Story for the Day: The Interview: Part 3
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The Interview part 3
Teague ventured up the winding stair and arrived at the entrance of the commons to find the door open and the commander sitting at the table of the main room. She was in the midst of writing her evening correspondences whereupon hearing Teague bounding up the stair, as he made no effort to mask his footfalls, she lay her quill aside and requested Teague’s entrance with the easy spirits and good humour the quiet evening could provide.
“If you’re in want of my company at this time of the day, I daresay you’ve met our visitor from Marridon,” she laughed.
Teague made his bow and presented her with the letter. “I did, commander.”
“Did you steal that from him or did you kindly ask him for it while holding your dagger to his neck?”
“He gave that to Nerri and Connors hoping that they would give it to you.”
“Connors?” the commander scoffed. “The most dutiful and practical man in Frewyn? This reporter fellow has the very worst fortune in the world. Nerri might be pursuable on account of her being a woman, and you know how we must be sympathetic to everyone’s cause.
Teague laughed behind a raised hand.
“Connors, however, is more immovable than my mate. I suppose he seems less so in comparison to Mureadh.”
“He does,” Teague nodded.
The commander took the message from Teague’s hand, and from his half-smirk discerned that its contents promised to be a glorious horror. “Very well,” she said, unfolding the letter. “Let us see what this odious creature has to impart if only to have him removed from our kingdom.”
The letter was opened, and for their dual diversion, the commander repeated the communication aloud: Come to the Diras Bridge at sunrise tomorrow. I will make the venture worth your while.
“He tried to bribe Mureadh,” Teague explained.
“Ah, now I understand why he was expelled from the front gate.” The commander hummed in amusement and tossed the note into the lit hearth, brightening the small fire burning within its auspices. “I know he has not been used to people cooperating with him without incentive, but assuming that everyone is corruptible shall be his demise here. Poor fellow to have chosen Mureadh as a first object.”
Teague could not help but laugh when he considered the frail and fainthearted man standing before his friend’s mighty form and determined countenance. He felt for the poor man, for though he
was using everyone ill, had he appealed to Mureadh’s piteous and charitable side he would have been safe in Marridon by morning.
“What a horrid reporter,” the commander exclaimed laughingly. “Rithea could have taught him many things on the art of eavesdropping, and I daresay he could learn a few things from you about spy work. Intelligence probably does not run in his family as it does in yours. Your father could have been the most devious and designing clothier in the world, slipping messages back to Lucentia with his textile shipments and you could have been his liaison in Gallei.”
Teague’s eyes sparkled, and he was vastly interested in this invented position. “If I had been, I would have been more eager to convey his shipments to the annex every day.”
“Perhaps you were a mere pawn in his machinations and now his sons have unknowingly overtaken his true work.”
“And your father was not really a landlord and a farmer but an agent for King Dorrin somehow?”
The commander gave Teague a knowing smile. “Precisely. At least now with all of this conjecture I’ll have something more interesting to tell this sorry gentleman tomorrow,” she said, remarking the burnt note in the fire.
“You plan to meet with him, commander?”
“I do, and I shall be so horrid to him as to make him cry before sending him home. The Duchess would have no less for the grief he has given us. His tears will furnish her happiness, I am certain. Perhaps I can employ the orphans to empty his pockets with their heartrending faces before he goes. At least they can benefit from the money he offers so freely to others.”
Teague laughed and promised to tell his brother and sister that if they should see a Marridon visitor in the Church when brought for their lessons the following morning, they must do everything in their power to extract the odd paper currency from his pockets. With great amusement to support his walk home, Teague bowed his goodnights and returned to the residential quarter to tell his mate of Frewyn’s strange visitor and to remind Fionnora and Ennan of their duty for the morrow if the opportunity should arise.