“He doesn’t seem to be getting sicker.” he said, fiddling with a knife on the bar while the small woman mopped the floor.
“He’s gettin sicker, sure enough he is. Degrees, Ozzie… degrees.”
The man sighed. “He is still walking around, hacking, and pestering. I want him out of the picture.”
She stopped. “Ye don’t be wantin him dead, though, yeah? Ye said as much.”
He made a face. “No. No I do not want him dead, of course. Of course.”
She nodded, and returned to mopping.
“Then I would have to deal with Cleanslate, and the man is inscrutable. Besides… he doesn’t like me. And then there would be elections… too messy. No no, he must remain alive. But…”
She stopped again. “But?”
“But.” he repeated. “But, I want him out of the picture. I want him too exhausted to move.”
“Nup.” she said.
His head turned to her sharply.
“Needs ta wind the clocks. People notice, trust me, Ozzie.”
He nodded, glumly. “Yes, those damned clocks. Clocks, clocks, clocks. We never had clocks when I was growing up, and we did just fine. I loathe that constant ticking. That clock in his office is particularly aggravating. I…”
He chuckled. “Nothing, I was about to say it seemed like the clock listens to me. I need some sleep.”
“Well, dontcha worry, Oz, I gives him the last of my summer brew today… that should wrap him up like a bairn in a basket.”
Underby poured himself a drink. “Here’s to summer brew.”