I awoke sometime later, finding myself in a shabby, dim room. I tried to reach up & rub my eyes, but my hands were tied.
“Look who decided to join the fun!” Squinting showed me the scraggly boy who’d broke in, smiling from ear to ear. He elbowed an eyepatched mushroom man next to him. “Wha’d I tell ya Boss? See the ‘semblence?”
“I see it Jay” a tousled stringbean boy in a corner grunted. The Boss nodded wisely. A thinfaced hyena-like man slunk over, crouched next to me & stared me straight in the eyes. I stared back. He tried to stroke my hair, but I lashed out, trying to bite his fingers. He gave a gleeful shout.
“And fiesty too! She’s like th’old man!”
“Don’t go jumpin to ‘clusions Len” the stringbean said, leaning to get a look at me. “Now I’m thinkin ‘bout it, she’s a dead ringer.”
Boss nodded pensively. “We’ll have t’make sure that she’s his.”
“Whose am I?” I asked. The men looked from one to the other, then to Boss. He stood up, waddled over to me, and whispered, “Ye ever heard of Tickin’ Tom?”