Crossing the Taxmen
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"Strong," he says, "does what he's told," he says , "do well, he will," he says. I should've just jumped off the cliffs and saved myself a whole purse of trouble. When I said keep a look out and keep folk away, I didn't mean go throwing down with Taxmen! I don't care what they said - they can all swim the streets like the lord of sharks, because that's what they are so far as you're concerned. You're lucky they didn't leave a blade in you.

They all wore the black sash, are you blind? With my luck you were rousting with Trenar's lot; there he'll be tonight at the safehouse, polite as you like and twenty knives behind his back. Or worse, that old eelsucker with the brain-stabbed Neth on a chain. They're all as bad as each other - taxes, the prison hulks, or worse for them, and you can wager they're smart enough to keep a good thing going. All the knives you'd never want watching your back while you're lightening a purse; fawning with the rich folk, stabbing the poor, keeping coins in the councillor's estates ... isn't that always the way?

You know what will happen if Taxmen decide to gut you and throw you to the crawcrabs? Nothing, that's what. Think the spears in the militia care a bad coin one way or another? No high and mighty councillor's going to shed tears over a commoner thief from the villages crossed by their pet eels. No, you've got to be respectable, a pretty woman or a pile of coins before you can cause them trouble. All the fancy council nobles care about is counting what they steal by the law they made, mark my words.

This'll cost us all good, you'll see, and you'd better expect that every last coin is coming from your hide, I don't care how many seasons it takes!

[ Posted by Reason on February 9, 2005 ]