Panicking, Toad rushed, “Come on, Gent. There’s gotta be somethin’ that ya want! My prices are reasonable!” “The price is your life,” Mr. Owl stated, gently placing the dragon statue upon the desk. Mr. Ogg stopped again, his ham-sized hands falling back to his sides. Toad fell silent, too stunned to dare hope that he wasn’t about to be killed. “Let me explain how this will work, Mr. Toad. If tonight was like any other night I would happily see your neck snapped and toss you out like the bit of filth that you are.” He gave a heavy sigh. “However, the Hickory Guard have become annoyingly tedious ever since that upstart became Captain.” “Ya mean Dowell?” asked Toad. “The man has become so inflated with self importance that he’s actually having me followed. Can you imagine? Me?” “That’s … awful?” said Toad awkwardly, unsure how to respond. “So, you will forgive me for not wanting to waste Mr. Ogg’s talents on you with so little preplanning.” He gave the window a casual glance. “I’m sure a guard is stationed outside somewhere and disposing of your body without detection will be troublesome to say the least.” “Pardon me, sir,” Mr. Ogg interrupted, “but it would be no trouble.” “Ah, Mr. Ogg! How I like you!” Mr. Owl cheered. “Always ready to break a neck. Good fellow!” “We can stash him in one of the upstairs rooms,” Mr. Ogg continued in his deep, ocean floor voice. “I’ll make sure he won’t bleed.” “But a body, even in such a large house, will be difficult to hide if Dowell decides to search the place, as he has been hinting at for the last fortnight. No, no, my man. We cannot afford the risk of housing him here.” Toad sat still in his chair. It wasn’t every day that his own murder was discussed in such a light, conversational manner.
Melissa Lee LeGette has been writing seriously since she was a teen. She loves an old world vibe with a magical twist, and she puts her full focus on creating believable characters--even if they happen to be a talking beer mug. Her books are targeted for children and teens, but have been enjoyed by adults of all ages. She lives in Georgia where she helps run a family farm, so her nails are a fright.
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