Hello, Benjamin from Brother’s Campfire here!
Gather ‘Round and I will spin you a tale.
“Broken arms, jaws, and bruised egos are in the hospital this morning due to an incident outside the Puking Peasant.”
“Intel discovered that Ernest Kenyon put a bounty out on a Brett Hazelcup for embarrassing him at said Inn. My interview of Mr. Hazelcup was prematurely terminated due to his quoting the finer points of La Longi policy in perfect Middle King James.”
There was nothing to detain Mr. Hazelcup for and we have no further information.
A recruit raised his hand at the briefing. It was Oscar Hardish from Northwich. He was bound to fast track as his family had a few notable ties in the La Longi government and he was sharp in his own right.
“Constable Nixon, did he roll paper in his hands nonstop and wear a red neckerchief?”
“That’s the man, Watchman Hardish.”
Constable Nixon nodded and resumed.
“In other reports for the day, We were interviewed by a group of La Longi college students about the sleep patterns of the city watch. I informed them that swings are better than graveyards as it is hard to resist a rest in the middle of the night. That’s all, have a great shift!”
Constable Nixon gathered his notes to place them in record keeping when he was approached by Hardish.
“Sir, Brett Hazelcup is a dead ringer for someone who used to work here. Let’s ask some old-timers if they can remember his name.
Seems there was a watchman here with the same penchant for the rules, a mustache, and rolled paper. I saw him the other day and he was asking around about some bull. ”
“You mean like something ridiculous? “
“Haha! No. He was asking about a specific bull, like livestock. He had this elaborate story, I suppose it was ridiculous about how a bull had been taken from his property in Tolba and it is here in La Longi somewhere. ”
“Nonsense. Tolba is thousands of miles away or something like that. Sounds like an odd one. Tomorrow, let’s go ask around and see if what you are saying is true about being an employee here. I am going to bed.”
As Constable Nixon headed out, he passed Sergeant Blumenthal, a respected member of the Watch who was not present at shift change but must have overheard their conversation.
“You be nice to my father, Constable Nixon. he is odd, but he paid his dues. He worked over two decades training staff, fighting crime, and keeping the department on the straight and narrow.”
“Hmm. Oh, well mystery solved I suppose. I guess that is why he knew policy so well. Sgt. Blumenthal, I know a lot about the watch and there are no retirement placards. Did he..”
Sergeant Blumenthal was livid. “No! If you think he was fired, you are mistaken. He found the administration to be engaging in corruption, people got fired and they gave him a full retirement a few years early so he would just go away. Go away he did, all the way to Tolba. ”
“Sergeant Blumenthal, I didn’t mean to upset you. I am just inquisitive at times.”
“All is well, Nixon. I just miss my dad.”
Constable Nixon headed home.
Brett Blumenthal, who went by Brett Hazelcup, had single-handedly whipped Ernest Kenyon’s goons and schooled him on policy during questioning. As was his way, he mulled it over and over as he walked. Two things thing were certain, this was a touchy subject for Sergeant Blumenthal and there would be a homicide if Mister Blumenthal/ Hazelcup didn’t leave town quickly.
He would look up his file in the archives to learn a bit more behind Sarge’s back.
Nixon facepalmed. Sergeant Blumenthal was married and changed her name. He couldn’t remember what it was prior and was not about to ask.
Ah well. The man was on his own. Brett seemed like he could handle his problems.
Nixon changed his mind about going home and opted for a hole in the wall near the docks. He selected a corner seat complete with old coffee-ringed newspapers and a full ashtray. A woman between the age of grown children and death painted for war came to the table with a pencil and pad.
“Hi, I am Tammy and I will be your server! Can I get you started with a drink?”
Nixon ordered a coffee. Every dive he went to after work had a girl named Tammy or Gigi that acted twenty-something. It was cliche but probably garnered a bit more in tips from the male customers. Nixon tipped to keep the coffee cup full.
She was coming back fluttering like a moth to a candle and Nixon was surprised she didn’t spill any coffee with her antics. He thought of telling her to just act her age but bridled his tongue.
“Here’s your coffee honey,” she chimed.
She wasn’t flirting.
She was visibly shaken. “I need help.” She whispered.
Her eyes darted back and forth then she looked directly, her eyes pleading.
“Something is in the mop closet. Will you check for me? “
Nixon rolled his eyes. The ole check the closet routine was a good way to get robbed, framed, blackmailed, or all three. No way was he falling for it.
“Nope. Just here for coffee.”
Standing up, he took a giant swig of coffee and placed a handful of coins on the table. The beverage scalded and burned his tongue a little.
Nixon was frustrated. He wanted to read those newspapers and she was scamming.
I know you have heard it all before. There is something in the closet and it is scratching on the door! “
Nixon winced. Then he chuckled. “Nice poetry, but I gotta go.”
Then he heard it. There was scratching on the closet door accompanied by a low growl.
The constable reached for his nightstick.
“Tammy or whatever your name is, step outside.”