Without much of a by your leave the three watchmen, well one watchman, one watchwoman, and one watchboy left the inn. They didn’t even haul away either of the dead bodies. I guess their job is to explain the bodies not get rid of the, but now what happens if some other watch people come by and see corpses laying around? Are we just supposed to say “no it’s okay, some other people already investigated this” and they just go away? They never talk about that in the Annebelle Spaulding books, what happens to the body after she unmasks the murderer? It’s usually the vicar. What the Hells is a vicar anyway?
After they were gone Rindol, looking disgusted as ever, made like he was going to leave as well. I tried to whistle to get his attention but cats don’t really have lips so it didn’t work so well. In the end I had to jump down and get in front of him.
“Hey, wait a minute, before you run off I need you to hail me a coach over to Cladarielle Staelish’s house on Paddock Street.”
“A cat in a coach? Preposterous!”
“Yes, what will the city fathers think? Don’t bust my chops just do it Rindol.”
“Why should I?”
“Because I saved your life in the woods. Remember that? I was just fooling around when I said I knew about that because I’m a witch. I know I look different now but surely you remember my voice – I’m her, it’s me. I just got turned into a cat. The least you can do is help me out here. Your life has to be worth that much.”
“I’m sure I don’t know what you’re talking about. And even if I did I have no money for a coach.”
“Yes, I remember your friend Murdane lecturing me often about how you scholarly types don’t need money. I’m not exactly sure how you get by still, but that’s not the matter at hand. There’s a dead merchant upstairs who had a bunch of money. There’s some money in the lieutenant’s room as well. Plus unless she grabbed it before she ran off Kichwa has to have some coin stashed around here as well.”
His face puckered like he smell something sour “What are you suggesting?!”
“You said that you didn’t have any money, I just told you there’s a bunch of money here no one is using. What I’m implying seems pretty clear.”
“Madam, I am no thief.”
I sighed, which came out as more of a little hiss “Look Rindol, I don’t want to be a bitch about this but here’s the deal. I saved your life. I am asking you in return to do a very reasonable thing. If you refuse to do this when I get turned back into a person, and I assure you that I will, I will make it a special mission of mine to find you and fuck you up. I can’t tell you exactly what I’m going to do because I don’t know, but I’ll come up with something good. Take this as a threat or a promise or a guarantee or whatever you want to call it, but Rindol it’s going to happen. Unless you help me right now. This is not a big deal Rindol, you can just do this thing and everything will be fine okay?”
Apparently it wasn’t okay because he left. And just to be an asshole he shut the door firmly behind him so that I couldn’t get out. I could jump down from the window on the second floor and in theory that should be fine because I’m a cat but it just doesn’t seem right. As a human I could have done it, but when I’m this small it seems like a mile down. Plus I feel so light that I can’t imagine landing safely – I feel like I’d fly apart. A customer has to come by at some point and open the door right?
While I waited I explored the rest of the place more thoroughly, in Kichwa’s room I found some armor and a sword that looked like they hadn’t been used in years. I guess she must have been a soldier or something, not a good one I have to assume based on how skittish she was. I found a journal as well but with my cat eyes I wasn’t able to read it. I wonder who owns this place now. Probably since no one is here to pay taxes it will become the property of the city to be auctioned off but I bet anyone could just come in here and start running it and everyone would just go along with it. Possession is nine tenths and all that.
After a couple hours no one had come in so I started to get worried. The hardcore alcoholics should have turned up by now. I sent to the second story window, you know the one with the barbecued merchant hanging out it, and jumped into the sill beside him. The sun was starting to go down and the streets were starting to get really busy before they emptied out. I waited for things to thin out a bit and then picked my candidate – a tall scrawny stick-looking woman in dirty clothes with a shovel over her shoulder. Her black hair was cut scandalously short and was dusted with grime.
“Hey you, do you want to own a tavern?”
She stopped and looked around in confusion “Who said that?”
“Up here, next to the dead body, the cat. Me, I’m talking.”
“Why isn’t your mouth moving?”
“That’s your issue with the situation? Just come inside.”
She gestured “There’s a sign on the door that says you’re closed.”
I cursed Rindol under my breath “Just come in.”
I jumped out of the window and cat sprinted downstairs – I’m not sure why exactly, I guess I was afraid that she might leave. I got down into the common room just as she was closing the door and looking around.
“Slow night huh? Is that why you’re closed so early? Or is it the other way around?”
“You don’t seem that shocked by a talking cat.”
“I’m used to it, there’s a talking cat down at the graveground. His mouth moves though so it’s a little different I guess.”
“Yeah. It’s a black one like you, only his fur isn’t nearly so fine. It’s on the mangy side of the equation.”
“What does it say to you?”
“Mostly it tells me to burn things. Sometimes we just chit chat, but mostly it talks about arson.”
She leaned her shovel against the wall, moving behind the bar to pour herself a beer “I don’t do it. At church they have a cat, the priests say that cats search for devils or signs of their mischief. So I figure this one is just a little confused.”
“Do you believe that?”
She shrugged and took a long drink of her beer “I guess.”
“Do you want to own this tavern?”
She looked around “It’s pretty nice. But I don’t know anything about running a tavern.”
“That’s the beauty, you don’t need to – you just own the joint. You hire a cook to make the food and you hire a maid to take care of the rooms and to get her ass grabbed and you hire a barmaid to serve drinks and to get her ass grabbed and you just sit back and count the money.”
“That sounds pretty good. What do I got to do to get it?”
“Just get me a coach over to Paddock street, and get rid of a couple bodies.”
She laughed “That should be easy, I’m a gravedigger.”
“You were, now you’re an innkeeper. As a bonus two of the dead people had some money you can take and some stuff you can sell if you’re so inclined.”
“Sounds like a deal. My buddy Leffy drives a coach, I’ll go grab him.”
She walked out the door and I was left to wait. It was honestly one of the more excruciating experiences of my life waiting to see if she was going to come back or just walk away with a crazy story to tell her drinking buddies about a talking cat. She left her shovel behind which gave me hope – surely if you’re a gravedigger your shovel is your most prized possession. She wouldn’t leave that behind would she? If the Duke’s wife really wanted to torment me she should have turned me into an animal. I’ve never felt this helpless, I can’t even open a door on my own. A small dog could murder me at any moment. Part of me is swearing that I never want to feel this way again. Another part of me is thinking this would a good thing to do to the Duke if I can figure out how.
It was over an hour before the gravedigger came back, walking with her was a broad-shouldered fellow with dun colored hair and a shirt with a wide collar. He looked more like a blacksmith or a stevedore to me than a coachman – they tend to run on the lean side and this fellow looked strong like a bull. The gravedigger pointed at me and said that I was the cat she was talking about, before the man could say anything I greeted him and he jumped back as if he had been snakebite, which caused his friend to laugh coarsely. She continued chuckling as she moved behind the bar to help herself to another beer.
“Afraid of a little pussy huh, Leffy? I always thought you might be that way the way you and Erac’s cousin carry on!”
Leffy took a few steps backwards towards the door “What are you?”
“I’m her fairy godmother. I gave her this inn for being good.”
I heard the gravedigger laugh again from behind the bar.
Leffy had a look of awe on his face “And you want me to drive you to a house on Paddock street?”
“Yes, someone lost a tooth over there and I need to put a copper under their pillow.”
Hair regrowth progress : NA
Inventory: Animal Totem Tattoo (Lion), Enchanted Tattoo (Storm)
Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane,
Piltis Swine, Rince Electrum, watchman Gridley, White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle the butler, Alice Kinsey , “ Patch”, Heroes of the Lost Sword, Claire Conrad, Erist priest of Strider, Riselda owner of the Sage Mirror, Eedraxis, Skin-Taker tribe, Kartak, Królewna & Bonifacja Trading Company, Hurmont Family, Androni Titus, Greasy dreadlocks woman, Lodestone Security, Kellgale Nickoslander, Beltian Kruin the Splithog Pauper, The King of Spiders, Auraluna Domiel, mother Hurk, Mazzmus Parmalee, Helgan van Tankerstrum, Lightdancer, Bonder Greysmith, Pegwhistle Proudfoot, Lumbfoot Sheepskin, Lumber Consortium of Three Rivers, Hellerhad the Wizard, Forsaken Kin, Law Offices of Office of Glilcus and Stolo, Jey Rora, Colonel Tarl Ciarán, Mayor Baras Haldmeer, Rindol the Sage