Scene Sixty One
In which the loss is discovered.
Tony Tony woke up late, he was doing that more and more he found.
He didn’t understand at first why he had woken up; he had woken up very suddenly and he was sure there should be a reason. He then became aware of a huge amount of noise around him; it was like the town had declared a party. He thought this was very rude of them; Tony Tony liked parties, but he generally liked them when he was awake and well rested. After all it was very early in the morning, and he had been having his favourite dream, the one about the bagpipe playing octopus.
Far too slowly other important parts of his brain came back online. That wasn’t a party outside, or at least it wasn’t the kind of party that Tony Tony liked; the people sounded far too angry.
Tony Tony staggered away from his mattress, pulling his shirt over him. The kitchen was deserted as he walked through it, and that was odd; old mother Granmas never left her kitchen.
He got out of the front door, and got no further. He hadn’t realised just how many people lived in the village, everyone was outside, and everyone was angry. At least they’re not angry at me, he thought.
He looked around for Alice, but he couldn’t see her, and red hair should really stand out in the crowd. He knew that she had gone to sleep next to him. She must have gotten up first, he decided, while the mob was still forming. He hoped she would be all right, he didn’t know how well she could look after herself.
He looked around for what was powering the mob, but the people stretched around the corner, and out of sight. He nudged an old woman, who he vaguely recognised from the village’s Coco forges. “What’s going on?” he asked.
The old lady turned to him. She didn’t seem as angry as the others, but there was something which Tony Tony found terrifying about her eyes. They were eyes that were already witnessing an execution. “They say it’s the statue” she said, “They say that someone has taken it, or so they say.”
Tony Tony was shocked, he said “What?”, but he had heard he the first time round, and at any rate he didn’t wait for an answer.
He thought about how he could get to the front of the crowd. He couldn’t push his way through; the people were standing far too close. He couldn’t walk over the top of the people, even if they were dense enough, he still didn’t think it was a good idea to antagonise these people right now. He thought about the advantage he had over the rest of the people here, and he rushed back inside.
There was a thing in the kitchen which was a little too small to be a window, and a little too well framed to be a hole that someone had punched in the wall. Its primary purpose was to let smoke out, but Tony Tony guessed that he would fit through it if he wiggled a little bit.
He propped himself up on the stove, being careful to avoid the hot cooking plate, and squeezed through the smoke hole. He was directly above the mob now and looking down on someone’s bald spot. He turned himself through a 180 degree turn, breathing in at the corners, and reached up to grab at the roof. He pulled himself up, willing the rather weak tiling not to break and send him falling. It didn’t break, and panting slightly, Tony Tony pulled himself up on the roof.
He got to his feet and looked. There were a few others on other roofs who had had the same idea he had had, but mostly he was alone, and he had an unobstructed view.
The statue was really gone, and the mayor, or at least the man who wore a funny wig and liked to give orders, was standing on a podium and addressing the crowd. He was talking about putting together teams of search parties to comb the countryside until they found the statue. Tony Tony liked that idea; he thought he might have some ideas about where to start looking.