Runny entered the Dancing Ferret and gave the tavern the once over. It was like any of the hundreds of provincial ale houses he had seen before with the rough planked floor and host of labouring folk at the end of a day’s work.
Runny quickly noticed the gathering of locals surrounding a brawny man in a green tunic who was regaling them with some tale. The onlookers were fastened to his every word.
“I reckon we found our furster,” Runny said to Wilfred when the latter entered.
“Well, I will leave you to do your thing,” the Dragon Hunter said before taking a seat at a corner table.
The Dwarf made his way to the throng and listened in intently, occasionally nodding or tapping his thick fingers on his chin.
As the man finished his story and was bought another drink by an admirer, Runny abruptly said, “You must be one er the bravest fellers I ever laid my eyes on, I will right reckon that.”
The crowd turned and stared at the Dwarf.
“Well it is a rightly known fact, that a dragon once it had got the scent of you won’t stop hunt’n for you till it got ya. And you says you got five, or were that six, on your trail. If it were me, mind, I’d be a hiding away somewhere. Let me buy an ale for such a bold feller.”
With that several of the gathered villagers slowly distanced themselves from the forester. A few indeed remembered previous engagements and quickly departed the Ferret altogether.
With the crowd dispersed Runny pulled up a stool and sat down. Wilfred then made his way to the table.
“You must be a brave fellow indeed,” Wilfred said quietly. “As you don’t seem worried in the slightest by my friend’s revelation.”
“Well I . . . I . . . I did see off four dragons,” the man said trying to compose himself.
“Four now,” Runny reflected. “And here I were think’n you said six but a moment ago.”
“Um, there were six, but I only had to deal with four of them,” the man replied, satisfied with his answer.
“Well then, let us buy you an ale for each,” Wilfred said, “I would love to hear even more about your encounter while we drink.”
Wilfred then turned to the barkeeper of the now nearly empty establishment.
“A bottle of wine, and some bread and cheese for me and the Dwarf, and four ales for my friend here. Thank you.”
Then turning back to the flustered forester, he said, “Now, about those dragons.”