Chapter 16

Vinet and Borgarine were on opposite sides of the teacher’s desk in their classroom headquarters. Papers are scattered across the desk, with piles on neighboring student desks.

Vinet scrutinized a signature and then passed the paper across to Borgarine. “Page 17. Caitlyn Jones. I think she’s already signed.”

Borgarine looked at the signature and then rustled around in one of the stacks behind him. “Here, I have a Caitlin J. and a Caitlin R. on page 91. Do you think Caitlin J. is Caitlin Jones?”

Vinet threw his hands up. “Who knows? I can barely read some of these, the handwriting is so juvenile. Don’t they teach penmanship in this country?”

Borgarine reached for his reading glasses. “Page 113. I have Ashley L something. I could swear I saw her signature earier. Yes! Page 110, there she is again, Ashley L something.” He shook his head and pursed his lips.  “What’s with these people that they don’t sign their full names?”

Vinet held up two more petition pages, one stained by coffee. “I have two Ashleys here on the same page, 74. And another on page 27. Is she just a saboteur? And here is Caitlyn again. There can’t be that many Caitlyns and Ashleys in one small town, can there?”

Borgarine sighed. “We have to make our report to the Board of Elections of this state tomorrow at 8 a.m. I don’t know what to do.”

Vinet dropped the papers on the desk and stood up. “Well, we have been working for almost 3 hours now. Time for a leisurely meal, non?”

“Mais oui,” said Borgarine as he grabbed his jacket and wool scarf. They walked out the door and turned off the light as they left the room.

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