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“We are yet no closer to Krakatuk,” the astronomer reminded Drosselmeier, as they left Acornshausen on a borrowed sledge.

“This may be so,” said Drosselmeier.

“We have solved a mystery and found everyone guilty,” said the astronomer, “but none of them face punishment.”


“And yet we grin like wooden dolls.”

“Must all crimes be penalized?” said Drosselmeier. “Who is to blame, in truth, for stealing something that was never there?”

“The calculus of the law does not allow for the softness of human variables.”

“Then we must stick to horoscopes, my friend,” said Drosselmeier, “because sometimes theft enriches us all.”