Scene Forty Four
In which charity is done
Tony Tony woke up very slowly. He had been sleeping on rough ground all night, and this time there was no alcohol in his system. His back ached like someone had used it as a punching bag, and then bit it repeatedly. He decided that must be the reason that he had woken up so early, the sun wasn’t even up yet, and that wasn’t like him at all.
Alice had slept next to him, she was still soundly asleep, Tony Tony felt envious, and old. He realised that he could see quite clearly, despite the darkness. He thought that was very odd, and he looked over the hills below him.
There was a village below, and it was on fire. Tony Tony couldn’t help but feel responsible; after all the only way it would make sense for both the Fake.B.I and the Dryads to be here is if they were following him. He looked around, trying to see what had happened to the battle. But the sky was clear, and though there were a lot of fires in the visible landscape right now, none of them looked very familiar.
Tony Tnoy’s first instinct was to run down the hill and start helping the village out, but he stopped first and thought things through, it was something that Greg kept trying to get him to do.
He now knew that Free Flower was alive, and by the looks of things, it was silly to have ever worried about her. He also knew that Greg had escaped the Dwarfish ambush, and Tony Tony knew from experience that it wasn’t really necessary to worry about him. He worried anyway, but even if he could get in contact with Greg, it was beginning to occur to Tony Tony that it just might not be a good idea; if people wanted to bring Greg in badly enough that they would dedicate a giant jet to the task, then it was probably a bad idea to draw attention to him.
So with nothing left to do that left the village. He started thinking about how he could help out. The fires seemed to be mostly under control by this point, but there would be injured people; there were always injured people, and Tony Tony wouldn’t have survived as long as a reporter if he hadn’t learnt a few medical tricks.
He turned to Alice, and wondered whether it would be right to wake her. It probably wouldn’t be right to just walk off and leave her. He looked down at the village again, and then back at Alice. He knew he had some paper in his pocket; it was the back of a beer label from the army camp. He rummaged in Alice’s pack, feeling rather guilty about doing so, but again he was a reporter, and this wasn’t the first time he had done it.
He found a stick of charcoal and started writing on the back of the label. Alice, he wrote, I’ve gone to help out in the village down below, I didn’t want to wake you because it looked like you needed the rest. Then he tucked the impromptu letter into her hand. It wasn’t much of a letter he knew, but it was before dawn after all.
He started walking down the side of the mountain. As the sun rose he thought it made the ruined village look quite pretty.