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“The search must be accomplished tonight,” said Drosselmeier.

“We have arranged a diversion,” the astronomer said. “The quarters will be empty when the bell tolls nine.”

“Such villainy! Such daring!” said the professor. “Yes, yes, of course I will aid you in ferreting out the nut.”

“You’ll need to begin the search yourself,” said Drosselmeier. “Perhaps if you go early and hide in an alcove nearby…”

“We’ll be along shortly,” said the astronomer.

“I knew it all along,” said the professor, eyes cold with vindiction.

“Oh yes,” they told Durchdrehn, Brocken, Buffalop and Nussbaum, each in their turn. “So did we.”