Tepic left the hospital rather down, but at least there were some things he could do about the situation. He would have to go over the Blacking Factory and arrange to start work there on Monday morning, couldn’t start before then because even the factories stopped work on the Sabbath. Still, there should be someone there to ask about the morning shift. That would wait till later though, first he had to pay a visit to the Spider, a little earlier than normal, but it was a quick way to raise some cash, and completely legitimate!
He ran over the steps at the City Hall and ran into Jimmy and Myrtil outside the Wax Museum. He greeted his friends and started to fill them in on his situation. Both were puzzled that he had been given the responsibility for Miss Rouse’s medical bills, and especially that Miss Bookman had supported Canergak’s claim. Myrtil did wonder if the man was somehow blackmailing Miss Bookman, and it seemed to all three of them that this was most likely. They were even more horrified that if Tepic didn’t pay up, Miss Rouse would be left to die, and immediately offered to help out where they could.
It came as a blow that they could not use the usual methods of raising large amounts of cash, due to the need for written proof any raised was legitimate. He told them about the work he was going to have to do at the blacking factory, and that he was on his way to the Spider’s to hock his jacket and boots, something he would normally do as the weather became warmer. On hearing this, Myrtil, who had already doffed her winter gear, ran into the Wax Museum, returning a few minutes later with her own jacket and boots, though she was unsure if the Spider would give a note for the things.
Tepic explained how for genuine sales the pawnbroker would always write a ticket, and for things you intended to redeem later this was always best, as it showed what you had been paid, and what price you had to pay to get the stuff back. You also knew when you had to go get them, though as long as you turned up you could always extend the loan. Sometimes it was safer to store your winter gear with the Spider that way than to try and stash the stuff somewhere you hoped was safe.
Buoyed up by the support of his friends and more hopeful for the future, Tepic headed off to Clockhaven with his burden of boots and jackets. Pushing open the door to the Spider’s Lair, he was greeted by name by the unusual proprietor. They had done regular business before, and as far as anyone could be, the Spider was trusted by the urchins and his other clients, after all, good fences make good neighbours. He was not surprised at Tepic’s mission, though the need for a note was not too common in dealings with the younger inhabitants of the City.
The boy was careful to point out the good condition of his items, especially the hidden pockets inside his own jacket, crafted to hold up to two rabbits each. To a man of discernment such as the Spider, this was an obvious selling point, and Tepic could see the value going up. Jimmy came in on an errand of his own just as the fox boy was concluding his business. He waited until his friend had also finished and they left the Lair together, though it was not long before Tepic headed off to the factory, and from there on to Miss Bookworm’s place to pay over the money he had just raised. It would be hard work, but with the help of his friends, he was now sure they could save Miss Rouse.