"Do brace up, Master," the Oracle continued, trying to sound consoling. "I shall retrieve your crown. Before I 'cough it up' however, I must first locate it, and that won't be easy … It's a big world down there. Now, tell me which way it went.”
"'Which way it went'!" exclaimed Vitalis even more agitated by such an apparently stupid question … "It went DOWN of course! What other direction is there to fall down a hole?"
"Ahh, but I am not a mere 'hole'," reminded Glib, " I am an oracle … and by 'which way' I mean not simply up or down, but into which 'time': the past, present, or future. And more—into which 'place' did your crown fall: on earth, or off? The real world, or imagination's?”
To this question, the King of gods could find no answer. He collapsed under the weight of it, and took a seat on the oracle's rim.
By way of unburdening his lord, Glib offered this suggestion, "Master … if I may suggest ... Do we really have to find it? It is only a cap … That is to say, you are the most omnipotent of gods. If you need to wear a crown, can't you, uh … make another one? Just say 'poof' or something?"
"Absolutely not!" Such a flippant suggestion drew a pronounced scowl from the mountain lord. Glib knew when to button up, and so offered no further opinions. "It's a question of vanity—I mean, image!” Vitalis went on. “That crown was forged and handcrafted especially for me by artisans of the Gnome King. No other will fit. It's a part of me … I would look positively foolish without it … positively un-regal! You must go after it! Find my crown, and bring it back to me! ... I won't sleep a wink until I'm whole again ...” Vitalis' cheeks were sandwiched in his hands, and his voice trailed off into a litany of garbled moans and groans. He then bent onto his knobby knees, and stuck his head as far as he could into the oracle's mouth teetering there on the edge of the unfathomable pit. Vitalis, the tempestuous, thunder-clapping godhead, had crumpled into a whimpering wretch. “Please!” he pleaded, casting a soppy-eyed glance at Glib.
The oracle's voice hung silent, suspended over his well like a dark cloud. He was smart enough to know what he had to do. Vitalis' attention fell once again into the deep darkness of his oracle's throat … and plunging in after it was Glib, vanishing like a pitchman swallowing his words. As to what time, and what place the words fell, he was about to discover.