09/29/2022 Snippet, BUZZ ON THE STREETS.

Finishing this up! …One hopes. Finally figured out how to end it.

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Speaking of leeches, I ran into one on my way to breakfast with Lucas. We were gonna go over the scene fresh, once we had had some sleep; he didn’t think the statues were gonna get wrecked or sent far foreign, and neither did I. All the best buyers would be right here in town, and they’d all cut off their own right hands before they’d damage the hairs that weren’t there on the statues’ heads. So we’d have some time to figure out who took what; we already knew why and when — and I knew how, even if Lucas didn’t want to admit it. I also wanted to make sure Lucas understood that going on a bloody rampage wasn’t the best option, here. Adventurers usually get that friendly territories need a soft touch, but they also don’t like getting their stuff stolen…

It was at that point I got slugged in the stomach. It was a good, professional job, too: just the right angle and oomph to bounce me off a wall and knock over a trash can. Oh, and it hurt like a sonuvabitch. It always does.

As I tried to stagger myself to something like a fighting stance — I get hit a lot in this business, but I’m not gonna stand there and just take it — I heard somebody say, “Hit him again! Hit him again!” He had the kind of voice that’s trying to sneer, but can’t get more than a note above ‘whine.’

“That’s not how it works, sir,” rumbled another voice. One I thought I recognized. “If I hit him again, I’m just beating him up.”

“That’s what I’m paying you for!”

“No, sir. You’re paying me to help you send the Shamus a message. There are rules, sir.”

“Better listen to him, bub,” I wheezed out as I blinked away the tears. “It’s all in the contact he had you sign. That you, Luiz?”

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