Chapter 19 Wednesday, 1030 hours (10:30 AM)
Derek felt better. Jeffrey was safe for the moment and so were Rom's Cub Scouts. "Our job now," he said, "is to not get caught. After we get our provisions, we should go back to Jungle World and stay there. You guys should probably stay in hiding there until this zoo business is over. I don't think it makes any sense to try to get to the outside."
"Yeah, I've been thinking the same thing," said Rom. "Joshua and his crowd probably think my scouts are out of the zoo, and of course, they don't know I've broken back in. Since nobody's looking for us, Jungle World probably the best place to stay until this is over."
"Good," said Derek. "After dark, I'll go alone and try to free Jeffrey."
"No. I'm coming with you. My scouts will be fine without me for a few hours."
"That's not it," said Derek. "I'm afraid you might get caught."
"I won't get caught."
Rom and Derek were moving cautiously toward the Lakeside Cafeteria and Gift Shop, when they noticed activity off near the Polar Bear habitat.
"Let's sneak over and see what's going on," said Rom.
"No. Let's just get get what we came for from the Cafeteria, and go back."
"Aren't you curious?"
"A little, but..." Derek felt it was his duty to keep on task, but yes, he was indeed curious.
"Come on. Let's get just a little closer and try to see what's happening."
Derek gave in. "Okay, okay. But careful."
They changed direction toward the polar bears. There was no place they could hide that was near enough to see into the polar bear area, but they did find a place to monitor CALF's movements.
"That cart looks like it's filled with video equipment," whispered Rom.
"Maybe they really are going to do a documentary film."
Derek watched the flurry of carts driving toward the bears and couldn't help smiling. These misguided animal activists were killing time by actually doing a film of animals. There was a sort of innocence to that. These Calfers can't be all that bad.
"Look at that," whispered Rom again, "in that cart. It looks like all the CALF bigwigs. But who's the guy between the two guards."
"One of the hostages. I recognize him. He was the only likeable guy in the whole lot."
"He doesn't look very happy," said Rom, "I wonder what's going on."
"He's an animal photographer." Derek tried to find an innocent explanation. "Maybe they're trying to get his advice on the filming.".
Derek and Rom observed until there was nothing else to watch. No more carts came driving into the bear area.
"Do you think we could get closer?" asked Rom.
Then they heard a scream. It was a blood-curdling cry of agony, abruptly cut off.
"Let's get out of here," said Derek. "Now."
"Yeah," said Rom.