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Chapter the Third -- Section 16

Schlepp and Louie looked like they had St. Vitus’ Dance, hopping about in strange contortions on the lab countertop in front of an audience of four aliens.  In reality they were pantomiming the story about the number four space pod and the other alien.  Louie finally concluded with he enactment of a surprisingly realistic landing of the space pod back at Karl and Caro’s house. 

Somehow, with only a minimal command of Earth language and a lot of gestures, the alien captain indicated that he roughly understood and would follow the bear and monkey.  Together the little troop clambered off the lab bench, carefully crept over to the sage-bark rope, and climbed up to the roof.  It was then an easy matter to pull the rope up and drop it on the outside of the building all the way to the ground. 

As the last critter off the roof, Schlepp took a moment to loop the rope over a drain pipe and dangled both loose ends down before he rappelled over the edge.  Once on the ground he pulled on one end until the other end snaked up to the top and fell free. 

“Where’d ya learn that trick, Schlepp?” asked Louie. 

“Karl’s taught me a lot of handy climbing tricks,” Schlepp replied.  “Now watch how I coil this rope,” and he proceeded to create a neat coil hanging from the back of one paw while the other paw deftly looped the rope into uniform figure eights.  With a few more quick twists, the rope was put up in a tight skein. 

“Good thinkin’, buddy,” concurred Louie, “we’s don’t want them guys knowin’ how’s we got in.” 

“And we might be back, too,” added Schlepp.  “We’ll hide it under this sage over here in case we have to get in again.  I don’t want to spend another three hours weaving a rope… ever.”  

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