In the distance, over the aquarium, a helicopter approached. A sling underneath held the two dolphins. As the mayor watched through a telescope, William signaled Nick.
"It's in the study."
He felt the top wobble slightly on its axis.
"It's supposed to be here, Nick-and bring my lucky pen."
Nick rushed off.
The mayor seemed puzzled.
"They're trying to wave the helicopter off."
William swung his telescope downward. She was right. The museum staff were standing on the deck, waving their arms wildly and shouting.
His top began to wobble seriously.
The mayor squinted into her telescope.
William pointed his telescope toward the edge of the aquarium, where water poured over the edge into the sea.
Something had blocked the overflow tube.
Nick appeared with the contracts and the lucky pen. William grabbed them and waved wildly at the helicopter.
"No! Go back! Don't let them..."
The dolphins hit the water, circled the aquarium twice, and went deep. A moment later they broke the surface and soared-high, clean, and free—in a perfect arc, over the edge and into the sea beyond.
William sank into a nearby chair, his face in his hands.
The mayor straightened up and looked at him.
"Your pen... It's..."
He opened his eyes to see ink dripping on the contracts in his lap. His pen was still in his hand. He lowered it from his face to look at it. His fingers were wet with ink.
His red top, now on its side, rotated slowly to a complete stop.