Wooster sighed, ran his hand through his hair and reached for the nearest convenient excuse.
"Well I suppose the Baron does build abnormally large airships-"
"Ho yez." Dimo agreed.
"And the uh- pickled herring would have masked the smell I assume-"
"Dat iz true." Oggie confirmed.
Wooster considered their patient, the last of Agatha's little group of Jagermonsters, laid out on a bed in the ship's medical lab. The more he thought about it the more he was sure he would not like the answer to any sensible question he could frame. After all the idea of something that could silently knock out a Jager and stow him in a barrel of herring being on the ship with them…..
Of course that didn't explain the way Maxim was smiling. A slight beatific twitch of the lips, like a puppy dreaming that he was stuck in a room full of fillet steak…
Wooster decided he was definitely not going to like the answers he got.
He took a deep breath.
"Any idea what happened to him?"
"Ve don know." Dimo informed him with a frown.
"No….hy can not fight mit de ribbonz…" Maxim muttered deliriously.
"What could do this to a Jager?" Wooster wondered allowed.
"Ho lotz ov tings," Oggie enthused. "Dere waz dese monsters vunz in Dreeselburg vhat haz twelve tentiklez vit klawz und poizonouz ma-"
"Yes, yes-" Wooster interrupted before Oggie could get into full swing. "But-"
"Hy likez bein purple!" Maxim insisted, one arm waving wildly. "Hy doezn't vant to be a beetle!"
"Is there anything that someone could conceivably sneak aboard, something quiet, that could potentially still be on board and be a threat to us all?" Wooster continued.
Dimo put a claw on his chin and studied his feet thoughtfully. Oggie stared at the ceiling until he got distracted by a fly. Maxim tossed and turned and moaned something incoherent about root vegetables.
"Dot iz goot."
"Dimo, I really don't see how it helps us when there could be something on board right now." Wooster emphasised for the benefit of the logically-challenged.
"Ov cozz it doez. Hyu vants him zee dese tingz dat not real und be mad aboutz eet?" Dimo asked.
"Ah. Good point." Wooster allowed.
They stared at Maxim.
"Vhy iz his kape meezzin?" Oggie began.
"I don't know." Wooster admitted.
"Und vhat haz happened to his shirt?"
"I assumed it was the herring."
"He doez not huff his bootz." Dimo observed. "Und hiz belt iz gone…"
The group pondered this in silence for a moment. Maxim settled deeper into the bed and told them that perhaps the wax was not as bad as he'd originally thought.
"What kind of depraved fiend would…drug a Jager, steal his belt, boots and cape, do…..that to his shirt and trousers and dump him in a barrel of herring?"
The door burst open with a bang on que.
"Ah there you are!"
Wooster, Dimo and Oggie found themselves shoved to one side as Zeetha bounded into the medical bay.
"You got out of that barrel? So you are conscious again! GREAT!"
Before anyone could object the Skifander warrior had grabbed their patient by the collar and was half way out of the room, dragging him behind her.
"WAIT!" Wooster yelled. "What did you….WHY?"
Zeetha paused. "It's the sixteenth."
Wooster's mouth dropped slightly open. Dimo filled in for him.
"Vhat's dat mean?"
"Oh it's Ashtara's Holy Day."
For some reason none of them could think of a good response.
Zeetha shrugged and headed out.
"Come on Maxim, there are another twelve Sacred Conjunctions to perform before midday-"
"….zee ribbonz eez fightin…mit da radishez…..vhy iz my hat green….."
Wooster considered objecting on the grounds of basic morality. He thought better of it.