(123-02-01) In Quest of Cheese
In Quest of Cheese
Summary: Rush hour in the grocery shop on Oldtown Square. House Stark's elite shopping squad comes in search of dead birds and smelly cheeses, and a Lyseni lady of the evening is caught out in a daytime downpour.
Date: 02/02/2016
Related: None

The rain is p… ouring down upon Oldtown Square; and quite a few of the barrow-based entrepreneurs who would normally be plying their trade therein have given it up as a bad job and gone home to get out of the wet. This is good news for the proprietress of the little grocery shop on the corner of the Shambles (and the adjacent butchery) inasmuch as her gaily painted red and yellow shopfront is a beacon to those few customers who have come out into the downpour because they've no choice, they simply must have a pound of flour, or a pair of pork chops, or half a dozen fresh eggs. It can't wait. And Mistress Esme, in a green-and-orange-striped dress and a green headscarf with yellow spots which doesn't match it in the least, is here to help.

… Mostly to help, at any rate.

From her usual perch upon her high stool behind the counter she's giving a jaundiced eye to a damp young housewife, explaining that, "Until you let me have a little something on your account, Mistress Talana, I'm afraid there's not much more I can do for you. You do understand my position. I've a business to run, I've dependents of my own — and if once I make an exception, the whole neighbourhood will begin to think I'm a soft touch. It'll never do, will it? You see that, don't you?" she inquires, frankly, reasonably.

Melysa's dress is normally close to scandalous, but after being caught out in the rain the young whore's dress is outright indecent. "I will pay for her." The woman's voice is clearly accented, proclaiming her from Lys to any who might be skilled at picking accents. "And a dry towel for me, if you have one." The young woman places a silver moon down, not seeming at all discomfitted by her state of dress.

Malcolm is in his bastard colours, with a rather finer cloak and dagger than the rest of his gear, his Braavosi blade being well made, but plain. Given his flamboyant hair and beard dye, he'd stand out in any crowd not in Tyrosh or Braavos, but his accent is pure Stormcoast, and not of a particularly elevated class, being on that bubble between gentry and upper peasant. His hood is up against the rain, but the tri coloured braided beard is unmistakable that of the Bastard of Kellington. He has a large basket on his non sword arm and is looking rather put out, having failed in his shopping mission so far.

The two local women react distinctly differently to the Lyseni girl's appearance — and her appearance. Esme behind her counter by simply greeting Melysa with a light, friendly nod, and the young housewife she addressed as Mistress Talara by turning to see where the coin came from and drawing her skirts aside as though from an unclean thing.

"I'm sure there's no call for that," she sniffs, and reaches deep into a pocket concealed beneath her skirts for a purse with which to, yes, put a little something on her account. She slides a handful of smaller coins across the counter to Esme, who nudges them one by one off the edge with her fingertips into the cupped palm of her other hand.

"Thank you so much, Mistress Talara," she says smoothly, as the coins clink into the company of their fellows somewhere beneath her counter, and a sheet of cheap brown paper comes up with which to wrap the loaf of sugar which, along with a selection of vegetables, provided the bone of contention. "I don't stock towels, I'm afraid," she apologises to Melysa, standing just beyond, "but if you look up and to your left, on that shelf there," her hand lifts once just to indicate, "you'll see a stack of drying cloths for dishes and the like. A seamstress I know runs them up from odd bits of linen she has left over. One or two of those might see you right." She nods to the girl, and is just uttering another observation upon the continuing rain to Mistress Talara when her bell tinkles again to warn of another incoming customer. Or… customers? She glances up to regard the two men with a harried but welcoming smile, which only broadens as she recognises that colourful beard. "Good afternoon, sers," she calls, "and what can I do for you?" What they can do for her, of course, is wipe their feet: she doesn't instruct, she merely hopes.

Tellur on the other hand is wearing very little - his soaked leather breeches, and a couple of thin lashing across his feet which keep wood underneath to keep those calloused soles above the mud. He has nothing on top, aside from an oilskin cloak, and he is complaining, bitterly, about the heat. There are tattoos here and there across him, a Weirwood across his breast, and five red dots in a constellation arrangement across his upper chest. He pauses in his low muttering to then glance at Malcolm. Tellur is already wiping his feet, with the sort of distaste for dirt that means he cannot be as lowborn as he looks.

Melysa shrugs as the woman shuns the offer to pay for her. "Well if you've anything hot to eat then I should like to buy it." She takes two cloths and dabs at her dress, but given how drenched she is it's pointless, the silk is plastered against her, and close to transparent. She pasues as Malcolm and Tellur enter, examining the two, then a smile appears on her lips and she looks Malcolm over once more. "And if you've not the coing to give change for a moon, then perhaps I should start an account."

Malcolm must have been well brought up by someone as he does wipe his feet and hold the door for the departing Mistress Talara. "The rain will cool things off a bit. It's usually worst just before it breaks. Let's hope they have the right sort of cheese here, as the vendors have mostly packed up." His expression is bland as he peruses the shop and it's denizens. One glance to realize Melysa's dress is rather more revealing than likely intended and his gaze stays at eye level after.

As far as Esme is concerned, a man in the company of Ser Malcolm Storm, a man moreover wiping his feet, is a 'ser' as well until he proves otherwise: it's just good business to be polite. "Good day to you, Mistress Talara, and I hope I shall see you again soon," she calls, sounding quite as though she means it. At any rate she means she hopes she'll see a little something else on account soon… "I'm afraid I don't sell anything ready and hot to eat, goodwoman," she explains apologetically to Melysa, "only necessities for cooking and the like — though my son's smoking bacon today in his butchery next door and he might have something of that nature for you. If you'll give me a moment I shall inquire, and then I'll know what change to give you, mmm?"

She's already climbing down from her stool and rapping with her knuckles on the connecting door beyond, a signal to the staff on the other side of her bustling little retail empire. "Now, ser, I couldn't help hearing you mention cheese," she asks of Ser Malcolm. "Were you looking for a particular kind?"

The door opens, framing a young woman clad in a clean white apron over a gown of cornflower blue linen. Her hair is pulled back into a neat braid, her face is wholesomely pretty and innocent of paint, and she may be regarded from any angle without putting her (or anyone else) to the blush. "Yes, Mistress Esme?"

"How's the bacon getting along?" Esme doesn't wait for an answer. "I've a hungry customer here, so you just bring her— how much did you want?" she inquires, turning again to Melysa with a colourless but amiable smile.

Tellur says to Malcolm "I hope so, but for the moment, this rain is warmer than the hot mists at the baths. How can anyone keep clean with so much sweat and mud!" He shakes his hand, delicately, like a cat, and then he glances over at Melysa and blinks, startled "F-" Whatever word was about to escape He holds it back. He changes, quickly "Madam," he says, politely "I hope this terribly hot day finds you well." Then he says to the woman "We're - I don't have the fine words for it, our Lord likes those very strong cheeses with the colour in them." He adds, a little grimly "You know, the sort? The ones tom cats love to rub their heads on. In addition, I need some soft fabric - not for clothing, but for a beast - for making a bridle for the mouth of a new foal - very soft. Must be soft. Gentle." He is much more concerned about the foal than the cheese. "…wait. Bacon?"

Melysa frowns, Ser Malcolm there doesn't appear to have eyes, but at least his friend does, and it's always nice to get a reaction. The young women drops into a deep curtsey. "Sers, pleased to meet you both." She turns back to Esme, "Can you recommend a place to buy food? I am new to the city and do not know my way around yet." She looks back over Tellur, he might not have the look of his friend, but at least he actually got flustered by her.

Malcolm says, "The kind with the blue veins or anything else strong of flavor… Did you say you connect to the butcher next store? What do you think, Tellur? Ought we inquire after birds, or… What do you think might please him for dinner? And while I am thinking of it, do you carry those tiny sausages they like in dorne and parts of Essos? The ones so spicy they burn the mouth?" He must have ears if not eyes, "How hot do you like your food? I believe Blanchet hasn't quite packed up his food cart yet, though odds are he's down to soup and the odd sausage roll…." While his tone is as courteous as if addressing a lady of high birth, he does not look down as he would with one."

"Ah, a very special sort of cheese," agrees Esme, her smile broadening. "Blue and veiny, eh? I think I might just have what your lord requires in my back room, sers." Her swooping hand secures Melysa's coin from the counter (one doesn't leave silver lying about where anybody could pocket it). "While I fetch it, won't you please step across this way, ser," for Tellur's benefit she indicates the shelf upon which the drying cloths are not the only fabrics in view, "and see whether this muslin is gentle enough for your foal's mouth? I use it for my curtains," she confesses, "and handkerchiefs and the like."

Then Melysa speaks and for a moment Esme doesn't quite follow. They're standing here surrounded by food. But then it dawns. Of course the girl can't cook. "Oh, you mean — yes, I see what you mean. Already cooked, yes. If there weren't such rain, there'd be plenty of hawkers out in Oldtown Square," she nods in the general direction, though at present it's largely obscured by the vertical downpour; "and the bake house across the way and a couple of doors down always has hot bread and little pies and so forth. Did you want any bacon, though, dearie?" The door to the butcher's shop is still ajar in her shop girl's hand, letting in such a glorious fragrance it would be a wonder if anyone could resist the allure of hot, freshly-smoked bacon. "I daresay I've some very spicy sausages for you, too, Ser Malcolm," she confirms, and is it a wonder that a little old lady who keeps a shop knows his name? No. It is not.

"A pheasant," says Tellur, ruefully "He's more cat than man, let's face it - anything that has feathers that tickle the nose amuses He of the Claws." He shakes his head a little at the amusement he finds in his Lord, and then he says to Malcolm "You know the Kitchens would do this - you just want to find something tasty and new, I know you, Stag." Then he says to Melysa gravely "Indeed, Blanchet - he's out there, with the grey cart? He's been studying to be a cook for some time now, it's better food than many will have. I am Tellur Snow - and this is Malcolm Storm." Two bastards, then, though Tellur looks as if someone baited a sweating wildling into the South, and Malcolm is rather more handsome and dashing. Tellur pulls the hood of his cloak down and he says to Esma "Yes! Exactly the thing, I'll have a look - thankyou. I'd hate for him to get soremouth." Oh yes, animals. Far more important than anything else. Tellur goes to examine the clothing, and he calls out for Malcolm "Some of that bacon too, the smell is unbelievable - and He of the Claws can have some as long as he doesn't stuff me into ruffles for that date at court. You can stop snickering at the image too, Stag." He finally asides, gently to Esme "I am no Ser. But Ser Malcolm here certainly is."

Melysa dips a deep curtsey. "Most pleased to meet you Ser Malcolm, Tellur. I'm Melysa, I'm new to the city, I work at the Bawdy Bard." She doesn't seem at all abashed to admit to whoring, but then dressed as she is that's hardly surprising. "I suppose I could take a little bacon, but it's only me eating it, I don't have family here to share it with." She shrugs. "Just get me whichever bacon you think right. And some for Tellur, if he wants it." If she's flashign silvre moons she must be doing quite well.

Ser Malcolm Storm turns the full weight of his sunniest smile on Esme, the smile itself made slightly crooked by a small scar on the upper lip. All his annoyance is gone. "The gods have clearly sent you if you have stinky cheese and the little sausages both…. and I could swear I've seen your headscarf in the crowd on some tourney day, though it's hard to be sure through the eye slits." Where else would she know him from after all. He moves with an efficient sort of grace: not a movement wasted and no fidgetting despite his youth. "Best we get four pheasants then and a chicken if you have them." he laughs then, warm and bright, "Aye, it's true. I've heard there is a way of baking pheasants with a grape or raisin stuffing…." He nods his head politel as tellur introduces, once for each of the women. "Best to bring out anything in the way of stinky cheeses and we'll have a sniff… And bacon it sounds like, as Tellur here is peckish…. I'm not responsible for your lace, Tellur." He double takes then, "Oh! Then I owe you an apology Mistress Melyssa, for I took you for a new girl at the Quill. And here I was ordering drinks from you. May I at least buy your bacon?"

As long as someone pays for the bacon, Esme will be content; she nods her understanding to Tellur and reassures him that, "It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Master Snow," and then, leaving him to his inspection of the muslin, enters into a brief, low-voiced conference upon the vital subject of bacon with her hovering shop girl. The connecting door shuts again behind the latter and Esme has her hand already upon the other, the one which leads to the grocery's miniscule back room, when that brilliant Twilight Storm smile seems almost to send her reeling. She laughs aloud and shakes her head and then confesses, "Well, if I've someone to mind the shop, I do step along to the tourney grounds once in a while. It makes a change, doesn't it? We've plenty of good fresh birds in next door, and if your kitchen staff doesn't mind doing the plucking you can take them with you right now, or we can send them along later. Where was it you said?" But before he can begin to answer she holds up a single bony finger. "Pardon me just a moment, please, ser."

She's out of sight for hardly a quarter of a minute before she emerges carrying a tray and enveloped, one might almost say preceded, by the general aura of the half a dozen small cheesecloth-wrapped bundles arranged upon it. This tray she deposits on the near end of the counter, with a minor flourish, and stands back to allow her customers to sniff at their leisure.

"We'll have your bacon in three shakes of a lamb's tail, goodwoman," is her reassurance then to Melysa. She nods again to Master Snow to include him too.

Tellur's scars are a bit more brutal - the tattooing is deliberately covering up some of the worst of them, but he has quite a range, including a very ugly one over his belly. For his own relatively young age, he is apparently very poor at ducking "I'm definitely going to want some of that good sun tea if all we're going to be eating is that heavy-tasting -" He blinks. Oh. The Bawdy Bard. Tellur actually colours up like a nine year old might at finding out similar things "…goodness - and you are, thankyou very much, Stag. All your pageantry, and then the Cat is 'We have to present a united front' and then both of you are looking like -" Grumble mumble, off it goes into muttering under his breath. He selects some of the muslin, and comes back with it, and he says to Esme "We can do the plucking, if we're going to get creative, I think we had best get those birds into fruit brandy fast…the Weirwood, madam. Ser Malcolm serves Lord Carolis at the Weirwood, as do I. It's in Old Town - it's the building that keeps being defaced." His tone is so bland at that, so very bland.

"I did work at the Quill for a few hours, they kicked me out when I dumped a tankard of cider on a man's head." Melysa frowns. "But he had it coming, slapping me like that." An evil smirk appears on her face and she looks at Tellur. "At least when I work at the Bawdy Bard they have to pay to do the slapping. Anyway, I appreciate the offer of the bacon, but I'm no beggar, I can pay my own." She reaches out to take the bacon from Esme. "I'm sorry, I did not catch your name."

Malcolm grins, "My Starks are kind enough to indulge me by letting me compete even if it is Southron madness." He gives Esme a little wink, "I shall look for you especial next there's a tourney here. We've definately hands for plucking, as he said, though I'll keep the offer in mind next we have company in force. You can't miss Weirwood Manse as the carvings stand out rather even when it's not defaced…." When the cheeses emerge he looks delighted by the miasma, "Come help me choose the best or worse two, Tellur. Your nose is better than mine for such things. I've got plenty brewing on my windowsill. There ought to be plenty." In contrast to the other Bastard, ser Malcolm didn't even blink at the mention of her place of employment nor does it change his courtious address. "Why not eat your fill the both of you when the bacon comes? I do owe you an apology Mistress still. What would it hurt as we'll be having some too?" He looks amused at the grumbling. Odds are he's heard it before and often…. Oh! or maybe peary! I should consult Blanchett on the way home.

To the delight and gratification of all, the shop girl in her blue dress soon steps through again bearing an earthenware plate piled with about twenty thick rashers of freshly smoked bacon hot to the touch. Esme waves it over to the counter to be set down next to the cheeses, serene in her new knowledge that at the very least it can be added to House Stark's bill, though one or two pieces vanish from the plate en route and it's hardly surprising, is it.

"Aye, I know it well," she says of the building, nodding to the Stark men; "I often walk along that way to the sept and back of a morning. I'm honoured by the custom of such an old and respectable house. … Have I not," wrinkles shift as she narrows her eyes at Tellur Snow, "seen you out and about early, wiping the smile off its face, if you'll forgive me for saying so?" And then, turning with another perfectly friendly and unjudgmental smile to the young foreign girl: "My name is Esme, goodwoman; and my son the butcher, who smokes such fine bacon, is called Edmyn. I hope as you're working so close by you'll come in again when you've need of any of the little things I sell."

The silver moon has vanished beyond reclaiming; but now that she's behind her counter again, she pushes several smaller coins across to Melysa as she speaks, her change from the earlier purchase of the dry cloths.

Tellur says to Melysa "Ahh, there, you are. That is why I have never worked there. I would be upset and stab people." It might be humour. Hard to tell, given that Tellur's expressions are somewhat few and far beween "Tch, indulge you? How could we stop you," Tellur says to Malcolm. And 'we', for Starks - the scandal. Tellur leans over to examine the cheese in detail, and he does, indeed, sniff. The Master of Hounds wrinkles his nose, considering between the cheeses, and he says to Malcolm "The one on the left is deeper, but all of these are good. Look, this one is from the city, it has the smell of the dust on the cooler days - that is from that dairy out in the fields…" He then allows to Esme "Indeed - it is a matter of respect, is it not? I like…I like things to be respectful, and there are young scoundrels who get far too close." He grins. My, does Tellur have a lot of teeth. "Stag? Can you tally this up?

Melysa takes her change, placing it in her coin purse. "I'm sure I will stop by your shop often. Are you able to tell me though, do you know of a good herbalist or apothocary? After all a woman working at the Bawdy Bard should not be without her moon tea." Her own nose wrinkles and she subtly leans back away from the cheeses, a look of bafflement covers her face at the mentions of this house everyone is talking about. She looks up at the sky, seeing if the heavy rain is letting up, or if she is going to be further drenched when she departs - not that there's a dry stitch of clothing to get wet.

Malcolm raises his eyebrows at Tellur at Esme's mention of him oing the scrubbing himself, again looking amused. He himself is on the roof at that hour when it isn't raining and so would have missed it. At the stabbing comment he gives a softer laugh, "Don't think he's kidding. Our Tellur is not best suited to putting up with nonsense from people. Beasts on the other hand…." he snorts, "Oh, there are ways…" Then he is examining the cheeses as Tellur describes them. He selects the one on the left and the one from the dairy 'out in the feilds' after some thought. "With a selection this good, we'll have to come back." He gives esme an easy going smile. He must have caught something of Melysa's expression, "Starks follow the old Gods of the north, not the Seven. Weirwoods are a part of that religion and the old religion of the Reach too. Weirwood Manse is the oldest manse in the city and has Weirwood carvings on the face of it, hence the name."

Behind her counter the luridly striped little shopkeeper is quieter now, letting her customers get along with eating their bacon and making their decisions. When the girl asks after a herbalist, however, Esme puts in, "There's a shop in Old Street, just along from the Weirwood Manse, which could set you up with whatever you need in that regard, goodwoman."

And then when her odiferous cheeses pass muster, Esme beams her pleasure and (setting those two aside) addresses Ser Malcolm as the senior member of House Stark's elite shopping squad. "I'm glad you've found something to suit. That'll be the two cheeses, then, the muslin, four pheasants and a chicken, the bacon of course, and what weight in sausages, ser? We make them right here, next door, and we can easily set you up with as many as you need, regularly, if they're your lord's favourite — he'll fancy himself in Volantis, I promise you, ser."

Tellur says, with a hint of crankiness "My beasts are very well behaved, and most people are not. The best hunting dogs in the city, and soon, the best line of horses for scouts, I'll wager, with that sand blood in my beauties. Oh, my beasts may not be pretty, but they are healthy, intelligent, and good natured…" As Malcolm speaks about such things as worship of the old Gods, Tellur says "…of course we do obey all local ordinacnes and observe all legal matters as regards holy feasts." It is quite a quick disclaimer, rattled off, and he adds "I think this is everything, and…oh, they make the sausages here? Hmm." He looks pleased, Tellur does. Still flushing like a schoolboy at talk of moon tea and so forth. Malcolm is the smooth one.

Malcolm says, "A half pound will do on the sausages. Can you think of anything else, Tellur? Liver for your birds? Treats for the dogs? A kidney for Cat's cats?" He laughs again, "I fear the sausages are for me, they are too spicey for northerner's tastes, though watching them try is something to see. I picked up the taste abroad…. Of course your Beasts are best, Tellur, I'd never dare dispute it." Talk of Moon tea does not distress him in the least, though he has nothing much to say on it."

Melysa stays silent on the matter of religion, frowning ever so slightly at the mention of local ordinances. "I'm sure you're far better at taming beasts than I am at taming beastly bar patrons. I suppose I should ask for the location of a skilled seamstress as well, Someone who can make dresses better suited for the weather here, if not quite so…. concealing. Uh, unless there's some local ordinance about such." She smiles at Tellur. "I would love to speak with you more Tellut, I should find out about these local ordinances before I mistakingly break one. If I know about them then I can break them on purpose."

"Half a pound of sausages, Ser Malcolm," agrees Esme, "and will you wish to open an account, or…?" He knows not how fortunate he is, to be a man of high repute in the city, closely associated with House Stark — as she knew very well even before he spoke of it. Not many people can walk into Mistress Esme's shop and be offered an account inside quarter of an hour. Oh, no.

"No, not right now - I've been trapping vermin for the birds, the bones are good for them. The dogs, I pick up a load from the knackery. And my beloved horses, those have the best grain one can buy. No, this shopping trip is for us poor paupers, Stag," Tellur grins, suddenly. He can smile, after all. He is quite happy to let the Knight carry everything, the cad, and he says to Melysa "Truth is, I suspect the patrons are harder than a beast. The average animal wants to know where it is, that its food is coming on time, and that it can trick you. The average bar patron probably requires a good thumping - I should never hit an animal in training. Men respond better to it." As laws are mentioned, Tellur clears his throat "I mostly keep my head down and try to merely stab enemies of the nation," he says gravely, and then he gives a grin as Esme asks that question for Mal.

Malcolm, being a knight, can be assumed to follow the Faith of the Seven, reguardless of where he serves, and was the one, with the Maiden's Knight distributing food, goat's milk, and medicine to the poor of the undercity during the Plague, so one can hope that a knight Ser daevon might pick for that would have similar religious views, but one can't really know, can one? "He's making great progress with my Motley, who is a wayward beast indeed." He helps himself to a slice of bacon. Up close there is scarring on both hands and his shield hand's knuckles look to be possibly permanantly squished a bit out of shape. "I brought coin with me, though it may be we'll need an account in future when I send servants. We just wanted a little special for our Lord's dinner, what with the rain…." He flashes Tellur a mischevious smile, "Us paupers then and our Lord, then." He starts loading the things into the basket, not making a fuss about the carrying. "Should duck more, I keep saying…."

Whilst the others chat Esme ducks into her back room again with the rejected cheeses and then opens the door to the butcher's shop, letting in that smell again in even greater strength than is presently radiating from the plate upon the counter. She only glances through, but the look in her eyes is enough to summon a brace of pheasants and a single lonely chicken, all tied up together at their necks — she holds the door wider for her shop girl, whose white apron looks a mite less pristine now, to carry them in.

"Now, we'll find you another basket if you've not room enough in that one," Esme insists to Ser Malcolm, "and half a pound of the little spicy sausages, Katla, the hot ones, as quick as you can, girl." The birds are entrusted into the keeping of the Twilight Storm (live ones would be more Tellur's department, of course) and the girl rushes through into the butchery again. "That'll be—" And she mentions in an undertone a sum of money which is, shall we say, commensurate with the quality of her goods and the convenience of finding so many delicious eatables beneath one roof on a rainy day.

Tellur says, a little frazzled - so easily taunted - "Aye, and if I'd had a great suit of armour like that bloody slow crab-cage you wear, then I'd need to ride a Motley of my own - some of us are not designed to be hit like a bell half a dozen times a minute!" He fingers a mark on his shoulder "Anyway, nothing vital has ever been hit. Well. Nothing _very_ vital. Are you pleased, Stag? Now when I go out with you, I'm trussed up like a chicken in that heavy boiled leather, I look like a barbered bear…" He sniffs at the smell, and he then raises an eyebrow at the price, but he grins "Aye, I think Cat can pay that, Stag. Otherwise, it's you and I going out with snares again."

"I suppose I should get back to the Bawdy Bard soon. Thank you for the bacon Esme." She dips into a deep curtsey, mostly toward Tellur. "Ser Malcolm, Tellur, most pleased to make your aquiantance. I do hope to meet you again soon." The young woman wraps her own bacon in the towels she just bought. She moves out, nearly into the rain, then pauses, then there's nothing for it, feet spattering in the mud she darts off.

Malcolm sets the meat in the basket, "Might you carry the cheeses in your muslin, Tellur? I should hate to bather the Goodwife with another basket." Ha! That'll show him! Malcolm takes out his purse and adds an extra silver, "The extra is to open an account for our manse. I've a feeling if the cheeses go over well we'll be sending for them often." He snorts, "There's a time for leathers and a time for 'crab cages.' Wisdom is knowing which is which." he's laughing again all sunshine and smiles, "A barbered bear would not have those braids…. I took it from the household funds. It is tonight's dinner after all." He gives a friendly enough nod to Melyas, "Best of luck, Mistress."

Tellur smiles at the young woman - he might just take a while to warm up to people. He now seems cheerful enough, and he is already mentally planning the training bridle for his carefully bred and nurtured foal. He nudges Malcolm a little at talk of the Bawdy Bard, and then he reaches out to wrap the cheeses up in the muslin. One eye goes towards Malcolm, is sliiiightly narrowed, and he blows his own braids out of his eyes. They are dyed, the way Malcolm's are. Apparently one does adopt the local customs, sometimes "Here we go. Teach me, mighty warrior," he grouses "I still say the best way is a bow from half a mile away. I have allergies to being knifed…"

The piece of silver gleams upon the counter for only instants before the little shopkeeper sweeps it away, returning for it a beaming, benevolent smile. "Certainly, Ser Malcolm; and of course an account here is good for both shops. Deliveries are no trouble, rain or shine," she nods to the falling rain still obscuring her usual view of the stockyards across Oldtown Square, "and if ever there's anything you need that you're not sure where to get, I can often find it for you and see that it's put in with your next order. It's been a pleasure to make your acquaintance, the both of you. Now, mind how you go, eh? Watch out for the puddles — and I'll see you again, I hope."

Malcolm waits until the young woman has left before saying, "I'm not visiting her there, but manners are manners and work is work…. Everyone has allergies to being knifed and I'd love it if you and our Lord had the sense to hide behind trees and shoot at a distance, but as long as you don't…" He gives her another respectful nod, "Of course, Mistress. I'll make a list…." And then he is off.

Tellur says "I was hiding behind a tree last time! Is it my fault the tree was full of wildlings?" He looks like a wildling himself, Tellur does. But off he goes, following Malcolm, and muttering under his breath like a sourpuss.

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