A Reasonable Compromise


  “Andreste’s breath do you take us for fools?” Marian barked, slamming her fist on the table so hard that the mead in her flask jumped out and wet the wood beneath. Bethany, always the silent advocate, tried her best to suppress a smile.

  “No!” assured Wallace, “no, it’s just-”

  “Just what?” Marian asked, louder now. The other patrons of The Hanged Man turned to watch the confrontation, “too rich for your taste? Because it certainly wasn’t two weeks ago when you sent us a-searching”

  “Well,” began Wallace, keenly aware that all eyes were now on him, and that all ears may very well hear his business if Marian were to loose it. “Look, Hawke, I’m sure we can arrange something,”, and then, under his breath, “please.”

  “You want it bad enough,” Hawke said, leaning back in her chair and lowering her voice to a reasonable level again, “you’ll pay what we agreed on. You don’t order something from Ferelden and then try to haggle with us when we have the blasted stock. If you think it’s deadweight to us you’re sorely mistaken. Plenty of folk’ll pay for such an… interesting item. Maybe more for the information that you were the intended buyer.”

  Wallace was obviously used to getting his own way. Marian could tell by the unsatisfied look in his eye, the way he played with his fork as if it were a weapon with which to strike her down, the intensity behind every feature as he searched for a solution that may appease him some. But it was to no avail.

  “Fine,” he said, “fine. I suppose that’s fair.”

  “Know what?” Hawke said absently, “I changed my mind. It’s ten percent dearer, now.”

  “What?” roared Wallce, barely able to keep himself seated, “Maker fade you!”

  “I just plain don’t like you, Wallace. You’re a slug. You’d have swindled us if we’d been the gutless women you took us for. Think that’s fair, Beth?”

  Wallace looked at Bethany now, suspended rage bubbling beneath the surface.

  “No,” Bethany said, a little meekly. Wallace grinned and turned back to Marian. “No,” Bethany continued, “I think slugs pay an extra twenty, don’t they, sis?”

  Wallace erupted.


~ by Joseph Blame on May 30, 2011.

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