Steris Harms személy
Wax smiled. “You accounted for this delay, did you?”
Steris stopped on a page in her notebook, then turned it around. There, in her neat handwriting, was a detailed agenda for their evening at the party. The third entry read, 8:17. Way into the building likely blocked by traffic. Lord Waxillium carries us up to the top floor by Allomancy, which is completely inappropriate and at the same time breathtaking.
He raised an eyebrow, checking his pocket watch, which he carried in his gunbelt—not his vest—to be easily dropped with his other metals. “It’s 8:13. You’re slipping.”
“Traffic on the promenade was lighter than I expected.”
“You really want to do this the hard way?”
“I believe this will actually be the easy way,” Steris said. “Completely inappropriate though.”
“Fortunately, you have a reputation for that sort of thing, and I can’t be expected to keep you reined in. I did wear dark undergarments, though, so they won’t be as visible from below while we are flying.”
Wax smiled, then reached under his seat, getting out the package that Ranette had sent him. He tucked that under his arm, then pushed open the door. “People underestimate you,Steris.”
“No,” she said, stepping out onto the misty sidewalk. He saw she wore shoes that fastened securely. Good. “They simply presume to know me when they do not. Understanding social conventions is not the same as condoning them. Now, how is it that we are to—Oh!”
Funny, that Steris would remark on someone being boring.…
“You’re thinking,” Steris said, “that it is ironic that I would note that someone is a bore—as I myself have a reputation for the same personality flaw.”
“I would not have phrased it like that.”
“It’s all right,” Steris said. “As I have said many times before, I am aware of my reputation. I must embrace my nature. I recognize another bore as you might recognize a master Allomancer—as a colleague whose arts I don’t particularly wish to sample.”
Wax found himself smiling.
“As a side note,” Steris said softly as she steered them toward where the governor was speaking with the lord of House Erikell, “if you do find the murderer, steer me in her direction. I shall endeavor to fascinate her with details of our house finances. With luck, she’ll fall asleep in her drink and drown, and I shall have my first kill.”
– Egyszer tévedésből ellőttem egy kutya farkát – felelte az ikerszerzet félvállról. – Vicces történet…
– A kutyalövészet aligha illő vacsoratéma – tiltakozott az asszony.
– Tudom. Főleg mivel a golyójára céloztam.
Marasi nehezen állta meg, hogy ki ne köpje a levest az asztalra.
– Ladrian úr! – kiáltott fel Steris. Az apja úgy tűnt, jól szórakozik.
– Azt hittem, már nem tudom megbotránkoztatni – szabadkozott az asszonynak. – Csak a hipotézisét ellenőriztem, kedvesem.
– Ladrian úr, hallottam, hogy egyszer megdobott valakit a saját késével és pont a szemén találta el. Igaz ez?
– Igazából Wayne kése volt – vallotta be a férfi. Tétovázott. – És a szemen dobás a véletlennek köszönhető. Igazából a fickónak is a golyójára céloztam.
– Na de Ladrian úr! – kiáltotta Steris hamuszürke arccal.
– Tudom. Eléggé célt tévesztettem. Nem nagyon értek a késekhez.
-Ladrian úr- kezdte Steris, amikor nekifogtak a vacsorának-, azt javaslom, állítsunk össze egy jegyzéket megfelelő társalgási témákkal, amelyeket elővehetünk, amikor társaságban tartózkodunk. A témáknak nem szabad érinteni a politika vagy a vallás kérdéseit, ám emlékezetesnek kell lenniük és magunknak is elbűvölőnek kell tűnnünk mellettük. Ismer olyan szellemes mondásokat vagy történeteket, amelyekből kiindulhatnánk?
-Egyszer tévedésből ellőttem egy kutya farkát- felelte az ikerszerzet félvállról. -Vicces történet…
-A kutyalövészet aligha illő vacsoratéma- tiltakozott az asszony.
-Tudom. Főleg mivel a golyójára céloztam.
Marasi nehezen állta meg, hogy ki ne köpje levesét az asztalra.
-Ladrian úr! -kiáltott fel Steris. Az apja úgy tűnt, jól szórakozik.
-Azt hittem, már nem tudom megbotránkoztatni- szabadkozott az asszonynak. -Csak a hipotézist ellenőriztem, kedvesem.
“You have a lady friend?” Aunt Gin asked. “You wish to give her the hat?”
“Nah,” Wayne said. “I need to wear it next time I’m an old lady.”
“The next time you what?” Aunt Gin grew pale, but that was probably on account of the fact that Wax went stomping by, wearing his full rusting mistcoat. That man never could figure out how to blend in.
“Do these windows open?” Wax asked, pointing toward the penthouse suite’s enormous bay windows. He stepped up onto one of the sofas and shoved on the window.
“Well, they used to open,” Aunt Gin said. “But they rattled in the breezes, so we painted them shut and sealed the latches. Never could stand the thought of someone—”
Wax shoved one of them open, breaking off the latch and making a sharp cracking sound as the paint outside was ripped, perhaps some of the wood splintering.
“Lord Ladrian!” Aunt Gin said with a gasp.
“I’ll pay for the repairs,” Wax said, hopping off the couch. “I need that to open in case I have to jump out.”
“Aha!” Wayne said, pulling open the bar’s bottom cabinet.
“Alcohol?” Marasi asked, walking by.
“Peanuts,” Wayne said, spitting out his gum and then popping a handful of nuts into his mouth. “I ain’t had nothin’ to eat since I swiped that fruit in Steris’s luggage.”
“What are you babbling about?” Steris asked from the couch, where she was writing in her notebook.
“I left you one of my shoes in trade,” Wayne said, then dug in his duster’s pocket, pulling out the other shoe. “Speaking of that, Gin, will you swap me your hat for this one?”
“Your shoe?” Aunt Gin asked, turning back toward him, then jumping as Wax forced open another window.
“Sure,” Wayne said. “They’re both clothes, right?”
“What would I do with a man’s shoe?”
“Wear it next time you gotta be a fellow,” Wayne said. “You’ve got the perfect face for it. Good shoulders, too.”
“Please ignore him,” Steris said, rising and walking over. “Here, I’ve prepared for you a list of possible scenarios that might transpire during our residence here.”
“Steris…” Wax said, forcing open the third and final window.
“What?” she demanded. “I will not have the staff unprepared. Their safety is our concern.”
“Fire?” Aunt Gin asked, reading the list. “Shoot-outs. Robbery. Hostage situations. Explosions?”
“That one is completely unfair,” Wax said. “You’ve been listening to Wayne.”
“Things do explode around you, mate,” Wayne said, munching peanuts. Nice bit of salt on these.
“He’s right, unfortunately,” Steris said. “I’ve accounted for seventeen explosions involving you. That’s a huge statistical anomaly, even considering your profession.”
“You’re kidding. Seventeen?”
“Huh.” He had the decency to look proud of it, at least.
“A pastry shop once blew up while we was in it,” Wayne said, leaning in to Aunt Gin. “Dynamite in a cake. Big mess.” He held out some peanuts toward her. “How about I throw in these peanuts with the shoe?”
“Those are my peanuts! From this very room!”
“But they’re worth more now,” Wayne said. “On account of my being real hungry.”
“I told you to ignore him,” Steris said, tapping on the notebook she’d handed Aunt Gin. “Look, you only read the table of contents. The rest of the pages contain explanations of the possible scenarios I’ve outlined, and suggested responses to them. I’ve sorted the list by potential for property damage.”
Wax leaped into the center of the room, then thrust his hand forward. The door quivered.
“What … what is he doing?” Aunt Gin asked.
“Checking to see where the best places in the room are for slamming the door with his mind,” Wayne said. “In case someone bursts in on us.”
“Just read the notebook, all right?” Steris requested in a pleasant tone.
Aunt Gin looked toward her, seeming bewildered. “Are these things … threats?”
“No, of course not!” Steris said. “I only want you to be prepared.”
“She’s thorough,” Wayne said.
“I like to be thorough.”
“Usually that means if you ask her to kill a fly, she’ll burn down the house just to be extra sure it gets done.”
“Wayne,” Steris said, “you’re needlessly making the lady concerned.”
“Flooding from a diverted waterfall,” Aunt Gin said, reading from the book again. “Koloss attack. Cattle stampede through the lobby?”
“That one is highly unlikely,” Steris said, “but it never hurts to be prepared!”