I exit the bank that opens out onto the Manehatten boardwalk. Its been here for centuries, a plaque tells me daily. A trolley trundles across the ageing wooden structure every few minuets.
Basil is suddenly by my right.
“We lost ‘im, sir. And the briefcase!”
“What! The briefcase? Celestia!” I cry.
“Quick, sir. Over the street, I see ‘im,” Feathers shoots past Basil and jabs a hoof over my shoulder.
Sure enough, the same stallion in the stove-pipe passes an elderly fellow across the intersection. The briefcase is floating within a greyed aura.
“Well, c’mon, then!” I yell.
Basil takes flight, while myself and Feathers dart across the street.
He’s gone. Basil is looking flustered, forward and back. He’s biting his lip.
“Sir, I see the breifcase! He’s pawed it off, sir.”
Feathers has started running back the way we came, across the street and over toward the boardwalk.
I nod at Basil. he nods at me, and we dart of together.
Feathers has disappeared. We hear a mare squeal, and the thud of two bodies that hit the floor within the throng.
We shoulder our way through the mass of bodies, to find Feathers and a griffon tangled around one another.
“Dammit,” feathers catches my eyes, “I swear he had it sir, I swear!”
“Sir! over by the ferry, sir.”
Basil has already darted into the air, and is soaring toward a young filly. I see the briefcase bobbing upon her back.
Feathers and I make chase, and my hooves pound across the wooden boardwalk.
“Augh!” I cry, crashing to a halt as Feathers yanks my tail back. A trolley, packed with holidaymakers, passes inches from my snout.
I glance back at Feathers, who simply nods. Free of his grasp, I dart off again. We find Basil keeled over, holding a hoof to his muzzle.
“Not the briefcase, sir. Just a school filly.”
The filly in question is staring daggers at Basil and myself, holding her briefcase, which I notice has the words ‘Grahamwell’s School for the Physically Over Blessed’ emblazoned across its face.
“Not the briefcase,” I agree.
Feathers lets out a laugh.
“Aww, bloody hell, sir, you won’t believe this.”
“What? What is it?” I cry, tracking his gaze across the boardwalk and out to sea.
The Grimpen-Manehattan steamer is less than fifty yards from the shore, and shrinking steadily.
My gaze shifts from it’s towering funnels, down past the throng of commuters upon the second floor and toward the bottom level balcony.
There, resting a hoof across the briefcase—our briefcase—is a stallion. He wears a small stove-pipe, and I can see a cane tucked below his left hoof. I can’t see his eyes, but the bastard is smiling, no doubt watching us with his minds eye as our shadows stretch across the boardwalk, lengthened by the setting sun.