Poster: Liam Quinn
Post # 22
Spring... the time for planting, fixing, and sneaking away when things
got to be too much. And that's just what Ciar was doing after a day of
planting, hauling, fixing and everything else Fiona could come up with.
He needed a drink, a meal, a game of cards and maybe a good round of
fighting to relax. And the place for a meal, at least for tonight, was
the Blue Marlin where he had finished his meal and wandered out to watch
the activity on the docks.
Spring brought many out that had been reclusive. The port buzzed like a
bee hive. Ships coming and moving out. A lot of trade going on as well
there were the low lifes that seemed to sprout like fungus. Liam was
drifting about seeing if he could spot a brother or cousin. Cleaned up
after a day of boxing, he might well need to get cleaned up again before
the night was done.
Spotting Liam, he let out a whistle, one his brother should hear over
the hustle and bustle that surrounded them. He chuckled as a few folks
muttered that he had startled them but pretty much ignored any glares.
They could glare all they wanted!
Conor had found himself in the damnedest of places of late. Places he
never really ever would have thought himself to be. Heathfield Port.
Still another example. But here, at least, he could find a good round of
cards,or a roundabout brawl, and best of all, a good round of whiskey,
maybe two, and if his luck worked better for drinking than it did at
that stack of 52, a good many more than two rounds of whiskey. So he was
hoping as he wandered along the boarded walk, sidestepping staggering
blokes who had beat him to the bottle, or redirecting misguided
pickpockets or fortune tellers. And look! Saints be praised! Kin! With a
..."Not tonight, I really shouldn't keep them waiting." with a
nod Liam's and Ciaran's way, Conor sidestepped the buxom blonde and went
off down the walk to join his cousins.
They didn't have to be down near the docks as there were streets layered
above each other packed with all kinds of pubs and shops. Liam caught
sight of Conor first as a grin started spreading, "come now,
passing up Lucky Lucy there? A man would have to be tied down,
well.." chuckling as many a married man knew the delights of Lucky
Lucy. He had a flask filled with the pure, well, not so full now that he
offered it over.
He spotted Conor then too and saw him heading his way. Lifting his hand
in a wave, he waited for brother and cousin to join him. Ah, what a
life. Drink, cards and fighting, with an occasional tumble with a comely
lass. What could be better?
Not much. He sidled on up to his cousins. "How are you feeling,
Ciaran? Lucky?" That would determine the rest of Conor's evening.
Now that was a question for Ciar to think about, and he frowned
slightly. "Not as much as usual. I left me coin at home." He
did that on occasion, just to make sure he would break his winning
streak. Conor would understand that, as would Liam, though even then,
sometime the man's luck held.
"Hell, we could watch you play cards and make bets on who would
win.." that way the three of them won! Being as Conor didn't take
the flask, he offered it his brother's way. "I hear The Craw is
crawling with ones needing a good lesson or three."
Liam had Ciaran chuckling as he accepted the flask. "Well, we could
chance it. Though that coin would make sure of it." He wasn't about
to go back after it though. Fiona would pounce on him sure!
Conor was needing that flask too badly to allow it to pass him by. He
snatched out a hand and whisked it right from Ciaran's grasp. "Lead
the way, Cousins."
Just as he was about to take a drink too. He gave Conor a comical look
then pushed up from his lean. "The Craw is that way." And he
headed in the wrong direction, just to see if Liam caught it.
Which had him laughing as they were not far from the place. Another hole
in the wall and they could smell the stench of unwashed sailors, pewk,
beer and whiskey all rolled into one. Smoke was heavy that drifted out
thorough the partially open door, only way any fresh air got in there
not that it stayed very long.
Conor wouldn't realize, he was lifting the flask as he started to walk.
He had no idea where he was going, just that he was going. It was all
good for him.
Well, so much for the fresh air. He ignored the smell as he walked in,
arms flung wide. "Ahhhh, just what I need. Who's up for a
game?" He didn't expect too many to take him up on it but... there
were always newcomers here for a bit of R & R.
Hey, they just might, seeing Conor strolling in behind. Because, in
walked the sure-fire way to win a good amount of coin. He chuckled
hearing Ciaran, cocky-bast'id that he was and he reached an arm forward
to share Liam's flask.
He slid money into Ciaran's pocket, "triple it for me," which
he could keep part too. He had more, to make bets on who would win.
"Ale," would be what he'd order here as a few comely lasses
were already checking them out. Certainly a number of steps above what
this place attracted.
Flask. Money. All he needed was a drink and he was set. He winked at
Liam and Conor before he headed to a table where a few men were setting
Ciaran went to the table, Conor headed to the bar.
Liam was hustling bets as one guy got up from the card table to make
room for Ciaran. They were eyeing him up like a piece of cake. He was
also being eyed up like the icing on the cake by the woman lingering in
the hopes of seeing some of that money for herself later.
"All right, gents, let's get to playing." He knew he had two
to watch his back so he could be a bit cocky, couldn't he? He took a sip
of the really bad ale, made a face, and set to winning. If he was lucky,
the lass would be too! While the game went on, there were a few sailors
that entered. British mostly, who made their way to the bar, free with
their money and their comments.
Those very prejudice British eyed Ciaran as he got the seat at the table
one of them had wanted. "I see the place is filled with Irish
trash," too bad for the man as Liam had just wove by him and turned
with a right hook right into the bloke's nose. Blood started spewing
everywhere. His comrades first trying to help him then turned to try and
get Liam. First swing, second, he ducked easily only to come up and in
with another blow. There were mostly Irish in the place, stupid comment
on the man's part as all hell broke out then.
Conor had just collected his glass, ducking his head to look around his
arm, and then, he placed his glass back on the counter as well as a good
stack of coins to cover any damage he and his kin might ... someone was
avoiding a blow and bumped right into Conor! Conor spun, his swing
coming around over the top of that ducking man and cracking straight
into the jaw of the attacker.
And just as the game was getting good too. He cussed though he was
laughing and scooped up coins and cards. And just as he stood, two men
crashed onto the table sending the rest of the coins and cards flying.
Now they'd have to start all over again. Once the coins were tucked
away, he tossed the cards into the face of a man who was about to take a
swing at him, then charged him just like the bear he was nicknamed for.
Oh what a night! It was better to give than to receive, but Conor was
getting one to every three he gave.
He wasn't the only one even if Liam was that good. This was not an
organized boxing match but an all out brawl. One that had no sides after
a while and fighting just to fight as even friend hit friend. Except for
the brothers and cousin. He ducked down, as a punch skimmed along his
jaw, coming up behind as he pushed the one into another with a domino
effect. Conor would feel himself being yanked away as a few fists just
missed his face. He might hear the guard whistles beyond the din of the
ruckus. "There's a back door," one that Ciaran wasn't far from
as he shoved his way there and beyond. "Quick," they would
avoid the worse of it.
Lookatthat! Ciaran managed to scoop up more of those coins before he
headed for the door. All bets covered and more maybe. He wasn't
stealing! Those coins likely would have been his anyway!
Conor stumbled those few steps, still swinging out at any that he might
be able to make contact with as he was being dragged to the door. Wait!
They were leaving? Whistles? His whiskey was on the counter! Another
swing just as they made the opening and he made contact, dammit, with
the doorframe. "Mothafah!" He yelled, jerking his hand back
into side and pitching out into the back alley.
Ouch! He heard that! And nearly ran into his kin as he charged out of
the tavern. There were others trying to get out as well, and those
Brits? Well, they'd be pushed out the front, right into the laps of the
guard. Keep them busy while the Quinns made their escape. And Ciar
shared his 'found' coins.
There was a discarded chunk of ice melting with the rest of the garbage
out the back which he wrapped up in a handkerchief and applied it to
Conor's knuckles. "This will take the punch out of that
punch." Glancing up the ally as he saw many rushing towards the
front of the place. Seemed someone knocked over an oil lamp and started
a fire too. They were quickly putting out. "I know of another
place.." quick grin as he started them off in that direction.
"Hope it's not as quiet as this one was." Ciaran chuckled as
he followed after, and started to whistle as he walked. Maybe he
wouldn't need the coin tonight!
Clutching the ice pack to his hand, Conor glanced down the alleyway with
a grin. He had experienced worse and probably would again. He glanced
over his shoulder once to the establishment they had just vacated then
hurried his pace to join his cousins. Nothing like a night out with
"It's called the Pygmy Post." They really didn't need to get
caught up in such disturbances if they could avoid them. Mary would have
Conor's head for starters.
"Pygmy?" Oh grand, this should be interesting.
The name had Ciaran slowing and staring at Liam. "That what? New
place?" He had never heard of it and didn't know if he should laugh
"Exactly. Someone took over the Pig Sty Inne that got burnt out
last year. Fixed it all up jungle style." Which they would see many
a head of an exotic beast hanging on the walls. Not the best of
specimens nor was the place even with the unique theme. Things like no
eyes in the socket of the monkey head and the ferocious lion was missing
a few canines and an ear. It was the shrunken heads that made one wonder
if they had been real that gave it the name, although Shrunken Heads
might have been more appropriate.
"That mean the barmaids are dressed in skins?" He wiggled his
brows, laughing. Hey, why not? There were worse things to see! Ciar knew
where the Pig Sty had been so he made a turn in that direction. A few
more people rushed by, still rushing to see what was going on. And look!
There went some of those sailors, under arrest and glaring at the three
And it made one wonder, when everyone is running in one direction, and
three are pressing against the flow in the opposite direction, what were
those three up to? Conor saluted the sailors with a click of heels. Yes,
and with his cracked knuckles hand at that! But then just kept on
walking toward this Pygmy Pig Head place.
"So rumor has it," why he intended to come to this place too.
He knew the other had card games going all the time. "I hear they
are quite pretty too." Unlike most even young they ended up looking
many years older. At least it didn't have the stench like the other but
certainly not any class to it either. The girls were in leather with a
lot of cleavage to show and a bit of leg with the slit up the sides of
the outfit. Liam got them to a table that had just cleared away of its
party. Tipping his seat to dislodge anything setting on it and a sweep
of his hand to push any tankards and plates off to one side.
Wellllll now, wasn't this interesting. He studied the room with
interest, laughing at the poor monkey. Lad needed a glass eye or two.
One of those lasses got a wink as he turned to watch her walk by then he
followed Liam to the table. He made sure to clean off another of the
chairs, and a third for the injured Conor before taking a seat.
"Get rid of the flotsam, lass, and there's an extra coin in it for
you." Motioning to the leftovers.
Conor turned in a circle as he entered, taking it all in from the lion
to the monkey to the heads to the ... hello! He grinned, touching his
wounded hand to his forehead as if he was tipping a hat to the leather
clad lass that just sauntered by. He was now walking backwards as he
joined his group, nearly tripping over Liam as that cousin took his
Ale was delivered along with a platter of food. The food smelled and
looked descent as he heard. Certainly it was a few steps up from the
other place. There seemed to be a card game going on over in the corner
so they were in luck, least when someone decided they had enough and
Ciar could step in. "I hear the food is descent here." Which
there was a beef and bean soup added to the fare of bread, slices of
meat and cheese. He shifted his seat with a laugh as Conor near knocked
the lass into his lap instead of the food. She didn't get embarrass but
took the moment to run a hand along his jaw, "anything you need
boys.." leaving it a loaded statement as she was back up and off to
Ciaran started laughing, glad he was on the opposite side of the table,
except daaaaaang, he wouldn't have minded that near miss. He sighed
dramatically, his hand over his heart. "Ah, to be lucky in love
instead of lucky in games of chance."
Love wasn't a game of chance?
Maybe but Ciaran meant cards!
Watch this smooth move. He stumbled, twisted and landed right in the
seat that Ciaran had cleaned out for him. Bet you couldn't do that if
One probably could not unless they were some kind of exotic dancer or
contortionist! Liam had to laugh as Conor was finally seated and slid
one of the tankards of ale his way. "You could use a few,"
which he looked from left to right, right to left, waggled his brows and
passed the flask of the pure. "At least I can provide the best
chaser. Hide it," as the serving lass was coming back their way.
Hide it? Were they school boys? How about refill it and then order some
more!? But he did as he was told and scooted up to the table, tucking it
between his thighs as he smiled up to the approaching lass.
He was busy stuffing his face but paused to watch Conor and Liam,
looking a touch confused. Until he saw the lass approaching then he
smiled too. Seeeeeee, all nice Irish lads, innocent as the very day they
These three Irish lads? Were they even innocent at birth? Probably not
any of these three, but all the better for that approaching lass that
they had all these years to perfect the art of not being innocent!
Conor never felt the movement along his leg but the serving lass was
back, "oh my," she exclaimed and was right to Conor's seat to
lean over him. A nice show for him as she reached down, beyond Liam's
and Ciaran's sight. She didn't come up with the flask. No. Not at all,
she came up with a boa instead. Looked rather interesting as the very
large snake just kept coming and coming.
Had the lass found the flask? Or was she .... hooooly hell! Ciar was up
that fast and knocking his chair backward. That was the biggest feckin'
snake he had ever seen!
"Hold on there, Sweetie." Conor chuckled, taking hold of her
wrist to stop whatever she planned to do except...Holy Crap! What the
... holy crap! Conor shot back, chair sailing and tumbling behind him,
Quinn to his feet and back pedaling to get away from the monstrosity
that had been lurking under their table and worse yet, it seemed, right
between his legs!
And it seemed Conor agreed! He started laughing at himself and his
cousin. "That's a ... long one, isn't it, Conor?"
"Bigger than any I'm willing to come up against." When it came
to bragging rights, any Quinn could do just that. But this comparison?
Noooo, Conor would give over any arguments of size right here, right
now. And God only knew where that flask went. Sorry Liam. They'd have to
search for it later...right now, Conor was still just staring with
Liam was to his feet not having a clue what was about to happen other
than he was not going to lose his flask. That was no flask being pulled
up. "What the," but he burst out laughing. "Now such
And the woman just held it, stroked it, as if it were some furry little
flop eared hare. Conor scratched at his head, a sudden need to shiver
away his disgust. Snakes as a rule didn't bother him. But this? This?
This was no snake, this was a damn, ridiculously gigantic, tongue
flicking, nightmare creature.
He was close enough to Conor that he gave him a bump to his shoulder.
Ciar wouldn't admit it but this snake did the same to him. No, just ....
hell. He didn't want to think what they fed the thing. Those that didn't
pay their tab went missing?
There were many holes in the wall joints, as well a few decent places
down one end. Liam eyed the thing, "is there any others we should
be aware of?" The woman gave them a smile as she was to wear it
like a cape. "Not unless you meet the blokes over there,"
indicating a motley crew playing cards. One seemed to be getting up as
he had enough losing. "Ciaran.." They fed him pygmies. One
minute there, next he was under the table to find his flask.
Glad he was over four feet tall then!
And noticing the opening, he grabbed a slice of bread as he went over to
fill it in. Time for some serious winning!
With her words, Conor forced himself to look away from the reptile and
over to the game of cards. He smiled, returning his gaze back to Ciaran.
His cousin wouldn't be able to resist the empty seat and Conor ... he
meant to get a drink! Especially after a night of brawling and
straddling a sizable serpent!
"It only wanted to cuddle around you Conor," voice came from
down under as he finally found the flask amongst the grass. Some
oversize beetles scurried out. Least they were better than rats. Yes,
they had grassy mats on the floor.
Tell the lass to keep them coming, Conor. Ciaran's paying!
"Keep 'em coming, Lass. That man there?" He nodded to Ciaran.
And Ciar raised a hand to show, yes, he was paying.
Dang it! And when Ciar was paying, Conor had to go! He slapped a hand to
Liam's back, gave an uplift of chin to Ciar and made for the door.
The food that had been delivered was left behind as they gravitated away
from the lass with the boa to the table with the live card game.
"Got a seat for a challenge?" Liam offered up to them.
They were willing as long they thought they'd be getting more money.
Room was made for Liam and the game began in earnest.
game would continue on to the wee hours of the night.