It had been a long day, thought Tepic, as he stepped out of the Militia House in Clockhaven. It wasn’t really worth going to his camp, or to the Vole, being so late, so he slipped up the alley to the old sun tower behind the Power Station. There, he pulled the doorknob towards him, kicked the frame a foot from the ground, and sighed happily as the door swung open. He trudged up the stairs, and curled up on the matteresses stored there, pulling the old blankets over him. Not as good as fur coats, he thought, but good enough for a decent nights snooze.
Earlier, he had approached the door to the Asylum and knocked to be let in. It had been some time since he had visited Tenderpaws, and now Lisa worked there he should have no problem getting to see his friend. To his dismay, the door stayed closed, and Miss Heinrichs had whispered through the wood that there was trouble! She asked him to take word to the Militia, so he had pelted off as fast as he could go. Of course, it would have to be the other side of the City, and as usual, when you needed a tram, were there any to be found? Of course not!
He had arrived, slightly winded, at the Militia House only to find the place deserted. As with trams, you could never find a Militia person when you needed one, but, put one foot out of line and you couldn’t move for tripping over them! Sitting at one of the desks, he carefully penned a note – “Miss Book in trouble at the Asylum. Come quick!”, then hurried back across the City to see if he could help. On his way, he slipped into different places, picking up a length of rope, a handful of large ball bearings, a small grappling hook and a pair of thick leather gloves. If he had to make his way into the Asylum, he was now prepared…
Arriving back, the place seemed quiet, so he climed into the ironwork of the building next door, to observe from safety. As his parents had always taught him, look, listen and be patient before charging in! There was a bloke in front of the Asylum, who seemed to be writing something in a notebook, but he looked harmless enough.
Then the door opened, and a swarm of street cats cascaded onto the pavement. Tepic dropped to the ground, scampering to the open door, just nipping in before the bloke with the notebook pushed in behind him. Lisa was standing there looking as if she had been crying, and from then on it all sort of became a bit of a blur, with people doing all sorts of things to help those who had been hurt, and sending off to different places to get doctors and things as were needed.
Once the place had calmed down some, Miss Book had asked if Tepic could go to her house and bring back a sled to take Mr Arnold there, him not being able to walk, and to bring somthing to keep him warm while they were outside. He had run all the way there, burst through the door, yelling at the housekeeper about his mission. In short order he was hauling the sled back towards the Asylum, some blankets resting on top. It didn’t really seem as if they were that warm, and he wished he could borrow something to really help Mr Arnold, when he saw the coats in the shop window…..
He hammered on the door, but the shop stayed dark, there was no one at home. The coats, all beautiful fur, looked so warm and comfortable, Tepic knew they would help his friend, so he tried the door, just in case. To his amazement, it opened smoothly to his touch, and he pushed in, grabbing the coats and flinging them onto the waiting sled. Once he had a decent pile, he closed the door carefully behind him, ensuring that this time it was securely locked, and resumed his journey.
When he got back to the Asylum, everyone seemed very please with his efforts, and Mr Arnold was soon on the sled warmly resting on and covered with a multitude of coats. Miss Avariel help by pulling him along, as it was now a bit heavy for the urchin. Soon they were at Miss Books, and Mr Arnold was transfered into the comfort of the house. It seemed as if everything was in hand, so Tepic decided it was time to return the coats to the kind person that had loaned them – except he could not remember where he had found them!
He pulled the laden sled along the streets, trying to remember, but after some time he realised it was getting dark and he still hadn’t found the place. There was only one solution, he could take them all to the Militia House for safekeeping, and the owner could pick them up later. Although he had the heavy sled, his journey across the City was much easier this time, as he didn’t need to hurry. He waited by the tram tracks, and as one passed hopped on the back rail, looped the sled rope over the top, and they slid neatly along pulled by the more than helpful new trams! Of course, he had to change several times, and they did sort of go round the houses, but soon he was back at the still deserted Militia House.
Once he had carried all the fur coats into the building, he tied the sled to the step railings, went inside, picked up his first note and wrote another, explaining that the furs were to be kept safe untilthe owner turned up, but that they were to be careful to make sure the person could identify them properly as there were some dishonest people about. He didn’t sign the note, as when you do good turns, you shouldn’t really brag about it…….