For the second time in his life Lonely was being driven to Revellers Green at high speed and in style. Celia had accelerated Gurkin’s Meowitzer 700 convertible out of the garage behind Vic’s Sewage Yard, burning rubber as she roared down the sleepy streets of North Tolleston. Behind them, a posse of Toms gave swift pursuit, though they were unable to shoot at the fleeing car because of the risk of hitting the Mayor’s granddaughter. Their orders were very specific; get rid of the hound, but under no circumstances harm, Celia. They sped down Sunset Boulevard, past bars and cafés still buzzing with late-night patrons.
‘Why are we going to the Green?’ Lonely asked, hearing the distant sound of Houndskiffle.
‘The Howlers.’ Lonely struggled to sit up. ‘The Howlers?’
‘You told me once that you knew one of them, some “big brother” sort of guy.’
‘Yeah, Bronson. I’m guessing he’ll be the only one who’ll be able to get you out of town. You gotta leave this place … Fast!’
‘Why do I have to leave town?’
She didn’t answer at first, ploughing through a red light. He looked across at her, her features flashing in the flare of the passing streetlights, but she didn’t turn, still focused on keeping the car on the road. Her eyes were wet with tears, yet ablaze with an intensity that frightened the wounded Hound.
‘My grandfather will forgive me for everything, even shooting him those years ago. I’ll always be his granddaughter. Oh, he’ll punish me, no doubt send me away to prove to his Felinean masters that he has dealt with me. But, he will never forgive you, Lonely. He’ll hunt you down and kill you. That is why you must escape Port Alveridge … forever!’