Rommen had difficulty getting up into the wagon. It took all three of the Voroniths to push and pull the fallen knight into the back. Once Rommen fell into the wagon, one man pulled a string from his coat and made a great pretense of taking the knight’s sleeve length and chest circumference. Another feigned to write numbers with chalk on a piece of parchment.
“And now, we need only measure your son,” Brutuh said. “Where may we find him?”
“My son?” Rommen slumped down on the floor of the wagon. “My son. Dear Creator, my son.” He started sobbing. “I’ve, I’ve,” he struggled to get the words out. “I’ve asked the miller to care for him until I get on my feet again. No, I think he has his own place now. Oh, gods,” he blubbered, not finishing the sentence.
“Sir Ryke? Where did you say we could find him?”
Rommen just continued weeping for a few minutes. He grabbed the bottle of whiskey from a shelf in the wagon and popped the cork, and took a long swig. It burned going down. “I’m sorry, kind sirs,” he slurred. “I don’t know where my boy is.” He laid his head back down on the bed of the wagon and continued to weep.
Brutuh’s anger began to simmer. They weren’t getting anywhere with the drunkard. He fingered the dirk in his belt for a moment, but the barkeep has seen the fallen knight leave with them. He let go of the weapon. A knife to the throat seldom got a drunkard to talk.
Just then, Rommen lifted his head. “My dear wife, Staria, she’s buried in the cemetery. My boy used to go there to visit her sometimes. Every morning at sunrise. One day, as soon as I get back on my feet, I’m going to wait for him there. Get reacquainted with my son.” He started to rise in the bed of the wagon. “Hurry up, good merchants, I’m off to the privy to take a piss. Good day.”
“You aren’t going anywhere,” the fidgety one said. The three men tackled Rommen and gagged him, tying his arms and legs with stout rope. He put up little resistance in his drunken state and soon lay trussed in the wagon as it lumbered away from the tavern and toward the outskirts of Shyne. Stopping at the arched gate leaving the village, the stout man driving the wagon hollered at the guard outside the shack. “Good sir,” Brutuh asked with a grin, “where would we find the village cemetery?”
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