I couldn't sit still during the show, something felt wrong. The contortionist was visibly shaking, even from our viewpoint high up in the stands. People kept leaving, and eventually, we managed to slide down the rows until we landed in about the third.
It was then that Stinger spotted Nixie returning and waved her over, just as Merriweather's lion tamer was introduced. I kept an eye on Nixie as they came out. The lion tamer was a strongly built young man in a gold suit, and his partner was an absolutely huge African lion with a magnificent gold mane. I watched, completely enraptured as the lion stood on a pedestal and roared with such might and ferocity, I almost wanted to go back to the second-to-back row. I glanced at Nixie though, and her face was pale. She looked like she was about to be sick. She and Camille began whispering to each other, but I just watched the show, admiring the tamer's skill and the lion's grace in the ring. The two complimented each other perfectly. I wondered if Nixie's lions were like that with her. I hadn't seen them yet, and now I was feeling like I'd missed out.
After the lion and his tamer had left the ring, and some trick riders had come out, already doing handstands on the backs of their finely costumed ponies, Nixie pulled the other three of us up and made us stand in line for popcorn and other circus snacks at a kiosk just outside the tent.
"I saw the Admiral." Nixie whispered as I fished another bill out of Stinger's ear, making him chuckle, though it was slightly forced.
"What was he up to?" Camille asked seriously.
"Well, I didn't see him, exactly. I mostly heard..."
"Heard what?" I asked, handing the bill to the vendor, who gave me four bags of the salty, oily, popcorn. I passed them out, juggling mine and Stinger's casually in a short circle before giving it to him. I didn't know why, but he made me want to show off. Plus, the tricks made us seem like we were just having fun, and weren't here on serious snooping business.
"Apparently, Wiseacre made a deal with Merriweather, but Merriweather didn't take him up on it, and so, Wiseacre came to give him a message."
"So it was sabotage." I said, taking a bit of popcorn. "I wonder what the Admiral's up to, that he'd nearly get a girl killed."
"He threatened a stagehand here too," Nixie added, "branded him somehow, with his ring."
"Definitely fishy." Stinger said, casually. "But I wouldn't worry your pretty little heads about it anymore for now. Let's just go and watch the rest of the show from our fantastic new seats."