Brash Young Fools
Last night, I was asked to leave a party in Grimburg for allegedly outstaying my welcome. In truth it was a matter of mistaken identity, but a gentleman knows it is not considered couth to argue, especially when one’s interlocutor is flanked by large men with clubs. It being too late to make alternative arrangements, I agreed to accept the hospitality of the local constabulary.
I was horrified to discover that they had only shared accommodation to offer – had I known I would have been more reluctant to accept – but my fellow guest assured me he was a man of solid merchant stock, which offered some hope of halfway decent manners. My new acquaintance, fellow by the name of Karl, claimed to have been falsely accused of cheating at cards. Having been the victim of similar false accusations in the past I felt a keen empathy with the man, although given that he subsequently beat me at a hand I must admit to having some suspicions as to his honesty.
We were briefly subjected to the mad ramblings of another guest, a more venerable gentleman who seemed to have rather let himself go. He mumbled, and in his mumbling mentioned the Aschaffenberg family in connection with a large sum in gold and gems. Naturally I took a keen interest in his comments having been only recently a guest at the engagement of Rickard Aschaffenberg to Ludmilla von Bruner, and it gladdened me to hear that my peers were doing well. The fellow was sadly beyond questioning, and out of concern for his wellbeing (least someone less well-bred than me mistake his mention of gold for the suggestion that he carried information as to its whereabouts on his person and assault him for them) I instructed Karl to search the man. He protested in a most uppity manner, suggesting that I search the man myself, and I agreed, out of politeness, to play him at a hand of cards to resolve the matter, the outcome of which I have already noted. Alas, the man carried no such information.
Barely had he been taken from us by our hosts on the grounds that he needed medical attention, than a new figure entered upon the stage apparently looking for his friend who had only just departed. This Boris immediately displayed remarkable ill manners by causing no small amount of damage to the rear wall of our temporary abode through the use of a team of horse, allowing the strong breeze and inclement weather to ruin any hope I had of a decent night’s sleep. Facing no alternative, Karl and I agreed to exchange the poor shelter of our shared room for the warmth of a carriage and accompany Boris in search of his friend. (NB: Neither Karl nor Boris understands the privileges due to my rank – I must find me a servant who does).
Upon discovering that the surgeon was not immediately available for consultation, Boris resolved to wait inside for his return while Karl and I remained in the coach. The surgeon caused some fuss when he did return to find an unscheduled appointment – as if he had anything better to do at three o’clock in the morning – and I was forced to intervene. It must be said that Boris was a little rougher than was strictly necessary, but I believe this may be a result of discovering that his friend was dead, his throat slit. I busied myself extending my education in matters medical while Boris continued his chat with the surgeon until two of the local constabulary appeared in response, I assume, to complaints about the noise.
When they suggested that I return to spend the rest of the night in their hospitality I objected and, in the face of violent opposition, made to take the matter outside. I proceeded to the alleyway adjacent to the building so as to avoid causing too much of a public disturbance and, having reached a point where the wet cobbles made further progress treacherous, called the man out. Karl and Boris, out of concern for my welfare and being unfamiliar with my skills as a swordsman, intervened before I had the chance to make my point to the constable, and Boris took the man inside to join his colleague and explained matters to them in a manner they more readily understood.
The two men, in recognition of their error, supplied us with funds that we might spend the rest of the evening in celebration and drink to their health, but having grown bored of the climate in Grimburg, Karl, Boris and I elected to travel elsewhere with all due haste before commencing our libations.
I fear I may have eaten something rotten last night. My head is pounding and my stomach protests at the merest thought of food. Who are these two ruffians with me and why don’t they have the sense to stop this infernal coach and find me something for the pain?