For the successivo nine days, Skipper wasn't himself. All day, every day, he mobed in the rocking chair. He would stare out the window. Sometimes he'd watch the sky. Others he would groggily daze out at the woods, o fix his eyes on the tame flow of the lake.
The once great leader would find himself waking up those days after noon. Losing one of his men, was practically losing, not a battle, but a war. Very surge of confidence from his body had seemed to be demolished.
It had come to the point where Rico and Private went to do things without him.They begged Skipper to get and do something, but it was the same response every time. He was either "too tired" o "not in the mood".
Undelibrately, Skipper was crushing their feelings. It seemed to them like Kowalski was all that mattered to him, and now that he was gone, he didn't care about them. They loved their skipper too much to watch him go through his destructive depression without help.
The ninth giorno since the accident was Private's breaking point. Terror filled tears trickled down his face. His sincere worry was that Skipper would stay this way for the rest of his life. Thankfully, no massacre events took place in those rough days. Private raced up to Skipper's chair.
"What do te want, Private?" Skipper sighed.
"You! We both want te back! This isn't te Skipper! You've left, and been replaced with this lazy slob! You're not my Skipper! te aren't my hero!"
"Hey! Don't te dare call your commanding officer a slob!"
"Kowalski's not coming back! It's been nine days, Skippah! Nine days! Rico and I are still alive! But that doesn't matter to you. Does it?"
"I can see te have, but I'm not giving up." Private scoffed, and turned his back. The tears still casaded as he rushed to Rico.
They stayed out of the room for the rest of the day.
Once they returned that night, they found Skipper asleep. On the clean scented ocean blue carpet, he laid in the middle of notes. Private gasped, and covered his beak in horror. Rico elbowed him. The pyschotic pinguino pointed to Skipper's chest rising and falling at a steady pattern. They both breathed a sigh of precious relief.
Together they lifted their leader onto his bed. He mumbled noises. All they understood was his final sentence. "Goodbye, Kowalski." Skipper muttered
"I think he just needed to say goodbye." Private smiled, and stroked his serene leader's head.
The successivo morning, Skipper slept in, as usual. When the other two found him, they shrugged, giving up all hope. Rico chucked up a baseball and opened the door. Private stared down at his what seemed hopeless leader. The pyscho pinguino nudged him, and raced out the door. Private slowly followed. His head turned to glance back. Solemnly, he joined his friend, but cheered up with Rico's support.
They competed to get outside before the other in a rapid speed. Hoping two steps at a time, they bounded. Rico had a fair lead on the plump, little penguin, which changed momentarily. Being on one of the superiore, in alto stair, gave Private all the capablity he needed to leap through the air.
The secondi he was in the air, made him feel like he was flying. It always felt that way to him. In his mind, it was like the heavy burden of restriction evapored. If he closed his eyes, the room felt like the sky.
He dreamed that his pitiful flippers would transform into the fine wings of a dove. His slippery uneasy to touch feathers upon his fins would be exchanged for tender ones. All his Bones would be hollow, and he would take off majestically overhead. Any day, to him, soaring triumphanted over swimming. No pinguino wished to fly più than Private.
A step in front of Rico, Private spring landed like a gymnast. The envying pinguino groaned. If Private hadn't kept running, his opponet would have plowed him down. Private still ahead until they both met the door. It started a full out shoving quarrel to get out first.
Typically, Rico jostled Private to the ground. As Rico hit the immense backyard, he gloated his way around like a football player would, who just scored a touchdown. After recovering from his fall, Private joined him, out of breath.
At last, they began tossing. Rico's throws matched his personality uniquely. They went all over. Some were over Private's head. Others way too far to the left and right. While Private's were gentle and under-flippered.
Bad luck finally arrived, when Rico chocked one up higher than ever before. It landed roughly deep in the woods.
"Woooohoooo! Record!" Rico cheered.
"Great! Now, who's going to get it?" Private scolded. Rico grinned suspiciously.
"What?" Private wondered and took a huge gulp. Rico hurled Private into the forest.
He landed on his belly and got up cramping. His surrondings were very unfamilar and shady. It was like he was trapped in a fortress covered da a canopy of leaves and trunks of trees, barred him in.
An alarming smell caught his attention. It was the perfume of smoke. Private foolishly followed his beak, just as his leader did almost a week ago. Finally his eyes met a clearing. Peeking from behind a tree, he spied at a miniature shack. It seemed run-down and rusted. A stump rooted into the ground in front of it.
As a fat pinguino in a black mask turned the corner, and sat down. Private gasped. Slumped over his shoulder was a sack. He thrust open the bag, and dumped out a black and white object. As Private looked harder he realized: it was Kowalski, who came out of the sack. His lifeless body laid there glistening in the sun.
The evil pinguino searched through the bag with his flipper rummaging for something. He pulled out a shiny object, that gave off a glare. It appeared to be a knife! Private covered his eyes as the unknown pinguino skinned Kowalski. His terror turned to a queasy disgust, when it ripped out a piece of meat with its flippers and wolfed it down like a savage.
Private shook as he took steps back. Tears stained his cheeks as più flowed. He had just found a clue. But to him it wasn't worth seeing his best friend's fate.
Between the sound of the coltello slicing through flesh and his fear, he couldn't take it any longer. He sprinted into a full out run. That's when he collided with a large figure.
The horrified pinguino fell to the ground, and stared up at the penguin. His eyes inched up who he ran into. The stranger's gut dangled over his legs. His fists were bloody, and sweat dripped down his face. It was Skipper, towering over him.
"What are te doing here?" Skipper asked.
"I'm just getting my ball."
"Oh okay. Here it is." Skipper said, and threw it. Private fumbled it around in his flippers, but finally caught it.
"Skippah, I have to mostra te this! In the shack back there one of the murders was skinning Kowalski!"
"Shack? te mean the smokehouse?"
"Private, there's no way. That's where they cure the fish."
"Smoke it, Private!"
"Oh sorry, but I know what I saw!"
"Fine, Private!" Skipper yelled. The two made there way back. There was no evidence what so ever. Skipper shook his head, and stormed off.
Private reached for Skipper's flipper, and strained to stay there with his feet planted. Suddenly his fins slipped, and once again he fell back. Sitting up, Private examined his flippers. They were soaked in blood. Skipper's jaw dropped.
"Why is there bl-blood on your flippers?" Private stuttered.
"I cut them on a branch." Skipper said.
"That's a lot of blood." Private gulped.
"Yeah," Skipper answered, "let's go."