He hadn’t had to ponder. And really, what choice did he have? The soldier had given him directions to the The Fish Belly, a tavern he knew like the back of his hand, but he’d repeated the directions, anyway. Also, he was to be on the look-out for a fat man.
“A fat man?” he’d protested. “There are many fat men in Casoria. It’s a fat land.”
“An enormous man,” The solider, losing patience, had mounted. “You will know him when you see him. That’s what I was told.” Tugging on the reins, he turned his horse toward the Nevers. “Good luck, Faw Shandy,” he called, followed by a bark of laughter. “Deliver or forfeit your life!”
Faw realized then he could not not go. They’d hunt him down and kill him in one of the messy and spectacular ways he’d heard about (and once witnessed) over the years.
He’d driven the caravan at a leisurely pace toward Casoria. The solider had said he must arrive on the first day of Open Court, and that was still two days away. He’d thought to rest a bit. He thought the fat man would be hard to find. He thought. . . he didn’t know what he’d thought other than it wouldn’t happen so fast. Or the rain be so heavy.
As it was, Faw Shandy left on the night of the same day he arrived in Casoria. The enormous fat man had already captured his prey and bottled it in glass the color of the deep blue sea. The fat man’s name was Suga and he’d followed him to the caravan, cursing and threatening him every step of the way.
At all costs, the bottle must not be broken.
It would not be broken, Faw assured him, and placed it in the spot he’d made to specification.
At its placement, the sudden radiance of the other bottles was nothing short of surprising.