Emerson looked up from his morning crossword at the sound of the door to the Gangplank opening. “Njal,” he said with unmasked surprise. “What are you doing up so early? It’s not even eleven o’clock.”
“I just stopped by to ask for an advance,” explained the Ravilan teen. “I need to go shopping for underlinens. It’s too cold out to do a wash.”
“Oh, hm,” Emerson started tapping his pencil on the top of the bar. “See, the thing is, Malus took the Go-Devil up north and won’t be back until tomorrow. He usually handles the books. You can ask him when he gets back.”
Njal stuck out her lower lip. “Awe, Malus can be such a poop,” she said. “I’d rather ask you. It’s real important. I met an artist from America down at the docks. His name is Charles Dana Gibson, he’s just starting out and needs a model.”
“Well, Junie will be in later,” offered Emerson. “She has the keys to petty cash. She and the squire took mine away to make an extra copy and never gave it back. She usually stops in for lunch.”
Njal made her way behind the bar and started shaking the tip cans when she noticed a large leather satchel on the floor. She picked it up to examine it.
Emerson glanced over. “Some guy forgot that a few days ago. It was under that back table.” Emerson nodded toward the table closest to the kitchen.
Oh, I’ve seen him, some boring writer or something,” she said. “This is nice leather but the bag is kind of frumpy.” Njal upended the satchel dumping the contents, mostly loose papers onto the bar. “Can I have it? I can trade it for the underlinens.”
Emerson shrugged his shoulders. “Sure,” he said, catching one of the liberated documents before it fell to the floor. “Although, it looks like there is a name attached to this one. Herodutus Tripe.” Emerson shrugged again, then tossed the document that appeared to be a letter on the bar.
Njal slung the satchel over her shoulder then turned at the door, “Thanks,” she said. “You are the best boss I have ever had.”
“I know,” Emerson replied. A gust from the door blew through the Gangplank sweeping up several documents – including the letter Emerson had just tossed on the bar. The sheet swirled, caught in an eddy that carried it right out to the street.
“Wow! It is really windy out there today,” said Emerson. “Best hold on to your hat.”