The eyes have it!

2) the eyes have it

The story continues, yesterday with the Story Reading Ape, today with Stevie Turner.

It was early evening and Benor was dozing quietly. Technically he was
reading but his eyes had closed in spite of his best efforts. He was
awakened by a rapping on the door of the barge. Shena, sitting nearest,
opened it to admit a tall, well build young woman. Benor thought he
recognised her, but couldn’t put a name to her.
“Begging your pardon sir, but after meeting you at the house of the
Chevaleresse of Windcutter Keep I thought I’d seek your services myself.”
Now he’d been given a clue, Benor recognised her. “Ah, of course, you’re
Minny. You are the maid for the Chevaleresse.”
“Not any longer sir, I gave my notice a month since.”
Looking at her, Benor could tell. That was one reason he hadn’t recognised
the young woman. As Minny the maid, he’d seen her in a blouse which fastened
at the neck, with a skirt that hung decorously at the calves. The dress she
wore now was still long but seemed to ‘swirl’ as she moved. The dress was
also displayed considerably more embonpoint than the previous blouse had
even hinted at.
Cautiously Benor asked, “So what are you doing now?”
“Well I found my sister, as I was asking after. She’s here in Port Naain,
and has her own clothes shop. So I’m in partnership with her. I had a few
trinkets and suchlike I’d put aside from my time in service, so I sold those
to raise the capital needed.”
It has to be admitted that the answer was more respectable than Benor had
feared, so when he offered his congratulations, they were genuine. Then he
asked the obvious question. “So to what do we owe the honour of this visit?”
“It’s a matter of the heart.”
Benor could see a grin steal across Shena’s face. Shena was still standing
behind Minny having just closed the door after her. Cautiously Benor asked,
“Could you explain.”
“Well my sister and I have admirers and seeing as how we’re young women with
no father to fall back on, we wondered if you would investigate them for us
and see if they’re everything they claim to be.”
Before Benor could say anything, mischievously Shena said, “I’m sure Mister
Dorfinngil would be delighted to assist you in this. But remember he’s a
busy man and his time is money.”
Benor started to say something but Shena continued, “For a simple case like
this I think ten vintenars will cover it. Is that acceptable?”
Minny winked knowingly at Benor, “Perfectly and I’m sure my sister and I
will cover any costs.”
Hastily Benor asked, “And who are these gentlemen?”
“Santon Gilfell and Wast Divot.”
“And where could I find these two?”
“Well that’s the difficulty. They’re gentlemen adventurers and if we need to
contact them we have to leave a message at the Black Grapes.”
Benor ostentatiously noted down what he’d been told. “And where can I catch
you or your sister?”
“There’s a dress shop called, ‘Two Sisters’, just down Dollymop Street.”
“I know it,” Shena said, “You’ve got some nice stuff in the window, but if I’m
right, you make most of the clothes yourself to fit the lady when she comes
Minny turned round, and Benor heard genuine enthusiasm in the young woman’s
voice. “Yes, that’s us. I’m glad you like it.”
Shena allowed herself to be caught up by the enthusiasm. “I do. When I first
saw the display I thought it might be a bit young for me, but you’ve got
some dresses with really classic lines. Somebody has a real eye for colour
and line.”
“That will be my sister Timmy, she’s got the way with that sort of thing. I’m
a better needlewoman than her, but she has an eye for style.”
Shena opened the door for their guest. “You and your sister can rest assured
Benor will have something for you by this time tomorrow.”
“And my sister and I will have something for Benor.” Saying this, Minny
curtseyed to them both and left. Shena closed the door and leaned on it,
giggling. “Benor, if you manage to get paid in cash you’re a tougher man
than I think you are. In fact if you avoid being paid in kind, I’ll match
whatever you get.”
Benor looked under the galley table, “Coming Mutt?”
The boy crawled out, clutching his shoes. “Is this cartography?”
Benor paused. “Not properly, but it’ll teach you some useful skills.”
Mutt looked at his shoes and then put them carefully back under the table.
“I heard money mentioned; ten vintenars don’t sound like cartography.”


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