III. Going Deep
That Saturday, the Lyceum’s Zephyrs had their first game, against their local rival, the Marquette Lyceum’s Dragons. It was a day from that big store where, if you are a God, you can buy beautiful September afternoons. The few clouds in the sky were mere decoration. The sun was warm, but not broiling. The breeze was nice, but did not fill Tom Hexane with kicker’s dread.
The crowd was not vast, but every one of the 90 or so students who were not on the team was in the stands, along with all the masters and several hundred Chicago area mages, mostly dressed in crimson and yellow, brandishing banners saying Lake Wind Zephyrs and signs with the image of the Zephyr, a sort of crimson and yellow wind god. The signs made faces and cheered; the banners flew even more than the breeze would normally cause them to do. Wizard referees and side judges watched the audience and the sidelines as well as the game to make sure no one was using undue influence.
The Dragons were quite intimidating—at first. They were big. They were pretty old, too, heavy (literally) with third-years. Tom Hexane kicked off, not very deep, and they rumbled to midfield on the return. But their running back, a big girl no one cared to go at to tackle, fell down on second down, and on third down their best receiver dropped the ball, and they had to punt. The punt sailed out of the end zone. The Zephs took over at their own 20.
“Okay,” said Daphne in the huddle, “who’s going to be open?”
“I am!” all the receivers, including Angelica, said. “I’ll be open in the flat,” said the halfback, a quick third-year girl of African extraction named Estelle.
“We’ll see what happens,” said Daphne. “On three!”
“What’d the coach say?” asked the first receiver, Bert, a tall boy of the third year.
“He said throw it to you.”
They broke and Daphne got up behind her center, a fat second-year called Bonnie. “Hut,” said Daphne. “Hut. HUT!” The hike came up perfectly. Daphne retreated. Those huge Dragon linemen were coming through. There was Bert, running a slant over the middle, his arms up way above his defender. She cranked up and threw it with all her might, and a powerful little spiral shot toward him, almost on a straight line. He reached out to catch the beautiful, beautiful ball, hanging in the sun. It went right through his hands, and on through the hands of the Dragon safety, and bounded off the ground and out of bounds somewhere near the Dragons’ 20.
“What happened there?” Daphne asked Bert, as he joined the huddle and simultaneously said, “You threw that too hard.”
“Aw,” said Daphne. “Okay. This time on one.”
They broke and came up to the line. Daphne looked left, toward Bert, then right, past the tight end to Angelica, in the slot, and the other receiver, Kate, a second year. It was all so beautiful. The clock seemed to stop as she took a breath of the sweet air. She was in love with football. She wanted to do this forever.
The sun gleamed off Angelica’s crimson helmet with its yellow wind-god image. “HUT!” cried Daphne. The ball was snapped.
She dropped back many, many steps. The linemen were fighting over the line of scrimmage, somewhere far away. Out beyond them, in the unimaginable distance, Bert and Kate and Ange were running patterns. Estelle picked up a block, then spun out and wide open in the flat, but the Dragon she’d been blocking was now barreling toward Daphne like a boy at a soc hop, and she did not think she wanted to dance with him.
Angelica. She was running wide open. The nickel back had let her go to concentrate on the tight end, the free safety was cheating toward Bert, and the strong safety was charging toward Daphne.
Daphne set her feet and put everything from her ankles up into the throw. Angelica’s eyes got real big: Daphne could see that look all the way back near the goal line.
Could she possibly run under that? Could she ever catch it even if she did?
And then Angelica’s hands were in front of her, and out of that blue sky it came, the pigskin, and lo it fell into her hands, and she held it, and she took it into her arms like a baby, and she carried that cute little baby into the end zone.
Tom’s kick went right through, and the score was 7–0. Angelica was still straggling back to the sideline.
“I was open,” Bert was telling Daphne.
“I had to give you one play off,” she replied. “It’s your penalty for dropping the ball.”
“But Coach,” Bert began. Coach Whelp was coming over. They turned, and then to Bert’s discomfort, Daphne raised her hand. She and the Coach high-fived.
“Nice throw,” said the Coach. “That girl can run, can’t she?”
“If you give her a reason, coach,” said Daphne.
The game did not get better for the Marquette team. They came out ready to burn the house down, and after two quick completions for first downs, their quarterback tried to throw the same pass a third time. Spiny jumped the pattern and picked it off, and might have scored but for the Dragon quarterback sacrificing his body to trip her up on the sideline. Daphne threw a five-yard pass to Kate, then a five-yard pass to Estelle, and then on third and inches gave it to Estelle, who managed five more yards.
“Come on,” said Bert, “I’m open deep every time and you’re handing it off?”
“Grind it out,” said Daphne. “Keep it simple.”
The next play was a forty-yard touchdown pass through that same beautiful air, to Angelica.
Then the Zephyrs slowed down, and by half Marquette had even turned an Estelle fumble into a field goal. In the second half, the Zephs took the opening kick and moved the ball well before stalling at the Dragons’ ten and settling for a lovely Tom Hexane field goal. The Dragons managed a second field goal, and then the game settled into a defensive struggle. Bert did catch a pass for twenty yards; on the next play he dropped a deep one, and the next play saw Daphne sacked.
Meanwhile the Dragons were utterly frustrated on offense. Arnulf and Spiny were on fire: they got one interception each, and they jarred many balls loose, some with a little MCV behind them, all within the rules of course. Arnulf twice spotted the draw coming and tackled the running back at the line of scrimmage. The third time it happened, the center cleaned his clock, but when Arnulf got up, that center was lying next to him in the grass, groggy. The Zephyr middle linebacker, a big third year girl from Detroit named Henrietta, was just doing the same to the Dragon quarterback.
“See,” she said to Arnulf as she came back to the defensive side, “this game’s easy.” They high fived. The next play, Henrietta faked a blitz, dropped into coverage and pulled down an interception over the middle.
Finally, with a minute and a few seconds left, the Zephyrs punted and the ball was down on the Marquette six. On first down, Spiny Norman almost intercepted; on second, the quarterback threw a deep one that Arnulf knocked away, jamming his fingers in the process.
This did not slow him down on third down, when he accepted his coach’s call for a blitz and came at the Marquette quarterback from the blind side. Henrietta, coming on a blitz from the other side, drew everyone’s attention. The QB was Number 13; Arn could hardly help thinking it was an unlucky number, as he spread his arms to hug that number and take the player wearing that number down to the lovely green turf, ball and all.
He rolled and got up. The referee had his hands over his head, palms together. “SAFETY!” shouted the referee, echoed by many others.
“Darn right,” said Arnulf, helping up the opposing quarterback, and then getting five from Henrietta and Spiny.
Daphne knelt and ran the clock out, and the game was over: Zephs over Drags, 19 to 6.
“The game ball,” said Coach Whelp amidst her sweaty players as they gathered in the locker room, “goes to the defense as a unit. Henrietta.”
“Thanks, Coach,” said Henrietta, taking the game ball and handing it off to Arnulf to pass around the defense.
Coach turned to Daphne, who was looking pleased. “Yeah,” said Coach, “I think we got a starting QB. And Daphne,” she said.
“I just want you to know that things are going to be fine, you’re going to be okay, you’re going to do great. As long as one thing.”
“What’s that, Coach?”
“As long as you do EVERY STINKING THING I SAY, that’s what’s that,” said Coach, slapping her on the helmet and then on the back. “Be ready for the next one,” said Coach to everyone. “They don’t get easier.”
On Saturday night, Daphne and Cloudius were walking back to the house from the library when they were sure they saw some sort of hulking shadow in the garden path ahead of them, perhaps fifty feet away. They turned to the right, without a word, and hurried along another path, stopping before the fountain between Match House and Shag House.
“I think we left it behind,” said Cloudius.
They looked around. “How can you be sure?” asked Daphne.
“You’re not scared, are you?”
“Of course I’m scared. What are you, stupid?” They looked around. They could see only blank shadows, and the hedges and flower patches and topiaries of the garden. The moon crept past a tall tree and began to send its silver beams in among them. “There’s a way,” said Daphne, looking at the moonlit corridors in the garden.
“There are a lot of ways,” said Cloudius. “A lot of ways that I don’t remember seeing in the daylight, Daphne.”
“Indians,” said Daphne.
But he saw them too. There were several, maybe as many as half a dozen. Maybe there were more. Several of them were almost looking at the two kids.
The two kids did not slow their sprint until they were inside Ash House with the door firmly locked behind them.
On Monday, Angelica, Arnulf and Cloudius were sitting around in Tom’s room, with Eva on the be. “Yeah,” Tom was saying. “Sear says there’s maps somewhere of all these tunnels. I guess the whole city has like an alternate city under it. The Indians even built some of those tunnels, they used to have magic, you know.”
“I gather,” said Angelica, “they invented a lot of the magic we use.”
Just then Pindar came in. “Did you tell them?” he asked Arnulf.
“No, you,” said Arn.
“We heard MacMorris and Temple arguing,” said Pindar. “In the back part of the library, the reserved section.”
“They always argue,” said Angelica. “It’s what profs do.”
“Yeah, right,” said Arnulf. “About ‘getting involved,’ wasn’t it? And how Mac is associating with someone Temple used to associate with.”
“Who said what now?” asked Cloudius.
“MacMorris said to Temple something about him, Temple, getting involved in something,” said Pinhead. “And Temple said that MacMorris must be associating with ‘an interesting crowd,’ something like that. And MacMorris got kind of mad and told him what he could do, and said something about the people Temple ‘used to associate with.’ And then Temple’s voice got real low and he said something we couldn’t hear. And he sort of stomped away.”
“And Ash and White caught us,” said Arnulf.
“What do you mean they caught you?” asked Daphne, coming up behind.
“Nothing,” said Pinhead. “We were just in the library. They were in the reserved section, but we could hear them.”
“Where were you in the library?” asked Angelica.
“Um,” said Pindar, “kinda sitting on the floor behind this shelf.”
“What were you doing back there? Studying for midterms?”
“No. We were eavesdropping.”
“So,” said Tom, “are you guys in trouble? Another month of kitchen duty?”
“No, actually,” said Arnulf. “They took us back to Ash’s office in the house and gave us tea and made us tell them everything those two guys said.”
“So that’s interesting,” said Angelica. “What side are they on?”
“I want to be on their side,” said Cloudius. “I wouldn’t ever want to be throwing spells at Ash.”
“No,” said Arnulf, “just Mac.”
“No, not him either, I’m swearing that off.”
“Don’t swear too soon,” said Daphne. “We’re going back tonight.”
“We’re what?” asked Arnulf.
“Didn’t I tell you? Ange and I found a secret passage.”
So it was that at about 11 pm, Tom Hexane woke with Eva sitting next to him giving him that glare. He got up, pulled on his jeans, tucked in his tee shirt, pulled his MAINE sweatshirt over and went out into the dark hall. Eva was with him, and out of Cloud’s room came Daphne and Angelica. A few seconds later, Arnulf and Cloudius came out. “It took three of us to get him up,” said Arnulf.
The house was quiet. Tom led Angelica and Cloudius through the kitchen to the basement stairs. They were down the stairs when they realized that Daphne and Arnulf weren’t there.
“Where are you two going?” asked Ash.
“To the bathroom,” said the two in chorus.
“Then please use the one on your floor. Separately. And then go to bed. Separately. My kitty will come up to make sure you do so.”
“Argh,” whispered Tom. “What do we do?”
“Just sit down on the steps,” said Angelica, doing so. “They’ll be down in fifteen minutes max.”
Fifteen minutes later, Daphne and Arnulf crept down the steps to the cellar. “You stepped on my toe!” came Arnulf’s voice in a loud whisper.
“I’ll step on more than that, you stupid boy,” came Daphne’s whisper. “To think Ash thought I’d be sneaking around trying to smooch with you!”
Tom turned up his wand light.
“Oh poop, don’t scare me like that,” said Daphne. “We barely—!”
“We heard,” said Angelica. “Let’s get out of here before you can get caught again. You’d have to smooch him just for cover.”
The tunnel was rough and crooked, lined most of the way with big stones, but it was never just a crack in the rock. It was often wet but never underwater. It was relentlessly level. With Tom in front, the five of them (Pinhead had, of course, abstained) moved quickly in single file: after Tom came Daphne, Cloudius, Angelica and then Arnulf, walking along in almost total darkness. Behind him, occasionally meowing a gruff comment, strode Eva, almost a real kitty in the deep shadow.
Finally they found a wooden partition blocking the way. They tried pushing it, then tried sliding it, but finally they found they could pivot it on one foot, as it were: they swung the barrier outward and found themselves along the shadowy east side of the cellar. They had pushed an empty bookshelf out of the way.
“Let’s find that book,” said Daphne.
“Let’s have a look around,” said Cloudius.
Daphne headed for the last shelf and soon found Remediae. She spent a minute looking at other books around it. Tom, on the next set of shelves, found a bunch of books in the M section, for maps: what he found were not books of maps, but a group of books about how to make maps by magic. Wait… here’s a chapter on the Chicago spell wars! One of the Eleven Segments was buried under the Field Museum! The entrance was lost after the Chicago Fire, and the museum was built on top of it! Mrs O’Leary’s cow is off the hook!
“We’re so taking that book,” said Angelica. Tom smiled and handed it to her.
There was a noise: a sort of soft thump after a very quiet slide. They headed back for Daphne and almost tripped over Arnulf, lying on the floor snoring. A book was half open near him on the floor. Tom picked it up and Ange took it from him.
“It’s a sleeping book,” she said, putting it on the shelf. “Come on, we have to wake him up.”
“What? What?” asked Arnulf, who was easily roused.
“You must have only seen the first page or something,” said Angelica. “Come on, secret door awaits!”
As they got to Daphne, she turned to Angelica and said, “Look at all these books. They’re all switches.” Cloudius came up from the other side and tried to look interested. Behind him, MacMorris’s door was starting to open.
“Into the secret door,” said Angelica. Daphne pulled the book and put it back in upside down, and everyone hurried to get inside. Daphne then quickly pulled the book back out and went to put it in right side up, but somehow in the process dropped her dagger. When she picked it up, she was looking Professor MacMorris in the eye.
He was holding his wand, the light yellow and only strong enough to illuminate their two faces. He smiled bashfully. He looked away, to his left, then behind, as if scanning about for her friends, but he didn’t move from the neck down. His professor’s intuition might have suggested that she couldn’t move while he was facing her so close up, but if so, then it was mistaken: when he turned to say something, she was gone, no book was out of place, and no secret door was open.
Daphne looked around. She heard nothing from the other side of the secret door, and now she heard MacMorris walking away. She turned around. There was a light around a corner. She could hear people talking.
“What’s that book?” asked Angelica.
“Come on, Cloudius,” said Arnulf. “Let’s see.”
Daphne came up behind the discussion: in fact, she came up behind Cloudius, who was hiding a book behind his back out of the light of Tom’s wand. Daphne lifted it from his hands.
“Hey,” said Cloudius. “Give it back!”
“I see,” said Daphne, holding it above his head. It was a book of pictures, some painted and some photographs, all nude and all three dimensional. Some of them moved. They weren’t especially explicit: Daphne wasn’t learning anything she didn’t know. “Let me guess,” she said. “You found this among the spell books.”
“No, actually,” said Cloudius, grinning. “Under a crate.”
“Someone’s stash,” said Angelica. “Okay, he can keep it.”
“I’d say so,” replied Daphne. “I almost got caught by MacMorris. We need to put some distance between us and that secret door.”
“He saw you?” asked Tom.
“Oh yes. But he looked away, and when he looked back, I was gone.”
“But he must know about the secret door,” said Angelica. “I mean, how could he not?”
“Okay,” said Arnulf, “shall we have a peek at what does all the howling?”
They listened at the opposite secret door, and couldn’t hear anything louder than their own breathing. With Tom holding his light aloft, Daph and Arn pushed the door open. There was no Temple, no MacMorris, no Ash & White out in the hall waiting to catch them. There was only the faintest howling in the distance to the right.
“I can’t believe we keep coming down here,” said Angelica. “We’re so going to get expelled.”
“Aw, put a sock in it,” Daphne advised. She took a few steps in the direction of the howling. “What do you think? Some kind of beast, or something magical, or maybe undead?”
“I think it sounds aquatic,” said Cloudius.
“We’re going to go see?” asked Angelica.
“Sure,” said Daphne. “What else?”
So they started walking. Every fifty feet or so there was a short stair, five steps downward. As they went, the howling seemed to stay the same: perhaps they were getting closer and at the same time whatever was doing it was drifting off to sleep. After four short stairs, the howling thing or things seemed to wake up. It wasn’t as if the five kids had been discovered, although that was the first thing to enter their minds; it was more as if the howler or howlers had been disturbed halfway to slumber land and needed to vent a little. The kids stopped.
“Seriously, do we want to do this?” asked Angelica; at the same time, Arnulf said, “Seriously, what do you think it is?” Daphne said, “Maybe I should have brought my sword.”
“Hey,” said Tom, “look at this.”
He was standing by the left wall. A panel was loose, but if it hadn’t been loose, they would never have thought there was a panel there, just solid rock. Arnulf and Daphne pulled on it and it came open, revealing a passage straight back into the bedrock.
“Someone’s been through pretty recently,” said Daphne. “Dust’s disturbed.”
“Want to check it out?” asked Tom.
The others all took involuntary looks onward toward the howling. “Sure,” they all said.
The hallway was fairly level, but it was rough and winding and it was only wide enough for single file. Tom went in front; actually Eva went in front and reported back to Tom. Behind him the others tried to stay close: Angelica, Cloudius, Daphne and Arnulf.
It was a long hike. The hall was clearly a built thing. It maintained a fairly constant width and height: just wide enough for single file, just high enough that Daphne and Arnulf didn’t have to duck. Its turns were mostly at right angles. But it was rough-hewn out of stone, not as if by explosives or pickaxes but as if by curiously careful flows of lava.
“It’s a spell,” Angelica whispered to Cloudius.
“The way this tunnel was made.”
“Ssh,” said Tom, stopping. He knelt to confer with Eva, then turned to his friends. “She says we should wait a minute. We can keep going once they pass.”
“Once who pass?” asked Angelica in a whisper.
“She didn’t say.”
A minute or two later, Eva apparently gave the go-ahead and the five continued. They never saw a sign of passage aside from the way the dust had been disturbed all along here by people traveling the same route, one direction or the other, as the five. They also never saw any side passages that someone could “pass” along.
“Hey Tommy,” hissed Angelica.
“What was it we were waiting for back there?”
“She didn’t say. She just let me know they were past and they wouldn’t see us.” He shrugged, turned and went on, and Angelica, in no wise reassured, had to hurry to keep up.
Presently they saw a little light ahead that wasn’t Tom’s. He let his light diminish, and they crept forward to push a partition out of the way and peer out into a basement. It was not at all like the one under the Lyceum.
“Sacks of flour,” said Arnulf.
“Hey,” said Tom, “these are cases of black olives.”
“I never saw a fifty gallon drum of olive oil before,” said Angelica.
“Stairs over here,” said Daphne.
Up the stairs they went, coming out on a narrow paneled hall decorated with Chicago memorabilia: in particular, framed posters for railway trips up and down the lake shore. But it was no train station they stood in.
“Welcome to Giordano’s” said a waitress. “Can I seat you guys?” She winked at Angelica.
“You’re at the Academy, aren’t you?”
“Uh huh,” said the waitress. “Aren’t you related to Abby Labelle?”
“She’s my cousin,” said Angelica. “Hey, that’s her. Oh, maybe we better not let her see us.”
“She doesn’t want anyone to see her either,” said the waitress with a smirk. “Or that pitcher of beer.”
“Yes, we want a booth out of the way,” said Arnulf.
In a few minutes the five had a plate of bread sticks and dipping sauce and a pitcher of beer—well, root beer. Their spirits considerably lightened, they held forth about the secrets they had learned: Giordano’s was starting to close up, and hardly anyone was in their vicinity. Then Arnulf shushed everyone else.
They hunkered down. It was none other than Thomas Temple.
He was thanking the same waitress, giving her some money and taking a box. He headed down the steps to the basement.
“He’s human,” said Angelica. “He eats Giordano’s pizza.”
“Maybe he made the tunnel,” said Cloudius.
“No,” said Angelica. “It’s old. I wonder.”
Not long after, the pizzas came: two deep dish pepperoni, one with mushrooms, one with black olives. Cloudius was picking the olives off his and Tom was putting them on his pieces. Tom also made sure to give a disk of cheesy pepperoni to his ghost kitty, who crouched beside him on the booth bench.
Angelica had thought they would need a box, but everyone was ravenous. At two in the morning, with the waitress the only person left in the restaurant besides them, they got up, let Tom and Ange pool their tens to foot the bill, and grabbed the last slices for the hike back.
“Say hi to White for me,” said the waitress. “Or maybe you better not.”
“So do Lyceum profs come here a lot?”
“Temple loves this place,” she said. “Some of the others too. Sometimes we get students.” She smiled. “This wing’s for you guys. The normal people can’t even see it.” She gave Angelica back four dollars.
“No, it’s a tip,” said Angelica.
“I won’t say no,” said the waitress. “Maybe next time I’ll get this guy,” and she indicated Tom Hexane, “a dish of extra black olives.” Tom smirked.
The hike back to the Lyceum basement, and on to the Ash House basement, was uneventful—except for another pause called by the ghost kitty so that someone or something could cross their path in some mysterious way. Still keeping the willies at bay, they made it back to their own basement and then, quietly, up to the second floor and their bedrooms, where they conked out and barely managed to be up for their early classes.
That Saturday the Zephyrs went on the road—well, actually the portal, to Columbia MO to play the Tiger Lyceum. Daphne had a good game: two touchdowns, no interceptions. Tom Hexane hit both extra points and made his only field goal try, from thirty-five yards out. The receivers and the defense did not do as well. Angelica caught a touchdown pass, but dropped three, including one in the end zone. Bert looked good but only caught two passes. Kate caught a touchdown, but also dropped a couple. Estelle ran well—between the thirty yard lines, and got tackled early and often whenever the Zephs got near the red zone.
Meanwhile the defense looked overwhelmed. Several times they managed to stop the Tiger running game in the red zone, but that led to four Tiger field goals; they ran for a touchdown as well. Finally, just inside the two minute warning, lucky to be trailing by just two, the Zephs lined up on defense for a third and long near midfield. It would be a pass, surely. Or a run, to force a time out? Arnulf had a hundred things in his head. He shook it, trying to concentrate. Spiny turned and yelled something. Henrietta turned and yelled something.
Hike! It seemed like a dozen receivers were going out. Arn blinked: yes, there were at least ten receivers in the black uniforms with gold numbers. There’s 83, she’s dangerous; there’s 83 there, coming across the middle. And there’s 83—wait a minute.
He took half a second to consider. Yes. He was sure. The real 83, she was doing a hitch and go. He backed up, turned and started to run with her, and then he turned to check the ball and here it came. Such a beautiful ball, floating in the September sun… but just a little wobble. He had to accelerate to catch up with it, and 83 was slowing, coming back for an under-thrown pass. All Arn had to do was—!
He laid out for it, he reached out both hands, his body parallel to the grass, he took the ball in his hands. He couldn’t quite wrestle it in. He hit the ground, the ball tipped up into the air. He slid along the grass, dirt gathering on his face guard. That beautiful, fickle ball: now 83 reached out to take hold of it, now she turned to run, and now, chased fecklessly by Spiny and Maggie Melillo, she headed for the end zone.
The crowd went crazy, shouting every cliche insult in the book. It might have been a little better if they had been more imaginative or less crude, but, mages they may have been, Missourians they definitely were. And the Zephs were losing to them.
Daphne came out and tried to drive the team down the field. She got sacked, she got sacked again, and then on third and twenty-five, she got a pass off to Angelica, who dropped it. On fourth down, Daphne found Bert open, and as she gave it all she had, which was a lot even as she was being dragged down by hefty Show-Me-Staters, Daphne muttered, “Catch this and all is forgiven.”
Then she went down hard and rolled over and lay there hearing the crowd cheer. “We’re number one,” they were shouting, “you guys smell like Number Two!” The ball had landed right in Bert’s hands, and passed through them without slowing down on its way to the gleaming grass.
“We totally blew it,” said Angelica. “You did okay, Daph.”
“You’re not talking about the duels,” said Daphne. Ash had been making her students pair off and duke it out in magic combat.
“Hey, you and Spiny, your old nemesis. She didn’t beat you by much.”
“It was a good one,” said Arnulf. “Like me and Pinhead.”
“Except you won,” said Daphne. She got a wistful look. “Maybe Jen just has my number.”
“All I care about,” said Angelica, “is I drew Greenbelt’s name and I beat her good. She went down.”
“Yeah,” said Arnulf. “Then we went and practiced. So, Daph, after the duels, Ange and I went to the library and studied for a while. Don’t look so surprised. I think it was an hour later you and Spiny came and got us to play two on two. What were you doing in the meantime?”
“We took a walk,” said Daphne.
“Yeah, and get this,” said Angelica. “Arnulf and I saw Professor Blaine putting a book back in the reserved section. It kind of got our attention because he took, like, every other second to look around in case someone was watching.”
“Did you see what book?” asked Cloudius.
“No. And when Arn had the bright idea of getting up close among the stacks to see if we could make out the title, Miss Donati caught us. She thought we were looking for a place to make out.” She looked at Arnulf. “As if.”
“They think he’s quite the Romeo, don’t they,” said Daphne.
“You know what’s interesting,” said Tom, who was deep into his History of Magic book. Eva was sitting next to him on the chair arm, reading over his elbow.
“That they look at him and—?”
“No, the Eleven Segments,” he said in a low voice. “It says here they’re rumored in ancient Egypt. And here,” he added, picking up the book about maps they’d found in the basement of the school, “it says there may be one in the old Indian diggings under the Field Museum.”
There was a brief silence. Then Arnulf said, “Great. When are we going down?”