William and Suri ran flat out for several blocks until reaching the bazaar in the heart of town. There they blended in with the large throng of citizens haggling over various sundries. "If anyone was following us, I think we lost them", an out of breath William wheezed. Suri turned to William and angrily shoved him in the chest. "Your unpredictable temper has really done it this time" she growled. "What are you talking about?" William asked, looking confused. "We got away". "You killed a priest at a temple of ORACLES William! You think they don't have extraordinary methods of finding out what happened?".
"I don't follow" William replied. "Divine methods", Suri clarified. "Yea, no. I think those oracles are frauds" William concluded. "I doubt we have anything to worry about from those hucksters. I'd like to go back and demand a refund". Suri shook her head in disbelief. "Look, William, we've got to get out of town posthaste. It's only a matter of time until they come after us. The temple priests are extremely influential in this city. We should head back to the inn, grab our gear, and clear out tonight".
"You're overreacting Suri. Although, perhaps we should amscray just to be safe. I have no desire to go back to prison", William reasoned. "Good, I'm glad we're in agreement" Suri said sarcastically. "By the gods, what a imbecile" she added under her breath. But William didn't hear. He had turned away and was making his way through the crowd. Suri sighed and trotted after her companion. Suri saw William stop at the entrance to an alleyway. Suddenly he shouted, "get your stinking hand off me you damn dirty beggar!".
Catching up to William, Suri looked down to see a elderly man squatting in the alleyway. He withdrew his extended hand in response to William's screams. He then noticed Suri, smiled, and pointed to his beggar's bowl. "Please miss, can you spare a few coppers for a poor, disabled old man?". "Certainly" Suri replied, digging in her pockets. She tossed a few coins in the man's bowl. "Bless you, miss" the grateful beggar responded.
"What the hell are you doing!" William demanded. Quickly he stooped and retrieved the coins Suri had just tossed in the decrepit panhandler's pot. "We have no money to spare. Especially none for you to waste on rotgut", William lectured the beggar. "Wait a minute" the old man cried, "you took more coins than the lady threw in". "So I did", William agreed, looking at the coins in his hand.
"William, that is my money to do with as I please" protested Suri. William disagreed, "It was your dumb idea to consult the oracles, Suri. I think you should be paying me back the gold pieces I wasted on their worthless advice before throwing away your coins on worthless beggars who'll only use it to get drunk".
"Sir, I am not worthless", the beggar protested. "I used to live a modest middle class life thanks to the pension I earned working for a company that manufactured arms and armaments for the King's army. But my pension was stolen from me by the evil Romney of Bain. He took over the company where I once worked, promising greater returns for the shareholders. The first thing he did was eliminate the pensions of former workers. That is why I am in the street sir".
"Oh boohoo", said William, mocking the old man. "I didn't ask for your sob story. I've heard of Romney of Bain. He was a great man, not a thief. I also heard that under his leadership the Royal Armaments Company made great profits for it's investors. Only jealous lazy Liberals dare criticize the genius of Romney. He's made this entire city quite wealthy. I happen to admire him".
"Only certain segments of the population have become wealthier William", Suri interjected. "Others became much poorer. I remember a time when there were barely any indigent beggars, now they are virtually everywhere you turn. But we have no time for this. Please return the money you stole to Cecil". "Who the hell is Cecil?" William asked. "I'm Cecil" said the old beggar. "He told me his name while you were spouting off about that arsehole Romney" Suri explained.
"Yea, well screw you Cecil" William exclaimed, kicking the panhandler's pot, scattering his coins in the street. "That was uncalled for!" exclaimed a shocked Suri. She was about to bend down and help the old man pick up the coins, but they were suddenly beset by a gaggle of prepubescent street urchins. The half-dozen youngsters quickly gathered up the coins and dispersed in multiple directions, disappearing into the crowd. After they had gone Suri discovered the old beggar was sobbing.
"Now look what you did!" cried Suri. "Wow, those little f**kers were fast!" William swore. "Well, we really should be going" William said, grabbing Suri by the arm and attempting to lead her away. "Not so fast" Suri growled, wrenching her arm out of William's grasp. "Here take this" she said, pressing an object into Cecil's palm. "Now what the f**k did you give him?" William demanded, taking several menacing steps toward Cecil.
Cecil, clutching the item Suri had given him tightly in his fist, grabbed his cane, pulled himself up, and quickly hobbled down the alley. William was about to pursue, but at that moment he noticed his belt pouch was a little light. "Son of a beyotch, I've been pick pocketed!" William howled. "Gods damn it!" William screamed, turning his empty belt pouch inside out in disbelief.
"What the Hades is your problem buddy?" a nearby marketplace shopper queried. "None your business a-hole!" William bellowed at the stranger. William noticed that quite a few people were starring at him, which made him very uncomfortable. "Nothing to see here folks. Move along", William said, addressing the crowd. William, looking for Suri and not seeing her, turned and almost ran into the stranger who he had just shouted at. "Out of my way dumbass!", William hollered, shouldering the stranger violently which sent him tumbling to the ground.
"Stop accosting my husband" a rotund woman screeched, shoving William as he attempted to leave. "Shut up you fat bitch" William said, punching the woman in her ample belly. The woman fell to the ground like a sack of potatoes. Now even more people had gathered. Some were yelling and pointing at William. Several uniformed men that William recognized as members the of Lord Mayor's police force emerged from the crowd and approached William. "Slowly undo your belt and let your weapon fall" the lead officer sternly cautioned, eyeing the sheathed sword at William's side.
William, realizing he was about to be taken into custody, scanned the area looking for an escape route. None of the crowd was blocking the alleyway Cecil the beggar had exited via, so William quickly dashed toward it. "Halt!" commanded the officer. But William, not wanting to be arrested, sped away as expeditiously as he was able.