"Alligators? In the sewers?"
"In the old pipe sections," she said. Not in the plant. Down under."
"Alligators?" I repeated, like a halfwit. "In the pipes?"
"I guess people flush them down the toilet," she said. "Pets from Florida. And they live off the sludge. In the warmer sections, anyway."
"Oh," I said. I could see that. "You mean little ones."
"I guess they're not always so little."
"You mean they get big? And breed?"
"I think there's a regular colony down there now," she answered. "At least in one of the old brick sections, from the thirties. I wasn't supposed to know, but I've heard my father discussing it with plant people on the phone. I guess it's getting to be a real problem. Now please--" she added, looking at me.
But I cut right in. "And one bit your father?
"Yes! He was down there doing repairs."
"Came right out of the...water--and bit him?"
"He shot it," she said.
"He shot it?" I just kept on repeating. I couldn't believe it.
"He never goes down there without a shotgun," she added. "Maybe that's why he's got such a huge rifle collection."
I flet a little stunned. She never lied. If she said there were alligators, there were
alligators. Or at least she believed it.