Iamerge reacted, but far too slowly. He ripped free of the man’s grip and dropped into a fighting stance, desperately feeling the lack of a knife. Jim, for his part, had turned to watch the street.
Mounted soldiers raced by. They’d nearly trampled him, would have if not for the mayor of Rat Town. “Who was it that you’re look’n for brother?”
“I’m sure I’ll find him in the trade district.” Iamerge began.
“Oh? Well not if you pay so little attention as just now, you’re liable to end flat in the road.” the man laughed. He glanced over at Iamerge, “Didn’t I save you lad? Come now, you can tell me. My only vise is curiosity. Well, that and drinking. But all my others are of no concern.” Cooper winked.
Iamerge pondered for a moment before he allowed, “I’m looking for a Roderick Ua Birlinn. I have a matter of business I need to transact with him.”
“Rod Ua Birlinn is it?” Well I can’na help you like I thought. I only know one Ua Birlinn and his name is Ruaridh. His father was Roderick but he’s dead now ten years and taken no visitors.”
The riders were back and now with company. The mob of light cavalry, for that’s what they seemed, rode out the way they’d come. There was a cloud of dust that followed along with the curious that came out into the street in their wake.
“Perhaps I should speak to the son then, this Ruaridh.” said Iamerge.
“Perhaps you should come have a drink with me.” said Jim Cooper.
“I really should see to my business. . .”
“Sure you should, but that was Ruaridh Ua Birlinn who just rode out of town with his men. I’m not sure when they’ll be back, but I’d say, with the hurry they made, it won’t be before we can settle the dust in our mouths with a cold brew or two.”
“I don’t know”
“Well I do and you’ve not told me about how it is that Gospels is back at the Abbey. Like I said, know’n is me main vice. Also it be my main stock n trade, it won’t harm you to have a chat and a beer with old Jim. Might help some.”
There seemed no harm in the man and getting and giving a bit of information could only help his business. Iamerge allowed himself to be steered into the rickety inn.