A Hat Half Full

A Hat Half Full

Postby Tolleson » Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:08 pm

His uniform was tight, his gut pinched in rolls and threatened to escape by exploding clothing each time he sat. Even though he reclined, stationary at his post, where his shift must have begun years prior, each breath wheezed asthmatically. And he continued to wheeze without words as Tennant spoke to him, or at him, from his cell across the room. From the dark, dank and reeking of rot cell they had put him in for holding and from where he had been talking to every guard on shift incessantly for days on end.

"Is this land some barbarous place where a man is given no trial, is there no jurisprudence here?" The guard would not reply. "I have been to such places... I met a man once who had been in the stocks so long he neck had grown to twice its height. You know," he seemed to pause, recalling quite readily the wheezy guard had not offered up his name so readily, as others before him had eventually conceded to do. "...In civilized lands to be imprisoned without cause or reason is injustice. I know you are a man of morals," but he didn't know, not the man or his name.

Glenn Burnie's guards had not been overly vicious, but it had been over a week now and the bruises were still healing. Scrapes from the fray had vanished into barely noticeable scars, the flesh stretched tight and smooth over the once broken skin. Tennant picked at them which did not help, picked at scabs and talked at guards. "Your Mr. Burnie, does he lock up innocent men often?" Either he was just making conversation or hoping for a reaction, neither came from Wheezy.
User avatar
Tolleson
Member
 
Posts: 651
Joined: Mon May 31, 2004 4:00 am
Location: Arizona

Postby Treadwell » Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:53 pm

More wheezy, huffy breathing echoes as heavy, lumbering feet plod up the hall to the cells. Enter one Councilor Treadwell, wearing a burgundy velvet suit and top hat perhaps a size or two too small; it seems the guard there isn't the only one near exploding from his clothes. His answer to what was likely a rhetorical question comes with a warbly yawn and a simple statement.

"He does not."

Thump of cane to floor and whuff of pipe smoke outward signals his stop of Aloisius Horatio Treadwell, fresh from collecting another round of tax money.

"However, good lad, mmph mmph, what proof, what hope have you of innocence when the man you took captive stands before you as both accuser and witness, as victim, hmm hmm, and as victor?"

Treadwell waggles his cane about lightly, its tip dancing merrily, hovering mere inches from the seated guard's gut.

"Now, sir, I think you ought to come clean on the whole messy business. What, by Tubbius's fat gut, did you ever hope to accomplish by kidnapping me, stealing a month's worth of taxes, and horridly upsetting the Wood and the good folks in it? Hmm hmm?"
"Looks like a table to me. Do you think it could hold up someone as bulbous as Treadwell?" -- Dr. Brennan, Myrken Wood Rememdium Edificium
User avatar
Treadwell
Member
 
Posts: 2080
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2003 5:00 am
Location: NC, USA

Postby Glenn » Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:36 pm

Thump? No, Burnie much preferred a tap. A Tap, Tap, Tap of the Treadwellian cane that helped him with his limp. And it wouldn't have been the same sound anyway. The cane had been modified, changed. A silver tip was at the very end, the perfect deterrent to Kacelas everywhere. Perhaps he had seen Treadwell heading towards he cells. Perhaps, given the slow rate of movement for the old Councilor, Burnie had simply been informed and made it there in time.

Still, it was good enough so far. To have Treadwell vouch for you was to have six or seven men do so, on sheer mass and age alone. The smile upon his face was perhaps both more amused and more bemused than usual as he watched from the shadows. Victor indeed. He had intended to have Rhaena with him when he finally spoke to Tennant, and perhaps, at some point soon, he would, but for now, he would be joining a very different (and far less fetching) partner in interrogation. There'd be a wave of his cane. "Oh, don't mind me. You're doing fine, Aloisius. Carry on." Perhaps he could use his old stage voice a bit, let the sound carry a bit further.
Glenn
Co-Founder
 
Posts: 2599
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:00 am

Postby Treadwell » Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:57 pm

"Ahrumph! Mister Burnie! Come to visit, hmm hmm?" Aloisius Horatio Treadwell flubberingly, flusteringly shakes in place, startled into something that might resemble a brief ruffling of invisible feathers. He slumps against the nearest wall at that shuddering, then shakes his head. "I'd rather have some company in this, mmph mmph."

The Councilor chuckles, though, and flooflaps a handkerchief free of his coat to mop at his face. He's already starting to sweat with the closeness of everything and everyone and with his toddled journey here.

"Now, lad, mmph mmph, back to you, there, in the cell! What have you to say for yourself, eh? Be straight and come clean of it all. I've no love for being a dreadful, mighty, rolling wave of fat and fury, ahem, so. . . now, have you a proper answer, hmm hmm?"

Beady eyes settle on Tennant (a most unique tenant of a special lodging indeed!) behind those blank, thick, glassy circles of spectacles on his face.

"I'm really rather exhausted, lad, and I tire more from waiting. Go on!"
"Looks like a table to me. Do you think it could hold up someone as bulbous as Treadwell?" -- Dr. Brennan, Myrken Wood Rememdium Edificium
User avatar
Treadwell
Member
 
Posts: 2080
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2003 5:00 am
Location: NC, USA

Postby Tolleson » Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:28 pm

Wheezy the guard looked a bit more attentive now that some official looking folks arrived. Tennant on the other hand did little more than straighten his dirtied vest and run fingers through his rather long and brilliant red hair. He gives a polite bow of his head, in greeting, to the plump councilman and Burnie.

"Come clean," he sets about pacing idly, "Does your law allow you to incarcerate a man upon a child's words and a likeness. I have committed crimes, to be sure," he stepped back with measured care, addressing his judge and jury. "But of these I can assure you, I am not guilty." Long winded as he had been with every guard, passerby, or fellow inmate, he continued - much to the dismay of Wheezy. "However I will prove this I am uncertain, but I have not the money you claim I took, the wood seems horribly upset regardless of my presence," the lake was hard to miss after all. "And as for being taken captive? Ahveri," there was a small shake of his head, "my lovely assistant, nearly died to give you cover my fat friend, ...Mr.?"
User avatar
Tolleson
Member
 
Posts: 651
Joined: Mon May 31, 2004 4:00 am
Location: Arizona

Postby Treadwell » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:49 pm

"Of course you don't have the blooming money, lad, mmph mmph! We recovered that much! And--!"

Aloisius blinks a few times, his thunderous outburst of his shrill and elderly voice coming to a sudden stop. It seems he's just been choked up on a bit of his pipe smoke, which sets him to wheezing harder and coughing with enough force to leave him even ruddier and more flustered than usual.

"Begging your pardon," he resumes once he has enough breath to do so, "but you're saying you don't know a thing about who I even bloody well am?"

The tubby councilman looks back at Glenn Burnie, puzzled at this revelation, and then turns back to the man in the cell. His hands go to his belly, fat fingers still a-flutter as they land there on that cushiony girth, and he tucks his cane under his left arm.

"Treadwell. Aloisius Horatio Treadwell, Councilor of Administrative Sanctions of Myrken Wood. I collect the taxes, mmph mmph, I tally them up, and, barring, ahem, unforeseen nastiness involving being drugged and taken prisoner for several weeks, in which time, mmph mmph, I had to stave off being most horribly ill, I usually don't have to bother myself with folks not remembering who I am! By Tubbius's endless roots, mmph mmph, I'm quite normally known at a glance even by newcomers, hmm hmm! This sort of thing happens when you're the fattest, and arguably one of the wealthiest, men in a town!"

Treadwell narrows his beady little eyes at the fellow before him, taking up his handkerchief again from his pocket to rub at the sweat beginning to layer his jowls and brow.

"It sounds to me, hmm hmm, like you're trying to say there's an imposter in the mix somewhere--a likely story! Mister Burnie, mmph mmph, I reckon we need ourselves a good mind reader, hmm hmm, if we're to learn a thing or two about this chap's story."

He pauses, staring wearily into the tiny room not much bigger than the cave he'd spent weeks in with the flu.

"Hmph. You look like the right chap to me, at least, but if there's one thing I've experience with, hmm hmm, it's what it's like to be knocked over the head and taken captive against my will and impersonated without folks knowing the difference. Besides, it's dark in here, and I don't see colors right, anyway. Hmph. Mister Burnie? Do something with all of this!"

With that, Aloisius turns to the side, waving Glenn toward the cell. His eyes fall on Wheezy.

"Up, up, up, my good man. I'm about near tuckered out from this lunacy, hmm hmm, and I'd much rather love to have your chair for a bit!"
"Looks like a table to me. Do you think it could hold up someone as bulbous as Treadwell?" -- Dr. Brennan, Myrken Wood Rememdium Edificium
User avatar
Treadwell
Member
 
Posts: 2080
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2003 5:00 am
Location: NC, USA

Postby Glenn » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:14 am

It's not that this wasn't important. The lost money, had it stayed lost, was deadly important. Treadwell, being an amazingly effective tax collector, and far more than that, a symbol that everything was on the up and up, was very important. The other thefts around town and the potential damage they might have had to the Constabulary's reputation? That was important too.

Still, there were layers of importance and given some of the things Burnie has had to deal with as of late, well, the worst of this was over. Now it was the careful balancing act of getting something useful out of Tennant and keeping Treadwell happy. For now, the latter was more pressing. The thief wasn't going anywhere.

Still, it was terribly hard for Burnie to keep from laughing a maniacal, inhuman laugh at the scene. He was literally biting down upon his lip. "A girl? I would think that we would hold the sworn testimony of a valued government employee very highly, don't you think, Aloisius?" Then, almost as an afterthought, he added. "Do ask him about the hat while you're questioning him. It's good to get in the head of men like him. He's made it into a symbol." Burnie lifted up his own walking stick, waving the large man on.
Glenn
Co-Founder
 
Posts: 2599
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:00 am

Postby Tolleson » Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:33 am

"The name sounds familiar, but as you may know from Genny," a cursory, but pleasant glance was given to Glenn as he had seen enough to know the two were well acquainted. "I am not from around here."

Still he shrugged, "If it is as you say, I can see why you were a target, though I imagine its entirely my pleasure alone to make the acquaintance." He'd stop his idle walk and set his thumb and forefinger to his lip in thought, his hands were tall like him, long, lithe, spidery fingers.

He'd near the bars and set one hand solidly on the cool metal, the other through with an open gesture towards Treadwell, almost pointing, with a great deal of interest, "Dream Flower I'd wager and likely win... at least its side effects are pleasant dreams. I promise it was perfectly distilled, the syrup was not likely what made you ill," He grins a little but only just as he shrugs apologetically.

"I may have drugged you, but I did not meet you until the night we -saved- you from that cave." With that he'd release the bar and retract his hand, his arms crossing over his chest as he watched the two interact.

A sturdy thing, the wooden chair still gave a creaking sigh as Wheezy stood, huffing, puffing, and coughing he stood. Jiggling jowls puffed out and stretched in as he nodded obediently, no neck to be seen. The switch was some manner of ordeal, followed by a long pause as Burnie concluded with his rather astute observation

"Well put," he addressed Glenn politely, knowing he'd be better for it. He had been in disguise when he'd saved Treadwell, his red hair had been brown thanks to the elf girl who had tried to extend her spell to the tubby councilor. But it was no surprise to her or anyone else that may have witnessed the attempt that there was just too much Treadwell to disguise.

Though his hair had been brown, his face older, his stature stouter. Somehow he had already forgotten they'd been disguised. But why would the real Hat need a disguise in his own camp?
User avatar
Tolleson
Member
 
Posts: 651
Joined: Mon May 31, 2004 4:00 am
Location: Arizona

Postby Treadwell » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:12 pm

Aloisius settles into the chair now unoccupied by the Wheezy fellow, taking the other fat fellow's seat for the time being and rubbing his aching, throbbing knees.

"I'm a tax collector, a politician, a toymaker, and a priest, hmm hmm, but I'm hardly an apothecary or druggist, lad! Something put me under quite well for some time, hmm hmm, with repeated dosings to keep me sedate and sleepy for most of my time there!"

He pauses, watching Glenn switch his cane in his direction. "I just got seated, mmph mmph. I'm hardly leaving yet! Now, Mister Tricky Hat fellow, hmm hmm, if you're not the chap leading the band who took me captive, mmph mmph, do explain who was and where he might be today!"

Then, to Wheezy, a gentle frown and a puff of smoke. "Go on, chap. Go grab yourself another seat, will you?"
"Looks like a table to me. Do you think it could hold up someone as bulbous as Treadwell?" -- Dr. Brennan, Myrken Wood Rememdium Edificium
User avatar
Treadwell
Member
 
Posts: 2080
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2003 5:00 am
Location: NC, USA

Postby Glenn » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:27 pm

"No chair for me." Burnie said first and foremost to Wheezy as if it was an afterthought that the man would be getting him one due to his stature. He was the one who needed a cane, who had that mangled walk, but no, no chair for Burnie. He listened to Treadwell miss the point. Obviously he'd have to be even less subtle.

Or maybe he could just bypass it. "Aloisius, did you know that Genny brought him in herself, her own brother, and there was nothing but shame and disappointment in her eyes, and not a word for his defense. She didn't believe for a moment that he was anything but guilty. Does Genny seem the sort to act out of spite or to protect her own reputation, Councilor? Does she strike you as a heartless little minx of a social climber? With her stammer and her well-meaning heart? Not one word for her own brother's defense? Whatever our friend here has to say best be very good indeed, because that is the sort of cause and reason I consider quite weighty indeed."
Glenn
Co-Founder
 
Posts: 2599
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:00 am

Postby Treadwell » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:48 pm

"I hadn't the idea. Do remember, Mister Burnie, that when he was put in a cell, I was snoozing quite soundly in the hospital, mmph mmph."

Treadwell wriggles where he sits, mopping more sweat from his jiggly face.

"Well, Mister Hat, the burden of proof is upon you. I reckon you should do something about that!"
"Looks like a table to me. Do you think it could hold up someone as bulbous as Treadwell?" -- Dr. Brennan, Myrken Wood Rememdium Edificium
User avatar
Treadwell
Member
 
Posts: 2080
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2003 5:00 am
Location: NC, USA

Postby Tolleson » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:04 pm

The huffing and puffing guard turned slowly and was off fetching a chair for himself, though likely he'd be gone a good while if his resting heart rate were any indication of his state in motion.

"She. The Hat is a woman," Tennant corrected Treadwell very matter-of-factly, gesturing to his head which was not so surprisingly devoid of a hat; though the guards would have taken it, none had been confiscated. Not that he had any proof for it, his word and the fact that he had helped Treadwell escape, fought off the thieves from the camp and came freely to town were all to be said in his favor.

"I suspect you would not believe the truth, even if you had the brunt of it all." Again he shrugged, watching Burnie as he stood - two men, two canes, and one with a far more intriguing agenda. There was no point fighting him on it. And so he would follow along, for now.

"Perhaps a little more spite that you give her credit for. Though, perhaps well deserved," his hands lifted helplessly and again he neared the bars, clasping with both hands this time. "... Ask my lovely sister yourself, see if I gave her any trouble knowing well enough her intent to turn me in." After all, the guilty ran and the innocent had nothing to hide, right?
User avatar
Tolleson
Member
 
Posts: 651
Joined: Mon May 31, 2004 4:00 am
Location: Arizona

Postby Treadwell » Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:27 pm

"So, sir, the man you say we should be looking for, mmph mmph, doesn't even have man-parts at all, hmm hmm? That's a rather funny sort of predicament, yes yes! Now, I suppose she would fit the description of, 'You, plus breasts?'" Treadwell bursts into merry hoohaws of laughter at this, but only briefly; the sudden jolly outburst leaves him blowing and huffing and thumping a fat fist to his own breasts as he tries to reclaim his breath. His pipe is reduced to mere sputtering of gray mist at the moment.

"I still think we ought to find us a mind reader," is about all he can feebly manage amid hacking and fighting for air. "Zilliah, perhaps?"

Then, Aloisius Treadwell falls quiet, or as quiet as his blustery behemoth self can manage right now, as he sweatily and exhaustedly struggles where he sits.
"Looks like a table to me. Do you think it could hold up someone as bulbous as Treadwell?" -- Dr. Brennan, Myrken Wood Rememdium Edificium
User avatar
Treadwell
Member
 
Posts: 2080
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2003 5:00 am
Location: NC, USA

Postby Glenn » Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:33 am

"Treadwell." Burnie's voice was suddenly a little labored. He didn't just say that? Did he? Truly? There was no groan. The smile didn't fade, but perhaps he stepped back into the shadows just a little. "Think about that for a moment. Him. Plus. Breasts. You just basically defined Genny." He let THAT hang out there for a moment. "And no Aloisius. I understand your personal affront in this situation, but we're not going to use mind-readers on every criminal we catch." Though perhaps, there was a quiver in his voice as he said that. Perhaps there was a "yet" missing there. Between Vanidor suggesting he becomes governor and Treadwell suggesting that he violate the minds of anyone that he damn well please, it's not exactly as if the Councilors were being much help in keeping him on the straight and narrow.

"Tell you what.." Now he was looking to Tennant, perfectly ignoring that last, pointless argument. "How about you make your statement, the brunt, to the Councilor, everything you know about Tricky Hat, and then we'll see. You'd be positively amazed at what I can believe."
Glenn
Co-Founder
 
Posts: 2599
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 4:00 am

Postby Tolleson » Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:53 am

Treadwell, perhaps because he was so short winded, was oddly close-minded for someone so acclimated to extraordinary events. At the mention of mind reading Tennant's hands released the bars and he retreated. Though it would be difficult to say whether the words and actions were correlated, as his expression remained unchanged and he took to the rotting bench.

"Mind readers... Even among Thessilanean prisoners that is rare." A slight pull at the corners of his mouth suggested amusement more than fear, as if it would be an honor. That comparison would surely be an insult within these walls.

Their conclusion regarding Genny had him grinning and none too slight.

"The truth... may put me in more trouble than the lie. I'm not dead yet and surely I can be of use," his grin dashed away as he spoke more earnestly. A tone neither of them had likely heard out of this man before.

"You should not be so distressed Mr. Burnie, my sister, I am certain has many alibis," not to mention a distinct lack of skill in being nimble, quiet, or sly. It was slight, but defense none the less.

And the brunt, yes, best get to that too. Treadwell was likely to gasp and groan until he had it out. "Of The Hat," his tone was almost mocking and sarcastic. "Gods know what her real name is or was," there is a hint of a happy memory as a slight smile spread over his lips. "A pirate if you inlanders can believe as much, quick, whip smart, insatiable, fantastic in bed," he shook his head, realizing he was getting off topic here.

"Its not just her face," the lighthearted smile of a moment earlier fled, his tone much more perplexed, more serious. "She was... is whoever she likes, changes," he was having a difficult time describing the magic or process of a woman with shifting powers. "Surely to scorn me. Perhaps she did not anticipate the disdain Genny has for me or just how clever my dear sister is." To this, at least, his mood elevated.
User avatar
Tolleson
Member
 
Posts: 651
Joined: Mon May 31, 2004 4:00 am
Location: Arizona

Next

Return to Barracks / Gaol



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest