The Town Drunk

Emily never knew why her father tolerated Mr. Coffer. He was the opposite of her father, a lazy shiftless drunk and he smelled. Unfortunately he knew something. He knew about the notebook and the cutter and that meant he knew more than that.

She found him at the train station with his top hat placed precariously over his eyes, perched on his dog cart. Three men were trying to rouse him from sleep, but despite calling out to him quite loudly, he would not budge. In fact he would only snore the louder. Eventually, as any sane man would they abandoned them.

Emily walked up to him, prepared to strike him with her parasol until he roused, but was given a start when from under his hat called out to her “Good day Ms. Drake. You’ll be needin’ a ride home then will you?”

With as much indignation as she could muster she scolded him, “Mr. Coffer! You had three men trying to employ your services and your lazy ways have done you in. You sleep all day atop this cart, I wonder if your horse has had any exercise today.”

Coffer raised his hat onto his head and smiled, “Those business men are not in a business that I’m interested in. If I had  taken them, how could I be talking to you? It is for the purpose of speaking to me that you’ve come isn’t it?”

Emily, still annoyed at his ways was taken aback by this. He had been playing coy with the men. There was a seriousness in his voice that she had never heard before and it was chilling. “Indeed I have. I want to know about this man Griffin that broke into my house and stole my property.”

His eyebrows went up, “Griffin’s involved in this? So early? Eh, well that can’t be helped. I’m sorry lass, there’s not much left for you to do then but wait.” He muttered under his breath something that Emily couldn’t make out.

“Mr. Coffer, these are dangerous men. I will not just leave my father to them. They wanted his notebook, why?” She demanded.

“Aye these are dangerous men and without the device or the notebook there’s not anything you’ll be able to do. It’s time to go home and wait. Hop on and I’ll take you home.” He said.

Emily smiled “And what could be done if I still had one or the other?” Coffer considered this for a moment. “Well Ms. Drake in that case I’ll be takin’ you to yer father’s boilerworks.”

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