I knew it would come to this one day. I knew my husband had a bit of a gambling problem, but not having heard from him for over a year or more, I didn’t think he was still making me pay for his mistakes…
He has gone too far!
Two weeks after receiving a cryptically worded, saltwater stained letter, shockingly written by the man I thought long lost at sea, a mutual friend filled me in on the details. While out in Shanghai, my husband came across a small man who was playing a game of dice on the pier. Darling (idiot) husband decided to join in and while caught up in boasting and bragging he mentioned that his lovely wife at home, established businesses, and how he was just too successful for his own good.
The old man with the dice apparently was not just old, but wise and a good cheat too for he coaxed my husband into playing more than a couple of rounds. He let him win the first two, losing a few coins here and there, and once my husband got cocky, he then dared him to bet a sum more worth his stature. So my husband, true to form, bet far more than he had in his pocket! Then he lost…
He didn’t know what he was getting into and when the man turned his wrist over and showed a small red marking upon it he didn’t pay it too much attention.
My husband told me in the letter that the man muttered something weird, “Servata fides cineri…” but being the man my husband is…and not a very bright one …he blew the man off.
A series of bad events overtook my husband after that. People in town started throwing him out of places, spitting at him, and hissing angrily in his direction and when he got back to the boat, he found many of his shipment burned, torn, or dumped overboard. Asking a friend what he had gotten himself into, he was told dire tales of “The Family”, so he followed his usual brilliant tactic when in trouble and snuck out of port in the dead of night. He apparently gave only enough thought about what he may have gotten me into to send off a short message of warning.
I still didn’t think much of the matter as another week went by, with none of the events predicted in his scribbled note. My new reality hit me as a blonde woman with vicious blue eyes, in a rather lovely violet dress, rapped on the door of my flat at the Arms.
“Elleon Bergamasco?” she said coldly.
“Yes? How can I help you?” I replied…not so coldly.
“I’m here to collect a debt on behalf of the family hun…” she said quickly, and with a shove on the door she forced her way into the room followed by two rather large men that looked like they could snap me in two if they even breathed on me, so I thought it best to comply.
I most certainly couldn’t cry out for help, nor did I really want too. A debt is a debt, but when I found out it what a massive debt my husband had incurred, my heart AND stomach leaped. The lady went on to explain how this “situation” worked, but she didn’t go into details of who “The Family” was …and with the bulky beasts for men standing behind me, I wasn’t going to ask.
I had a choice…my legs…or my property. Apparently my husband had bragged about the businesses “he” had built up, all of which had been established while he was away at sea supposedly seeking out goods to import (none of which had ever arrived in Babbage). I thought about the Arms…I didn’t want to lose that! It was my main source of income…and who knows what they would have done to the place. I then thought about the Museum…and wondered dubiously if any of these people would know what to do with it. Besides, Mr Mornington had worked so hard updating the exhibits, I hated to let that go.
Begrudgingly I offered up the White Rabbit Restaurant as payment, with the hopes that would be sufficient to cover the debt. The blonde woman before me smugly crossed her arms and stared me down, and I…may have stared at her back. She nodded at the two guys and they left, but as she turned to leave she smirked, “I’m sure that will please The Cogfather and his lady…if not…you’ll hear from us again.” She held her hand out to me, I could only guess it was to gather the key to to the restaurant. I nodded at her and rose to go to the desk that sat in the other room. My mind still wondered how they found me, and how I was going to find my husband. I prayed he was alive when I did…so I could kill him.
The woman snatched the key from my hand when I presented it to her and nodded smugly. “Pleasure doing business with you, Ms. Bergamasco was it?”
It wasn’t like she cared, you could tell by the tone in her voice. Once the door closed upon her exit, I slumped into the arm chair beside me and sighed heavily.
My had husband warned me enough in the letter not to mess with “The Family”, I guess he cared -that- much…
But I’m willing to bet, that things could have been worse, and I’d gotten off very…very lucky. With luck, they wouldn’t look too closely at the boxes in the wine cellar…
((Alas my dear friends I can no longer keep The White Rabbit going, so Bianca has offered to kindly keep it afloat. We thought it fun to do a sort of RP with a story as to why she owns it now. Please support her as you have kindly supported me in keeping this dream of mine alive through her! Thanks again for a wonderful time! ))