An ear for music
Chapter 8: Pirates and Cowboys
Timeline: Iron Buffalo saloon
An old piano, barely in tune, was being enthusiastically played by an old man. Three young women in scandalous clothing were jumping up and down next to him, barely keeping time. Daenelia was tempted to draw her pistol and fire it in the air, or at the old man. But the town had already collectively decided that the Steamhawke's crew were bad news, that it would be a terrible idea to start more trouble.
Kai winced as he entered, the piano notes being just wrong enough to be an annoyance but not so terrible the song wasn't apparent. A quick glance around the bar showed him that the majority of the seats there were taken, and that most of the occupants were - somehow - enjoying the man's musical attempts. He noticed a woman sitting a little way off who seemed to share his feelings, and walked over to her.
"Appalling, isn't it." He said, nodding at the piano. "Do you mind if I join you?"
She nodded and moved her chair a little, so the man would have room to sit down on the chair next to her. They both turned to look at the old man at the piano, as he hit a key that wasn't just out of tune, but completely the wrong one to start with. Daenelia sighed. "Someone should put that piano out of its misery," she said loud enough for her neighbour to hear.
Nodding in agreement, Kai gave a minute shudder. "If it continues for much longer," He rose his voice as the tune rattled out another series of off-key notes, making it harder to be heard, "I may have to do something myself." Like leaving. Or possibly paying the other man to leave - which, now he thought about it, would be a great deal easier if he actually had any money.
She looked at Kai and felt social enough to extend a hand in greeting. "I'm Daenelia Bradley, by the way," she said with a small smile.
"Kai." He shook the offered hand. "A pleasure, I'm sure." It was unlikely that the woman would have recognized his last name but he'd learnt that being overly cautious was far, far better than the alternative when it came to such things.
Releasing her hand, Kai smiled back at the woman. "Tell me, Miss Bradley. What do you do?" He asked curiously.
"I'm an entrepreneur," she said without hesitation. It was a word she had learned from Captain Dubois, and he had used it on occasion in settings where claiming to be a pirate captain wasn't healthy. Not that the town of Harling Pass hadn't put one and one together, but since no arrest had been made, and no bounty hunter had stirred up trouble, she liked to keep up the pretense.
"Yep. I ... buy and sell things. Curiosa." She quickly drained her glass. If he was a gentleman he'd buy her some more refreshment.
"Ah" Kai nodded. An entrepreneur. That wasn't quite what he'd been expecting, the woman had a more adventurous look about her, not the type to spend their time working in a business. Then again, he supposed she could just be a normal trader trying to sound more important. "And how's that going?"
Noticing that her cup was empty, Kai waited until one of the serving women walked by before quickly turning to her and requesting a drink, the cheapest one there was. "I think Miss Bradley would also like a refill?" He waited until the woman in question nodded before confirming the order and passing along the coins. As luck would have it, the drinks were cheap and he would still have just enough money to buy passage to somewhere else. "I don't suppose you know of any ships looking for cheap passengers?" He asked, not really expecting an answer.
Daenelia thought on that. "No, no I don't." She accepted the drink and continued. "There is a wagon train going to Kanesville soon, if you're looking to get out of this ... quaint little town." She took a quick sip. "For a small fee, I could get you passage on one of the wagons. Unless you have your own horse, then you could tag along if you take your own supplies with you."
She studied the man a little more, he surely didn't look like a farmer, or like someone from Harling Pass. And she wasnt sure but he was carrying a case that could hold a violin, or banjo, or something. She stared at it.
Kai finished his drink and picked up the case. He winced again at the music and singing. "I can't stand this anymore," he seemed to mumble.
"If you do need a ride out of town," Daenelia said, as Kai stood up, "come to Murphy's Folly, the sky ship hangar? Me and my crew... we will be traveling to Kanesville soon. Bring your own supplies, and I will make you a pretty deal on the travel costs." For good measure, she gave him the widest grin ever.
"Would be nice to have some pleasant music along," she ventured. But Kai just nodded and left the bar.