Clarification

In which Haft informs Garian of Lewis’ confession

Officers’ Barracks

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This is the barracks belonging to the officers of the Army and Navy of Archenland. While it is smaller the the other barracks, the items here are of a higher quality. As well as bunks and lockers, there are also several desks, covered in maps and journals. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

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You can go: Naval Barracks <S>, Army Barracks <N>

Contents: A son of adam with a scar running over his left eye and cheek

(Garian) and Garian’s Trunk.

Haft knocks on the door.

Garian looks up from his paperwork, “Come in” he calls out amiably.

Garian needs to work on a scarier image.

Haft enters the room, eyes and nose a little red and looking under the weather.  “Sir, if you have a moment, I have some new information on that matter of Cerine and Acostas.”

Garian stands and frowns thoughtfully, “Goodness Haft, have a seat!”

Haft nods his thanks and sits down.

Garian asks, “Would you like some tea?”

Haft says, “Tea would be fine.”

Garian gestures to a chair, “Have a seat”. He departs, returning a short while later with a tray, a teapot, a sugar holder, and a glass. He sets it down on the table and pours, “How do you take your tea, Haft?”

Haft says, “No sugar, no milk, sir.”

Garian gives a small nod, handing the cup to him. “When did this start?”

Haft looks a little sheepish. “Took a chill about three days ago.”

Garian frowns a little, “Have you seen Adrian or one of the other healers about this?”

“No sir,” Haft replies, looking amused.  “Just had advice from half the women in the castle and been taking tea and soup as they’ve told me to.”

Garian raises an eyebrow, “And they didn’t mention rest as well?” The corners of his mouth twitch with amusement.

Haft says, “I’ve been taking rest between shifts, sir.”

Garian gives a nod, taking his seat, “Good.”

Haft says, “Anyway, regarding the matter of Abrielle’s parents, she brought me some new information.  I can’t tell you how much I hope it’s true, but I fear it’ll be time-consuming to confirm.”

Garian says, “Oh?”

Haft explains, “Abrielle tells me she spoke to her uncle.  He told her he made the entire story about her parents’ criminal history up.  To explain why they left her, I guess.  The whole story is appalling, but if he’s telling the truth…” He spreads his hands.

Garian says quietly, “Well… I’ve checked the records and that seems much closer to the truth. I do not think that shall be very hard to confirm.”

Haft asks, “No record of exile?”

Garian shakes his head. “No.”

Garian says, “I suppose he thought it would be… easier to accept for her.”

Haft says, “Well that’s a mercy.”  Haft shakes his head.  “Easier?  To believe her parents were criminals and abandoned her, rather than just abandoned her?  Even before she told me Lewis confessed to the lie I thought they were scum not to have sent for their daughter once they were settled. I might not have taken a child with me when I first went to Narnia either.  It was still early days after the end of the Winter and no one was sure what to expect.  But after?  Even criminals could have sent for their child…but it doesn’t matter either way now..”

Garian frowns, “I should think a criminal wouldn’t. In a child’s mind, if parents were criminals I would assume they would think it more natural to be left behind–most children are taught criminals are wicked and if a person is wicked or bad, it makes sense to abandon a child. I should think it’s much harder for a child if no reason is given, for then the child might think other… unpleasant things. If it was a story, it was to explain why this was a problem of the parent and not the child’s fault.”

Haft scowls.  “It was a problem of the parents’ either way.  Can’t see how thinking your parents are killers makes it better.”

Garian shrugs, “Easier to conclude it’s their problem. Often times a child may turn thoughts inward if no other reason is provided. A child cannot reason as well as an adult.”

Haft says, “Maybe.  I still don’t like it.  And it’s done damage now that may or may not be so easily mended.”

Garian says, “At least the truth is known.”

Garian says, “And now the healing may begin.”

Haft says, “I hope so, sir.  She’s hurting, but I don’t think she’ll abandon her uncle.  He needs her, whether he deserves her or not.  And I reckon she needs him.  Family’s…important.”

Garian nods thoughtfully. “Yes. In his own way, he was trying to protect her. I believe in time she will be able to forgive him and understand that.”

Haft says, “She does seem to understand.  More than I do.” He frowns.  “May I ask whether Lord Dar has been informed of all this?”

Garian nods, “Indeed. That is the reason I know her parents were not exiled.”

Haft leans back in the chair.  “I wonder if he’ll do anything about it.”

Garian gives a small shrug, “What’s to be done?”

Haft says, “I don’t mean about the parents, sir.  Abrielle works at Coghill manor.  Given her choices in shielding people she thought were criminals, he could have her dismissed. That’s not the province of the law.”

Garian says, “But she’s done nothing wrong.”

Haft withdraws a kerchief from the pouch at his hip and proceeds to wipe his nose.

“I hope that Lord Dar shares your view on that, sir.”

Garian frowns a little, “Well, don’t you think he would look a little ridiculous trying to bring her forward on charges that did not exist?–Besides, that is looking at it purely from the judicial standpoint. Lord Dar may appear a stern man, but his family is known for being gentle-hearted. If the Law is without heart or compassion or understanding, it cannot truly serve the people.”

Haft says, “I…didn’t say he’d bring her up on charges, sir.  But I’ve no desire to argue with you.  I agree that the law serves the people best when executed with compassion.  It’s why we usually turn younger pickpockets over to their parents for correction rather than anything more severe.”

Garian says, “Then I wouldn’t worry about her being dismissed too much. I’m sure he will access the situation and do everything he can to help her through this difficult time if he can.”

Haft nods. “I know Lord Dar’s less stern than he first appears.  And his brother’s more than amiable.”  He dabs at his face with the kerchief again.  “You know, my niece made a handkerchief for me when I visited.  I can’t bring myself to use it.”  He smiles faintly.

Garian smiles and chuckles softly, “Well, then won’t it go to waste? It was made to be used–and I think for just such a time. I’m sure it was well made and with great love.”

Haft draws the second kerchief from his pouch and displays it to Garian.  It’s a good deal cleaner than the one he’s holding and, while neatly hemmed, features a somewhat inexpert monogram.  “She’s seven.  Folks’re thinkin’ they might apprentice her to a seamstress.”

Garian gives an approving nod, “Very well done for her age. And if she likes it, then she would probably do very well as a seamstress. A good choice, as it is a job that is always needed.”

Haft returns his to his pouch.  “I wanted to thank you again for the leave to go and find them, sir.  It meant a great deal.”

Garian smiles, his eyes merry. “Well, it was a reasonable request. Family is a very important part of life. I am glad all went well.–I should like to hear more of your trip.”

Haft asks, “What did you want to know?”

Garian says, “Well, you mentioned your nephews and a niece, but said very little. I should like to hear how your travels went, and the reunion.”

Haft says, “Well, as you know, we caught no news of Aaron in Coghill, either coming or going.”

Garian nods.

Haft says, “Then we press on to Chesterton.  Spent one night in the forest.  Paused for a game of bootball with some children on the way into town.”

Garian chuckles softly and nods, listening intently.

Haft says, “Anyway, we went on to the house that I’d helped them move into fifteen years ago.  New owners, and the husband was able to direct us to my sister’s new home.”

Garian says, “Well, that’s good that they could point you in the right direction.”

Haft says, “Yeah.  Anyway, it was just my brother-in-law home when we got there.  He wasn’t too pleased with me at first, but I can’t blame him.”

Garian gives a slow nod, “Did you have any explanation of your absence before you arrived?”

Haft shakes his head.  “I’d tried.  It was all in the letter I’d sent, but it hadn’t reached them at their new place.”

Garian ahs, “I could see how that could make things… difficult.”

Haft says, “Yeah.  Anyway, he had a few choice words for me, all of which I deserved, and then Brigid came home with the littlest, Calla, and the boys showed up maybe an hour later.  Turned out one of them had been in the game when we were walking in.”

Garian’s eyebrows lift, “Well. Bet the lad was surprised.

Haft says, “Maybe.  Not sure the younger ones knew they had an uncle.  Ven did, the oldest.”

Garian asks, “Did your sister have any idea why you’d been gone for so long before this?”

Haft says, “No.  Apparently by the time it reached Chesterton, the story of Bar’s treachery didn’t extended to the name of the guard involved.  They had an idea I was alive, but not why I’d left.  When Jorgen tried to make inquiry, he was told that I’d gone off without leave.”

Garian frowns and says, “I see.”

Haft shrugs. “Well, that was true enough, as far as it went.  Anyhow, I explained everything and got caught up with them.  Spent a good deal of time with the children.  The younger one has the makings of a mighty fine carpenter.”

Garian says, “Also an excellent trade. What does his father do again?”

Haft says, “Jorgen’s a carpenter, too.  He’s trained both the boys up in it.  Ven’s a little restless, but Ash is already doing carving work that’s good enough to sell.”

Garian says, “No wonder the boy seems to be so adept at carpentry–named after a tree.”

Haft’s lips twitch.  “Yeah, we had a good laugh about that.  I ribbed him a bit.  Of course Jorgen up and explained it was only because I was named after a piece of wood myself.”

Garian ohs?

Haft ducks his head a little.  “Well, a handle anyway.  Haft of an axe, haft of a spear or a sword.  Got to put up with all kinds of abuse as a kid.  Poor Ash has been dubbed Twig by his brother.”

Garian ahs and then chuckles softly, “His brother should watch out lest the twig become a branch and smite him.”

“That–” Haft sneezes “–don’t look like happening any time soon.  He’s a lot more timid than Ven.  Looked a lot less pleased by the wooden swords I brought them too.  But yeah, I reckon he’ll come into his own eventually.

Garian says, “Gesundheit.” He rubs his bear thoughtfully, “I’m sure the boy could still appreciate the quality and make of the wooden sword, even if he’s not one for combat. A man should always know how to defend himself.”

Haft says, “I agree.  I think it was more the thought of being thrashed by his big brother that was worrying him.  But Megren and I gave them a few lessons, and I hope he’ll get some practice in.”

Garian gives a small nod. “So what does the eldest have a promising career in?”

Haft says, “Boxing or wrestling, at the rate he’s going,” Haft mutters, then clarifies, “for sport–he’s not a bully.  Don’t think he enjoys being shut up in the shop.  But he’s thirteen now–old enough he ought to be more settled.””

Garian asks, “Think he’d consider the life of a soldier?”

Haft tilts his head.  “A soldier perhaps, sir.  Not a guard with the way he holds still.”

Garian chuckles softly, “Well, that can change with time.”

Haft says, “True.  Goodness knows Megren has energy for three and she manages.”

Garian nods, “It sounds like you have a very lovely family Haft.”

Haft says, “I do and I know it.”  He rises.  “Well, sir, I should try to lie down a bit before my next shift.  Thank you for your time and the talk.”

Garian nods, “Get some sleep and feel better. Thank you for keeping me updated Haft.”

Haft says, “You’re welcome, sir.  Good day,” then turns and leaves the room.

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