Poisoner Arsonist Rogue Whore?

A quiet evening, as evenings go, in the tavern last night.  Emanuel came in for a while.  I had not seen him for some time, and it seems he has had things to deal with.  I offered help if there was anything I could do, but did not press him further on his troubles.  I did think to mention, discreetly, that I knew his nature, but couldn’t really find an easy way to do so.  I am not sure whether he would be happier for knowing that I knew or not.  I know I have felt better since telling Gwyn, but maybe that is just me.

I made him a pork sandwich, there not being much left in the kitchen, but he would only have water to drink, claiming that he had enough troubles without adding alcohol to them. He asked how things had been in the Cove lately, confirming my suspicion that he had not been around. I gave him a brief update.  He asked about Riley, who I haven’t seen in a while, and we spoke a little about Wren and her “cinnamon” trick, which led on to the subject of children not liking to learn maths.

Aoibheann walked in at this point, looking a little more dishevelled than is normal for her, muttering something about maths.  At least, part of what she said was about maths.  The rest, so far as I could tell, was in Gaelic.  She sat down and asked something else in Gaelic, seemingly unaware that she was speaking it.  I responded by telling her the time, my usual joking response to anything I didn’t understand.  Emanuel suggested that maybe she had asked about the bar.  I told her the bar was fine and commented to Emanuel that I had always wanted to learn Gaelic, to see what some of the legends I loved to read sounded like in the original.

Aoibheann seemed to snap back into normal mode by now.  She told me that Gwyn was likely to be back around for a while and asked about something that Mitternacht had said she had left for her.  I gave her the coin and we talked a little more.  Emanuel left soon after and it was just Aoibheann and I for a while.  She seemed inclined to stay the customer side of the bar and asked for a brandy.  I found the best one on the shelves, which was hardly the finest brandy around, but perfectly acceptable.  I poured her a measure and promised that one day I would let her try some of my special reserve.

She somewhat confused me then, claiming that she was too uneducated for such things, and that somebody like Brigitte would perhaps be better equipped to appreciate it.  I forbore to comment on the things Brigitte appreciates, thinking it would take too much explanation, and instead tried to teach her the basics of appreciating something like a fine brandy.  She did try, but I suspect her senses are somewhat dulled, since she claimed not to be able to smell very much.

What was more interesting was her apparent belief that I should act more like a noble.  She had asked if this was how nobles drank at their parties.  I assured her that I was no noble, trying to explain that just because I am now a Lord in these parts, because of my business arrangement, didn’t mean I had to change.  I asked how I should act, adding that if I started acting like Niles, she should strike me down immediately.  She suggested being more like Brigitte, forcing me again to bite my tongue, wondering what Aoibheann would think if I started inviting young ladies to accompany me to the bath house.

 

Her concern, it would appear, was over reputation, and how it reflects on the people and the establishment.  I thought I was in for another lecture about my “loose morals”, but it turned out that it was her own reputation that concerned her.  Poisoner, arsonist, rogue, whore, were apparently some of the names she has been called, at least, in rumour.  For a moment, I was reminded of the old cherry-stone counting games – tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor etc.  The first two, I could understand, after the incident with the nightshade berries and the one time she had a bit of a fire in the kitchen, but the last two, especially the idea of her being a whore were just ludicrous. I told her I had not heard such things said about her, promising that I would have ripped out the person’s tongue for saying so.  She seemed to prefer the option of stuffing their mouths with rats, which echoed an earlier conversation I had had with her.  I did not get to pursue the matter as she decided that she would rather clean up in the kitchen, so I left her to it.

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