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Rolfin's Orb
Book 6 - Ruby
Chapter 4

Drayton woke up at hotel. The mid-afternoon sun hung low in the sky. He heard the shutters outside his hotel window shake in the wind. “I’ll bet it’s stinking cold out there.” He headed down to the lobby, nodded to the male hotel clerk and went outside. A blast of cold autumn air hit him. He pulled the coat around his neck. “Where do I go? Phelan, his royal pain in the neck, will want a report. Ah, he can wait. I’m hungry.”

The same restaurant he ate at before came into his view. “Might as well go there again.” Turning the knob, he opened the door and stepped into the aroma of meat pies and Cornish pasties. The waitress, Agnes, recognized him and frowned, shaking her head back and forth as she seated him without saying a word. She dropped the menu on the table and stood in front of him waiting for his order. “Get lost, old broad. I’ll call you when I’ve decided.” Agnes turned and walked to the counter.

 After selecting cheese and onion bridies, a half-dozen sausage rolls and a plate of beans and chips, he waved, trying to catch Agnes’s attention. She saw him but ignored his hand calls. Drayton stood up on the chair and shouted, “Old broad. Get down here and take my order now!”

Agnes’s boss gently pushed her, mumbling softly. “All right. Don’t push me.” She stood next to the table. “What would you like?” She cringed standing anywhere near him.

“I’d like to string you up by your toes and dump you in the loch, but since I can’t do that, I’ll have this, this, and this and make it fast.” He pointed to each item. “What’s your problem anyway?”

Agnes snarled. “I remember you from last time. I know it was you who damaged the McAllister’s house. Elsie told me.”

“Oh she did, did she? Well, I’ll have to have a talk with Elsie about gossiping and spreading rumors,” Drayton said. “Get my food.”

Agnes placed his order. Many of the people in the restaurant got up and walked out, sensing danger. He amused himself while waiting for his food by dumping the salt and peppershakers onto the table. He tore open all the sugar packages and tossed them on the floor, hoping to attract ants. The door opened and he looked up.

“Agnes! It’s good to see you,” Elsie said, waving at her friend.

Agnes scowled and ran to Elsie. “You’d better leave right now. That man is here and…”

“Well, if it isn’t my old friend, Elsie,” Drayton said, walking up to her. “Why don’t you come and join me and we’ll have a little talk.” He grabbed her by the arm and dragged her down to his booth. “Sit down.”

Elsie slid into the seat. Agnes whispered something to her boss, Ewan. He removed his apron and left, making sure Drayton didn’t hear the door shut. She went behind the counter and picked up a heavy black frying pan, just in case Drayton tried to hurt Elsie.

“Elsie, it’s good to see you. I hear you’ve been spreading nasty rumors around town about me. Is this true?”

“I...I don’t know what you mean?”

“Come on now. You’ve been talking about me and how I trashed the McAllister’s house, haven’t you?”

“The subject did come up once and so did your name.”

“Oh? And who brought up my name? It wouldn’t be you, would it?” He turned and looked at Agnes. “Where’s my food?”

Agnes put the frying pan down and took him his food, which Ewan had left on the counter. She put it down in front of him. “Would you like something, Elsie dear?”

“I’ll decide if she gets anything to eat. She can have some of mine. I’ve got enough for two. It better not be cold.” Drayton growled at Agnes and she hurried back to the front. “Why don’t you have a sausage roll?” He put one on a paper napkin and pushed it in front of her. “Go ahead, eat it.”

Elsie picked it up and put it to her mouth.

“Maybe you’d like some tomato sauce to go with it?”

“No thank you. I’d rather not.”

“I insist.” He picked up the glass bottle of tomato sauce and unscrewed the lid. He held it upside down and shook it. “Well, that’s just not nice. The tomato sauce won’t come out of the bottle. How can I give you some when it’s stuck? Maybe if I hit it with my hand, it might come out. Do you think so, Elsie?”

Elsie shook her head. Drayton aimed the hole at Elsie’s chest and hit it. Tomato sauce shot out of the bottle, splattering on her white blouse. “Oops. I’ve gone and made a mess.” He picked up a chip and used it to scrape some of the tomato sauce off her. “Quite tasty chips. Try one.” He picked one up and put it in her hand. “Go on. Don’t be shy. Eat it.” She put it in her mouth and chewed a bite.

“Now, Elsie, shall we talk about your gossiping habits again?” Drayton picked up a bridie and bit into it. “Hot, but delicious.” He kept eating. When she tried to get up, he said, “Sit down.” She sat in silence as he finished his meal.

“If I hear one more word from anyone in town about your big mouth, I’ll be paying you a visit at your B&B. Do you understand? Good.” A tear ran down Elsie’s cheek. “Don’t cry, Elsie. I know just the thing to cheer you up. Waitress, Elsie here is insisting she’ll pick up the bill. Thanks for the meal.”

Drayton stood up and picked up his plate. He dropped it on the floor. It shattered and food flew all over Elsie’s legs. “I’m just all butterfingers today.”

He left the restaurant laughing and had just turned the corner when Ewan came back with a police officer. Unaware, he muttered, “I guess I’d better get to the castle and tell Phelan about last night, but first, I’ll pay a little visit to 23 Anstrathven Street.”

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