Tepic had heard from some of the other urchins that Mr Underby was asking for him. Although the man had shown some kindness, what with the Sneaky Vole and having let Tubby off lightly, he was still wary, after all, he had quite a reputation, and maybe he still remembered his hat being knocked off with a snowball last Christmas…..
So it was with a little bit of trepidation that he crept down the stairs to the Bucket of Blood door, knocking loudly before dashing back up to peer through the railings. He heard Mr Underby talking to someone inside, then footsteps approach the door, opening to show the pale man.
“ello Mr Underby, heard yer was lookin fer me?”
“Indeed I am Tepic. This is most important……”
Mr Underby climbed the stairs, and the boy backed away keeping a distance between himself and the thin man..
“so what’s up, Tubby not been behaving himself?”
Mr Underby lowered his voice “No nothing about Tubby, this is about Mayor Tenk. I have reason to believe you have some… talent… in dreamscaping.”
“Mr Tenk? not seen im fer a bit, an the clocks is winding down…. eh? what’s that?”
” Travelling through the dreams of others?”
” oh…. errrr……. can go most places, usually… dunno why you lot can’t… weird…” the boy shrugged.
Mr Underby smiled and said “Most of us have enough trouble simply remembering our dreams.”
“i don’t remember most of mine, i guess, but i been some odd places…say, you ever been ter the elf’s lands?”
“Ah, the land of the Fae? Is it the same place?”
“errrrr…. probably, there’s lots of different ones, i think…”
“Then yes, a long long time ago,” Mr Underby paused for a second, “I spent some time there.”
Tepic tilted his head, and looked askance at the man “ummm…. you think Mr Tenk is lost somewhere, like Mr Pocket is?”
“I think he might be. Or in some sort of trouble, at least. He is acting strangely, more than simply ill.”
“hmmmm……. he’s here, an he ain’t?”
Mr Underby looked to the balcony briefly.. “He is, yes.”
Mr Angkarn stepped round the corner and greeted the pair “Good day!”
Mr Underby looked at the gentleman, an annoyed look crossing his face, but returned the greeting reasonably civilly, while Tepic grinned widely and yelled out “watcha Mr Angkarn!”
The air seemed to cool perceptibly, and Tepic realised Mr Underby didn’t want to speak in front of Mr Angkarn..
” Anyway, Tepic, I appreciate your assistance..”
“can always look, Mr Under..by….” Tepic looked thoughtful for a second, then asked “errrrr….. you got something of youknowwhos?”
“Thank you lad, as a matter of fact, this small clock…” he reached into his pocket, drew out a small, stopped clock and handed it to the boy.
“oh! yep, that’s just the thing!”
Curious, Mr Angkarn asked “what is going on?”
Tepic realised it was time to go, before things got even more complicated… “ok Mr Underby, i’ll try!” and he dashed off, yelling over his shoulder “you take care Gents!”