Swamped Chapter 58 Page 6

Most knights will have wrapped up their dinner by now, so you’re not likely to learn much at the mess hall.

It’s also too late to go to the lounge. This is about when they close it for the night, unless there’s a special event.

So your best remaining source of gossip is outside, at the Rock. Patrollers like to take their breaks there, and they’re usually eager to have someone to talk to.

Of course, it’s hard to get out at this hour if you’re not a patroller. But you can probably think of something to tell the guards at the front door.

First, though, you have to take this bowl back to Tom First. And you suppose it wouldn’t hurt to keep your eyes open for good sources on the way.

Luck doesn’t seem to be smiling on you tonight, though. You don’t see any of your usual contacts. Actually, you barely see anyone. You suppose it’s just busier than usual.

“Was the Postmaster eating slow?” Tom First asks as you slip back into the kitchen. “I thought you’d be back ten minutes ago.”

“He wanted someone to talk to,” you say casually. “Someone who wasn’t another officer, apparently. Seems he’s been talking to them a lot lately.”

First laughs heartily.

“Yeah, it’s like that whenever there’s a deadlock, even on the small stuff. For something big like this, though… He really needs some space. I only talked to him the one time, myself – I’ve been in his shoes a bunch of times, after all.”

Hmm. Perhaps you can get some practice with your pitch here before you go to asking the rank and file. The Postmaster’s already heard Tom First’s point of view, but you haven’t, and you’re always curious.

So how should you approach this?

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Ask, but be flirty about it.