I always thought a flying fox was some kind of bat. Apparently, I am wrong. Today in the bar, we had a fox. It was dressed in purple clothes and a purple witch’s hat, carrying a, well, I don’t know what it was, some kind of magic wand or staff perhaps, but it looked dangerous. And it was flying. The fox, that is, not the staff. After a short delay in replying, I eventually persuaded it to stop flying because it was making me dizzy. It wanted to know where it was, what to do, where to go and how to do it. At least, I think that’s what it said. Fortunately, the desire for good customer service over-rode the impulse to sarcasm, so I avoided any answers to the third question that might have been considered impolite. Her name was Cadence and she wanted a room. I made the usual offer regarding new-comers, but she did not seem inclined to take it up, preferring instead my suggestion of going fishing or herb-gathering.
The eunuch came in while all this was going on and asked if he might have a word; wanting to know who was whom about Jasper Cove. Cadence offered us some privacy, but when I said that was probably unnecessary for the newcomer’s guide to the flora and fauna of Jasper Cove, she decided to go anyway.
The eunuch bought a bottle of port for us to share, on the lady Meridiana’s account, and asked the usual questions, to which I gave the usual answers. I am beginning to think I should have a card printed – the king is Alec, the queen is Isabella… Aoibheann runs the tavern, I do the accounts, Anna runs the infirmary… I asked what I should call him, suggesting that what Meridiana had called him seemed a little impolite. He told me that had been a cruel joke that had since been punished and that I should call him Third. For somebody who claimed to be a bodyguard, he had a healthy cynicism about his mistress, but I declined to enquire as to the nature of the punishment. After the way she had been eyeing up Bound the previous evening, I wasn’t sure I wanted to know. Some of his questions seemed strange, asking who he should be wary of speaking around. I was at somewhat of a loss on this, for aside from not speaking of certain business things in front of the execrable Mr Niles, I could not think of any reason people would feel the need to guard their speech. I told him that we were a fairly open community and I wasn’t aware of any scheming or plotting going on, but that if there were; I was sure the king would hear of it soon enough. Even as I said it, the thought seemed strange to my own ears. The contrast between this place and the London of Legacies never seemed more acute; with the constant ferment of plots and conspiracies – the various vampire factions, Clan Seid, the fae courts, the Black Rose, all angling for power and influence and business. On the whole, I think I prefer it here.
Gwyn wandered in during this discussion. I welcomed her as the very essence best things in small packages, but she declined the compliment. Sometimes it is really hard to be nice to people. I asked if she would prefer to be address as “Oi, shortarse”, which phrase I remembered being levelled at smaller members of the crew in my sailing days. She said that was more what she was used to, but that she just wasn’t used to dealing with compliments. She broached the idea of the tavern having a pet cat, which seemed like a good idea to me. But I have no idea where we might get one. Perhaps I will suggest it to Alec for the next trade mission. She soon got bored with the discussion Third and I were having and wandered off for a walk. He and I spoke of our leisure activities, and soon the bottle was empty and he disappeared off into the afternoon.