“The Warumbi still regard him as some sort of demon of the grassland,” Judith said. “But we know better, don’t we? Our creature can think!”
Maribelle smiled. “I want to see him,” she said.
Judith nodded. “One step at a time, darling. We have to let him get used to the idea. I’ll take you out with me; maybe we could sing a duet! If he comes to believe that you pose no threat and that you are as harmless as I am, I expect you’ll get to see him for yourself. As for getting closer than that, getting the so-called evidence that WEBwatch wants, well, time may or may not present that opportunity. My greatest concern at this point, my only concern, in fact, is that this creature must be protected.”
She paused. Her smile faltered. “That and your own safety, of course, darling. Oh, as delighted as I am to see you, I do wish you hadn’t come. This is such a terrible place, after all. There are so many dangers.”
“I can take care of myself,” Maribelle said.
Judith smiled again, but it was a hollow gesture. Maribelle saw right through it.
“I’m a big girl,” Maribelle said. “I’ll be okay. So stop worrying.”
She just wished she felt as certain as she sounded.