“So here I am, watching the bar, and in come that adventuring lot I been telling you about.”
Esteban, the barmaid’s husband, was clearly not listening. He sat in his comfortable chair in the living room of their cozy house. He had man’s work, slaving all day in the mill, while Olga pretended to be important. It’s not like the hag actually brought in any money with her lousy part time employment at The Safe Place. Still, he was wise to keep his mouth shut and let his boar of a wife prattle on.
“‘n normally they’re just fine. Loud, like they’re lot always are, but nothin’ I can’t handle. ‘n so here I am, minding my own business, and this little one starts shouting. Something about some crack quest like they’re always going on about, so I ’idn’t pay much mind. Just keeping to myself, like I do, ’n you know that.”
Esteban, who was still clearly not listening, made no sound save for a noncommittal grunt. Around Olga it was just about the safest noise you could make. Just about the only safe one, really.
“Well it’s just a mo’ before that dirty dwarf starts yelling too. Now that’s the one who keeps- aw, y’ already know, I told y’ about ’im.”
Esteban made no response.
“So now all of them’s yelling. Roit there in me bloody tavern, too! Just roit there! ’ey’s yelling about some scale, some dragon, some nonsuch like they’s always on about. ‘en the one of ’em dumps a whole lot of bags on the table, ’cause y’know what the foit was about, it was about money now wasn’t it? It always gotta be money with they’re types now don’t it?. Well now here I am, about to tell ‘em off, ’cause me customers are getting nervous, y’see, when the dwarf full on punches th’ ‘alfling what started it. A great big whollop, I done hear it from over across the room oi did. ’n so I ain’t gonna- Esteban. Esteban y’ lazy fool, are y’ list’nin to me?”
“Aye, I’m with yeh Olga. Something about the fight, yeh?” Esteban was, in fact, not with her. He was thinking about the mill. A big order came in and they didn’t get half through with it. There was going to be a lot of leftover work to do tomorrow, and he wasn’t none too happy with it.
Meanwhile, Olga ranted away at her captive audience. “So there I am, roit, ‘n but I don’t stop ‘em ’n here’s why. The little ‘alfling what started it is th’ one got punched, ‘n now I ain’t gonna stop ‘at fight. I wanna see th’ little troublemaker get what’s ‘is I do. ’n then he leaps he does, roit over the table there ’n onto the other side. ’n now ’es all yelling at that dwarf again, only I don’t speak any dwarvish so oi idn’t know what it was ‘e was yelling, but I did learn a few of the curses from Margerie over the way – ’n I told yeh ’bout Margerie, idn’t I?”
“Well, I tell yeh, oi never heard such a mouth in all my life. ‘n he’s a loud one too, that ‘alfling. Cursing up a storm ’e is. Only the other’n is yelling at ‘im too don’tcha know, that wizard type I been telling ya about. The one with the guild? Fancy that, a whole new adventure guild, roit there in our little Sanctuary. Now wouldn’t ’at be grand?
“But loik ai was sayin’, the ‘alfling done curse up a storm, ’n he be cursing at every’n too. That dwarf ‘n some goblin ’n then that wizard toiyp. Then the ’alfling stalks off ’e does, ’n as ’e does ’e throws himself a stein at the dwarf. One of me nice steins, too! Well it ’its the wall instead, but the wizard don’t like that one bit, ’n the cheeky bastard makes my tavern dark ’e does! ’e goes ’n turn all the loits out! Pitch black it is!
“‘n well I can’t just be lettin’ that go, not one bit. So y’know what I did, Esteban, y’know what I did?”
“You threw them out?”
“I threw them out, I did. Did a roit fine job of it, too. ‘ey shuffled out all sore like, ’ey did. Mark my words they’ll git a talking to they will. I awlready talked with Jane, ‘n you know Jane. She won’t be having no trouble in her inn she won’t. Not in her Safe Place she won’t. Bless her ‘eart ol’ Jane was furious, she was. Furious she wasn’t in, she was. Oh, be sure those lot will fin’ trouble they will. Git a stern talking to they will, just you wait.”
Esteban very deeply did wish that they’d get a talking to. Goodness knows that Esteban “got a talking to” often enough. It was someone else’s turn. And as for Olga? Esteban grunted. That ought to keep the hag happy.