Well that was that. We couldn't get in through the secret grate unless we were already Pirates ourselves, which we weren't. But still, even so, we felt quite all right cause we weren't far wrong and we'd had a good sight of the way we were going. If there was one way to get inside the cliffs there must be more. We knew we could find at least one if we tried, we came back to look the next day in fact. No luck at all, at least not right away. We decided the best way for us to begin was to walk the top of the cliffs again just above the secret Pirate grate. We went along in a two-sighted way, seeing the top of the cliffs that we knew while keeping the glimpse of the underground too. Still couldn't find a single way in. Very peculiar, almost outrageous! All the pieces were all right there, we just couldn't see how they fit together. We could see the grate and the secret tunnel we'd tried to go in the night before. Now that we knew it was already there, it was easy to spot at the top of a short, one-block everyday alley. And although it was easy for us to be on the inside side of the secret grate, it was just the same problem we had in the Grotto. Where was the path that could lead us in and give us access to all the levels inside the island?
So Francis and me, we sat ourselves down in the everyday world on the sidewalk curb, across from the place in the Territory where the secret grate occurs. We tried to look in an inbetween way inbetween the world of the everyday and the world of Territory. We knew the answer was sure to appear, we could feel it waiting nearby just inside the next moment beside us already. So we took a deep breath and we took out our maps and tried to see the shape of the cliffs in a wrong angle way. There must have been something we'd overlooked, a park that was really a hidden valley, or maybe an alley that was more than it seemed. Probably an alley, just had to be, they're often cracks where the Territory seems to leak and peek out more easily. There was one in particular on our map that didn't make sense. It wasn't there in the everyday world even though it was marked on the everyday map. It was supposed to be right behind the place where we were sitting right then. I stood up and looked. No alley. Just sidewalks and houses and grass inbetween. I looked at the map I was holding again. The alley was there on the map all right, even though its form had disappeared from the way of the everyday world.
Made me restless, this no-alley place that was there or not-there or maybe both. I walked away and just kept on going, going to no-place at all. Got there too, can't say how, but when I began to realize just where I was I stopped in complete surprise. I had walked along to a long backyard alley that stretched along the back of the houses I'd sat just in front of before. Looking out through the grassy strip between two houses I caught a glimpse of Francis there, sitting on the curb. But the grassy strip wasn't really part of the yard of either house! This was the alley that wasn't there! But it actually was, it was there all along in a completely indigenous way. It wasn't gravelled or travelled by cars, entirely grass and when you passed it out front by the street it blended right in with the lawns of the houses that stood there beside on either side. It was only from the place where I stopped out back that you could see it was really there.
Went back around front and got Francis up on her feet again. Told her I'd found the entrance to a secret tunnel that went underground underneath the cliffs. We went and tried it, it worked perfectly. We had to duck down a bit at the start to get through a place where the ceiling was low, but after a crawl and a couple of squirms we came out into a tunnel that turned straight down to the Pirate grate. A guard dog appeared and started to bark, he gave me a start and I started to smile. Barking dogs, they're a very good sign, they help you to know that you've managed to find a place where Pirates lurk. There was water there too coming in from the sea, and the tunnel that went to the secret grate branched off to follow alongside the stream. We clipped up our boats and slipped into the water. Didn't even have to paddle at all. The current the tides provided was strong, and in no time at all we were floating on in to the Pirate Grotto.
This is the way that it is on the map. The secret Pirate grate is I. The grassy tunnel we finally found is marked as K. It goes straight down to the Pirate grate and joins the water that flows in from the sea and eventually goes on along to the Pirate Grotto marked L and M. The way I figure, the boats that came in the night before at the secret grate finally unloaded their cargo of contraband at one of the docks in the Grotto.