The very next morning, Kirstie and Angus were back in the bathroom, tending to Crusoe and keeping him contented and quiet. At one point, the creature started getting really rowdy and loud, so Kirstie tied his snout shut with a cloth bandage. Angus somewhat disagreed with this.
"Did you have to turn him into a mummy?" he complained as Crusoe splashed around frantically and tried to yank the bandage off with his flippers. Angus was kneeling down at the side of the tub while Kirstie leaned against the sink. The sun was shining directly through the window behind her and it felt very warm and comfortable on her back. She was wearing a floral blouse and a high Khaki skirt that was being held up with a brown belt. Her hair was pulled back into a nice ponytail.
"It was getting too loud," replied Kirstie reasonably, "Somebody would've heard." Despite her words, Angus slipped the bandage off of Crusoe's snout. He immediately started shrieking the second its mouth could open.
"Quiet, Crusoe!" exclaimed Angus, trying, but failing, to calm him down while Kirstie rolled her eyes at his attempt. Just then, there was a knock at the door. Kirstie gasped and felt her blood run cold.
"Who's there?" she asked hesitantly, looking worriedly at Angus, then Crusoe, and finally back at the door.
"I'm here to fix the bathroom," Mr. Lewis's voice came from the other side of the door.
"We're using it!" lied Angus.
"What? Both of you?" asked Mr. Lewis confusedly. Kirstie inhaled nervously, realizing that Mr. Lewis was going to find out about Crusoe, whether they liked it or not. "But I thought it was out of order…" In spite of Angus's fretful efforts to quiet Crusoe, the creature continued to splash around in the water and make odd noises.
"What's that noise?" asked Mr. Lewis inquiringly as he rattled the locked door knob. Kirstie frenetically motioned to Angus to say something else to cover up the truth.
"I have a cough!" he said, following the lie up with two coughs to make it sound realistic. Crusoe copied him and made two similar sounds as well.
"You've got an animal in there!" said Mr. Lewis. Kirstie put her hand to her mouth and could not think of anything else to say, so she started walking towards the door.
"Look, you—" said Mr. Lewis, knocking once again on the door. "You better let me in or your mother will hear about this!" Kirstie stopped and gave Angus a look that clearly stated that there was nothing else they could do.
"No!" said Angus softly, shaking his head vigorously.
"Let me in!" demanded Mr. Lewis. Despite Angus's protests, Kirstie walked up, unlocked the door, and opened it. Angus stood up in front of Crusoe and held his snout shut with his hand. Kirstie immediately joined him at his side as soon as Mr. Lewis came in.
"Listen, you two, alright?" he said firmly, shutting the door behind him after observing the room. "I have to do my job." He crossed the room to the toilet and placed his toolbox down next to it.
"Now, your mother told me that this bathroom has been out of order for three days—" Crusoe wriggled his way out of Angus's hand and swam over to the side of the tub, revealing himself to Mr. Lewis.
"Whoa!" Mr. Lewis jumped back in shock and pointed at Crusoe. "What is that?!" Angus immediately started petting the creature's head.
"It came from an egg at the tide pool," He explained hastily. "His name's Crusoe." Mr. Lewis stared at Crusoe in blank amazement while the creature smiled back at him.
"What in the name of…" Mr. Lewis uttered as he started stepping closer towards Crusoe to get a closer look.
"He's very friendly," said Angus as he and Kirstie both kneeled down at the bathtub's side and began gently stroking Crusoe. He cooed happily at all the attention, but when Mr. Lewis slowly held out his hand to pet him as well, Crusoe shrieked and frightfully rushed towards him. Mr. Lewis yelped and jumped back at once.
"Mary and Joseph!" he exclaimed in shock.
"He almost died when he was born," said Angus defensively.
"Almost took my hand off!" said Mr. Lewis gallingly.
"He thinks I'm his father," continued Angus, still petting Crusoe, who kindly cooed at Mr. Lewis.
"I wonder…" Mr. Lewis though aloud as he stared at Crusoe. "But it just can't be…"
"Can't be what?" Kirstie asked him curiously.
"Well, it looks like…" said Mr. Lewis thoughtfully, "…like a bloody water horse." Kirstie and Angus both furrowed their brows.
"A what?" asked Kirstie.
"They're make-believe," explained Mr. Lewis, "A legend from the Celtic past." Crusoe began twirling around in the water and cooing contentedly.
"They're said to be the rarest of all creatures," continued Mr. Lewis. "There can only be one water horse in the world at a time; when the one grows old, it lays a single egg and then it dies."
"Crusoe's a girl?" asked Angus in a rather stunned voice.
"No…" replied Lewis, watching Crusoe swim gracefully around in the tub. "No, lad, it's girl and boy both. At least, it's both mum and dad to the egg." He knelt down at the end of the bathtub.
"The old water horse dies when the egg hatches…so the new water horse is born an orphan."
"Oh, that's sad…" remarked Kirstie sorrowfully. Crusoe dunked his head under the water and blew some bubbles through his nose before surfacing and jumping up at Mr. Lewis. He winced but smiled at him.
"It's an amazing tale, isn't it?" he stated brightly. Just as Crusoe back flipped into the water, Anne's voice rang down the halls.
"Angus! Kirstie!" Everyone looked at the door in shock. If Anne found out about Crusoe, there's no telling what would happen.
"Don't tell her or she'll make us get rid of it!" said Angus gravely.
"Angus!" called Anne once again.
"Will you help us, Mr. Lewis?" Angus asked him desperately. Mr. Lewis frowned and sighed.
"You're asking me to deceive your mother…" he said contemptuously, but then he swiftly lifted Crusoe out of the water.
"Here…let's put him in the toilet for now…" Angus got up and opened the lid so Mr. Lewis could put him inside.
"Kirstie," he said hastily, "Go and stall Mum!" She nodded and hurried to the door upon hearing her mother's approaching footsteps.
"Angus! Kirstie!" Anne called sternly. Kirstie came out of the bathroom and shut the door behind her. She gave Anne an innocent looking smile.
"What are you doing in there?" asked Anne suspiciously. She was holding a white, folded towel in front of her.
"I was helping Mr. Lewis fix the pipes," answered Kirstie.
"And since when have pipes been an interest of yours?" asked Anne disbelievingly. She stepped forward to go into the bathroom, but Kirstie stopped her.
"Wait!" she exclaimed, holding her hands up in front of her. "It's a bad time to interrupt him!"
"What?" asked Anne confusedly.
"Plumbing is tricky!" lied Kirstie. "It's like surgery!" Anne rolled her eyes and attempted to go around her, but Kirstie continued, "One mistake could mean death!" Just then, Angus came out with a monkey wrench in his hand.
"Mr. Lewis found the problem!" he announced, showing the wrench to his mother. Anne frowned at her children before stepping in front of them and going into the bathroom. Both of them hastily followed her.
"I can explain!" started Angus in a panicky voice. "He—" The empty tub made a gargling noise as the last bit of water drained out of it. Mr. Lewis looked up at them from the floor, where he was working with the toilet.
"Always been handy with the plumbing," he stated, getting up.
"He's a genius!" smiled Angus. Anne still did not look pleased.
"And you helped, did you, Angus?" she asked him skeptically.
"Yes," replied Angus. "I—" he stopped when he noticing that Crusoe was lifting the toilet's lid. "I handed him the tools."
"And you, Kirstie?" asked Anne, looking over at her.
"No!" said Kirstie. "I came to get Angus to show him the civil assistant's manual!" Mr. Lewis made a swift move upon seeing Crusoe and sat down on the toilet's lid. Anne gave him an odd look, so he said, "Eh, well it's getting a little bit cramped in here, so off you go…did a grand job, Angus!"
"Bye!" said Kirstie quietly with a smile as they left the room. Angus immediately disappeared into his bedroom while Kirstie sighed in relief as she walked down the halls and descended the stairs. Her heart automatically skipped a beat when she passed Captain Hamilton.
"Good morning!" he gave her a perfect smile.
"Good morning!" she returned it absentmindedly. If Captain Hamilton was in the house, then that must mean that Carson was as well. She quickened her pace and reached the bottom of the stairs. As soon as she turned the corner, she collided into a well-built chest.
"Oh!" she and the person exclaimed. The person grasped her arms and held her steady in front of them. Kirstie instantly looked up into Carson's face.
"I'm so sorry!" they said together, sharing a small laugh. Carson let go of Kirstie as they smiled at each other.
"Good morning!" he said politely.
"Good morning!" gasped Kirstie breathlessly. "I saw Captain Hamilton upstairs and thought that maybe you…um…" She trailed off embarrassedly, realizing she had just told Carson that she had been eagerly looking for him.
"Yes, I was hoping I'd see you sometime today," smiled Carson. Kirstie returned it as she thought of something else to say.
"So how is your morning going so far?" she asked him.
"Better," answered Carson, "now that I've run into you…literally…" Kirstie felt her cheeks heat up as she giggled at his final statement.
"How's yours been?" he asked as they started walking down the hall together.
"Um…pretty much the same as you described it," Kirstie couldn't help but smile as she walked by his side, all the while nervously fidgeting with her fingers.
"I'm glad to hear it," said Carson cheerfully. "Captain Hamilton is planning a dinner for tomorrow night."
"Really?" said Kirstie. "How nice! I assume you will be attending?"
"No, actually," replied Carson. "It's only for him, the officers, and the lady of the house."
"Oh!" said Kirstie. "Then I'm not invited, either!"
"Not to the dinner, that is," said Carson bafflingly.
"What do you mean?" Kirstie asked him in a puzzled voice. They stopped and looked at each other right in the eye.
"I am going to be off duty during the dinner," said Carson, taking a step closer to her, "and if you're not doing anything, maybe we could spend some time together outside and get to know each other."
"I would love that!" gasped Kirstie excitedly.
"All right," Carson smiled widely. "I'll meet you outside after dusk when the dinner begins."
"That will be wonderful!" said Kirstie appreciatively. "I will see you then, if not before!"
"Alright," chuckled Carson with yet another smile. He stepped in front of her and began walking away. "Well, I'd better get back to work. I'll see you soon!"
"Bye!" Kirstie waved and bit her lip in exhilaration. Carson wanted to spend time with her! Her heart was pounding in her chest and she felt warm all over as she leaned against the wall and sighed contentedly.