Boys Will Be Boys
Overheard in The Bronze Lion Inn, as Skillet talks surreptitiously to a beleaguered customer.
The 9th day of Ches in the Year of the Sudden Journey.
“Well, there’s going to be no cloth made at this rate,” Skillet stated across the bar, cleaning a tankard absent-mindedly. “Matilda and Effie are worried sick about their boys, and furious at the Council for not doing anything yet.”
The little halfling put down the tankard on the bar area and glared at it studiously. Deciding it needed further attention he picked it up once more and resumed his ritual cleaning, continuing his rather one-sided conversation.
“Boys will be boys, and Offa and Bailey do work hard on the fields, so they are allowed to have some fun from time to time, but they’ve got their mothers worried that’s for sure. I’ve heard this ain’t the first night they’ve spent outside the walls, neither, but two nights now? With all these goblins and kobolds and worse abroad? They’ll need a good spanking when they get back. Me Old Uncle wouldn’t stand for it, y’know. He’d have those boys in line, and no mistake.”
He leant across the bar and with a sideways glance continued at a whisper.
“Don’t you think that it’s odd that the Council don’t seem to be helping much? I mean, a foray into the wilds to find these two boys would be right up Valino’s street, but he’s been ordered to stay to keep the defence of the town.
“I heard them talking, y’know. Not that I was listening or anything, I mean, you know me, I’m the very model of discretion me, but I was delivering some drinks and foods and the handle of the door looked like it needed a good polish before I went in, so it would have been rude of me not to stay awhile and clean it. Anyways, they were arguing, like. About whether to send anyone.”
Skillet took another long look around the bar to make sure no-one else was listening.
“Seems to me that His Radiance and Tymander think the boys will just turn up, but Barghest wants further searches. They didn’t seem too happy that Barghest had already had a couple of men up near the mausoleum where the boys often played. Even been in it, they had, much to His Radiance’s fury.”
The halfling leaned back and straightened up behind the bar to his full height.
“Well I, for one, think the Council should listen to Matilda and Effie and go and find the boys. I’d be ready to go out and help, y’know. I’m a dab hand with a sword, just in case there are goblins about.”
Skillet picked up the short mop from behind the bar and started to swish it about a little as though fencing against a foe.
“Take that!” he barked, thrusting the mop towards the bar.
The end of the mop caught the tankard he had just put down, toppling it across the bar into the customer’s own, knocking it over and spilling the frothy ale into the customer’s lap.
A reddening halfling hurriedly grabbed a cloth and sheepishly headed round the bar to clean the mess.