Chapter 4 – To Catch a Thief

“Good morrow son, what’s a youngling like you looking for then? A knife? All good boys need something sharp.” She said. Zephyr smiled in return and examined the blade. It had an edge but was serrated at the tip. For cutting meat? He thought as he reached down to pick it up. The woman snatched the knife away.
“Don’t be hasty. You can look but if you want to touch I’ll want to see what’s clinking in your pockets there boy.” She said. Zephyr stood up and took out a coin.
“It’s a nice blade. I’ll give you four coppers for it and a bit of information.” He said. Five was the total amount of coin he held. She gave a soft audible hiss.
“Make it seven alone for the knife son. No deal.” Said the woman. “What are you after?” She continued. Zephyr’s eyes flicked to the sides.
“Do you know anything about the Bucks?.” He said coin in hand.
In an instant the woman grabbed each corner of the rag that held her stock and scooped it up into a bundle. She then took a few steps back before her eyes bore into him.
“Lump off! Now would’cha.” She said a nervous twitch flickered across her brow. Zephyr stepped away and merged back into the crowd. A glance behind him showed the woman had moved on. So he too continued on his way and hoped the incident had gone unnoticed. Carpets gave way to tabletops as he walked further into the market’s depths. The merchandise became more plentiful and of higher quality. A small building drew his attention but he was dissuaded by a large man who stood just outside the door. The club he wielded might have had something to do with that. So he kept going. Finally Zephyr found what he was looking for. Back towards the slum of the market a woman hawked out to the crowd. Jewelry sat upon her table but only a few that had a shine to them. One or two women stood around and pined at a few of the pieces. Zephyr waited a moment for the punters to move on and then strode over to the booth, necklace in hand. The seller locked eyes with him as he approached.
“Turned you down did she?” The woman said with bright eyes. “She said I was too young.” Zephyr replied head lowered, shoulders hunched.  “Well ain’t that the way of things,” She laughed and then eyed the necklace. “Suppose you’ll be wanting your coppers back?” She said. Zephyr shuffled in the dirt.  “Would you buy it back?” He said. The woman stood in silence with her hand on her chin for a moment.
“I’ll give you half of what you gave me for it. Need to earn a livin’.” She said. “How much was that again?” replied Zephyr which earned him a smile from the lady.  “You paid ten. I’ll return five. Pretty little thing it is.” She said. Zephyr’s eyes roamed the table and he pointed to a raggeded leather pouch. “Would you throw the purse in?” Zephyr haggled and the woman’s smile grew into another laugh.
“Be this dogged with the girl and you may win her over yet.” She put the coins into the pouch. Zephyr handed over the necklace in exchange and then was on his way.
“Good luck heartbreaker boy!” She called out with a wave.

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