“What is it about Harramantown?”
“It’s a haven for swindlers, liars, and thieves.”
“It’s a frontier town, so I expect that. We can’t fix it ourselves. Civilization, stability, law, and order will come in time. What I mean is, what is it about Alumnet and Harramantown?”
Pendleton and Samma were scouting ahead, by necessity remaining spread apart to cover more territory. Pen was currently way ahead of the wagon, while Samma trailed behind. They maintained silent contact through Samma’s natural telepathy.
Before she answered, Samma paused to consider what Pendleton was really asking, then to observe a deer that passed so close that she could touch it. The creature had no idea the scout was there.
“She just likes to fight. She can’t help it. Thus Harramantown, being full of the worst the frontier has to offer, presents Al with ample justification for starting fights within our charter. Therefore fights without consequences from the local constabulary. And Pen—as much as you might not like it—I’m fairly certain she knew that wand was junk at the time of purchase.”
Pendleton rolled that fact over in his mind, looking at it from a few different angles. Al did like to fight. And there had been other occasions where she took advantage of their Charter to avoid consequences for said fights… That means she was likely planning ahead of time to force their return to Harramantown merely for the opportunity to accost an unscrupulous merchant. That seemed like a lot of trouble to go through for a street fight.
“Samma…without betraying any confidences… Does Al know anyone in Harramantown? I mean, anyone close to her?”
Samma broke her protocol and sighed loudly. A small flock of quail scattered from a nearby bush, and she watched them resettle safely in another one before she answered.
“Yes, Pen. Alumnet knows someone in Harramantown. But I don’t think she wants you to know them.”
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