The Venture had reached port the previous afternoon but nearly 24 hours later there had still been no deliveries to the Brass Monkey.
I was asked to checked with the ship while His Grace checked other establishments.
On arrival at the docks I hailed the Captain and explained I was looking for our shipment. His eyes went wide and then narrowed as he hollered for the Lead Deck Hand. He clambered up the stairs took one look at me and grabbed a charm round his neck and kissed it fervently.
“What the hell is that?!?” he asked the Captain.
“*That* is the Duke’s Man”said the Captain, glaring at him.
“That ain’t no man” he said, in somewhat quieter tones.
“And he wants to know where his alcohol has got to” continued the Captain.
The Hand stopped for a moment, then continued, “Stupid machine, we sent it out just like the instructions said.”
“It hasn’t come to the Brass Monkey.” I said.
“Nah. We got told to take it down to that shanty place. The Mole. Next to that big new clock that’s goin’ up.”
“And who told you to take it there?”
“The goatlegs bloke gave me a new delivery docket.”
“Do you still have it?”
“Urrrmm….” The deck hand rummaged through about half a dozen different pockets before producing a crumpled and water-stained piece of paper.
I held my hand out for the paper and he passed it over as if expecting me to bite him at any second.
Unfolding it I was able to read most of the lettering and it did indeed say the shipment was to be sent to The Vole. I would check it against previous correspondence from Mr. Mornington later.
“Thank you gentlemen you’ve been most helpful.” I flipped a coin in the Captain’s direction.
“What’s going on?” he asked.
“You’ve been roped into the local Public House dispute. I will advise the Duke accordingly.”
Turning, I headed towards the Canals. I pulled a small box with a copper mesh cover and spoke into it, “Your Grace do you hear me?”
“It appears Mr. Mornington has rerouted the spirits to The Vole.”
The Duke replied in a deadpan voice “Oh he did did he?”
“I’m on my way to The Vole now to see if any can be salvaged.”
“I think I’ll pay Victor a visit.”
“Yes Your Grace.” I pocketed the box and continued on my way. This wasn’t going to end well.