Chapter 14 Summary

Scipio swears at Bo for not waiting by the fountain as he was told. Bo, who is still hurt about being excluded from the meeting with the Conte, says that he got bored. Hornet tries to make peace. She claims that Bo was in sight the whole time, so nothing bad could have happened to him.

Like Bo, Riccio and Hornet still feel bad about being left to wait outside during the meeting in the church. They listen only halfheartedly as Mosca and Scipio relate some of the details of their encounter. In the midst of the conversation, Prosper says thoughtfully that the man in the square looked a little like the detective who tried to follow him and Riccio. This is the first Bo has heard of any detective, and he immediately asks if Aunt Esther sent him. Prosper is forced to admit his suspicions that someone is after them.

Riccio says the pigeon man looked very different from Victor the detective. But when Prosper learns that both the detective and the pigeon man are named Victor, it seems like too much of a coincidence. He grabs Bo to run away, but Scipio stops them and insists on making a plan. The gang slips inside a shop to talk over their options. Inside, Prosper explains that the pigeon man and the detective both moved their shoulders “like a bulldog” when they walked.

Scipio seems only half convinced that Prosper is right, but he decides to err on the side of caution rather than lead a possible enemy back to their hideout. He gives the Conte’s envelope and the pigeon basket to Mosca and instructs him to carry them back to the Star-Palace. Mosca obviously feels awe at being entrusted with this task, and he immediately follows the Thief Lord’s instructions.

Next Scipio instructs Prosper and Bo to wait in the window of the shop, where they can be seen from outside. He asks Prosper and Bo to describe the detective’s appearance in detail, and he pays close attention when Bo says the pigeon man was wearing a watch with a picture of a little moon on it. Then Scipio, Riccio, and Hornet use the detective’s tactics against him, switching some of their clothes to disguise themselves. They go out and look around to see if they can find the detective who is trying to find Bo.

As the other children leave the shop, Bo mutters to Prosper that the pigeon man was nice. Prosper replies:

You never know right away whether someone is really nice.... And you can’t tell from the way someone looks. How often do I have to tell you that?