A Hat Half Full

Postby Treadwell » Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:05 am

The Councilor being told to sit there in attendance does just that, staying sullen, sulky, short-winded, and soured. He can't manage a good mouthful of words, yet, nor will he be able to for a few moments more as he takes to mopping an already drenched handkerchief around and up and down his face and hands.

Ahhh, how he longs to be back home where he oversaw the town council and could simply make such necessary demands of it as getting in a blasted mind reader or mystic when needed! Not that he did such that often back in Westenford. . . only once or twice. . . . Usually it was a simple matter of a vote to determine innocence or guilt from those extraordinarily like-aged, like-minded, like-bodied fellows most of the town snidely called "The Bellies" but officially answered to the Parliamentary Ruling Council of Westenford.

So, waiting, reminiscing dreamily enough, and finally shufflingly, quiveringly coming back to the present moment, Treadwell listens until he finally, gruffly sums up the prisoner's words with "A shape changer. Mmph mmph."

Thus, he hushes again, taking deeper pulls from his pipe and slumping 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
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Postby Glenn » Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:33 am

"A shape-changer." And at this Burnie can barely contain that laughter. He manages, really, for everyone's sake, but his lips do twitch a little. "A shape-changing PIRATE at that. Here, in Myrken. Well you've more of an imagination than your sister, I'll say that. Why I just mentioned.." No, her response to his little revelation about Catch wasn't important. "No matter what I mentioned. Suffice to say I was never worried about Genny. In that situation, it would have been your word against hers, after all."

Finally, he'd walk out of the shadow, the ever-present smile beaming at the caged man. "Be of use? What say you, then. There's only one logical choice, I'd say?" Something was entering Burnie's voice now, some unpleasant untertone. "I put you in Councilor Treadwell's PERSONAL custody and the two of you work together, pooling your efforts, his singular knowledge of the stage and impersonations and years of experience and you're own..unique ability to sleep with magical pirates and whatever else it is you do..." Now his voice was taking on a higher pitch, simulating some excitement. "... and the two of you will bring this harlot to justice, clearing your name!"

Suddenly, without the least bit of warning, Burnie slammed the metal tip of his staff against the metal of the nearest iron bars, creating a loud clank that would certainly startle poor Wheezy if he hadn't been paying attention. When he spoke again, his voice was low, dangerous. "No, I don't think we'll be doing that. Yet, we do have certain luxuries. The money is returned. Beloved Aloisius is returned to us, whole and hale. Genny's been well rewarded. Let's humor your imagination a bit while you enjoy our fine hospitality. Give us something to work with and I'll send some people to look into this matter."
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Postby Treadwell » Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:29 pm

"Good merciful heavens!" squeaks out, shrill and piercing, as Glenn's cane meets the bar. Wheezy might not be particularly shaken, but Aloisius is, and that is enough for the burgundy-suited old man! "Beloved Aloisius won't be hale and hearty long, mmph mmph, if you about make his heart fail him too often, Mister Burnie!"

"Hmph. 'Singular knowledge of the stage,'" he adds after taking time to get his breath and let his heart stop fluttering as much, "I was an actor for but a short while, sir; a stage gave out under me years ago, dropping me out of that career and into politics! But, ahem ahem, we can do something about all of this, yes yes, I should think?"

With that said, Treadwell fishes out a flask of ale from within his pocket, taking time to gulp away at its contents.
"Looks like a table to me. Do you think it could hold up someone as bulbous as Treadwell?" -- Dr. Brennan, Myrken Wood Rememdium Edificium
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Postby Tolleson » Sat Sep 17, 2011 4:55 am

Work for Treadwell, what a dreadful thought. An accidental fall, a mistake, or Gods know something as simple as walking next to the rotund man could prove hazardous to one's health.

To their disbelief he can only, once again, shrug. Capitulating to the fact that his story was what it was, he'd stick too it, regardless of how unbelievable it seemed. However, the gesture is interrupted as Burnie steps from the shadows, holding Tennant's attention, even more so as he clangs the bar and demands it. Wincing at the sudden, raucous ringing he looks to the man with some surprise and annoyance.

"As you like..." His tone was tentative, he certainly didn't like the option, but anything was better than another week in this stink hole let alone the gallows, should they truly feel vicious.


"Something to go on," Burnie was one to be watched, creeping from the shadows, offering amnisty in some respect. Certainly the more political and strategic among his company. But it wasn't to Glenn that Tennant looked as he replied, it was to the tubby Aloisius.

"She is after a book... one my sister must have hidden," he stood again, setting his hands out to the bars as if that would somehow quell the reverberating clang to return peace to the silence. Nearest now to Glenn, bars and cane between them.

"Let me free, I will stay to be of service," to whomever, "...And I will tell you all that is within my power to tell". A strange phrasing but a plea and an offer all the same.
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Postby Glenn » Sat Sep 17, 2011 5:39 am

"Well, then.." Burnie raised the walking stick again and pointed it at the imprisoned man, tapping it against the cage slowly, making a ringing noise, but one that wasn't nearly as startling as it could be. "Does Genny know the significance of this book? Did she hide it on purpose?" He gave no sign at all of any emotion. These were just questions. "If so, does she know more about this entire situation than she's let on? Is that what you're telling me?"

"And..." Continuing his tapping, he turned his head to Treadwell, pointing a finger from his other hand. The staff was within Tennant's reach as if Burnie was just DARING him to make a grab for it as he tapped. "Councilor, I thank you for your presence here. You have been a large, rotund help, as always. Given your startle a moment ago, perhaps it is time for you to retire. I can assure you that we will move forward in a manner that will ensure the safety of both your august presence and Myrken itself, and that you will be kept informed at each and every point."

As for Tennant's ultimatum? Well that was ignored for the insane little outburst that it was.
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Postby Treadwell » Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:33 pm

A large, rotund help, as always. Aloisius Treadwell snorts and huffs his way to his feet, a hand going to scratch at what it can reach of his lower back and side. He gives the others a nod and an mmph, and then he makes for the exit, pausing only to give good Wheezy a pat-pat on the arm and to invite him to the house this coming Sunday for supper. Why? Why not? It seemed the man could appreciate a good meal, and Aloisius did want to pay him back for letting him use the man's chair!

"Bring your family, mmph mmph!" is the last Aloisius mentions to the guard as he plods out of the jail.
"Looks like a table to me. Do you think it could hold up someone as bulbous as Treadwell?" -- Dr. Brennan, Myrken Wood Rememdium Edificium
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Postby Tolleson » Sat Sep 17, 2011 4:15 pm

"Its just a book," he sounded at least half convinced.

"I do know she doesn't have it, at least no where in the room of hers," his voice bespoke disdain for the Dagger. It was a rather seedy joint, the kind of establishment any caring brother would be appalled to learn their sister had stayed at. But the reply didn't answer any questions, neither those about the actual article or Genny's knowledge.

The fat guard and Treadwell spoke a moment, leaving him free to grab at the cane. Mostly it was an attempt to keep it from jabbing into him. As for something Genny wasn't saying. How was he to know what she had or hadn't said. Was he serious? His voice was quieter but reflected his disbelief. "She cut her hair to look like me, the face of a criminal," he was careful not to say he actually was one. Surely some thought of their likeness has crossed this man's mind, though Tennant would believe it if somehow Treadwell had managed to overlook such a curious circumstance.
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Postby Glenn » Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:40 am

"Councilor." Burnie nodded his head politely, waiting slowly, patiently, for Treadwell to leave. It was truly amazing that he had gotten the fat man to leave so easily. Glenn thought he was going to have to pry him away with a crowbar, or maybe the promise of food. Then, and only then, there was his usual smile for the constable guard. "Alright, time for you to go take a walk, I'll take things from here. Go on." If the man hesitated, that last line would be repeated, a bit more harshly.

Only when Wheezy was gone as well would Burnie pull the chair up in front of the cell and sit down, staring at the man on the other side of the bars. "Well, then.. your story is utterly absurd. Laughable. If it didn't amuse me so, I'd probably have you flogged here and now for the audacity. But I am amused. Still, let's talk about this book of yours a little more. You know about it. You know Genny had it. You know it's not in Genny's room. You know this shapeshifter wants it. You claim is has no true significance. Questions arise from that testimony. Why does she want it then? How did Genny know to hide it? How do you know about it?"
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Postby Tolleson » Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:39 am

Absurd, laughable, absolutely ridiculous and yet, he urged on, spoke with at least a shred of conviction. Perhaps he was simply a good story teller or knew how perposterous, how unfathomable, unlikely and implausible his tale would sound. He continued to stand, releasing the cane as his interrogator stepped briefly away and returned to sit. Burnie had asked some piviotal questions, not all the right ones, but ones that a truthful answer might prove somewhat useful.

"The book itself is a treasure... gem studded crimson cover, lapis and gold throughout, some self-celebratory volume I think. A gift from the duke to my father some years ago," the admission was contrite.

There is a moments pause as he considers carefully the question posed to him, as if each word's meaning, the very phrasing of the question might change his answer.

"You misunderstand me... the book itself, is just a book." So, if the volume itself was a valueable treasure but considered by the thief to be 'just a book' where was the real treasure. There was definitely something Tennant was not telling him, perhaps he still clung to the hope of recovering that treasure himself.

"Being what it is... I don't see how she could have come so far without hiding it," there was more unsaid here, though it did answer his question of how Tennant knew of the book, how Genny would know to hide it, and why a thief would want it.
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Postby Glenn » Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:52 am

"I misunderstand you." Burnie worked those words between his teeth, each syllable catching somehow upon the edge of his smile. "I misunderstand you because you dissemble. You talk in circles. The book is a treasure but the book is a book. The thief wants the book but does not want the book at all. I didn't know shape-changing pirates could even read."

"And why wouldn't Genny have just TOLD me this part if she knew to hide the book, knew that some thief may be after it?" Burnie's voice shifted so quickly from serious to glib and amused back to serious once again. He lifted his staff up and pointed it at Tennant, though it was wavering somewhat. "How do you know that she hasn't put that very book in my hands to safeguard it? Perhaps that's why you couldn't find it, because we were two steps ahead of all of you. She is directly in my employ now, with a healthy salary at that. Perhaps this has all been in the works for longer than you realize."

His gaze would shift now, would be come distant, out of focus. "You want out on the streets so badly though?" Then, slowly, Burnie would use his free hand to pull down his own collar in the middle of the front. At the same time, the point of the staff would aim more directly at Tennant, right at the same point. Burnie would reveal, above his chest but below his neck, a rather ghastly, stylized tattoo of a scar. "Tell me, how do you feel about your collarbone?"
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Postby Tolleson » Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:05 am

For all of Glenn's smiling composure Tennant could tell he'd struck a chord. The thin line across his lips lowered into a scowl, more noticably as Glenn inquired about what his sister had or hadn't done. His eyes would narrow slightly as if he thought Glenn lied now, "Is she now." It was not a question.

Pressing closer so the cane dug into the fleshy bits surrounding his collar bone he'd grab the bars firmly with both hands. "You do misunderstand and my sister... would never work for someone like you," he didn't answer the bit about his collar bone taking it as an empty threat from a crippled man.
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Postby Glenn » Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:50 am

Burnie's smile morphed, changed. It was subtle but unmistakable, even in this light. There was something feral about it now. "I could tell you a story, about a dream and the most beautiful gem you could imagine. I could tell you a story another impostor, and the most interesting collar around her neck. I could make both of those stories about you." His fingered hovered over a a secret button upon the staff, and Tennant had no idea how close he was to having a scar just like Glenn's tattoo and far, far worse than that.

Burnie laughed, a harsh, maddened sound, even as he drew the walking stick back. "You have an angel, Tennant, an angel watching over you and it's certainly not Genny." Suddenly, his expression shifted back to that calm, pleasant smile. His tone was relaxed and easygoing. "Genny IS. This is her home now and she wants to help it. The very best way to do that is through me. Myrken changes people like you wouldn't believe. She will be amazing sooner than not. Maybe then, she'll be willing to give you the time of day instead."

He raised his free hand casually. "Your angel's given you a respite, but you're not out of the woods yet. Tell me EXACTLY what the thief wants and what secret is hidden within that book, and we'll see about getting you the rest of the way out."
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Postby Tolleson » Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:45 am

A secret button was just that, a secret, and as much as Tennant knew he'd simply won this round. But Glenn's morphing smile, his terrible expression and the mad laugh gave him cause to withdraw from where he had been, inches from the bars. His certain expression began to melt as Burnie's convictions stuck fast and heavy, realizing the truth of at least some of what he said.

A swift and deep inhale was taken, one that stirred the thoughts of gods knew what in his head. Perhaps it was care for his sister, his own well being, or the ruminations on the 'stories' Glenn had him thinking about. He did not enjoy the thought of being a puppet to this man as it would seem the tubby councilor, the town and now, even Genny had become. All the same he nearly spat his words out, "A map."

His grip loosened on the bars and he looked around the cell as if to find another way out than through this man, mummbling to himself about an angel. There is another sigh and he runs his fingers through his hair, shaking his head as if to try and determine what is the best course of action.

"It was just a rumor, a treasure map," he almost laughed saying it, "I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it... the book was worth enough without an idiotic scrap from an ancient bedtime story."
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Postby Glenn » Sun Sep 18, 2011 1:01 pm

"A map." The smile didn't shift. Burnie's tone was cold, even. His eyes bore down upon the man on the other side of the bars. If he was intending to rush off and look for such a thing, he gave no sign.

"Why are you here now, Tennant?" He was calling him by his name now, calmly, composed,,not chummy but not showing him any of the manic energy from before. "Genny told us that you were with a band of thieves on the run from Thessilanian authorities, that you had a loose hold upon them in general. You want me to believe that there was a separate criminal posing as you and that you happen to be here at the same exact time, under the terms that Genny mentioned. Did this impostor ever fool your sister?"
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Postby Tolleson » Sun Sep 18, 2011 1:59 pm

That Burnie called him by his name seemed more uncomfortable, as if by using it he somehow held more power over him. He let Burnie finish talking, perhaps he hadn't truly considered the option of the imposter meeting Genny. There was a little worry, dismissed as he shook his head, "Gods I hope not, no... I doubt it. I convinced Hat to break me out the last time," looking up to Burnie he seemed to realize this needed more explaination.

"Genny turned me in for trying to steal our father's book, the one The Hat is after." He looked unashamed, after all, he did admit to having some crimes under his belt.

"I am here because she took me captive. How else was she to frame me? How else was she to even make such a concoction!" Near rambling, "what idiot leaves a cloth soaked in the drug used to knock out that," he had to pause to refrain from the derogatory adjectives he could have used to describe Treadwell, despite how accurate they may have been. "Your, councilman... That what, perhaps two people in your entire town know how to make?" He was ranting and angry, as if there were things here too perplexing him.
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