It was later in the day that he heard the news about Loki’s narrow escape with Miss Avariel from the clutches of the spiders, told to him by a group of younger urchins who were in a state of terrified excitement. After they were gone, he sat down and pondered a while before heading off to scrounge some things.
Late that night, as the pubs were beginning to chuck out the last of their clientele, they had a visitation by the fox urchin with an odd request – the contents of their spittoons. Although unusual, most could find no reason not to oblige and he tipped the noxious contents into his pail.
The confectioner was initially outrages when he opened his workshop in the morning to find the following neatly written on his planning chalkboard – Yer wern’t in, so i took em. Left the dosh on yer desk. PS yer might want a better lock, see Mr Thompson of Clockhaven. His ire subsided slightly when he saw the coin on the desk, the yellow glint of gold doing a lot to sooth matters, especially when he checked his inventory to find only two small bottles missing.
Up in the secret hideout, urchins woke to find Tepic wielding a paintbrush, coating door and window frames, and liberally splashing a strange mixture over any holes and cracks he could find in the walls and floor.
“What yer doin, Tepic?” they quirered.
“Makin sure we don’t get no unexpected visitors.” their friend replied, “Now help me up on them bunks, i’s gotta do the roof.”
“Cor!” this stuff whiffs!” commented the lad charged with passing up the pail.
“Yup, tobacco an peppermint, just the job fer things like this!” Tepic replied, “an once Jimmy or DreadPirateBob turn up, yer ain’t gonna notice no how!”
Once he had finished coating every possible point of entry into the hideout under the gaze of the curious throng, he had them line up, and as each one passed by to go out on their daily tasks, he dabbed the back of their hands from a small bottle. Sniffing as they went, the fumes cleared through sticky nostrils, making their eyes widen and water. It wasn’t unpleasant, just… strong, and some of them recognised the scent from when they had been ill in the past, the comforting smell of eucalyptus oil.
As the last left, Tepic sighed a sigh of relief. He had done all he could to keep his own safe, now he could rest up before deciding how to come to a more permanent solution to this new situation.
Tobacco, Oil of Peppermint and Eucalyptus Oil are all natural spider repellents. Spittoons were traditionally used by tobacco chewers, so would be a good source of strong tobacco in liquid form. Oil of Peppermint would be used by confectioners making any peppermint sweets, and Eucalyptus Oil was used to make chough lozenges. Both could also be found in pharmacies.