Returning home Edit
The chauffeur asked his master, “Do you prefer the muddy route or the dry route, Sir?”
"We’ll take the muddy route.” Father stated.
The chauffeur turned the vehicle onto the landing stage of one of the better class public canals. He clicked a button and the vehicle changed shape from a car to a boat. It was much better designed than the amphibious vehicles of Earth. The boy’s tentacles brightened a bit. “Can we get a mudbath together?” he whispered to his mother.
Father continued, “You’re not going into the mud boy. Remember.”
Mother hung her tentacles compassionately and firmly as she indicated “No.”
Later when they were at a really muddy place they left the Blue Tentacles with the chauffeur again while father went out with his wife to enjoy the area.
“Will you let me go out into the mud?” the boy asked the chauffeur.
“I can’t let you, the master wouldn’t like it.”
“Can you get some mud for me then?”
Purple Eye Stalks went out to get some mud and some creepy crawlies. He felt sorry for the boy and somehow there was a bond between them, still he wondered if he should be doing it. All his life they had taught him that he was his master's property and his duty was to reflect his master's will. Anyway he spent a great deal of time serving his mistress, the mother of Blue Tentacles and he was sure his mistress would want him to be nice to the boy. The boy rubbed the mud eagerly into his tentacles, then he cleaned the surplus away carefully so his father wouldn’t see it.
“I never knew wild creepy crawlies could taste so good.” the boy told the chauffeur gratefully as he was he was enjoying them. The two had a lively talk about what had happened at the mansion while the boy was away. They stopped abruptly when they saw the parents return. Father looked as if he’d enjoyed the mud though Mother didn't look so happy.
For the rest of the journey the chauffeur kept looking forward in the direction he was driving and didn’t let his master or mistress see how he felt. He was puzzled because the boy had been let out of prison. Didn’t that mean that he’d paid for his crime? There was the preacher at Sun Temple where the servants worshiped. What would he say? Anyway the boy’s father, his master had clearly said he wanted the boy to get to know older people. The chauffeur had been taught he shouldn’t question his betters, indeed he’d been a slave all his life and had started learning early. Was elderly Brown Tentacles right for the boy? Perhaps father had different elderly people in mind.
Brown Tentacles had been very nice to the chauffeur and had taught him quite a few tricks. That old rascal had shown him how to remove items that belonged to his master without getting noticed. At first it was just small things his wealthy master wouldn't miss. The preacher at Sun Temple wouldn’t have liked anything like that either. The chauffeur didn't want to think things through too carefully so he concentrated on his driving instead. In the end he turned the vehicle into the impressive front entrance of the family mansion. He was almost as relieved as the boy when the miserable journey was over.
Young Blue Tentacles was lucky to get a short rest before lessons started as Father couldn’t get a tutor to arrive at once. The boy was no longer Blue Tentacles of the Prison. He was now Blue Tentacles of the Patrician Family. But everybody knew he used to be Scarlet Tentacles of the Patrician Family and everybody remembered what he’d done.