‘PLEEEEASE! NOBODY LEAVE THE LOUNGE!’ boomed the Steward, chasing after the flying figures trying to get out of the door all at the same time.
Lennie, who had fetched two life jackets from the pile by the wall, stared after the disappearing passengers for a moment. Then he shrugged his shoulders.
‘People!’ he murmured, ‘Always panicking,’ and turning to Creamy gave him one of the life jackets. ‘Now, hang onto this, and wait here. I'm just going to have a look at the instructions sheet on that wall over there,’ he said and trotted off.
Creamy sat down, and clasped the life jacket against his chest.
‘And what about me? Why didn't anyone get a life jacket for me?’ whined Satie, emerging suddenly from under a table.
‘You still here? You and your bright new shoes,’ snorted Creamy.
‘Sure I am here. Why shouldn't I be here?’ Satie snorted back. It's my ship, you know.’
‘Yeah, right! Anyway, if you want a life jacket, go and fetch one yourself!’
‘Certainly not!’ scoffed Satie, quite shocked at the idea. ‘You know perfectly well…’
‘Not that you should need one!’ continued Creamy with a laugh, eyeing Satie's large, luminous feet. ‘With shoes like these you can practically walk on water; and be seen in the dark, too! Ha! Ha! Ha!’
‘I suppose you think you are funny, do you?’ hissed Satie.
‘Certainly,’ said Creamy, ‘not that you…’
‘Now, stop it, both of you! And keep quiet while I’m trying to read,’ said Lennie sternly, giving them both a cross look. Then he went back to studying the instructions some more.
Presently, he finished and turned round - and his mouth fell open in surprise. There was nobody to be seen in the lounge. Unbeknown to him, Creamy had just dashed off in pursuit of Satie, who had snatched his life jacket, and streaked off with it.
A cold paw of fear clutched at Lennie's heart. Then with a burst of speed he, too, was gone from the lounge, calling Creamy's name as he ran. Panting hard, he made his way up the steel stairs that led onto the deck. At the top, he paused for a moment, looking anxiously round.
‘Ah, there they are!’ he cried and broke into a run again.