June 24, 2014

On the Streets of Dogs, part 3 of 4


Much to Warwick's then-decided dismay, the tavern in Undertown had been much more welcoming to him. Nonetheless, those he tried for small conversation with were hesitant to confirm recognition. From money found in the sewer corridors, he efficiently paid for two mugs of Yum before the emptiness of his pocket and hasty glares overcame him. With a curt nod, he stood up once more, feet strangely weary from the run the day before. Deciding that the activity of common folk beneath the city was to pick up soon, he departed, knowing that the mix of the dangerous and only fearful would be in his favor.

Surfacing, as it had been a long time since, Warwick cringed at the sting of the port air on his face. The morning bustle was just beginning, and only merchants milled about, too consumed in their increasingly confusing finances to even care about his presence. Taking this as an opportunity, Warwick followed one of his favorite informational sources – three women in large dresses, chittering to one another in hushed tones.

"Did you hear about Bones?" After a few minutes of (to Warwick) pointless conversation, he found the newer topic to be of rather optimal interest. He leaned his head in, pulling hair behind his ears and tipping his tricorn back.

"Yes, yes, I did! And that disastrous case – Thalia, I don't know why he couldn't have hired a ruffian to do so!" The smallest of the three, looking off to the side, turned meekly.

"If he hired a ruffian, he'd simply slaughter the entire case!" Warwick furrowed his brow. Had Bones been thinking similarly? The very thought of his non-upturned status as such a barbaric creature made the hairs on his back stand. "It's a shame that Natalie practically isn't being let out of her house, now. Those sky-forsaken policemen ought to give a woman some time to mingle in peace." Instead of making the noise of turning, Warwick stood still as the three walked away, using the distance to quietly jog towards a residence. He supposed that, especially with his successes around the Yum burglaries, he'd earn audience with a policedog that would let him take a peek at the supposed ruckus. Thinking through his knowledge of the city, he knew of not a single residence with a relation to a Barnsworth. Repositioning his hat and bending his fingers to look like paws, he retreated to the shadows. Many passed by the underside of a bridge that Warwick found himself most comfortable at, but he kept his senses keen on hearing, waiting for the familiar flopping of a certain finicky peddler.

"Jackie," Warwick breathed a sigh of relief, opening his eyes and grinning, "You know a Barnsworth? Lives here?" Scratching his smooth, green cheek, Cohen shrugged, eyes trained on the ground.

"Dunno 'bout her," he said, Warwick taking it as a prompt to leave, "But I dunno 'bout you, either, son." Paleness stained Warwick's cheeks and he chewed on his cheek, watching Cohen's actions in horror. He raised a sparkshooter, something too small to cause any harm, and fired it into the air a few times. From just around a nearby corner, a group of five barked to one another in alarm, eyes all set on Warwick. They surrounded him, waving clubs.

"Don't mean any trouble, boys," Warwick warned, "Wasn't even bargaining'." He cast a grave look at Cohen. "I've been glared at and run-away-from all day, an' -" he expertly ducked to avoid a thrown rock coming at the back of his head, "-And I won't be leaving here without an answer." Picking up the rock, he lunged at each of the dogs, in turn finding that they were all skittish to face him, hands shaking. Eventually, one stepped forward, the others groaning. Ignoring this, Warwick crouched, squinting. Who was this thinking to face him?

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