“And you have never spoken to anyone over the matter of the vault, the door, or any of the keys to anyone, save for Mr. Abel Caligard and now myself?”
“No, I have not.”
“Very well. Thank you for your time.”
“That is all you need from me?”
“Unless you can bring to mind anything else you think may be of import, I have all of the information I need for the time being.”
“Good morning,” Seymour returned as he exited the offices, accompanied by the jingling of the bell over the door.
He had nowhere to go for some time, so he found a pleasant, shady public park and sat down upon a wooden bench beneath an ancient elm tree. From there he was afforded an excellent view of the cobblestone street. He had always enjoyed watching people go about their business, on foot, on horseback and by cart or carriage. He marveled at the simplicity of their routine, wondering how they kept from going mad with boredom. Sometimes he envied them for it; other times he pitied them. How uneventful their normal little lives were!
The Aechyed sat there for a full hour, watching the world go by and eavesdropping upon fragments of conversation. He was beginning to grow quite hungry again, but he very much doubted there was any place in North Brysail where an Aechyed would be served a meal. Even if he could find such an establishment, it would be too expensive. He would survive.
At a quarter past eleven, he stood up from the bench and continued onward to the Caligard house, arriving at noon exactly. But it was not Mildred the maidservant who answered the door, but Caligard himself.
“It is a good thing you came,” Caligard said with an edge of anxiety.
“What has happened?”
“Mildred, my maidservant. She has vanished!”