Chapter 16 Summary
The kids return to the Star-Palace; they are thrilled with themselves for having given the detective the slip. Hornet gives Victor’s wallet to Prosper and begs him not to be mad at her for stealing. She explains that she wanted Prosper to have as much information about Victor as he could. As Prosper is beginning to take a look, Scipio calls everyone to come and see the contents of the Conte’s envelope.
The kids study the floor plan of the house the Thief Lord is supposed to burgle. Then they look over the picture of the object the Conte wants them to find. It is a wooden wing, apparently broken. Scipio is obviously disappointed that such an object is deemed worthy of the Thief Lord’s attention, but Hornet suggests it may be part of a valuable, old angel sculpture that is worthless without the second wing.
Along with the photograph and the floor plan, the children find a card containing a detailed description of the wing they are supposed to find and some speculation about where it might be kept in the house. Hornet says the whole thing seems fishy, especially with Barbarossa involved. Scipio disagrees. After meeting the Conte and hearing his voice, he is sure that the man’s longing for the object is sincere.
The children ask after the pigeon that came with the envelope, and Mosca said he has fed it bread and left it inside its basket. He points out that they will have to keep her away from Bo’s cats or she will be eaten. Bo, who obviously has not thought of this himself, looks scandalized.
Scipio tells everyone that he needs to leave the city for a few days. He says he will do the Conte’s job when he returns. He tells Riccio, Mosca, and Hornet to watch the house they are supposed to rob and learn everything they can about it. He also advises Prosper and Bo to stay in the Star-Palace to avoid the notice of Victor the detective.
Before Scipio leaves, Riccio begs to be included in the burglary. Scipio thinks it over and decides that anyone who wants to come is allowed. Bo immediately says that he wants to go. Prosper says he will not allow it and that he will not participate either. Scipio seems slightly disappointed by this, but he does not argue. Bo sobs and says that Prosper has no right to order him around.
Prosper tells everyone what he has found in the wallet: a detective’s ID and his aunt’s business card. He now knows the detective’s full name and address. He asks sternly if Bo told the man anything about their hideout. Bo claims he did not, and Prosper is relieved.