The matter of rent
Edmund knew that seal at once: the War Council. He broke it and tore open the letter.
The delivery boy had turned away.
“Just a moment!” Edmund called after him. “Would you read it for me?” He held out the paper.
The boy blinked. “An odd request, but I suppose.” He took the letter and cleared his throat. “'The council must regretfully decline your petition with regards to a pension, upon consideration of such legal – '”
“That's enough!” Edmund tore it from the boy's hands.
“Sorry, sir. Sounds like unfortunate news, that.”
Edmund crammed the letter into a coat pocket. He had half-closed the door, muttering to himself, when the boy stuck out a hand and coughed. Edmund stared down into the boy's palm.
“For my trouble, sir?”
Edmund swallowed and fumbled in his coat. After a moment he sheepishly placed a single penny into the boy's hand. “I'm afraid I haven't much, though I am very grateful to yo
Everywhere Edmund went, the rooms were overfull. Either that, or the price was so steep, it left his mouth dry. After the eighth inn with no space, he sighed in defeat and made his way back toward the common where he'd left the carriage.
The cab was surrounded by a ragged mob when he arrived. He rode into the thick of it, leaning down to shove people out of the way. Old women, youths in tattered clothing, men with hollow eyes looked at him wildly as he pushed them aside.
“Clear out, go on! Clear off, I say!”
They went, but reluctantly. When a few lingered, glaring at Edmund, he drew his pistol. They fled at the sight of it.
Edmund rode up to the carriage door and pulled it open. “What was that about?”
Andar sat on the far end of his seat. His face was drawn, pale. In his lap was the bag Lady Federick had given him.
Edmund dropped down off of Saybrook and leaned inside the cab. “Are you all right?”
“Yes, I –” Andar handed the bag to