Even keeping to the shadows, Emerson and Count Bologna, stood out like a couple of cartoon exclamation points against the moonlit shimmer of New Babbage’s snowy streets. With the exception of Count Bologna’s pointy hat—which was pretty dark—they were dressed in black from head to toe. Emerson went so far as to don a mask left over from Halloween, thinking it complemented his form-fitting racing suit and leather helmet. Since they’d left the Gangplank, he’d been strutting from shadow to shadow pretending to be some sort of dark knight—even better: the Knight Crusader; a Robin Hood to the city’s crooked politicians; prowler of the boudoirs of the wealthy; liberator of mechanical talking heads; a dashing man of mystery whose real life identity remains hidden behind his intriguing and utterly effective disguise.
As they approached City Hall, Emerson jogged beside Count Bologna in a semi-crouched manner similar to what he’d seen illustrating the covers of the penny dreadfuls on display at the back of the pharmacy. The Count, still clutching the bottle of whiskey he’d taken from the Gangplank looked over at Emerson and grinned. “We can’t fail my friend!” The count pointed with the whiskey bottle and bounded up the steps to city hall; adopting Emerson’s semi-crouched stance as he made his way around to the side of the building.
When he stopped he spoke just a hair above a whisper. “Underby’s office is that one on the corner, third floor up.” He pointed with the whiskey bottle once again before pulling the cork and taking a swig. “What time is Miss Faulkner arriving with her airship?”
“She’s going to be directly over City Hall at 4:15, we’re to signal her with a light and she’ll lower the ladder. Emerson glanced up at the clocktower. “That gives us about twenty minutes.”
“A piece of cake. See that ground level window?” Count Bologna pointed to a small side window about six feet up the wall. “The latch is broken.”
“How do you know?” asked Emerson. “Where does it open into?”
“It opens into a water closet, and as for how I know—don’t ask such silly questions. Give me a boost.”