Argument at the Singing Mandrake.

It had always been the same for Amelia. Drink and leave, leave and drink. Sometimes she’d listen in on the passing words of a poet or the snippets of news from the usual patrons. Nothing unusual or out of the ordinary. So of course she saunters in at her usual hour, sees the same faces and nods in appreciation to them all the same. But her head is weary from the amount of traction and digging she did in the Forbidden Quarters. Another day where she unearths the same and feels as if the trail is cold.

But a poem catches her ears and she comments from it before she even fully understands it. Her mind drifts a bit. There’s an idle memory passing but it’s halted by a jarring voice, one she unfortunately knows.


That dog. The one she can never make heads or tails of. Sure, she has done business with him from time to time. But she can never understand his proclamations of friendship. Friends? Why on Earth does he want to be friends? It doesn’t matter when the dandy spews out such rancid drivel. She shouts, he shouts back and before she knows it the argument hits a peak.

&quotYOU WANT TA KISS MY FISTS CAUSE YOU SURE ARE ASKIN’ FOR IT.&quot She’s already out of her seat and ready to fight. But this isn’t The Medusa’s Head. There’s no fun to be had and a test of strength among merry fellows. She starts to see the eyes around her, scared and no doubt prepared to call a constable in a matter of seconds.

&quotOUTSIDE,&quot she sneers to him. It’s the only way she can think to defuse the situation quickly.

[ Made this because I realize the banter between characters was clogging up that thread. I am so sorry, The Absurd Rogue. ]

Oh of course.
Of course.

Forbes had expected nothing more than Amelia, unable to hold her own in an argument without resorting to fisticuffs. The dandy in question scoffs, flicking his well kept bangs back with a well placed roll of his eyes. The poor sod who had written the aforementioned poem didn’t need this, and she was making quite the scene.

&quotRight, then.&quot Forbes begins, adjusting the collar of his dark clothes, &quotIt was just a matter of time before you requested to throw those hands of yours upon me. If only it was in passion and not out of violence!&quot He speaks a bit louder than previously, hoping for a snicker or two from the audience that they had so suddenly gained.

&quotI sincerely apologize for the woman’s behavour.&quot Forbes speaks, placing a gloved hand to his chest while taking a look at the author of the poem which had sparked the deliberation, &quotIt seems the only way she knows how to keep to the shadows is to throw others into the light and hide behind them. I meant no ill will, and will see to this woman’s violent behaviour thusly.&quot With the turn of his head, dark locks shifting and reflecting in the low light of the Mandrake, the gentleman takes up his hat, looks the fuming woman in the eye and says.

&quotLet’s go, dear.&quot
edited by H. Forbes on 5/3/2016

The theatrics. She knew it would be coming with him. Always plays it up as being a gentlemen first and a flirt later. Never once bating an eye over it too. To say Amelia is displeased by the words exchanged by him is an understatement. But she does not speak. The glare that is held in her gaze is enough to say she’s finished with him and his garbage.

Though she does turn her attention to the attentive crowd behind her. &quotShe’s goin’ kill 'im,&quot one cries. &quotForbes has the upper hand,&quot from another. A few of those faces she recognizes as the Stuttering Fence’s proteges. Some of them she recognizes as her own business partners. But a snarl and a shout of &quotYOU’LL BE NEXT&quot from her silences them immediately. She doesn’t take any visible pleasure from it but internally she’s singing her own praises before turning her attention to Forbes.

This dandy…

&quotI’ll let you choose the spot,&quot she says to him. Not really caring where he takes her at this point. &quotBut pray to whoever ya believe in there’s mercy. Cause I’m not feelin’ it now,&quot she remarks before following him out. The crowd doesn’t seem too stunned to say much else as she leaves. Though she does wonder who else was watching in her slightly fuddled mind. The cool, dampness of the streets upon exiting refreshes her and she begins planning a get away and keeping watch behind them.

The dandy looks back to the crowd, garnering more sympathy before donning his hat and leaving the establishment with a (fake) tear in his eye. He’s going to take his ‘death’ valiantly, as he always does.

Once outside, his polished shoes leaving not a single squeak on the cobblestone before them, he adjusts his gloves as he dares not look Amelia in the eye.
&quotYou started this, you know.&quot He says, voice lowered so that only the two of them could hear. They had enough ears pressed against walls and windows, attempting to hear their continuing quarrel when he had no desire to actually continue it, &quotA man doesn’t let his reputation get smeared like that, especially once his works are known in the Neath.&quot

No worries, Amelia. It was nice to get the traffic. Carry on! -throws a handful of business cards on the floor and climbs out a nearby window-

&quotI’m not the one who started a raunchy tradition,&quot she hisses in a lowered tone at him. &quotDo ya know 'ow many blokes have started sending me letters cause they wanted an &quotebony beauty&quot of their own? Oh sure, your words were vague 'nough to make others suffer the same fate. But thas 50 bloody letters, Forbes. 50 and you’re sore ‘bout your name bein’ in ta mud.&quot Though truthfully she didn’t think he would be in the Singing Mandrake at that time. Does he usually come by at the same hour as her? Was it just sheer chance? She’s not sure but she definitely expected him to be sticking his head in a den or two than in the tavern.

&quotGettin paid to cover the tracks not give ya right appeal by everyone. Guess ya can be right happy now since I’m givin ya that on your feet.&quot Which wasn’t a lie. If the hushed whispers and dueled tones of the tavern is anything to go by, Forbes will have more interested in his work. She’ll also have more from the Medusa’s Head looking to challenge her which works in her favor too.

&quotYa goin’ keep ta this pranced footwork or are ya dippin’ to a street?&quot she inquires in a hushed tone. &quotPick wisely and make it snappy.&quot She’s not a hundred percent certain but she thinks a few feet dipped out to get a view of the potential fight.

[ @The Absurd Rogue: I’m glad you got the traffic and thanks. :) ]

Ah yes, eyes were everywhere in the Neath but particularly so after that bit of show. Forbes clears his throat, guiding the woman out and away from the pub and to somewhere they can be more private to stage their fight. Thankfully, neither of them had ever truly come to blows, and he would never want to hit Amelia.
Or get hit by her in return.

&quotLook,&quot he says, &quotI think it will be easy for us to lose those interested. Just keep your anger tight to your face and I’ll continue to look like a pompous ___hole.&quot Which he does very well, in fact. Rounding an alley and tucking into a corner, he adjusts his hat and pulls off his gloves. You know, to make it look like something actually happened.
&quotWe do have to stop meeting like this.&quot

&quotI’m not some right feckin’ beast,&quot she retorts to Forbes. &quotMy anger is naught somethin’ that flips and stays on for days. But fine, I’ll play by your rules,&quot she whispers to him. &quotYou’re not ta only one wiff a reputation on the line.&quot She peers back as they round an alley, trying to catch sight of the ones that tailed them. Nothing short than a few curious patrons, unfamiliar faces and what seems to be a strange bloke with a scar joined them. But they stay back and don’t decide to keep following. That’s not too bad. But even she knows word spreads quickly around here and a show is what they’ll have to pull off.

Once they round the corner quickly, she starts pounding on the wall near by. A few cans are kicked over, a cat is scared off and she shouts a few profanities near the mouth of the alley. She keeps up to that pace before she dips into the shadows of the corner, almost disappearing from sight. There, she joins Forbes glaring at him all the same.

&quotTch, actin’ like I make it a point to see ya face. Ya owe me more than a years worth of an apology. Not even sure if ya can do that much within half an inch of ya life.&quot She sneers at him. &quotShould be lucky I’m not buryin ya straight inta earth by now. Only grace to ya is knowin’ I’m not gettin an echo paid for it.&quot