Watchman Toby Barns was rookie. His journey to becoming a watchman began in his hometown of Farmington. He was like many of the lads in that town a farm labourer. It was a noble and necessary occupation, but hardly one that made a young man stand out.
Toby was desperately in love with Breeze Fairweather, the niece and ward of Horace Foddervendor, a purveyor of all manner of feeds and seeds. Horace was by far the richest man in Farmington, and the town’s mayor.
Breeze was of average looks and build, but her uncle’s wealth made her the object of many of the youths’ of Farmington attention. To Toby, however she was “Prettier than a speckled pup,” and “sweeter than the day is long.” He therefore, wanted to show himself “worthy of her.”
This was actually unnecessary in Breeze’s mind. She was astute enough to see the intentions of her suitors. While some were indeed, better looking or more talented than Toby, there were none other than him that “loved her for her.” Her uncle, however, would be another story.
He tried to prove himself through the usual Farmington means. During the harvest, he worked diligently but his efforts were deemed to be good, but not amazing. At the Farmington Fayre he entered the ploughing competition only to come in second. He began to question, “What else can I do?”
Toby called in to Foddervendor’s ostensibly to place a seed order for his father, though his hope was to catch a moment with Breeze. He was in luck, she was working alone at the counter. She smiled and blushed as he approached her.
“Hello Sir,” she greeted. “How may I help you,” she continued shooting a glance over her shoulder towards her uncle’s office. She then turned back to him and quietly said, “Hi Toby.”
Toby took the lead and said, “My father would like to order a half ton of barley seed, please.” Then more quietly, “How are you Breeze?”
“I’m doing good. How are you?” she replied. “I think you did a great job at the fayre,” she added.
“I’m okay, but I don’t know what I can do to impress your uncle.”
“Why would you want to do that?” she said, suddenly blushing again.
“You know,” he said blushing as well, “I hope you know.”
“Yes, I do,” she whispered, surreptitiously sliding her hand across the counter to take his.
“I think I need to go to the capital to prove myself,” he said.
She squeezed his hand more firmly and said, “Do you have to?”
“I don’t see what I can do here? I can’t just go to you uncle, he would laugh at me is I said I love you.”
“You love me?” she said, reddening again.
“Yes Breeze, I love you.” Toby said a little too loudly.
“I, I love you too,” she admitted.
Toby felt the flutter of a million butterflies in his stomach, and a joy beyond any he had ever experienced before swept over him.
“I am going to the city, and I am going to join the Watch. I am going to show your uncle I am more than a farm hand,” Toby declared.
At this she showed a thoughtful sadness. “I understand, but I don’t want you to go,” she said.
“I will be back, and I will show everyone that I am worthy of you.”
“You always have been,” she said. “Surely Uncle Horace will see it too.”
It was with this in mind that he made his way to the capital and applied to become a Roseman. While he was seen by the recruiter as a bit of a bumpkin, he actually did well on the exam. He was, therefore, appointed to join Cruikshank’s Ninth Precinct.