“Ah, the Gatchet Claw,” Commander Quimby replies in amusement, the heat from the fire now melting his frozen nerves, “The constables have spoken of it.”
“I’ve heard them,” Gatchet replies, the three fingered apparatus flexing to grasp the handle of a tea cup before bringing the drink to his lips, “I hear much.”
The Commander returns to his his half eaten biscuit.
“Tell me of India, Commander Quimby,” the Inspector says, putting down his cup.
“I’ll tell you one thing, Inspector, the tea there is horrid. Why you’d bother to have any imported is beyond me,” Quimby extends his hand for the servant’s bell before the Gatchet Claw snaps at his fingers. The Commander jerks back, holding his hand to the light.
“Apologies, Commander. I am still so clumsy with this.” Inspector Gatchet rings the chime summoning a girl to the Library. She enters quietly, the twin braids dangling at her back, a tray carried in both hands, and a small wooden case, about a forearm’s length, under her arm. She places the case beside the Inspector’s chair before making a slight bow. “Please replace the Commander’s tea, it does not agree with him.” The Inspector looks nervously at her before glancing at the Commander. “Your taste, Commander?”
“Oh, most assuredly, Gatchet. Most - assuredly.”
The Commander shakes his head slightly, “Earl Grey, Miss... Miss...”
The girl’s lips part to speak before the claw snaps again. “Penny,” the Inspector replies. “Miss Penny.” He turns to her, “You may go.”
“Perhaps I shall pay another visit, Inspector,” speaks the Commander, peering over the Inspector’s chair to catch a few lasts glimpses of the long blond braids.
“Perhaps you shall.”