On the fiddle

Tallis Steelyard


As usual I am grateful to Mutt for the way he has advanced my education. He came back to the barge one evening in a state that I can only describe as euphoric. Shena and I watched him carefully during our evening meal in case he was under the influence of some narcotic but other than being courtesy personified there were no worrying symptoms.

It was at the end of the meal that he finally told us of his news. You’ll have realised by now that Mutt has any number of younger children for whom he finds occasional employment, sometimes legitimate. More importantly he feeds them. Admittedly he feeds them through an intriguing mixture of petty theft and extortion but still, he feeds them.

Apparently, when he had provided a loaf and some cheese to one of his companions, the grateful child had replied, “You’re Gaspar reborn, you are.”


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