The entire crew let out a sigh of relief when – eighteen house since Tilly had fixed the engines to the best of her abilities – Mr. Riley Dunstan announced that they were coming upon the Port of Kings Island. That being said, Elsie smiled and believed that fate was on her side, considering the Rosanne had barely made it. As for Riley, he had made a swift recovery from Mr. Rex Bowler’s assault, and other than needing a bandage wrapped around his head, he was very capable of returning to his post after just a few hours of rest.
Upon their arrival, Professor Goodwin entrusted the Rosanne to the shipwrights, and they assured him that they would have her up and running in no time at all. Still, the professor urged them to work as fast as they could, and paid them extra for it, too.
While they waited, Elsie and Tilly broke off from the rest of the crew and walked for a while around the markets of Kings Island. The town on the western side of the island had grown significantly over the past decade, specifically due to the port being built, but Elsie found that the centre of the town was treated more like a small village, and it was a most spectacular place indeed. Unlike Warren City, everyone here was of more or less an equal standing, and they all shared gratefully in the tropical delights of the island. At night, upon the tiers that ran over the shimmering water were hundreds of paper lanterns that shone in the night like fireflies; and when their reflections touched the water below they wavered like a hundred colourful flames. During the day it was difficult to go anywhere in the township without coming into contact with either an umbrella or a palm tree; which were very numerous along the coast. Most of the buildings away from the port were only small, and some were no more than little wooden shacks, with the ones on the beach standing on stilts. Tilly and Elsie soon found themselves in an orange courtyard littered with chairs and tables bearing cute little candles. Dried leaves that had fallen down from the trees to the side crunched beneath Elsie’s feet as she walked, however she marvelled at the beautiful display of red flowers that bloomed from the branches. She assumed, based on the savoury aroma that tinged the air, the she and Tilly had stumbled into a restaurant. “Shall we have dinner?” she asked her wonderful companion. “Just because we’re stuck doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it.” And so, shrugging, they took a seat and ordered some food. After dinner they continued to stroll around until nightfall, and then they returned to the room that they were staying in.
Once home, Elsie made Tilly and Oliver some tea, and fifteen minutes later Jack stormed into the room carrying a very large blue scroll of paper. “I have it,” he announced, looking directly at Oliver Tanner. “The floorplan for Mr. John Backhaus’ office, as well as the specific details of the famous ‘brass vault’ – that is, if the description I provided my new friend down in the underground fighting pits is correct.”
“What were you doing in a fighting pit?”
Jack laughed. “Don’t ask. Anyway, Mr. Tanner, will these be suitable for your preparations.”
Tanner looked over the papers as if they told some invigorating tale. “Well I’ll be damned,” he murmured. “No wonder the bass vault was so famous. If your ‘friend’ in the fighting pits knew how much this” – he tapped the blueprint with his finger – “was really worth… Well, let’s just count ourselves lucky that he doesn’t.”
Elsie looked over his shoulder eagerly, but all she saw was a collection of numbers and lines. “So can you break into it?” she asked.
Tanner smiled and swiped his hand over the paper. “With this schematic the entire job just became a whole lot easier. I’ll need some special tools, of course, but you can now safely assume my friends that whatever is in that vault will be as good as yours.”
Hearing this news almost sent Jack jumping with joy. “Great! That means Herschel didn’t get beat up for nothing after all.”ns 126.96.36.199da2