Underby took a shot of whiskey, looked at Bib, then walked to the back of the Bucket, where Dizelle slowly mopped the floor with dirty water. He stood for a moment, just watching her, took a deep breath, then spoke: “Dizelle.” he said.
The corpse woman blinked a few times, neither eye in full unison, twisted her head as if listening, finally shuffling around to look at the tall pale man. Her mouth opened into something resembling a smile. Her head bobbed slightly.
“Dizelle, I’m afraid I have some bad news.”
Her head turned the other way, still seemingly listening for something. She dropped the mop, absently, as if unaware she had ever been holding it to begin with.
“Pip?” Underby asked her. “Do you remember Pip?”
That almost smile flashed again, and a whiff of something horrid rose from her mouth as it did. Her eyes rolled about independently, scanning the saloon. She leaned a bit, and motioned with her hand by her thin thighs.
“That’s right.” Underby said, smiling slightly despite himself. “He was a small person.”
Dizelle smiled again, and clapped twice.
“Dizelle. Listen to me Dizelle. Dizelle. Here.” he snapped his fingers in front of her face. She stared at his hand, astonished. “Dizelle. Pip has died. Pip won’t be around the Bucket anymore.”
The corpse woman looked down at the bucket near her feet, and blinked at it. “Nnnnnnnnnaaaaaaauuuuuuuugh?” she moaned.
“Not that bucket, Dizelle. The Bucket of Blood. Here. This saloon.” Underby said, and motioned with his hand around the room. Dizelle followed his hand, blinking. When he finished with the gesture she smiled and clapped again.
Bib approached, and put one hand on her shoulder. “Dizelle.” he said. She looked at him. He bent slightly, and held his hand down near his own thigh. “Pip.” he said. She smiled. He raised that hand up to his own throat, and traced a finger across it. “Pip is dead.”
Dizelle’s smile melted. She blinked. Looking at Underby she said, “Nnnnnaauughh?”
Underby nodded. Dizelle looked around, as if looking for something. Underby took her chin in his hand and made her look at him. “No, he’s not here Dizelle. He is gone. Dead.”
Dizelle pulled her chin from his hand, and stalked stiffly to the front of the tavern. She looked around the front bookcase, then up the stairs.
“What in the name of Choronzon is she looking for?” Underby asked.
Bib smiled a little, and as he walked to the bar he said, “I think I know.” He reached under the bar and found Underby’s violin. Dizelle clapped again. “It’s the fiddle, ain’t it, Dizelle? Pip liked t’dance t’fiddle music.”
Dizelle nodded and clapped. Bib put the violin under his chin and began to play a jaunty tune well known in his home town. Dizelle squealed and spun around clumsily. Bib laughed. Underby smiled.
Dizelle grabbed Underby’s sleeve. “What?” he asked. She pulled him, and turned another half spin, still holding him. “Daaahhhh!” she called. “Fohnnn puhrpp.” she pulled his sleeve.
“I have no idea what she wants,” he said, frowning. He didn’t like her pulling on his sleeve like that, he thought she might loose another finger, then she would no longer be able to mop.
Bib called over the music: “Dance, boss, that’s what she’s sayin. Dance. Fer Pip.”
“Foohhhhn puhrppp.” Dizelle nodded.
Underby smiled. “Oh my,” he said. He gently took her hand, and placed his other on her back, and they waltzed. They waltzed as they did on the last night she lived, and she laughed. For Pip.