The Next Day Part One: Bafford's Sorrow
Copyright © 2001 by Lord Garrett

Lord Bafford stared out his carriage window at the bustling city as he headed home. He had a very long night of fancy meals and live entertainment. After a few minutes of passing through the city, he finally arrived at his home. He gave a smile as Cedric stood at the front gate. Cedric was always a loyal guard to Bafford. Bafford's smile immediately tuned to a frown when he saw Cedric having a distressed face. The carrage stopped and the driver stepped down from his seat. He walked over and opened the door for Bafford. Bafford stepped off and gave the driver a coin.

"Thank you. You may take the luggage to my room." said Bafford.

"Very good, sir." said the driver.

Bafford walked up to Cedric to see why he looked upset. Cedric began to shiver as Bafford walked up to him.

"Good day, Cedric." said Bafford.

"Good day, sir." said Cedric.

"What's the matter? You don't look so good." said Bafford.

Cedric let out a sigh before he spoke, "'s about your scepter..."

Bafford immediately pushed Cedric aside as he ran into his home. He went up the nearest staircase, ran through his garden, and went down the bedroom wing to the throne room. There, several guards were looking around the place for clues to the culprit. A guard walked up to Bafford.

"Sir." said the guard.

"What the hell happened here last night?" asked Bafford furiously.

"Someone broke into the house." the guard replied.

"Any ideas on who?" asked Bafford.

"No, sir, but we are working on it." the guard replied nervously.

"Was anything else stolen?" Bafford asked.

"Yes, 1200 in gold. Also, one of our outsidesmen was passed out from too much drink, the kitchen cook was knocked unconscious, and the Counting Room was robbed of your wine." said the guard.

Bafford folded his arms and looked at the ground. How on earth could this have happened? I had the whole place secure, Bafford thought. The guard stood there staring at Bafford. He swallowed hard, afraid of what he would say next.

"I want the drunk guard and the cook fired. The cook first. His cooking methods are very unsatisfactory." said Bafford.

"Yes, sir." said the guard.

"Tell Cedric to find someone to replace the outside patrol." said Bafford.

"Right away, sir." the guard replied.

Bafford walked to his room. He opened the door and looked in. His gold vase and wine was gone. Bafford let out a miserable sigh as he closed the door and locked it behind him. All I can do now is rest, thought Bafford. After unpacking his clothes, Bafford fell asleep on his bed.

I woke up the next day, ready to get my pay from Cutty. After I got dressed, I walked downstairs and left my house. I noticed there were a lot of police heading for Bafford's home. Heh, looks like they found out his precious trinket was long gone. I went down the main street of the city until I came across Cutty's Alley. I walked down the alley to Cutty's home. I was about to knock on the door when I noticed there was a sign posted on the door. It read "Cutty arrested by the Order of the Hammer for Theft Clienting. He will serve his term in Cragscleft. Terrific, I thought. I left the alley and walked over to the Nighthawk Pub. I entered and walked up to Braun. Braun was a buddy I trusted more than anyone else. I knew he'd never betray me. Braun looked up from the counter and gave a smile.

"Garrett, how are you? Your usual?" Braun asked.

"Can we talk in private?" I asked.

"Oh, ok. Millen, cover for me." said Braun.

Braun lifted the flap of the counter and walked with me to the back room. I looked around the room. Braun still collected rare items that fetch high prices to rich nobles. By selling priceless items to nobles, Braun had managed to keep the pub running. I looked on the shelves. They were covered with vases, plates, and ornamental rugs. Braun pulled out a chair from under the table and I sat in it.

"So, what's the problem, Garrett?" Braun asked.

"Cutty was arrested by the Hammers." I replied.

"Yeah, I heard about that. Did you do a job for him again?" asked Braun.

I pulled the scepter out from my bag. "This was the piece."

Braun laughed. "Ah, so it was you who robbed Bafford's last night. I should have known."

I gave a smile. "Naturally."

"Why didn't you come to me? I would've gotten you a better deal." said Braun.

"I don't want to put your business in danger. You, I trust. As for Cutty, he gives me the money. If the Hammers found out you were fencing me, then it would be you in Cragscleft right now." I replied.

Braun thought for a moment. "What will you need to get him out?"

"I'll need a map and any info you have on the place." I replied.

"Alright, let's see..." said Braun as he got up and walked over to a bookcase.

Braun took a book out of the bookcase and opened it up. He flipped through the pages until he came upon a map of Cragscleft. He also pulled out a note with a tip on it.

"Here you go. This map shows the basic layout of the prison." said Braun.

"Thanks, and the tip?" I asked.

"Well, the guy who gave it to me wants 50 gold." Braun replied.

"Ok, here." I said as I gave him the money.

"Thanks. By the way, I'd go there now. The prison security tightens at night and I doubt anyone could stay undetected for long." said Braun.

"Alright. See you later, Braun." I said.

"Good luck, Garrett." Braun replied.

I left the pub and headed back home to plan my strategy. Something told me I was in for more trouble than I thought.

More To Come

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