Michael and Jacob in their office, seated in the company of a man in a sailor’s cap.
-Let’s see if I have understood… You were sailing with a barge up the Hudson River when you suddenly disappeared from there and appeared on a vinegar pickle packaging company in Arkansas.
-That’s it. And now DERNY PICKLED GHERKINS asks me for a millionaire compensation for sabotage.
-Because more than one thousand pickled gherkins jars have gone on the market completely empty.
-Put yourself in my place. You are hungry and suddenly they start to pass through your hands piles of succulent gherkins. What would you have done?
Here Jacob intervenes: “That’s reasonable. He couldn’t know that he had to put the gherkins in the jars.” But Michael replies: “But it took him a week to realize it!”. The man in the sailor’s cap is getting nervous:
-Listen, when you’re hungry, you don’t realize anything. You see a jar and a lot of gherkins and you only wonder what the hell the jar is doing there.
-Well, let’s go back to the fundamental issue. Did you notice something special at the moment of disappearing here and appearing there?
-I felt as if they were licking my nose. Have your nose ever been licked?
-Then I’ll look for another example. It was as if an octopus tickled its tentacles on your feet. Have you experienced that?
-Yes, I have. And in Arkansas, the other workers in the factory didn’t notice your sudden appearance?
-I guess they thought I was a new employee, I couldn’t tell.
-Can you think of someone who would like to play a little trick on you?
-Once my barge partner hid my hat. But I don’t think he’s capable of making bigger jokes. He couldn’t even hide my hat anywhere other than my own head. Still, it took me several days to find it.
-I see. To solve this enigma we would need to see the barge.
-Sure. This way you’ll meet my partner. Come with me
An hour later they are on an old barge moored at an East River pier. You can hear the constant sirens of the tugboats and the steam boats that sail along the river.
-This is my partner Tommy Grunter. Tommy, these are from an agency called ENIGMA CONSULTANTS
Michael and Jacob shake his hand.
-I suppose you are here because of Bob’s mysterious disappearance. It was very strange. We were sailing to Greenburgh when I suddenly turned around and he was gone. I thought he had fallen into the river. In fact, I gave up on him until yesterday he showed up at my cabin.
-I see that this barge is full of mice.
-It is the merchandise that we usually transport. There is a company in Greenburgh that commercialize them.
-Do they sell mice?!
-They paint them in yellow, teach them how to sing and make them pass off as singing canaries
-Have you noticed the disappearance of some mouse lately?
-The fact is that for me they are all the same. I have never bothered to personally know each one of them.
-I mean if you have been staring at a mouse and “plop!”, that mouse has disappeared all of a sudden.
-Now that you mention it, yes, I’ve seen that several times.
-And didn’t you find it strange?
-Well, I thought their time had come.
-The time comes for all of us. But we don’t make “plop!”. We simply die
-Perplexed, Tommy turns to his partner: “Is that true, Bob?!” But Bob has disappeared. “He has done it again!” Jacob exclaims. “He has gone to eat gherkins in Arkansas!”
-Something very strange happens on this barge. I think the best thing would be to make it shipwreck so that it sinks forever in these waters.
-But what about the mice? (Jacob asks) Are you going to let them drown?
-Mice know how to swim better than us, Jacob.
“For me there is no inconvenience”, Tommy says. “After all, the boat is Bob’s.” “Bob will thank us when he returns from Arkansas”, Michael answers. And the three men put on life preservers and then open a waterway by means of an ax. Hundreds of mice swim out towards the shore while the three men throw themselves into the water that is warm because it’s summer, and they also swim towards the shore, where the first electric lights begin to shine. Meanwhile, the barge starts to sink slowly dragging with it its unfathomable mystery.