Tepic sat shaking in the Vole, Lisa comforting him. Imagine, after all he had tried to teach the new urchins, to be caught like that!
Earlier in the evening he had been searching the pumpkins outside the houses and factories of New Babbage, helping himself to a few treats from each when he spied a familiar figure in the distance – it was that bloke from the Van Creed, standing on the steps of a building behind the Freak Show. It was curious, what was he up to in this part of town, waiting outside a boarded up old factory?
Tepic decided to follow him, and for once it would have to be sneaky, as there was no one else around, and no opportunity to hide in plain sight. Maybe it was not a good idea to try while dressed as a small, bright green dragon, but it seemed to be going quite well at first. He managed to keep the man in sight while ducking behind various crates and buildings as he made his way down to the canal. The the bloke nipped up towards the Vole!
What was he up to, weren’t supposed to know that was there, and the ally was a dead end anyhow…. He carefully peered round the corner by the metal stairs, and was suddenly confronted by the angry man!
“Explain to me why you are following me!”
“ello mate! yer lost?”
“Do not play games boy who are you working for?”
“errrr….. Trick or Treat? Sir?”
Tepic held out his bucket…
“How long were you following me?”
“yer the only bloke around, i was pickin up candy from the pumpkins people put out, thought yer’d be good fer a touch? please Sir?”
“It would not be hard for me to tie that costume around you neck tight and throw you in the canal…..” threatened the man.
“ear! you that bloke as was in the City Hall when old Jimmy popped in?”
“Just get out of my site and don’t follow me again!”
With that, the man stormed off, and Tepic staggered into the Vole to find Lisa had been hiding inside and had overheard the whole exchange. She helped him to a drink, just to steady his nerves, and listened to him berate himself for such a stupid mistake. It was only now he remembered the man’s name, it was Mr Hopkins, who had said he was here to set up the Van Creed Society again, perhaps it was something to do with the building he was outside?
The meeting of the urchins was useful, because Tepic was able to bring them all upto date with the gashood production, as well as enlist their aid in trying to snaffle Metier the Ghost’s hat. For some reason, when he described his plan for no one to tell Mr Tenk anything, while keeping an eye on him to see who did say something, thus pin pointing who Mr Tenk was not to believe just brought a round of confused stares… surely it was quite simple..? He told them about his being caught by Mr Hopkins, and there was general agreement that the building needed more investigation.
Lisa reported on what the cats had discovered, including that Moriarty was wearing some sort of broach, possibly like the Van Creed one that Mr Hopkins was wearing, though the cats hadn’t been able to say what the design was. They said some strange things about Moriarty, about him being more than one person, though it was not clear if that was because he was inside the creature, or if there was something else as well.
Gadget showed them his latest invention, a clockwork which could send pictures through the aether so they could see what was happening in different parts of New Babbage. Certainly a useful tool in the plans. He also told them he wanted to give Moriarty a chance, once he was trapped! Jimmy and Tepic thought that was a daft idea, because in the past Moriarty had done some wicked things, and had never shown any remorse, it was clear that he was very dangerous!
Tepic left the meeting to check over his vole traps, then curled up to think about the day’s adventures, should he try to sneak into that old building in the morning? hmmm…
((Actually, to be clear, it’s another man who’s wearing the broach, not Moriarty himself. The man with the broach, though, has been seen in the company of Moriarty several times.))
Note left in a vole trap: “Tepic! I ‘ave bumped into…well, through… that ghostie fellow scoundrel and ‘e as given me some info on the whearabouts of his ‘at wot you is after! Meet me at the Vole soonest! – Gadget”