
“When they took down this beast they shot it seventeen times, and stabbed it several more.” Canergak said dismissively as he turned to the gathering workers he had hired. “It’s not going to die like this, but it should not be difficult to contain it again with the proper equipment!”
Lo turned to the short man and told him as impudently as she could, “You are rather stupid and cruel! I don’t like you, one bit!”
If the old man heeded her words at all he gave no sign as he went indoors. Arnold pulled Lo back over the railing and the young girl looked at him confused, “Arnold, how can he be so dreadful? I think he ought to be ashamed! It is his fault it ran away anyway.. perhaps it was frightened…”
Arnold shook his head and tried to calm Lo down, and admitted that if he hadn’t seen her about to jump he had been considering clawing the man’s face. “You ought to have…I think so anyway.”
Canergak returned with that same heavy pack he had worn a year ago, followed by the men armed with several boxes of equipment. The owner of the asylum pointed his cane at Arnold accusingly, “Do not lose another specimen. I went to great lengths to acquire them all.”
Arnold growled balefully at him as they went north crossing the bridge. Something about this wasn’t right…nothing in Rasend’s files suggested that he was aware enough to play possum. He had let them think the morphine was working, when it obviously had no effect.
“Then again,” Arnold thought aloud as he turned back to the bridge the men had crossed. “The files did not mention…werewolf.”
Lo gasped in surprise, having not heard what the old man had said before, and looked down at the canals with fear. Arnold wasn’t sure if he believed that Rasend was a werewolf, but after jumping into the canals he was a health risk to the city either way. They needed to catch him…quickly. He doubted anyone would believe they had a werewolf on the run…but rabies seemed a valid reason to tell everyone…especially since that was what his file did claim.