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The Block – Chapter II Part 1: Lexington, Aingland October 17, 2009

Posted by Yarnspnr in The Block - Chapter 2.
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Oh, what a blamed uncertain thing
this pesky weather is!

–  Philander Johnson

The Block – Chapter II Part 1:  Lexington, Aingland

Debt and Indenture in the Empire of Uppsala

© D. Erick Emert

hotel

Summoner First Class Russell Jones slowly sauntered his horse around the central square of the small town of Lexington in the Rejoinder of Angland.  Rain kept pouring down.  The sun had set a long time before his arrival and Russell was wet to his britches.  He’d made a wrong turn on his trip to Lexington, ending up in the town of New Hampton.  Apparently some road signs had been dismantled and he’d made a couple of terrible guesses.  With the steady rain, he passed no other riders or homes where he could ask directions.  He would be unable to ride to the Farmer residence until the morning.  Now it would suffice if he could locate the Hotel.

Finally he noticed a sign for the Lexington Inn halfway down one of the main streets that spun off the central circle like spokes on a wheel.  He hitched his horse on the rail in front, removed his saddlebags and climbed the three steps to the hotel entrance.  He stood at the door for a few minutes, allowing the rain water to run off his knee length, dark green travel coat.  He stretched his long frame to ease his muscles from the lengthy ride and yawned.  The tall summoner removed his hat and shook the water from it before entering the door in front of him.

Russell found the main floor of the Inn to be a place that radiated comfort and cleanliness.  There was a huge hearth off to his right which contained an intense fire.  To his left was a long counter top that ended where the stairway to the second floor reversed over it.  He decided to walk over and stand for a few moments in front of the fire before announcing his presence.  The heat warmed his body and began to dry off his clothing.  He sighed in relief.  He was still standing face to the fire when an old man walked out of a room under the stairwell and stood behind the counter.

He was a short, stocky fellow with an honest looking face.  He had a clean shaven chin and an ample brown cookie duster that emphasized his high, dark cheeks and bushy white eyebrows. His white hair completed the picture.  The old man was dressed in butternut homespun pants and a checkered flannel shirt.

“Excuse me.  Didn’t know anyone was about.”

Russell turned.  “I’m sorry.  Just got in and thought I’d warm up a bit.”

“That’s fine.  Percy Armstrong, at your service.  I’m here when you’re ready.  Ring the bell if I disappear.”

“Thanks.”

Russell removed his travel ware and found a hook on a rail next to the door where he hung up his hat and coat.  The old man was still behind the counter so Russell went over to him, laying his saddlebags on a chair that sat against the wall to its left.

“Do you have a comfortable room for two nights?”

“That’s our job here,” the old man said, a neighborly smile on his face.

Russell nodded, returning the smile.  “How much?”

“Ten hackles.”

“Reasonable.  Russell dipped into his pouch and withdrew ten coins, setting them on the counter.  The old man turned, took a key off a nail on the wall and laid it beside Russell’s copper pieces.

“What brings you to Lexington?”

“Oh just some business to transact outside of town.”

The old man nodded.  “Wet weather for business.”

“Happens this time of year.”

“Room 211, second floor on the right. Would you sign for the key sir?”

The Inn keep reached to his left and slid an open registry book in front of Russell.  Having also been handed a quill, Russell signed the book with a bit of a flourish.

“Russell Jones then, eh?”

“Yes sir, Mr. Armstrong.  Do you have someone available to take my horse over to the livery?”

“Aye.  I’ll get my son right on it, sir.”

“Thanks.  Have them brush and feed him tonight, if you will.  Tell the livery men I’ll pick him up around ten in the morning.”

“Will do.  Breakfast is served at eight.  Would you like a knock on the door at seven?”

“Yes, please, Mr. Armstrong.  Thank you.”

“Good night to you, then.”

“Ta.”  Russell picked up his saddlebags along with his hat and coat and headed upstairs to his room.

Accommodations at the Lexington Inn were simple but clean.  Russell found a bed, nightstand, chest of drawers and a table.  A medium sized picture of water sat on the table along with a night basin and a cup.  There was a strip of wood along the wall with six pegs in it.  Russell hung up his hat and jacket.  There was a wood backed chair near the table upon which he tossed his saddlebags.  There were two windows on the wall facing the door, both covered with brown common draperies.  By the door, a small gas lamp with a reflector provided the only light in the room.

Russell took off his light green shirt and dark green pants, hanging them on two of the hooks.  These were what the Service called his fatigue issue uniform.  They bore no insignias, neither of service nor rank.  Off to the far left on his belt, however, was a bronze clip that bore his badges of service and rank on the inside.  A Summons Officer had to look somewhat indistinguishable so he could fit in with the local population without generating too much suspicion.  There were those who tried to flee in order to resist being served.

His long underwear was still damp from the driving rain, but not bad enough that he had to remove them.  He took off his boots, setting them by the legs of the chair, turned off the gas lamp and slid between covers of the bedstead.  With the thick quilt spread over him, he felt quite warm.  Exhausted from the days ride, he drifted off to sleep almost immediately.

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Comments»

1. sputnitsa - October 19, 2009

I love this chapter… The mood…it’s perfect. Felt it utterly.

I’ve lost so much time online now that I’ve not got internet at home–I have so many previous chapters to read now!!! But I was too tempted at the start to wait and go to the earlier ones. Now I musts. 🙂

2. Yarnspnr - October 20, 2009

I wondered why you were only on line one time per week. I figured you were either very, very busy or met the person of your life who was waaay more important than blogging. 🙂 You know me, read when you get a chance. Don’t forget my other blog – I’m really interested on what you have to say concerning the entries.

3. sputnitsa - October 21, 2009

*snort* That would be the day… 🙂 Actually, my parents would be thrilled. 🙂

Yeah, I’ve been a mixture of insanely busy, internet-less, and then sick to boot! Now it’s just the first two. I’m slowly getting back into gear, waking up at my regular time, writing in the mornings, being conscious for a few hours after work (as opposed to exhausted), etc. But blogging is hard as I have a long workday and a really intense one as I settle into the new position (whenever that happens!), and yet it’s only from the workplace that I can blog–and I don’t want to spend much time not working whilst there… 🙂

But I shall come by your other blog! 🙂 And am happy to have returned to your tale, too!

4. Yarnspnr - October 21, 2009

You are such a dear! Thank you very much! I do appreciate your kind words here. Don’t be afraid to level me if you find something that’s out of place. I’m a tuffskin writer. 🙂 I’ll be offline from mid December to, well, I’m not sure when I’ll get back. It depends on finding a place to live in Toledo. But I should be back by January, hopefully.


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