Chapter 6 “So, you don’t remember it that way?” Kermit looked over at his friend, unable to make out the expression in the light of the campfire. “Funny thing about memory is that time changes it.” Kermit continued talking as he got up to walk around the campsite they had made. “Take Scooter, when he joined us it was only going to be for a trial of a few weeks at my suggestion. If you ask him now, he swears he was the one who brought it up because he had just the skills we needed.” Kermit pause a moment before making his point “Sometimes things seem a lot easier when you get farther away from them, making it seem like you were wrong in the first place.” A sigh echoed across the space. Well, that’s the best response I’ve gotten all day, he thought before continuing on. “At least let me get through a few more stories before you make a decision. But right now I think we should turn in before we’re greeting the morning sun.” * * * * * “Just wait.” Scooter said placing his hands over his eyes. “There has got to be a better way to figure this out.” Fozzie was wringing his hat in his hands as he looked around the kitchen, unable to see anything past the table they had used only a simple reading lamp to light. Rowlf leaned in closer over the jumbled list they had made causing Fozzie to protest. “Now I can’t see,” he was very close to whining as he scanned the room again and listened for the sounds of plops coming down the stairs. “Foz,” Rowlf whispered, “I checked on him and he’s in bed, fast asleep dreaming about going to Sesame Street tomorrow. Now,” he continued turning to Scooter, “start over with the first call and go slowly.” “Okay, Janice called upset because Rizzo had just found her and said that he had lost track of Gonzo,” “Well, when you’re that concerned with your stomach all the time it’s easy to get lost from your group.” Rowlf muttered picking up the pad and turning to a new page. “And Rizzo said that he had run into Bert as he was getting ready to leave without Ernie to go back to Sesame Street. Bert mentioned that he had seen Kermit driving away but couldn’t see who was in the car with Kermit.” “Okay, stop right there.” Rowlf took a deep breath with the hopes to keep his wits about him as he had never seen Scooter this flustered. “We know that we can cross Janice, Rizzo, Bert and Ernie off of the list as to who Kermit’s with.” “Wait,” Fozzie broke in, “Didn’t she say that Rizzo had only seen Bert because he was leaving alone, that Ernie was staying behind.” “Right” Scooter started plowing back into the story as Rowlf dragged the eraser across the page. “Janice was sure that Rizzo hadn’t seen Ernie because there was a rubber duck convention in town and Bert just wanted to get back home.” “Okay, so that leaves us sure that it isn’t Rizzo, Bert, Janice, or Gonzo.” “But Rizzo had lost Gonzo,” Fozzie interjected. Rowlf only sighed as he erased Gonzo’s name from the list. “What else did she say, Scooter?” “Well, she started to say something about Camilla but was interrupted by Floyd who was adamant that she get off the phone because of something about Dr. Teeth and Zoot missing and they had a gig in two hours.” “Did they find them?” Fozzie began scratching his head as he became lost in all the names. “I don’t know, I haven’t talked to Janice again.” “Maybe this would be easier to start if we list everyone that is in the Colorado area right now,” Rowlf muttered as he brushed off rubber from the paper he had cleaned again. “Okay,” Scooter started, sure of this list. “Miss Piggy was going to be in the area for some ‘private family matters’ as she put it.” “Right,” Fozzie drew his finger in a check mark through the air, “And Gonzo was taking Camilla to the lake where they where going to attempt to revive the water skiing act with the chorus of chickens clucking the William Tell Overture.” Scooter picked up speed as he watched Rowlf list all the names. “And the Electric Mayhem are touring so that puts Dr. Teeth, Zoot, Animal, Janice, Floyd, and Lips in that whole seven state area. Bert and Ernie are on a fishing trip, Rizzo and Pepe are with Gonzo, Oscar may have decided to visit some of the junkyards in Arizona, Bear is camping in Wyoming, Bean’s in Kansas at a family reunion…” They were interrupted when the back door let out a long squeak and the trio turned to see who was trying to sneak into the house at two am without disturbing the residents. “At last!” Rowlf cried out in frustration, “we can eliminate Clifford from the list!” “I didn’t think he was ever on it,” Fozzie replied warily as Clifford dropped his bags while exclaiming “What list?” “At this point, Fozzie, I think everyone’s on the list,” Scooter sighed and slumped in his chair as Rowlf brought Clifford up to date with the latest Muppet news. “Man,” Clifford began at almost a whisper, “at this point I think all you can do is to collect stories and eliminate people one by one that way. Your list should consist of only those you know are not in trouble.” “In that case,” Scooter said as he ripped a page off of his clipboard, “the only ones we know for sure are Kermit, me, Fozzie, Rowlf, Clifford, Robin, and the Swedish Chef.” “That’s a lot of Muppets we’ve left off.” “If that’s the case than we should only take group vacations from now on,” Rowlf chuckled, “then we won’t give anyone the chance to get in trouble.” “Man, that’s worked so well for us before.” Clifford moaned as he thought of all the stories he’d heard of all the Muppet outings over the years. “Well, I guess we should call it a night then,” Scooter mentioned with a yawn. “After all someone’s got to take Robin to Sesame Street tomorrow.” The house was eerily silent as they headed off to bed, minds still churning as they felt unable to help a friend.