Georgette thought it best to let the old man talk on about his fantasy. “Who are we? Are there others?”
The old man sat down. “You don’t need to know.” He nodded again to Poppy who was staring at him openmouthed and twinkle-eyed. “It’s better you don’t know, less chance for snafus. The plan is simple—we climb into the enclosure and hand them out and put them into cat carriers. Then we bring them to Central Park and let them fly free.”
Poppy’s twinkle-eyed look had become a stare. “Release them in the park? Poor little blighters will get
run over, won’t they?”
Together, they could guide Kent back toward reason. Georgette was glad she’d thought to bring Poppy
Kent considered. “You might have a point.”
“I mean, you have to bring them home, don’t you? To Antarctica?”
Georgette would need to get her hearing checked. Had the girl just suggested stealing penguins and
sending them to Antarctica?
Even Kent’s smile faded at the suggestion. “Air travel is expensive.”
“Maybe you should raise some money first, then? Before you release them?” The girl was crazy like a fox.
Georgette’s faith in her returned. She offered up reinforcement. “Raising money is a wonderful idea.”
“But we’re all set to release them tonight.”
“They can wait just a little longer, don’t you think? We have the PA spot filming scheduled for tomorrow morning. Why don’t we work on that and then we can figure out how to raise money for the penguins?” Distraction seemed a good way to go. Kent took the paper with the studio’s address on it.
Poppy furrowed her brow. “Why do you want to free them anyway? The penguins?’
They had finally gotten Kent’s attention away from his lunatic cause and here Poppy was, bringing it front and center again. Kent began pacing. He lectured for quite some time on sentient beings, animal rights, and unlawful imprisonment. And just when Georgette thought the lunacy was winding down, Poppy said, “I’d never considered it quite that way. It’s unfair, isn’t it?”
Georgette saw it would be up to her to contain it. She went over to the old man and patted his arm. “Kent, you must put the breakout on hold. You do not want to endanger the poor creatures. Central Park is full of danger.”
Kent sat down, his agitation drained away and replaced by despair. He put his head in his hands. “How
will we ever get them home?”
Poppy sat down next to him and took his hand. “I’ll help you find a way.”
She would what? Comforting the poor old coot was one thing. Aiding and abetting was quite another.