“To Burton,” Arthur said as he raised his tankard.
“To Burton, “chimed in Dion and Carl.
It had been a month since Burton’s untimely death, a reminder to live life to the fullest each day. It was a slow night at the Drunken Squid but the trio found themselves in the tavern more and more since Burton’s death and the escape of the Highwayman. There were too many questions still to be answered.
Arthur spoke before he turned to meet the voice, “Who’s asking?”
“I am, Miss Matilda Von Helm,” replied the young and very well dressed woman. “Again sir, are you Arthur Brown?”
With a big smile Arthur doffed his hat and stood up,” At your service Madame.”
Smack! Matilda slapped Arthur across the face. Recoiling slightly with a quizzical look in his face Arthur began.
“What in the…”
“I demand satisfaction Arthur Brown, “Matilda said in a strong voice for all to hear.
“Satisfaction is it?” Arthur replied in an equally loud voice. “I’d love to provide satisfaction Madame. Would you prefer satisfaction here on the table or, if you’re a bit more modest, perhaps in my room?”
Arthur caught Matilda’s hand before it reached his face.
“Unhand her, sir,” said the calm voice, punctuated with the clicking of a hammer into place.
Arthur let go of her hand and asked, “And who are you and what is your business in all this?”
“I am here to see that Miss Von Helm gets satisfaction.”
Arthur looked first at the tall man then back to the woman. “What satisfaction do you seek Madame?”
“Revenge for the hanging of my brother based on the lies you and your friends told the court.” Matilda smiled at the man who accompanied her.
“He was a Rogue, a kidnapper and deserved what he got,” Arthur said.
“He was a bodyguard and was hired to protect Herr Schmidt,” she replied.
“He was no bodyguard and if he were why were we told that this merchant, Schmidt, had been kidnapped?” Arthur sneered. “And when the trial came about where was this Schmidt to testify on your brother’s behalf?”
Matilda looked at Arthur with rage. “Herr Schmidt was called away on business and sent written testimony which conveniently was over looked.” Arthur could see the girl ball up her fist as if to strike. “It doesn't matter; my companion here has agreed to act as my hand in a duel. What say you coward?
“Done!” Arthur shouted.” Carl, Dion, act as my seconds and prepare the details. I cannot wait to cross swords with you, fool!”
“Swords?” said a man at the edge of the crowd that had gathered. “Arthur, a word in private first.” The man pulled Arthur aside and whispered. “That man is a professional swordsman from Bavaria. I have seen him many times in my travels to Munich. He lives by killing others. You would have no chance my friend.”
Arthur is a lot of things but fool is not one of them. “I choose pistols.”
“As you wish” the man said with a smile and nod of the head. Turning to a slight and so far unnoticed man to his right he continued, “Hugo, you are my second, see to the details.”
Offering his arm he said to Matilda, “Miss Von Helm?”
With a confident smile the two left the tavern.