“When the door is off its hinges, there’s no proper threshold.”

“I see,” the Captain remarks.

“You see?” they all retort except for Labaguette who yawns.

“Is it day or night?” Chloroph asks.

“My pins are in, duh.  Besides, at night, we become gaolers.  At night, most things are reversed.  It’s to do with logic.”

“Nothing to do with mathematical logic, right?” the Captain asks.

“Logic only.”

Mouton Blanc beams, his eyes expressing nothing more than deep gratefulness, as if he now owes his life to the Captain.  The creature has made up his mind: that Captain is smart and so understanding.  Mouton Blanc stands up and resumes his banging at the gate with renewed enthusiasm.

“I’m Mouton Blanc,” he says, “to better serve you, Captain.”

“Oh God,” Labaguette mutters, “not another yes man.”

“What do you do with the pins once they’re loose in order not to lose them?” the Captain asks Mouton Blanc, simultaneously grabbing Labaguette by his beak and tying it, “sit now!” he says to the bird, “just sit!  Sit!”

“Well, err.  This is private,” Mouton blanc says, but seeing the intense, disturbed curiosity his answer brings, he adds: “if you must know, there are holes inside the lock to hold the pins and these holes, if inserted in the right order by the right pin, could open the gate, except I am not mathematically inclined and can’t work the right order to do so.  It’s a safety mechanism set up for those occasions when keys get lost but a tricky one.  Far too complicated.  All I can do is to keep banging on the lock.”

To be continued…


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