A roustabout meets a musard in the Fox & Garter.

They both order pints of nux vomica and soon they’re gostering like old pals, though it’s mostly a one-way goster.

The roustabout tells tales of gold mining in the Forest of Dean, truck driving  in the Alaskan wastes, and feverish dalliances with busty beldams worldwide.

The musard, for his part, has no tales to tell, and is content to listen and muse. He is by nature mumchance to the point of unsociability.

— So that’s how I ended up in Alaska, see? Turned out she was the gaffer’s daughter, wasn’t she? Had to leave a bit sharpish after that — no pay either. Legged it out of there like a scalded cat. Applejohn, his name was.

— Applejohn? From Norwich? Matilda?

— Yeah, we used to call her Waltzing… Why?

— My sister. Jumped off the cathedral roof. Only fifteen.

— I’ll get this.



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