5i (Argentum’s Song – PG)

Walter drained his wooden cup and clanked it loudly on the table getting Martha’s attention. He stared at her and repeated the action with the empty cup two more times before Martha figured out he was expecting her to fill it. She picked up a clay water jug and hurried over.

“We’ve seen and tasted enough. We got a few more questions that needs answering though.”

Walter grabbed Martha’s wrist, nearly causing her to drop the water jug and forcing her to make eye contact with him.

“We’ve seen ya know how to make fancy food. What we need to know is can ya do the basics? Answer now, can ya boil eggs, milk goats, skin a hare, fry taters?”

Martha, confused by the barrage, simply nodded an affirmative to the query.

“Very well, We’ll pay the four weight then. Morale has dropped in the camp since Cookie was turned and the boys need better fodder.”

Walter released Martha’s wrist and turned to Ladin.

“What we really want to know though is, how much is the contract on the boy?”

“Oh, much more than he’d be worth to you I’m afraid. Eight weight is still remaining on that debt.”

Walter whistled slowly.

“It’ll take him a hundred years to pay that off under standard law … how did you ever let him come into so much debt?”

Franklin cut off Ladin’s response with fire in his eyes.

“Lord Franklin the third is my father and he’ll be paying off my contract as soon as we return home.”

An eyebrow nearly as bushy as it’s corresponding moustache raised at that information.

“That true?”

Ladin nodded.

“Unless he has the bad luck of losing his second ship to the same bunch of pirates I fully expect it is.”

“Well … seeing as how folk that can wield a sword well enough to hold off weirs are rarer around here than Argentum, we spose we better snatch him off your hands before you return.”

The blood drained from Franklin’s face and Martha began to put some of the pieces together. Both of the youth started talking at same time.

“Please Ladin, you can’t separate me from my parents.”

“Don’t do this. Father will pay a bonus if you don’t, you know he will.”


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