Thursday, August 20, 2015

Red As Any Blood--Part 11

Armin perched uncomfortably on the ladder, and glanced out the spyhole.  "So, anyone out there?" asked Caspar.

"If you're so anxious to see you could come up here yourself, and peek out," snapped Armin.

Caspar gave his gut a slap.  "Not that ladder, I can't."  He yawned.  "Come on, Armin.  It's daylight, so you should have a view of the countryside for miles..."

"Well, I can't see anyone now..." grumbled Armin.  He glanced down. "Remind me again why Rudolf put a spy hole here."

"He was a man who frequently had to hide from people," answered Caspar.  "Creditors.  King's men.  Angry husbands and fathers..."  He shrugged.  "And if there's one thing all his hunting taught him it was that getting a good view of things can help you immeasurably in making sure you're the one doing the killing, and not the one being killed."

"A charming man," muttered Armin.  "Remind me again why you're so eager to claim descent from him."

"The principle of the thing," replied Caspar. "When my great-grandfather died, everyone knew my grandfather was his bastard.  When my grandfather died, somehow this became questionable.  Justice must be... if not done, then at least acknowledged."  He coughed.  "So, again, is anyone out there?"

Armin shook his head.  "We are apparently still undetected."

Another man came in with an empty tray.  "You know I could hear you two bickering down the hall..." he said.

"First, Bede, we were not bickering, we were disputing," said Caspar.  "Second, how is the prisoner?"

"Appetite's good," replied Bede.  "And he doesn't seem like a bad fellow.  I think he'll talk."  He sighed.  "Though I doubt he'll know much."

"Thankfully, there's very little we need to know," said Caspar calmly.  He glanced at Armin, clambering rapidly down the ladder.  "If you're worried about breaking your neck, moving that quickly only makes the chances higher, not lesser."

"If you aren't going to be climbing the ladder," muttered Armin, "don't give me your opinion on how it's to be done."

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