'So, captain', says Schroedinger, 'you're saying that, thankfully, there were no orphans in the nunnery'.
'That's right, sir. Right enough', says the captain, nodding vigorously. 'We were just storing our porridge in the nunnery'.
'Of course', replies the governor. 'Of course. Because this is war in the Age of Enlightenment. So, the porridge was in the nunnery. This leads me to the obvious question ...'
The captain stares blankly.
'Captain, the porridge is in the nunnery; so the nuns were in the ...'
'Oh', says the captain getting the drift, 'oh yes, sir. So, the nuns were put in the orphanage'.
'So', begins Colonel Sanitaire. 'Logically, my fine fellow, yev therefore put the orphans in the ... porridge ... store?'
'Does such a thing exist?' asks the governor.
'Hmmm', says the colonel. 'I suppose, my lord, that that would depend upon how much porridge yev got'.
The discussion is interrurpted by the sound of running and thumping on the wooden floor above.
There are some shrieks; a bang; and then some shouting and crying.
The colonel and captain look at one another.
Schroedinger shrugs. 'The nuns ...' he says helplessly.
'Sisters of God?' says the captain, looking a little shocked.
'Sisters of God help us', replies the governor under his breath, before continuing. 'But where then, captain, are the orphans? Are they where the porridge was - before it was moved?'
The captain shifts awkwardly. 'It's not clear sir'.
Schroedinger scowls. 'Well, captain. it had better start getting quite a lot clearer, quite soon'.
'Captain', interjects Sanitaire, 'there are a limited number of places that one can store baby orphans, surely'.
'I don't have a list' says the captain, afraid.
'Just use a process of elimination', says Schroedinger, tartly. 'Which, incidentally, is what I'm going to apply to you if you don't get some results quickly'.
'Or', says Sanitaire, suddenly clicking his fingers, 'couldn't you just ask the nuns, my lord?'
The governor pauses; then he sighs. 'I'll get you for this, captain' he says trudging towards the stairs.
(Above) At the governor's interruption, the nuns look both guilty and combative. Schroedinger stays near the door, the better to expedite his withdrawal should circumstances warrant it. There is the smell of beer and ladies perfume. Looking at the nuns, it isn't obvious which of the two they have been drinking and which they have been applying.
'So', he says. 'Sisters. Yes. So, the orphans it turns out weren't in the nunnery. That was the porridge. Do you have any idea, therefore, where the porridge was before it was moved, because it seems likely that the orphans are there'.
'Oh no', says the nearest nun. 'No. It was the gunpowder that was moved to the porridge store'.
'Gunpowder?' replies the governor aghast. 'Gunpowder? But that means ...' The youngest nun nods and makes a movement with her hands. It looks a little bit like she is playing a very small string instrument - a violin, perhaps.
'... the orphans are in the armoury?'
The lead nun shrugs.
'And you didn't move them?'
The nun shrugs again. 'XXXX XXX! Orphans are so ... sticky. We don't like touching them'.
'But why would we keep baby orphans in the armoury?' asks Schroedinger incredulously.
'It keeps them out of the damp?' suggests another nun.
'And that's useful because?' replies the governor.
'They are less likely to foul the cannon barrels?' replies the young nun helpfully.
'XXXXXXX XXXX!' explodes Schroedinger. 'XXXX! XXXX! XXXXXXX XXXX! Do I look like the kind of man who fires orphans from a cannon? How do you think that would go down! How do you think my wife would take that? "Anything happen today dear". "No, no, my love. Oh, Except that I fired some orphans from a cannon."."Oh thats nice". We don't fire orphans at the enemy! It's just not something one does as an officer. Well, not at this stage of the siege, anyway'.
'Language', replies the young nun. 'We are holy sisters', she adds, sticking two fingers up the governor.