Deanna dismounted and looked at the Inn a moment before going in, hoping this time they'd have seen him. She was beginning to lose faith in her search for him, and if she didn't pick up a trail soon, she'd have to find a new tactic. She took a deep breath, and walked in the door.
It looked like your average Inn, tables, waiters, barmaids, drunken regulars getting riled up for a brawl.
She walked up to the counter, stepping over a patron who had fallen asleep on the floor.
"Excuse me," She said, putting on her best smile. The burly Inn Keeper looked up from where he was polishing a cup, though it looked like it should be firewood, let alone something to drink out of. Not very sanitary.
"What do you want?" He demanded.
"I was wondering if you'd seen a man, about this high, with a-" she started.
"An ugly ole' scar?" The man finished. Deanna nodded, her hopes rising. "Yeah, he was here, the rude bastard. He bullied my servers, broke several dishes, and refused to pay."
"Wow, he did all that?" Deanna said, feigning surprise. The man nodded.
"What did you want him for?" He asked, setting the cup down on the counter and picking up another.
"He didn't pay his taxes for a previous town, and I've been sent to retrieve him." She lied easily. The man nodded.
"I can believe it." He said.
"Do you happen to know which direction he went?" She asked.
He thought a moment. "He went north, I think."
"What?" She asked.
"I said I believe he went north." He repeated. "You hard of hearing or what?"
"Thank you." Deanna said briefly, walking outside and mounting Krennan again, wondering why on earth Herndon would go north.
* * *
"You have got to be kidding me!" Cadman shouted as he maneuvered the wagon to the side of the road. The wheel had come off once more and was now happily bouncing down the small hill, with Finn giving chase.
"I am seriously considering welding the damn thing." He raged.
"Calm down, will you?" Cayle said as he walked over to examine the empty space where the wheel should go.
"Sabotage!" Cadman screamed, still raging.
"Is he always like this?" Alroy whispered to Cayle.
"Only on the days ending in 'day'" Was the answer.
Finn rolled the wheel back up and glanced over at Cadman, who was raging some more by the horses.
"Is it really that big of a deal?" He asked.
"Apparently so." Alroy answered.
"Best to leave him be for a bit." Cayle said.
All three turned to see Cadman hopping on one foot and holding his fist, still raging, though now it was aimed at an oak tree.
"What are you looking at?!" He demanded. They all shook their heads and turned back to the wheel, obviously trying to hide their smiles.
Cadman glared at them.
* * *
Herndon sat on his horse, pondering his next move. He was sure that she had picked up his false trail by now; the bartender had been only too willing to cooperate. Inn owners will do just about anything to protect their establishment.
He looked at the sun. It was half past noon.
"In a few more hours, she will be walking right into my trap." He said, a smile forming on his lips. He turned his horse and headed back down the small hill, heading east.