Mornington and Mr Tupplesworth, the morning shift Quartermaster and Foreman of Port Babbage, stood in heavy jackets looking out into the sea of Port Babbage at 7 in the morning. They had both been consuming a half bottle of Captain Morgan’s Special Reserve rum and chatting about the latest events in the city.
With the rum finished, and no ships due in to port, both Mornington and Tuppleworth walked over to Brunel’s bar and sat in semi darkness chatting again.
“Isn’t it amazing how quick this sicty falls apart when the short fella aint around” Mornington mused.
“Short fella? Emperor Crumb?”
“Ahhhhhh” said Tupplesworth.
Mornington filled both of their glasses with Jonny Walker and continued on. “Think about it, one bomb set off at Central Station, another bomb wrecks the Fells transport bridge, then the horrid shoots at the Asylum, and now, ontop of all that, a snooping reporter…”
Tupplesworth nodded. “Aye, and the skimmings from Port Babbage have dropped like a lead wheight, all those kids Underby has looking around”.
“Yeah” Mornington looked into his glass of Johnny Walker and continued… “I wonder what Underby is looking for? It can’t be contraband, he’d just have all the warehouses checked…infact he only started looking at incoming vessels when the Mayor lef…”
“He knew…that sly little politician knew!”
Tupplesworth turned and looked at Mornington with a questioning look.
“He knew there was some kind of anarchistic group attempting to set off bombs in the city, its the only explanation, he wouldnt waste all this time and effort just for contraband, he must have gotten a tip off from someone. Just after Underby sent the urchins out…that reporter arrived…maybe it was him…”
Tupplesworth grunted and filled up his glass again. “Two things i dont trust, the press and politicians”.
Mornington grinned…stodd up, went to the front door of Brunel and gave out a loud whistle follwed by a loud shout of “MESSAGE!”. Just as he sat back down at the bar a small urchin, one of the runners, came running in.
“Ya called Mista Morningtun?!”
Mornington jumped back bedhing the bar and walked down into the cellar, when he came back up he produced 4 bottles. Two bottles of Ravila Wine and two bottles of Oban 15 year old single malt whiskey.
“Ok kid, one of each to Mr Underby and Mr…whatever his name is, that new reporter in town.”
Mornington scribbled down a letter…
“Dear Mr Underby.
A small token of my thanks for all the work you have been doing whilst Mr Tenk is delayed.
The second letter read…
“Dear Estimed Member of the Press
Please accept these welcoming gifts from myself, welcome to the City State of New Babbage
…and with that, he passed the letters and drinks to the messenger and the messenger ran off.
Mornington turned to old Tupplesworth. “Your right, you should never trust the press or politicians…but its also very handy to sweeten them up…”
Both of the men toasted to the missing Mayor Tenk and chuckled…