The next day, Orpheus woke up with a guilty conscience. The
Klockhaven Kids had often pickpocketed before, but they had never attacked
anyone, and he didn’t like what they had done. He was much younger than the
other kids, especially String Bean, but this time he spoke his mind. When
String Bean and the kids started laughing, refusing to acknowledge that they
had done anything wrong, Orpheus had a hissy fit, as young children are wont to
do, and left the shelter and headed into the city. As he passed near the port,
he saw a well-dressed man in brown. He recognized him as Mr. Canis. Orpheus had
seen the man a few times before, and he had always been nice to him.
“Heya Mister!” shouted the boy.
“Evening,” the man replied. “it’s young master Orpheus,
The boy smiled. Mr. Canis was the only one who called him
“master” and he liked it. “Yeah, that’s me,” he beamed.
“What brings you out this way today?”
The boy looked a little bashful, turning his head towards
the ground. Sheepishly, he answered, “I got in a fight with String Bean, so I
am going out on my own for a while.”
Mr. Canis asked who String Bean was, and Orpheus gave him
the details about how String Bean was the leader of the Klockhaven Kids, and
they beat up a guy the night before. String Bean had said that he was doing it
to take care of them, but Orpheus felt real bad about it now. When Mr. Canis
asked about the man who had been attacked, Orpheus said he didn’t know who it
was, but that he had had a nice hat. The man didn’t even have that much money,
and what he did have was some weird coinage. Orpheus showed Mr. Canis the
strangely marked coin that String Bean had given him.
Mr. Canis looked at the shovel shaped piece of metal,
recognizing it not as a coin, but as a key. “Hmmm, I think I recognize this,
its worth five quatloos in the current exchange,” he told the boy. “How about I
exchange it for you, and you tell me about the man with the nice hat and where
Orpheus thought about it; five quatloos was a lot to a small
boy, but something in his head told him to hang on to it. “I dunno…. It is
kinda a neat coin. Maybe I could get it
put on a chain or something and wear it… or what if its some kind of treasure?
I bet it was in some lost treasure!”
Mr. Canis tried to explain that it was from faraway, but it
probably wasn’t treasure. But the boy would not listen to the man anymore. He
ran off shouting about his treasure, then as if remembering something he turned
back towards Mr. Canis.
“Hey Mister! The man with the nice hat was in Clockhaven,
you might still be able to find him.”
And the boy took off running again.