The battleship has been missing for over an hour now, and panic is setting in.The rescue divers have turned up nothing and the harbor remains disturbingly empty, except for the distant sound of surf and gulls.
A physicist from Minnesota in a Hawaiian shirt is scanning the sea with binoculars. A few of the Marines are out too, to show solidarity. The rest are just standing around trying to look helpful without getting in anyone’s way.The more politically inclined have the uniquely desperate look of someone trying to figure out how to explain to a senate finance committee that they’ve misplaced a thousand tons of steel.
More important, the boy is still missing. Most of them liked him. The official line is that he and the ship might well be fine, wherever they are. The unofficial line is that there is going to be a service in the morning, and someone ought to tell his mother.
The very unofficial line, which nobody actually says but gets around anyway, is that he was a good kid, and someone ought to be shot for this.They all heard what happened to the mouse.
Up on his balcony, overlooking the docks, Black shuts his notebook, and goes back inside.
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