Bookworm Hienrichs smiled at Tepic Harlequin and Gilhooly Skute as she heard the tale of their search, and saw its result in Tepic’s hands. She brought out a detailed map of the area. “Can you show me exactly where it was?” The two urchins hovered over the map a moment, then pointed to the archway. “There, miss.”
Bookworm looked at the indicated position, then nodded ruefully. “Thank you, boys,” she said, handing them each a handful of coins.
“Err, miss,” Tepic said hesitantly. “Can I ‘ave the satchel, if’n you don’t need it?”
“Need it to carry things?”
“No, miss. I could use that leather for patches later, for me clothes.”
Bookworm looked at the still-wet leather bag a moment, then back at Tepic with a gleam of mischief in her eyes. “Well, if that’s what you need it for, it won’t do you much good in its present form.” She took a small knife and a pair of scissors out of the desk. “Let me just help you with it.” And with that, she began carefully picking apart the seams.
It took some time, as she felt each piece over carefully, but eventually, the deconstructed bag lay on the desk, now several pieces of leather, the strap with its metal buckle, and even intact strips of leather that had been the stitching. Somewhat to Bookworm’s disappointment, there were no signs of hidden pockets with secrets inside.
“There you go,” she said, gathering everything up into a pile and handing it to Tepic. The two ran off, waving to her.
Bookworm turned back to the report from Dr. Miggins that she’d received just before the lads had burst in with their prize. She read it over carefully, noting the lack of physical trauma that would suggest an attack, and the conclusion that Mr. Callenby had died by drowning. Then she looked back at the map, and the marked position of where the satchel had been found.
‘Close enough to be suggestive,’ she thought, ‘but not close enough to be definitive.’ That seemed to be the story of this case–suggestions of something more, but nothing that she could pin anything on. She really didn’t see any way of carrying it any further.
With a sigh, she settled down and quickly wrote out her report for the authorities in Falun, including a copy of Dr. Miggins’ autopsy. She made no mention of her suspicions of Mr. Underby, having no desire to give the Falunites any excuse to interfere in New Babbage. Privately, though, she vowed to try to keep a closer eye on his doings. She also inquired whether Mr. Callenby should be reburied in New Babbage, or sent back to Falun.
With the report done and sealed, she handed it to a messenger to be sent on its way, then left Militia headquarters to return home. ‘At least this was completed before my departure,’ she thought. Mariah had suggested that the two of them go to the lodge north of the city for a few days, so she could do her boxing training in private. Bookworm certainly wasn’t averse to a change of scenery, and some fresh air.
‘Time enough to worry about this again after we return,’ she thought as she arrived home to finish packing.
((I’m house and dog sitting for a few days. I’ll have internet access, but not SL access. Have fun, folks!))