Mr. West Cools His Knees

A frigid mist had ascended from the estuary, muffling the searing little sunset with ruddy gauze. Mr. West, in greatcoat, galoshes and earmuffs, was examining the site of the Captain’s encounter. His knees freezing in the crusted-over snow, he measured the distance from the gardener’s pit to the drip-line underneath Percy’s window. A crude survey, to be sure; but, given the height of the roof and the weight of the fallen slate, and a bit of geometry (or trigonometry, which he hoped not), one might calculate…

A rasping noise at his left ear made him jerk his head upward. A big icicle now protruded from the snow, glowing pink in the sunset light.

Clearly, the apparition had grown too bold for him to allow it to persist. He stood and decidedly swiveled shut his folding ruler. Tonight , if he could re-establish contact, he must take quite a stern tone with Percy.

At least the damned report was postponed. The Captain had packed hurriedly and caught the 5:45 for London.

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