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“Brocken and Buffalop provide each other’s alibi,” frowned the astronomer. “This may be problematic.”

“The horoscope tells us that they will have a falling out in March,” said Drosselmeier. “The consequence of a heist whose loot they cannot sell?”

“You suspect Krakatuk is still in Acornshausen?”

“The roads are bad in winter, and it cannot be trusted to a messenger,” said Drosselmeier. “An accomplice would help hide the nut until spring.”

“Buffalop and Brocken together,” said the astronomer, “or Durchdrehn and a protégé? His stars show a dependence on admirers.”

“But our Professor Nussbaum,” said Drosselmeier, “has no friends at all.”