A few days later, Bertram Drake’s collections-man Bruno was at working the front counter of the pawn shop, when a tall platinum-haired figure stepped into the premises and started to examine some merchandise.
Bruno began to sweat and called out, “Mr. Drake, I am going to step out for my lunch now.” Nervously the heavy gathered his things and headed for the front door.
Drake looking at the time and seeing that it was not yet quite eleven, grudgingly came from his office and took a seat behind the counter.
A few minutes later, a tall Green-Landian woman wearing an exquisite gown entered the shop and began to inspect the stitching on a fine leather saddle.
Bertram, while never opposed to the possibility of making a profit, normally did not like to have too many in the shop at a time. So when the door chime rang again it looked quickly to the door, to see the massive features of a warrior approaching his display medallions and talismans. The man was familiar, and the pawn-man remembered him as being an easy touch, so relaxed again.
It was when the chime sounded again that he had a start, for coming through the door was the Washer Woman.
“Gweeen . . .”
“Shut it,” she snapped at the weaselly man. “What is this I hear about you terrifying my girls?”
“Gwendolyn, please not in front of customers. Maybe we should talk in . . .” Drake pleaded.
He was cut short, however, as Lydeth, Star, and Seymour mustered around Gwendolyn.
“Listen here, you waste of space,” Gwendolyn said sternly. “I have come to pay you what is owed,” she said calmly as she dropped a large money bag on the counter.”
“Why, that is, that is lovely,” the man said uncertainly.
As Gwendolyn’s three companions loomed all the nearer, the Washer Woman said, “Minus an appropriate discount for the undue stress to my staff.”
“Of course, of course,” said the man, now beginning to bead with perspiration.
He pulled out a ledger from under the counter and turned to a page which bore Gwendolyn’s name and an amount. He drew a thick line through the word “pending” and scribbled the word “paid” next to it.
“In full,” Gwendolyn pressed.
“Of course, my dear,” the man said softly and added the appropriate entry.
“And now in the real book as well, please,” Gwendolyn said knowingly.
“Real book?” he protested quietly.
“Yes, the real book,” she said impatiently.
“I will need to go to the office,” he said nervously.
“That’s fine, and I am sure you won’t mind Lydeth here accompanying you.” Gwendolyn said with a mock of a smile.
“No, no that is quite appropriate,” the man said and waited for the tall androgynous to join him.
A moment later they returned with a thicker accounts book, which contained far more detailed entries, including some for rather questionable transactions. This was opened to the page that actually bore Gwendolyn’s signature, and the true amount of interest expected. Again the entry was corrected to read “paid in full.”
Gwendolyn then leafed through the book, and carefully removed two earlier pages.
“Thank you for your cooperation,” Gwendolyn said and she turned to leave, accompanied by Star and Seymour.
The pawn broker began to scoop up his true ledger, but Lydeth laid a hand heavily upon it.
“I think this can stay here for a moment,” the armourer said.
“I was just . . .” Drake began.
“Yes, just in just a moment,” the half-Elf said menacingly.
As the trio exited the door, a young Roseman stepped in, in there place.
“Constable,” Drake began to plea, “you have come just in time.”
“Have I?” The Rosie responded, “In time for what?”
The constable stepped up the the counter, and as he did Lydeth released the book, and turned to exit. The watchman placed his hand on the book, and said “Well what do we have here?”
“But constable . . .” Drake appealed.
Just then the chime sounded again, and Breena entered the shop accompanied by none less than Chief Superintendent Montoya. The latter was carrying a royal warrant in regards to the premises.
“Señor Drake, or should that be Duckman, I am so happy that you have agreed to assist us with our inquiries,” Sir Orlando said.
The constable brought a chair around for his superior. The chief sat down and Breena unwrapped a crystal crown from a piece of silk, and placed it on Montoya’s head.
“Shall we begin?” Sir Orlando prompted.