New Babbage is a nice town full of nice people who like us urchins, or at least don't mind us.
For the most part that is.
Yesterday, after visiting the sewers with Jimmy, Quill, Ron and that evil Lil Obie, we went to the City Hall to see Mr Mayor Clockwinder because Obie wanted to ask him to rename a street after his name (which he never dared asking him eventually). Instead, the Clockwinder warned him against being a traitor and that he should change his ways now that the Doctor Obolensky was dead and the observatory ready to be auctionned off.
Obie and Ron then had to leave, followed by Quill. Jimmy and I went out and met Vivi in front of the building. He was looking quite different than in my memories. Shrinken and with less fur... Apparently he had been playing with a ray in the Doctor O's observatory and had changed himself into a kid, and while trying to turn himself back into an adult fox, he just managed to grow his tail back.
Jimmy and I were trying to help Vivi, giving him shoes and clothes and stuff when an old man approached us and called onto us from a short distance.
He had the most unpleasant look on his face while he was examining us, and his voice was harsh, spitting his words as if we were some disgusting creatures and that he didn't want to be contaminated.
He was at first, very rude towards us and Vivi got a rifle out, which later proved to be only a rice gun.
The man somewhat softened and sighed, saying he needed our help to find his grandson Quill.
We said we knew him but didn't know where he was. The manners of the man had set off all the alarm bells in our heads and Jimmy and I tried to question him to know more.
He said his name was Xiu Qiao or something like that, not sure I remember well. And he wanted to find his grandson who was his only left family to smothen him with his affection and drown him in love. He was right creepy and reminded me of my aunt and cousin with their unctuous and hypocritical manners.
We said we didn't know where Quill was and he eventually decided to leave, heading towards the Port.
Later, we saw a familiar silhouette standing in front of the Museum and recognized with utter surprise Elenore Darwin, the Professor Nishi's daughter.
I still remember her as a little child. She was younger than me just one or two years ago... And now is a grown-up.
I was really happy as I thought I would never see her again, and there she was.
She invited us to come inside the Museum, which she had bought back from Miss Elleon, and she sat on a bench while we were looking around, seeing that it had been left unchanged for the most part.
We couldn't talk for very long though, because Mr Mayor Clockwinder came in a little after and asked us if we knew where Quill was. He added that he may very well not be an orphan after all.
He had met the old man who was pretending being Quill's grand-father, and seemed to want to send Quill to him. We protested against that, and Quill arrived at that moment...
We explained him our encounter with the creepy stranger and his face distorted as he was looking ready to run away. He told us his grand-father was evil and had made him work as a cabin boy on his pirate ship the Black Heart and that there has been a storm and the ship sank with its treasure shipment and Quill was the only survivor and that now his grand-father was looking for him.
Quill was really agitated, repeating his grand-father was evil and that he hated all the children, that he would kill him and would kill us too. He said he should better leave the town now that his grand-father was around, but we convinced him New Babbage was the right place to hide in and he finally agreed.
I can't tell where we decided to hide him because someone may find those notes and betray Quill to get the reward his grand-father offered us (which was actually not much of a reward as he just offered not to hurt us in exchange of the information), but now poor Quill is alone in his secret place, relying on his friends to bring him food and comfort, living in the fear of seeing his grand-father get hold of him again.
Hopefully, he is safe. For now at least.