At Least He Got Some Excercise. In Futility, That Is.

You’re expecting me to gripe about my job, aren’t you? Expecting some sigh-laden moaning about how I have to come in and actually do the work I get paid for.

Too bad. The one thing I love most about this job is playing bloodhound. I’m damn good at it too. The only guy who’s got me beat is Sgt. Beaumond, who actually is a bloodhound.

Let the water hold him down.

Harry Ape apparently got tired of life on the inside, and made a break for it. Nothing so surprising about that. I’d probably have done the same in his place. Except my escape would have been competent. As a matter of fact. I wouldn’t be in his place, because I’m not stupid enough to get caught doing the sordid things he was doing time for. I bet he thinks this two ladders trick is just brilliant. I bet he thinks this one has us really stumped.

Sweet fancy Moses! Max pants when he catches up, Two ladders! How’s we gonna know which everlovin’ pipe he went down?

Max doesn’t count.

“Well,” I begin, “Harry Ape is a pretty big dude. You might say he’s built like an ape.”

Ya might… concedes Max dubiously.

“And this sand’s pretty soft. So when went up, the bottom of the ladder would get pushed into the beach. Then there’s the fact that the pipes are made of metal.” I shimmy up the nearest ladder, put my ear to the surface of the pipe. Sounds like a drunk elephant picking a fight with a central air conditioner. “Yup. He’s still in this one.”

Fellas! Fellllllaaaaas! Max shouts, pointing, Hurry it up, Sly says he went down that one! Still don’ get why, but- hey! Where’s he goin! COME BACK! He sends the officer in the boat a gesture that your mother used to slap you for using. Why’s dat lazy scumbag leavin’!?

“Calm down.” I drop back onto the sand and watch the pursuit oat pull of. It’s weird how it’s soft enough to cushion my fall and get stabbed by the bottom of a ladder, but not enough to leave any footprints. But there’s not a one. “He’s heading for the water treatment plant.”

But Sly, we gotta chase ‘im! Dey don’ expect us to go in after dat guy by ourselves, do they? He looks like a fawn asking it’s mother if it has to cross the highway.

“We’re not goin anywhere, kid. We’re staying right here.”

But he’ll get-

“He’s not goin anywhere, either. Both those pipes lead to the exact same place, so it really doesn’t matter which one he went down. Sgt. Beumond’s already waiting at the other end, which just happens to be the Water Treatment Plant.”

Den why’d you go up an listen and do the thing wit the ladder and-

“Because I wanted to know.” I frown. “One thing still bugs me, though.”

What?

“Where’d he get the ladders?”

The Final Word.

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