The oystercatcher has returned with three sea slugs, one being a head, newly severed.
He has placed them on the saucer, and waited.
Gaius has come up the stone steps.
Aha, says Gaius. I see you have brought three replacements.
Yes, says the oystercatcher. Sorry about the first three.
Not at all, says Gaius. I was just saying, we don't really need them. Terence and I will shortly be leaving.
And? says the oystercatcher.
And so you may as well eat them, says Gaius.
Eat them! says the oystercatcher. I wasn't asking that question.
What then? says Gaius. But of course! What am I thinking? Yes, you, as Terence's parrot, will come with us. That is, if you're willing.
I'm willing, says the oystercatcher.
Come down to the cellar, says Gaius. There will be things to discuss.
Gaius and the oystercatcher go down to the cellar.
Is all well? asks Saint Ténénan.
All is well, says Gaius. And you have gained three sea slugs. We've left them outside, on your saucer.
He didn't eat them? asks Saint Arnoc.
No, says Gaius. No doubt, he had his own reasons.
Would he like some potato soup? asks Saint Arnoc.
No thanks, says the oystercatcher.
Yay! says Terence. You're coming! You get your own passport.
Which may be a problem, says Gaius.
My other parrots had one, says Terence.
So they did, says Gaius. A parrot passport. From an obscure printer in Paris. What a bother.
No need to bother, says Saint Arnoc. Do you have a copy of previous parrot passports?
No, says Gaius, but Arthur might. I'll call him.
He calls Arthur, forgetting the time zones.
Arthur? it's Gaius. Do you happen to have a parrot passport?
Arthur had been dreaming of waterspouts, surf and currents, and a low mystic sun.
It is some moments before he comprehends the question.