The Stakes Are High


Bowen.jpg Jaya.jpg Lorayit.jpg Suli.jpg Hayli.jpg Shijan.jpg

(NPCS: Berel, Deo, Ganic, Orin, Hayli, Suli, Shijan)

Date: 10/28/10
Location: EW: Jaya's Bar
Synopsis: Bowen drops into Jaya's Bar to look for Lo and a game of cards and possibly information … or at least a clue to Lo's guilt or innocence as presumed by Max.
Rating: PG-13
Logger: Bowen

This night, the bar is decently populated with those looking to either try their luck at the card tables or to drown themselves in delectable brandies. The bar's owner, Jaya, is present behind the counter, engaging in the patrons sitting there with her usual briskness while the barmaids Suli and Hayli are bustling about the tables with their hands full of mugs. Shijan is at his usual post by the entrance, his eyes trained or any and every activity that goes on around him. The tables are particularly rowdy this night, which is giving way to conversations of gossip and current events amongst the patrons. At one particular table, the men aren't really all that much into talking, but they are into their cards. Lorayit sits among them, the only one sporting his signature easy smile and demeanor as he looks around at the farmers sitting at the card table. They've yet to start cards, though one of is already in the process of shuffling while they wait for their drinks. In the meantime, they sit and listen to Lo's tales - probably prattling on about where he's been the last sevenday or so, especially he's been notably missing all this time around the bar and garden. There are two empty seats at the table with one pushed away from the table to suggest that one of them had already left.

Having been at the vats today and smelling like something had expired and rotted straight through him, Bowen had taken the time to bathe before coming, which is probably why there were already a number of fellows here at the bar, playing cards or otherwise, when he walks in. Alone, this time. Anyone who may recognize him as the man with the Healer on his arm from before may also recognize that hard look that he’s giving the bar once again. While it could be mistaken as a look of impending trouble, the tanner is merely looking for anyone familiar from that particular day who might have been among those to shout some racy stuff at his woman as they were departing. If they are there, however, Bowen doesn’t seem to recognize them, or he chooses not to this time, as his blue eyes finally land on Lorayit at the table and some of the tension in his frame fades. This perhaps does not go unnoticed by some the staff, particularly Shijan by the door, and this time without the ‘no trouble here’ nod to Jaya’s bodyguard, but a friendly wave to Jaya from the door to the bar, Bowen makes his slow and easy pace over to Lo’s table, where he will nod politely to him first and then the other men at the table. “Evenin’,” Bo says in greeting, eyeing one of the two empty seats, “Reckon there’s room fer anuth’r fellas?” Despite the friendly and polite manner, anyone whose spent any amount of time around the tanner would perhaps realize there’s no small amount of tension in Bo’s shoulders and a slightly grimmer set to his otherwise stoic expression.

Shijan gives Bowen a slight nod of acknowledgement when he enters, and the Bitran barkeep's lifting her chin sharply at him in return greeting since both of her hands are occupied in mugs before she returns some sort of response to the dragonrider that has her attention. As for Lo, the gardener's far too into his tale to even note his approach just yet. " … and so of course I couldn't say 'no' to her, could I?" he was saying, his voice on the verge of laughter as he leans forward and pins a look on the man right across from him. "I mean, there I was with only my hat covering my d-hey, Bo!" His loud call startles a couple of the farmers too engrossed into the tale, the men straightening and looking around to find who he was talking to. Most eyes land on the tanner right then, and a few of them frown, but Lorayit's ignoring their looks and gesturing for the man to join them. "Bo, my friend, welcome! Of course there's always room for another - have you all met?" His words are quick and jovial, keeping all involved on their toes since they're not exactly sure what's about to come out of his mouth next. The farmer closest to Bowen is the first to give him a welcoming smile and nod, answering for them all, "No, I don't think we have, but you were here before, right?" Apparently the farmers do note the goings and comings in the bar - even if they appear to be into their cards.

A faint smirk is drawn for the presumed end of that tale, but then it fades and Bowen nods to the men at Lo’s table with him once more as he settles down on the nearest vacated seat, “Thank ya kindly.” This for either allowing him to join them or for the welcome or even perhaps for both. “Ayep,” Bowen answers the one who asked, “Been ‘round a time ‘r two,” with an expression that is so carefully schooled nonchalant and indifferent about his past experiences in the bar, it’s anything but. This guy must be a veritable goldmine with a poor poker face like that … or perhaps that’s his angle? Luring card players into a false sense of confidence? There’s only one way to find out. “How’re ya fellas doin’? Sorry t’int’rupt Lo’s story. I think I might wanna ‘ere th’ end o’ dis ‘un m’self though. I could sure deal with a good laugh right ‘bout now,” he allows, and then looks about for the nearest circulating barmaid and will beckon for whatever it looks like the rest of the guys are drinking there at the table if he can catch her eye.

Hayli finally reaches the table then, the blonde barmaid passing out filled mugs with a honeyed smirk for those around the table. "Another Southern whiskey, Hayli," Lo is sending her way, practically leering at her while he passes his own mug towards Bowen. What a nice guy, right? Well, he would be if he wasn’t staring at her ass while she's bending over the table to set the mugs down. When she sends him an assenting nod he adds, "You're looking really nice tonite, you know. Why don't we-" - "Barely a day back and you're trying to get me into the sack again. Control him," she's sending this last towards the newcomer, Bowen, the tanner getting an appreciative wink before she straightens and departs. Watching her go and looking mildly offended, "Long day," one of the friendlier farmers is answering Bo, raising his mug in his direction in a sort of toast. The other farmers at the table nod in agreement. "Been up since the sun-up working the fields. Glad to finally get my hands on this," and the mug gets raised again. "What about you?" another of the farmers is asking the tanner, his keen interest and scrutiny of the man apparent before Lorayit finally returns his attention to them and responds to Bo's last with open laughter. Breaking the impending questioning, he flicks fingers about, "Bo, this is Ganic, Berel, Orin and Deo," the gardener introduces. "Guys, this is Bo, the tanner I mentioned. He's good folk so treat him like you would me." Blue eyes give meaning to each man at the table, and some of the farmer's frowns lighten just a bit as they regard Bowen then. "Now, you wanna hear the end of that story?" Lo continues, his voice easy as Hayli returns with a filled mug for him. "It's pretty racy from there on, but if you're looking for a laugh I can see what I can drum up in tales." Eyes are studying the tanner now while the man with the cards - Deo - shuffles again and starts dealing them out now that the drinks are here.
Bowen dips his head in a grateful nod to Lo for giving up his drink to him, merely grunting at the flirting going on between Lo and the waitress, and when she bids Bo to control him, he merely grunts again, but this time with a faint smirk. He’d have a witty comeback, but the waitress is already moving on before he can even open his mouth and so he simply keeps it shut. And this is why Bowen is likely known more easily as Quiet Bo back in Southern because, for all his love of cards and drinking and the camaraderie with friends those activities bring, he simply reacts too slowly to keep up with a lot of the banter as quickly as the rest of those around him, even when he’s sober. His blue eyes slide to whichever one is speaking as they speak, politely attentive, nodding when appropriate, and when they ask about his day, he’s about to open his mouth to answer when Lo makes introductions. Bowen falls silent then and nods to each in turn, “Pleasure, fellas,” and he’ll lift his mug in kind just as Lo offers to tell the end of the story. Then his attention is back on Lo and there comes another faintly icy smirk, “As long as it don’t ‘nvolve some poor sod’s woman gettin’ fucked by ‘is best friend, I’m all ears, Lo,” ah, yeah, Bo’s apparently not having a great day either. The way his eyes cast, though, it’s clear he’s not accusing anyone at this table. He downs a healthy swig of the whiskey before withdrawing his blunt for the table from his pocket and eyeing the deck in Deo’s hand.

Once Hayli is gone and the cards dealt, "Pleasure is ours, apparently," drawls the one farmer called Berel - a hefty man with a lazy eye. He slides his good eye towards Lo as he takes a drink of the whiskey he has. The other men start collecting the dealt cards that form their hand, an easy silence coming over them before Lo breaks it. "You don't say?" he's saying at what Bowen reveals, his gaze turning a bit more concerned now as he takes his own cards. As the men about the table exchange glances, "Well, I don't know the man," he continues to say, gesturing towards Deo to strike up the game once everyone has their hand. For now, it seems, they are playing for the sake of it since the middle of the table is devoid of thrown marks. "I wasn't really planning on being naked, either - in her stables, no less!" That seems to get a few knowing chuckles, especially since the farmers knew the gardener to be a cad most times. Laughing at himself as he turns his gaze towards Bowen, "But there you go. She had her way with me before a man I assumed was her husband showed up, and I hightailed it out of there with a hat over my privates and my ass as clear as day. Later I found out that was her steward," he adds, shaking his head at his own folly. "I must've looked like an idiot! Still. Folks got a nice running show, eh?" There's more laughter at that, the friendly one called Ganic shaking his head as he rearranges his hand of cards. "More ironic than funny. So this best friend have a name?" Lo's changing topics without a beat, the farmers equally turning their attention his way since Bowen's statement had their interest from the start.

As the other men do, Bowen takes up his cards and maintains the stoic expression that belies the mild tension in his frame that he walked in with. Though the longer he's sitting here and hanging out and drinking, the more that tension eases from his frame, little by little. To Lo's initial question, Bo simply looks over at him, his expression still stoic, but there's something raw and pained in his blue eyes, and then he looks back at his cards. He reorders his cards just a bit, and even if his stakes aren't needed just yet, he'll keep the marks-pouch here in front of him, right next to his mug, just in case things change or he moves to another table that does have stakes. There's a smirk for the story of being naked in some woman's stables, and Bowen politely diverts his attention back and forth from his hand to Lo as he speaks, and then to the others at the table as they begin to play the first round, but he's still in the process of loosening up after his day, it would seem, and well, he obviously has a lot on his mind not to be as jovial, perhaps, as the rest. Yet anyway. Give him a few more drinks. He is mid-swig of his next swallow when Lo puts that next question to him, and Bo's eyes move to the other man in turn, finishing his swallow and setting his mug down before he shrugs, "Reckon 'e ain't th' man's friend no more. Y'prolly ain't met 'im," Bo says, his gaze moving back to his hand, and then to the center of the table, watching the play, "Beast Manager. Name's Max," he grunts out a half a beat later. "This fella, he'd go beat 'is face in, fer sure, but 'is Ma's th' shardin' Headwoman … eh, whut can ya do?" Bo asks rhetorically, playing a card somewhat seemingly distractedly.

Bowen maybe distracted with his cards as he speaks, so he might not notice the subtle change of air around the table. It's very slight, especially since it's emanating from Lo's end, and since the gruff Orin's right next to him, both farmer and gardener are throwing seemingly discreet glances at each other at the mention of Max's name. The other farmers seem to be finding their cards mighty interesting just then. "Practice game, then we wager," Lo chooses to say them to the table, nodding towards the emptiness at the center of the table. Then, his face schooled into the gambler's mask used for the games such as this, "I'd have beaten down a man like that," he states with such offhandedness, his eyes flicking from his hand of cards to Bowen's eyes. Nevermind the fact that Lo doesn't look like he could beat down a randy woman, much less the beast manager. "I know of a Max. Runs the stables, right?" Eyes sliding over to Orin, "He's been fucking your woman, Bo?" he puts to him in a serious light as Ganic on Bowen's side snorts and shakes his head before he adds, "He sounds like the bastard my wife's been fucking back up in Lemos!" - "Way you tell it, wasn't she going through every sharding man in the Hold?" comes from Deo, taking a long pull from his mug before coughing. Once the fit stops, "Your wife don't count, Ganic." While Ganic's pulling a dark look towards the farmer that spoke, "You confronted him?" Lo is asking the tanner then, his eyes not leaving the man the entire time as Berel calls for another card. He's also regarding Bo's mug, making sure it doesn't get too low before he will make the call to order another.

Bowen has been playing cards nearly as many turns as he’s been tanning and about as many turns as he’s been drinking, since the two go so hand-in-hand together. But despite that, he doesn’t appear to notice any change in the air around the table, not of the non-verbal kind. He can’t help but turn his attention to those who speak and why and what they are saying, his expression maintains the stoic look in all but his eyes for the most part. There’s a glance at Lo for his first statement, his eyes hardening just a little, though it’s more at feeling frustrated with himself and his lack of punching Max when he really wanted to, than any ill sentiment toward Lo, and he looks away then, over to Orin and back to Lo again, his mouth pursing into a tight line, and that’s all the confirmation he gives to the question, but with men like these, perhaps that’s all the confirmation needed. Then his gaze is studiously on his hand for a time before moving over to regard Ganic and then Deo and then to Lo again at the question. Bo looks back at his cards, discarding one, and muttering softly, “Ayup,” to answer Lo’s question, though his gaze is back on his hand, and he lifts that mug for another drink, the draught is long enough this time for it to be half-empty by this point.

"Suli, another round," Lorayit's calling to the older Telgari barmaid, his eyes lighting on Bowen's mug before his own. His own gets drained then, catching every nuance of the tanner's expressions with open interest as the men around him rearranges their hands. Indeed, the silence was confirmation to the questions asked, as the farmers all around send understanding looks toward Bowen. It's apparent a few of them have been through what he's going through now - chief among them Ganic, who seems to be the first draining his mug of brandy since Deo made his comments on his wife. While Lo could continue questioning the man on the matter with Max, he seems to want to shelf it for the moment for another related topic until Suli returns with their round of drinks. "Hope she didn't lie about it at least, my friend," he says, trying to make the words sound consoling as Suli passes around the filled mugs. "Women, eh?" Ganic takes up the topic gruffly, his eyes hard on his cards. "Why can't we trust'em without them going batty on us?" Suli hears the comment and shoots a cold look his way, then she passes a new mug to Bowen before she's leaving the table. "I trust my woman," Berel, who's been silent up to this point, finally chooses to break his silence. Taking a long drink of the brandy and smacking his lips at it, "Ain't nothing but you all's faults for choosin' the batty women!" Yep, with those beady eyes of his, he's including every man at the table in that statement - even Bowen. "Mine don't act like that! She tells me everything that be going down. Everything." Berel's getting dirty looks, and Ganic can't help but to lean close to Bowen and murmur, "Yeah, she be tellin' him exactly what he wants to hear, that is," before leaning away and revealing his not too high hand for all to see. To cover his aside to Bowen, he clears his voice and adds in a louder voice, "I wanna play with stakes now, Lo. Need to get my wife a turnday present before the sevenday ends."

And it would be Bo’s luck if he were being drugged by Suli or something right about now, but he does not suspect her at all, and as such when she puts the next mug down in front of him, he thanks her with a nod without even looking at her. Draining the last of his first mug, he nudges it out of his way and takes the first sip of his next, this all while the rest of the men complain about women, and it’s either the whiskey or the fact that he finds it easier to complain about women (having been doing for turns), but Bowen’s lips start moving. “She confessed, didn’t lie. S’was ‘ow I knew actually. He j’st confirmed it,” Bowen says by way of answering Lo. Then he shakes his head a little, “Sure as shells. Batty,” seeming to agree with Ganic there, though Bo’s slow enough to only be saying so after Suli has already left the table. The comment from Ganic on Berel’s woman earns a faint smirk and grunt of mirth that might be considered laughter if there was any length to it. “Thing is,” Bo muses aloud on Max, “Guy like dat. He’s untouchable, yanno? T’ain’t fair, I say.” At the mention of stakes, he doesn’t even look at Ganic, just digs out a few of his gambling blunt for the night out of the pouch and cinches his pouch’s drawstrings back up. “I’m in,” he grunts, draining a little more of his whiskey.

"She actually confessed?" Ganic echoes that statement, gawking at the tanner while Deo pitches in with, "Yeah. Ganic's own didn't bother telling him nothing! He had to find out from three of the men on his fuckin' turnday!" He's laughing, and Ganic's turning to get to his feet since the other farmer is seated at the opposite end of the table before Lorayit's putting out a restraining hand on the man's progress. "Sit down and have another drink," he gives to calm Ganic down, then he shoots Deo a subtle warning glance. "She must like ya if she told'ja," Berel tells Bowen in the heavy silence that follows since two of the farmers have now taken to glaring at each other from across the table. He shows his hand and nudges Deo beside him to do the same. "He could've lied and said she was lyin', too." Lorayit doesn't seem all that interested in the woman, however. Showing his winning hand, which makes him the winner of nothing, "Thing is," he echoes Bowen's first words, shucking his cards towards Deo so that the new game could start, "Max isn't untouchable, Bo. No man is. Just because his mother's the Headwoman?" There's a snort to that, perhaps still smarting from his and Indira's last encounter long ago as he puts forth his bag of marks. Once Bowen announces that he's in, and the men around them are equally murmuring their assents, he states the decently priced buy in wager for the next game before he puts actions to words and drops some marks at the center of the table. Continuing, "Known men like Max my whole life, see," he says casually, his gaze falling on the tanner then as he takes up his brandy. "Guys that think they're untouchable like that think they own the whole world. All you gotta do is knock him right back down to our level ground a bit, hm?" Deo shuffles the cards while the rest of the farmers drop in their share of the wager, and Orin's grunting his agreement to what's been said. "Heard a good knock to the head helps with that," the farmer's chipping in, sending Bowen an amused look chalked with meaning.

Bowen’s attention turns to Ganic with his question, nodding slightly. Right about now, a more sensible fellow might wonder at the wisdom of smearing a good woman’s reputation, a woman he loved, but you know, Bowen doesn’t always think things through like that, with regards to the woman’s perspective – which could explain a lot of why his marriage went south before his wife died. Not “sensitive” enough. Right now, Bowen has a bit of a one-track mind and Cheusia’s reputation is quickly becoming collateral damage to the mission. Woes be to him should she ever actually find out, probably. He frowns genuinely at Deo and watches with no real intention of stopping Ganic from pummeling Deo in, which Bowen more or less thinks he deserves for that. It’s Lo stopping it that draws Bo’s attention next, before he looks over at Berel and frowns a little, but nods, something dark and miserable surfacing in his eyes before he looks at his hand again, “I reckon,” he says at last regarding Berel’s assertion, “… dunno whut I’m t’do ‘bout it. Thought ‘bout tryin’ t’fix it, work it out with her, which is whut she wants … but as long as Max is ‘round … I’ll always wonder, yanno?” which is really true right now for him. It’s hard to get those images drawn up by his jealous mind of his out. Bowen tosses his losing hand in with the rest to be reshuffled and dealt for the game with stakes. He looks over at Lo as Lo speaks on Max and contesting his ‘untouchable’ status, and then he puts his buy-in marks into the pot, though is still listening as Lo continues. “Yeah,” Bo says, in between more sips of his drink, “An’ how does a feller like me knock a feller like ‘im down?” The comment from Orin earns a good-natured grin and a nod in appreciation for the direct approach, and then Bowen’s looking over his newly dealt hand, seeming distractedly interested in the play that goes around the table, who discards how many cards and who raises and who antes up. “He’s got himself a little gang down there. Up until a few days ago, one o’dem was even on guard over the fucking tack room,” Bowen snorts, “Who guards a fucking tack room anyhow?” His gaze briefly circles the reactions of the farmers at the table, including Lo, and then those blue eyes are back on the deck, “I reckon I ain’t knowed ‘im as well as I thought … Yanno, sometimes ya j’st get this feelin’s somebody’s inta sumpthin’ deep? I figure,” Bo says, leaning back in his chair with a soft exhale, “One of dese days, he’s gonna slip up, an’ I’ll be right there t’get m’r’venge.”

"Ya oughta," Berel agrees to him fixing things with Cheusia, actually giving Bowen a grimace of a smile. "She told'ja the truth, didn' she? Think that's worth somethin', and ya oughta give her some credit for doin' it." Deo's rolling his eyes up to the ceiling for the advice given, gesturing with his chin briefly to get Bowen's attention. "Hey, this old man don't know what he's saying," he cuts in, giving Berel a pointed look. "Ain't no 'oughta' about it. Best friend fucked your woman and there's no way around that! Everytime you so much as kiss her, just know that he was kissin' those lips first. I should know!" - "Yeah, he be the main one turnin' on a best friend with his woman," Ganic butts in darkly, still bristling over the comments made about his wife as he takes a look at his hand of cards. Lo remains quiet through all the banter, his gaze remaining on Bowen as he speaks about Max. When he gives his question, his lips part as if to answer before Bowen says more. Much more. The banter quiets down enough at the mention of Max owning a gang, Lorayit 's expression never changing. Covering a hand over his hand of cards as he sets it down, he opens his mouth again to speak but Orin beats him to it. "You know, I heard one of the stablehands talking a long time ago about some thieves trying to get a runner out of there. Y'all ever heard about that?" The farmers look around at each other, Deo and Berel putting on rather dubious looks. "What's in the tackroom that needs guarding?" Ganic asks instead, leveling this question at Bowen. As for Lo, since only Bowen seems to be paying attention to him, he sends out a regretful sigh and resumes picking through his cards. "What kind of world is this," he starts to say, his eyes on no one but his cards, "when not even the Weyr is left alone in such villainy? I'd have expected such brazen tactics at a hold! I trust your friend managed to nab those looking to steal from him, hm?" he asks Bowen, his expression one of controlled concern over such a tragedy happening at the Weyr. Even Berel's shaking his head and draining his glass of brandy. "Revenge is good," Deo adds to Bowen's last in the ensuing silence, his eyes on the tanner before nodding. "This Max seems like bad news, tanner. I wouldn't even put my grandmother in his vicinity if this is how he behaves. Best be careful with your woman."

Bowen tilts his head to the side with Berel’s suggestion, considering it, it would seem, at least until Deo is getting Bo’s attention. And while Bo is not really liking Deo’s comments so far, he can’t begrudge the man the facts, and kissing is only the start of what Bo’s been seeing in his head. He’s not about to explain that Max went where ‘no man has gone before’ and how Bo doesn’t have the thrusters, so to speak, to follow the starmap Max set for him. With an entirely genuine brooding look for Deo’s words, Bowen drains nearly to the last of his second mug of whiskey, leaving only about a fifth left in the bottom. There’s only a briefly sympathetic look for the comment Ganic puts in afterward. Orin’s statement earns a lifting of brows from Bowen, and he frowns thoughtfully, “Several sevens back I helped Max get back a runner whut got out,” because such information is easy to verify and he’ll not be caught in a lie if he can help it, so he’ll volunteer it. “Mebbe it was involved? I dunno,” he shrugs, seeming not to know anything about runner thieves, and shrugging once more about what could possibly be in a tack room that would need a guard, “’Xactly. Beats th’ shit outta me.” A third shrug is issued to Lo for his question about whether or not Max caught the runner thieves, if there were any, and then he adds, “Like I said, I reckon I didn’t know ‘im half as well as I thought I did.” Especially if he was fucking his woman, right? Right. Deo’s last earns a nod, Bowen’s expression is relaxing with a little more thought on revenge, and then the thoughts about being careful of his woman around Max and Bo glances over to Lo, “Y’still lookin’ fer someone t’go back t’Southern fer ya …? Mebbe me an’ m’woman will get away fer a spell …” he returns his attention to his hand, scowling a little as he’s forced to fold a little earlier than he’s used to, but then, he’s been playing distractedly.

"Another round!" Lorayit, ever the host, notes Bowen's and a few of the farmers' glasses empty again. His is still halfway full, but for some reason this night he's not looking to get sloshed. Deo, meanwhile, notes Bowen's brooding look to his words on his woman and returns a knowing look that's enforced. "Fuckin' idiot," Berel's saying, shaking his head at Deo as he tosses more marks at the center of the table. Apparently his hand must be that good. "She ain't fuckin' him now, is she? Cuz that's all that matters!" - "That's good you got the runner back," Ganic's cutting in, speaking on the other matter that clearly has his interest more. For posterity's sake, he tosses in some marks too even though he's hardly looking at his cards right now. "Didn't hear anything about those thieves?" -"Heard they went for the good runner, too," Orin's supplying more information, nodding as he tosses some marks in now. "Isn't that one kinda crazy? Fuckers weren't smart, were they?" Lo's quiet through it all, waiting for Suli to come with the round of drinks before he makes his comments. She passes him the first mug with just the glimmers of a smile, and then she's on to passing the others out. Clearing his throat, "I understand betrayal only too well," he tells Bowen, tossing in some marks now before passing him a grave look. "This Max seems like he's wrapped up in some shady things. Perhaps those thieves were looking for more than just that runner." Orin frowns a bit at that, and Berel shrugs. Deo looks like he's considering those words, his cards closing and being tossed in instead of the marks. When Bowen speaks about Southern though, that got everyone's attention. Ganic's raising a brow at him, then looks to Lorayit for his reaction. His eyes idly on his own cards, "Had someone sent Southern way already," he answers shortly, blue eyes lighting on the tanner. "However. There's some seeds for the garden that I need from the Hold there. Ermina's holding them for me. I could send you the package I need delivered to her, and she'll give you the seeds. Shouldn't take all that long," and he leans back in his seat, studying the tanner with his easy gaze, "though, I reckon you want to take all the time you need with your woman. The delivery's not a priority. How does that sound to you?" Orin starts showing his hand, and the rest of the farmers follow suit with Berel being the winner.
Bowen is blinking a lot, which could be a sign that either he’s getting irritated at Deo again or about talk of his woman in general, or it could simply be a sign that he’s starting to feel the whiskey and losing focus. He’s far from drunk, and the men here who are avid drinkers would tell as much, but it’s entirely possible that some of his judgment may be impaired by this point. It’s Ganic statement about getting the runner back that gets a little quiet smile from the tanner, and Bo comments, “He was injured, th’ runner. Had a bit of a slash on ‘is leg, so he didn’t get too far. Wasn’t as hard as it could’ve been, I reckon. But yeah, was good we got ‘im back. Having already folded this round, Bowen seems more interested in finishing out his drink and talking with the guys and enjoying watching the rest of them play it out. “Max’s personal runner, in fact,” Bo supplies casually to the inquiry, or comment, about it being the ‘good’ runner that was taken, as he sees more marks being thrown in the pot and for a moment actually looks regretfully at the hand he folded early. He nods distractedly to Lo, frowning a little at the comment on betrayal, and comments, “Yeah, I’m b’ginnin’ t’wonder dat m’self,” on Max being mixed up in something shady. If Bowen is intrigued at how things seemed to stop for a moment when he brought up Southern, he doesn’t show it, and instead casts a glance out for Suli and the fresh drinks, considering he just finished his mug a moment ago. Distractedly, almost like he really didn’t care or pay attention to what needed picking up or delivered, Bowen nods to Lo, “I reckon that sounds fine. If I can’t catch a ride for us with a Southern dragon, then we’ll be ridin’ there and that’ll mean a couple sevens at least, so plenty a’time t’iron out thing’s with her along th’ way an’ on th’ way back.” He watches the cards get collected again for reshuffling and a new hand.

With new drinks all laid out at the table - and Deo passing out new cards for the new game - "Enough about women!" Orin's cutting in when he sees Deo opening his mouth to retort to Berel's earlier statement. Perhaps he notes the expression on Bowen's face, too, choosing to steer the conversation to safer waters that don't involve a fight erupting at the table. He was already casting glances toward the Bitran barkeep - the scarred one with the knife concealed somewhere and waiting to be unleashed - and the last thing his friends needed was a trip to the infirmary over hasty words. "You sound like a good man, Bo," Orin's saying soberly, nodding a few times his way as he drains his mug of brandy. "Going out, catching runners and whatnot. Good man." - "A whole lotta shady folks around these parts," Deo's saying, finally getting the hint and dropping the previous topic as he passes out the cards. "Talked to those traders over there-" and he nods sharply towards another card table surrounded by men, "-and they've been saying things are getting pretty tetchy from Bitra into Telgar. Might not be safe to even water your own fuckin' plants out there anymore…" Casting a glance Deo's way, Lorayit didn't want the conversation going down that particular path. Bowen was his friend, but now having found out Max was his as well, the gardener wasn't sure how much about the runner heist he knew. In silence he's tossing in some marks, barely batting an eye at the fact that he lost last round. "Dark times are comin'," Ganic agrees, tossing in some marks now before taking up his cards, too. Berel snorts, "You mean they ain' already here? Have you seen my field out there?" he puts forth then, along with his marks to the center of the table. Nodding over to Bowen, "Hey, you heard any crazy stories lately?" he asks in his gruff voice. "A runner will be best," Lo finally breaks his silence, looking directly at Bowen through all the chatter around him. "Believe me, a couple of sevens will set things right with you and yours. I'll even buy you a bottle of Jaya's finest if it turns out I'm wrong." There's a slow smile there, harking back to the first time they met and the tanner was looking for a flower to say the words he couldn't say to his healer. Just for an added bonus, "It'll keep Max outta the picture," he adds, finally draining his glass of whiskey and sending a wink the tanner's way.

Bowen glances from Deo to Orin and then seems to give the latter an appreciative nod, either for the change in topic or for the compliment. And then he’s looking at Deo and agreeing with a grim nod, before his attention turns to the other table, briefly, and then he is dropping in more money to the pot and picking up his cards, appearing to be uninterested in what is going on with Bitra or Telgar. “Trouble in th’ fields?” Bo finally asks the men around him while studying his hand, having heard at least two comments to suggest it, or so he thinks. It could be the whiskey. “Stories?” Bowen looks up and over at Berel, frowning thoughtfully. With as much time as he spends with Che, keeping an eye on her since that note, he’s not really gotten around much. “I saw the other day where some dragons plowed through the feeding pens,” Bowen says casually, shrugging, “But I reckon that happens all the time, at least once a month, eh?” The last is sent with a knowing half-smile to the other men, regarding green flights. But the comment from Lo regarding a runner being best, gets a little nod, and Bo responds, “I ain’t been out on a long trip with my runner in a spell, so it’ll be good t’stretch ‘is legs, I reckon.” He waves away the offer of a bottle, however, “Thank ya kindly j’st th’ same. T’ain’t necessary. Yerself an’ I, th’ way I see it, Lo, we’re helpin’ each other out. Whut friends, real friends that is,” not friends who will fuck your woman, “do fer one anuth’r. Y’get yer package delivered, an’ I get some time with m’woman without worry of her runnin’ inta Max while we sort things out.” He grins a bit more than usual at the wink, some what conspiratorially, suggesting just what exactly he and Che will be doing on such an extended camping trip, getting reacquainted, or so his gaze and grin suggests.

Once everyone's dropped marks at the center, the time for shuffling in and out cards begins. "Just a bunch of whiny men ain't use to tilling the fields out this way compared to Southern," Deo's the first to answer Bowen on the account of the fields, throwing a pointed look in Berel's direction since he was the last to 'whine.' "Aye, the soil's a little tougher," Orin agrees neutrally, his fingers picking over his hand of cards without looking anyone's way. "We'll get used to it eventually, I imagine. So you, ah, some dragons crashing through the feeding pens?" A couple of farmers frown at that, and Berel shakes his head gravelly. "Yer lucky they didn't run ya over, son," he's saying to Bowen in much the same way as if he was certain the dragons were specifically aiming for him. And then, green flights. Deo's catching that half-smile and is bursting into laughter aloud, causing Berel and Orin to throw frowns his way. "I so want to catch me a sweet little pissed-off bluerider woman," he tells the men at the table, his gaze leery. "One being the loser to those flights. Trust me, my men, the sex is much better!" Berel's snorting and Ganic's shaking his head while Lorayit puts in, "I still haven't had the pleasure of a dragonrider in my bed. Hear some of them can be quite the felines without the haze of flights over them. Any of you all had one?" Blue eyes go to each man, with all the farmers shaking their heads save for Deo. His gaze stops on Bowen along with the rest, looking expectant, and then he adds on, "You'll thank me for this trip. You'll see," and he matches that smile before he takes up his brandy. Then the stakes are raised and Ganic's folding with a curse.

Bowen grunts a little companionably as the farmers talk of the trouble with farming here around Eastern, and then clarifies, “Well, I saw th’damage that is. Wasn’t there fer it m’self an’ j’st assumed that’s whut it was when I saw th’ ‘hands all workin’ on repairs that day.” He adjusts some of his cards in his hand, keeping his blue eyes on them as he continues, “Yanno? I reckon that j’st might be when he stopped settin’ that guard up on th’ tack room? I ain’t o’er there ev’ryday, so, hard t’say fer cert’in,” and then he smirks, looking up at the others, “Mebbe he was keepin’ a dragon in there?” which would be ridiculous and why he is smirking, and expecting more laughter from the rest of the guys at the table. Of course, Bo isn’t always the best judge of what is funny, especially when he’s been drinking, so, no telling who will find it amusing and who won’t. Another smirk and understanding nod to Deo, even if he doesn’t particularly share that fantasy of a pissed-off blueriding woman. He knows a lot of men do. And then Bowen is discarding a card when it gets to his turn and taking one, fixing a stoic look on his quasi-new hand as he distractedly looks at Lo for his statement on bedding dragonriders, and with another draught of his drink and now all eyes stopping on him so expectantly, Bo does something a little stupid – blame it on the drink? Or the genuine anger and frustration still just lying under the surface for what he found out about Che and Max, or maybe even both, “I ain’t had ‘un b’fore, but there’s a thought, Lo. If I were a lesser man, I might bide m’time until Max’s girl got outta weyrlinghood an’ bedded her fer revenge.” Then he takes yet another drink, swallows and adds, “If I were a lesser man.” His expression turns grim with the repeated sentiment, and it could be he made it as if to reinforce some inner code of honor with himself and is otherwise seriously considering such a terrible thing, except that, of course, that’s impossible. Yet, the only person at this table who knows it’s literally impossible for him to bed anyone, let alone Max’s woman, is Bo himself. As the stakes are raised, Bo antes up, even if his hand is mediocre at best, so he must be feeling a little daring, before sliding Lo a knowing but quiet smile for his last and nodding a bit, “Reckon I will. Much obliged, Lo. Much obliged.”

No more tackroom guarding? Lorayit appears mildly interested in that, mostly keeping his eyes on his cards as he absently contributes to raising the stakes at the center of the table. "A dragon?" Ganic is the one to take up that echo, looking around at his fellow farmers before, as one, they all erupt into raucous laughter. Deo slaps the table a few times in his intoxicated state, drawing a few looks from the other patrons - and even Shijan by the entrance. "How many drinks did he have?" Orin's leaning over to count the number of mugs littering Bowen's side of the table as the laughter dies down, and Lo's even showing the glimmers of an amused smirk at the camaraderie at the table. Berel's shrugging as he reaches for his own brandy, "How the fuck do I know?" he answers for them all, laughter still in his voice. "I'm already for my next. Barmaid!" He's leaning away from the table and calling, not particularly caring which woman comes to his aid. Meanwhile, on the talk of dragonriders, Bowen is making his statement and Deo's the one to whistle at the thought and nod appreciatively first as he checks his cards. "If not for that damn dragon of hers, you can knock her over a table now," he's suggesting, nodding at the other men with a glint in his eyes. Lo doesn't share in the sentiment, however, but he does seem to find something the tanner says of interest. Gesturing with a hand, "Max got a weyrling?" he's asking with non-chalance, his blue eyes betraying none of the thoughts within as he stares Bowen down. Orin nudging the gardener for his question, "Looking to, ah, sow some seeds there yourself?" he grunts out, drawing a few chuckles from Deo and Ganic. Lo sniffs at the randy comment, "Just asking," is all he answers to that, and then he looks to the tanner again at his last a sends the man a genuine crooked grin in silent response. "Some of those weyrlings do look sweet enough to touch," Deo is commenting, being the first to show his so-called winning hand before Orin beats him with his.

Bowen can’t help but join in the laughter when the whole table erupts, though he is characteristically not as boisterous or loud about it as some of the others. He continues to chuckle good-naturedly as the banter continues too, questioning how many drinks he’s had and so forth. He also takes another drink and with Deo’s suggestion, he looks away and nods slightly, not wanting to be the Debbie Downer for it, but clearly not comfortable with the notion either, and it’s not just because of his current bedroom struggles. “Ayup,” Bo is quicker than usual to answer Lo’s question, mostly to get off the topic of boffing Max’s girl before this turns into something much harder to swallow, and he barely acknowledges Lo’s look for him as he’s a little more interested in getting caught up on the plays being made by the others, “So he told me when we wuz drinkin’ one night.” And apparently Bo has no more loyalties to Max if he’s saying so much. Bo merely smirks faintly at Orin and his nudging, but doesn’t comment further or look in Lo’s direction again until Deo and Orin show their hands and Bo reveals his as being even more of a losing hand than Deo’s. His blue eyes dart to Deo, more just flatly regarding him for the final statement than any challenge to him, and then he is downing another swig of his drink, swallowing and setting his half-finished drink back on the table, “Fer lookin’, fer fuckin’ later,” when they’re out of weyrlinghood, “but not much more th’ way Max was talkin. At least her. Max talked like she’s been a bit of a handful fer him.” He frowns at that, genuinely wondering if that might pose more of an attraction between Max and Cheusia.

Even Lo shows his hand, the cards high enough that the other men are shooting looks his way that were borderline suspicious. "You don't seem to be drinking all that much, partner," Berel's noting the fact that, while Lo's been quick to call for refills, he himself have only been through a couple. There's a couple of untouched mugs of brandy at this side of the table, which Orin reaches over and grabs one of them. "More for us, eh?" he's saying passing wide grins to the rest of the men. The gardener merely smirks as Hayli comes by at the bark from earlier. “Another round?" she's asking, and the farmers grunt and nod as one before they leans back in their seats and allow Deo to collect up the cards. "You know which one she is?" Lo is asking, still non-chalant as he goes for his half-filled mug now that his hand of cards is shown. "I've only seen him around Jaya," someone's been fixated perhaps? "so I don't recall him being around any of the weyrlings." Bowen's reaction to Deo's last in regards to weyrlings draws attention to Berel shooting the wily man a warning glance. Even he was eyeing Bowen's size, knowing that should a fight erupt between him and then smaller Deo, he knew who would get the upper hand. "Can't touch'em for a long ass while yet anyway," Berel agrees with the tanner, nodding once. "He's got some balls for stickin' with a weyrling through all that. Know plenty of men that would drop a woman and just wait until she's graduated before they deal with her again." Lo's watching Bowen as the other farmer speaks, the blonde man reaching forward to collect up the marks he won with barely any expression over the fact that he won. "Business been good for you, Bo?" he shifts topics, perhaps a bit in tuned to the man's expressions and not wanting the farmers to linger on such talk. He knew that the men could be too much to a newcomer at times, especially Deo, and the last thing he wanted was the tanner to not come around again. No point in controlling Deo, either - the man said what was on his mind, and that was that.

Slower on the uptake, or seeming to be, Bowen follows the looks from the other men at the table to Lo and his eyes settle on the hand before his eyebrows go up a little, a little smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. Cheating? Lo? Say it ain’t so! Bo is certainly not accusing in his look, but he does seem more than a little amused with the suspicious looks cast Lo’s way, in a sort of ‘good luck with that, buddy, I’ll just be over here,’ kind of way. “Ayup,” he says a heartbeat too slow, intending it for the ‘more for us’ comment from Orin, though Bo isn’t at all trying to reach for the other remaining brandy by Lo. As they all agree to another round, including Bo, and Bo appears to be watching Hayli depart – in reality he’s looking at Jaya across the way past her – he distractedly looks back at Lo and shakes his head, “Sorry, no. Ain’t nev’r met ‘er,” which considering it’s only been the first four months of weyrlinghood, it’s probably not surprising. It’s probably only been recently made a little easier for the weyrlings to get out much at all, let alone to visit boyfriends in secret. “Think she Impressed green,” Bo adds casually, though in all honesty – and really perhaps for the best – he’s not all too sure. He’s not even sure of her name, if he’s heard Max say it at all. He’s just going with statistics. He nods to Berel next, both for not being able to touch the weyrlings and for Max having some balls for trying to stick with her, but with what Bo’s told them, he isn’t exactly being faithful to her, and so Bo frowns thoughtfully, blue eyes settling on the surface of his drink. As such, he blinks a little distractedly at Lo when he’s asked about business and shrugs a little with a nod, “Fair ‘nough.” And because it’s the natural thing to do and easy to verify, he adds, “Might be pickin’ up, though. J’st finished a pair o’boots few days back fer Jaya ov’r there an’ she talked like she’d recommend me t’some o’her custom’rs.” He lifts his mug again and takes another swig before tossing in the next mark in the pot for the next hand.

"Would I cheat my fine friends?" Lorayit's looking scandalized by such a notion, and just to show that he's a good sport he'll lift his mug to the men at the table and take his time in draining it. Once the brandy is done in that mug, he reaches for the other one Orin doesn't filch. To the wry looks, and especially to Bowen's amused one, "Sorry, but I'm not looking to wake up looking like that man-shouldered kitchen drudge that has her eyes on you, Orin," he adds with easy grace. Hayli returns right then with another round of drinks, the men brightening up at them as if they haven't had their share of the brandy for the last hour or so. Lo's gaze fall beyond the blonde barmaid to the Bitran barkeep as well, watching her chat up two dragonrider men with more enthusiasm than normal. He spies Bowen looking in the same direction too - though he's thinking the tanner's checking out Hayli rather Jaya - and he sends an off-handed smile his way as he turns pointedly to Hayli when she stops by with his mug and asks, "Jaya's been well while I was gone?" - "Surprised you haven't offered to show her the fruits of your labor yet," Orin quips the double meaning, catching that question to Hayli and throwing a leery look towards the barkeep that would probably had him clocked if she were to hear. Ganic chuckles at that and Deo starts shuffling out new cards for the next game. Chuckling herself as she passes Bowen a new mug, "Well enough, gardener," is Hayli's short response, then the barmaid moves on to the next table and the farmers are tossing in their marks with amused looks. Now with cards in hand again, Lo sets his brandy aside and ignores the looks going his way as Bowen answers his query. "You made some boots for Jaya?" he echoes that, his blue eyes remaining firmly on the tanner as the farmers exchange amused looks. "She's the one that could." Recommend, that is. "I might be able to help you out there, as well," he adds, his gaze falling back on his cards with a casual air. "Know some holdless folks that could use some new, functioning boots. I'll pay for those that can't, of course." Of course, one would wonder how a mere gardener could foot the bill on numerous pairs of boots for holdless folk - a farmer, even, since boots usually don't come cheap. "If you're interested, of course." - "Doin' a whole lotta business talkin' and not enough mark losin', Lo," Berel seems to warn, looking pointedly at him since he's of the mind that Lo's cheating. The gardener merely smirks the older farmer's way, and then tosses Bowen a roguish wink. They knew what he was about, and for now, he falls silent on Max's weyrling.

Bowen rumbles a soft, but genuinely mirthful and good-natured chuckle at Lo’s comments, particularly his description of the drudge making eyes at Orin. He concludes it with the echo of it buried in his mug as he takes another drink, leaning back a little in his seat and appearing to relax a little more. He nods a little appreciatively to Hayli though, as she brings more drinks, and then glances to Lo as he inquires about Jaya. Bo’s blue eyes slide to Orin with his comment, and then he follows his gaze back to Jaya behind the bar. Hayli’s voice draws Bo’s attention back to her, and then back to his cards as he adjusts the new hand in his grasp and takes a look at what he’s dealing with in earnest. “Ayup,” he answers Lo about the boots, still looking at his own hand, and when it gets around to him, he’ll discard two and adjust the two new ones in his hand accordingly, stoic expression back in place, but mostly to try and affect some kind of poker face and hopefully, for Faranth’s sake, actually win something tonight. The talk of more orders for boots does eventually draw Bo’s attention back to Lo and just as he seems about to say something to him on the matter, Berel pipes up, and with a small grin, Bo just nods to Lo, ”We can talk lat’r ‘bout that, I reckon.” And Bo doesn’t seem inclined to bring up Max’s weyrling again, himself, or Max for that matter, for the time being. He antes up, seeming to finally have been dealt something decent for the first time tonight, and says at long last, “Mebbe o’er anuth’r bottle on dat rock o’yers.” At least the one he’s seen Lo on in his gardens, not really knowing about the farmland. He smiles a little more, briefly, at Lo, and then returns his focus on his cards, and his drink, too.

Orin's looking put out at that comment on a drudge making eyes at him - one that's man-shouldered, no less - and mutters, "… go face that Buma yourself and see how you like it…" In either case, all the men are chuckling along with Bowen, themselves getting far more loose with the way the brandy's flowing. The farmers then quiet down at they in turn discard and take up cards before rearranging and punctuating it with a drink from their mugs. "You all know I mix my business with pleasure," Lorayit reminds them all despite the fact that Berel's the one complaining about his new business offer to Bowen. "Did it enough in Nerat. Bitra, too." Deo's whistling appreciatively at something then, though it's hard to tell whether it's at something said or his own cards since his eyes never leave his hand. "What I'd give to do some serious gambling up Bitra's way," he comments off-handedly, passing a look at each man as if expecting them to agree with him. "Imagine what I could win up there! Especially at the big tables." - "Cheat up there and I hear the man running things will slit your throat without even lookin' at ya," Berel's putting in more seriously, his eyes remaining on his cards until Bowen ups the ante. He frowns a bit at the marks thrown in, then he moves to add some himself. Orin follows suit with some marks and a comment - "Aye. Prefer the tables up in Crom myself. That's where I hail," he adds as an aside to Bowen, nodding once. "Where you hailin' from, anyway? Beyond the bar, we don't see all that much of you - though," and he chuckles in the pause, taking a drink, "we're far out in the fields most times, so I reckon us farmers are hardly familiar to anyone here, right?" Deo throws in some marks then and Ganic throws in his cards, shaking his head and muttering, "You all are killing me tonite!" - "Guess you're better off getting your wife a bronzerider with a ribbon tied around his neck this turnday, buddy," comes Deo, smacking his lips as he chuckles at his own words and takes a drink. Ganic visibly bristles, and Lo deflects what's possibly about to go down between the two as he leans forward and addresses Bowen with "Later, then," he agrees, raising his voice and looking pleased by it. "Come by the garden next time and I'll have that package ready for you. We can talk of business-" and other stuff "-with less eyes and ears about." And with that, he shows his hand first, and it's not a winning one. He makes a show of shaking his head at it and leaning back dejected, his blue eyes peering over at a watchful Berel innocently. "Win some, lose some," is his simple response, left with an easy grin.

“I reckon th’ tables at Bitra’re worth a gander,” Bo is saying companionably as the talk turns in that direction, ignoring the whistle from Deo as either a bluff or otherwise, and instead keeps his attention on the cards for the moment, well, and his drink. Again. Then he lapses quiet again amidst the banter, listening without really seeming to pay attention, that is until Orin puts the question to him and he amiably comments, “Southern,” and then smirks about how little they see of him and he of them, but doesn’t comment as Ganic’s reaction to folding ends up getting his attention next, and then Bowen is frowning at Deo for the comment, and the tanner even shifts a little in his seat as if he might get up and hold Deo down for Ganic to pummel, but Bo doesn’t actually get up. “Count on’t,” Bo is saying slowly, softly, and distractedly (for the tension between Ganic and Deo), to Lo’s invitation to the gardens. Bo then lays down his cards, which are the highest hand he’s had tonight, though perhaps not the winning hand, as it is yet to be seen of the others. And he takes another swig of his drink while watching the others show their hands. “Y’gotta know when t’hold ‘em an’ know when t’fold ‘em, eh, Lo?” Bo’s saying to the gardener congenially.

"I wouldn't be taking any ganders Bitra's way, were I any of ya," Berel warns them darkly, showing his hand along with the others and finding Bowen to win the game. The older farmer doesn't seem to be all that daunted about losing, however, for he takes up his brandy without any change in expression. Looking at Bowen directly then, "Unless ya plan to take our esteemed travel extraordinaire gardener here," and he nods sharply in Lorayit's direction. "Man seems to slip in and out of a thieves den without hardly a scratch." Well, probably not the best words to be using considering the state of things involving the runner thieves, but the farmers' expression are all easy and calm as if this was merely the talk and banter of men. "Bitra's not a thieves' den," Lo puts in mildly, drinking his brandy as Deo reaches for all the cards for the next game. "And I just know how to talk to folks, is all. Speaking of…" and the gardener suddenly straightens and looks toward the entrance, drawing all the attention that way as well. There's a short man pausing at the entrance, giving Shijan wide berth before he steps forward with hands in his pockets and nodding towards the farmers' table since he has their attention. Lorayit's on his feet, pulling out enough marks to both cover all the drink rounds plus a few more should they stay and continue. "We came from Southern," Ganic is noting to Bowen's answer on where he hailed from in the meantime, already dismissing the man at the entrance since he doesn't look familiar. "You have kin out that way? I might know them." The rest of them are looking between gardener and stranger curiously, nursing their drinks as Lo takes up his hat and plants it on his head. "There's the reason for my sobriety tonite," he explains to the table at large, nodding towards the dark-featured man. "Got some garden business to take care of," he adds, though one would wonder what business could there be involving flowers at that time of night - especially since the man hardly looked like a gardener himself. Looking directly at Bowen then, "You're welcome to stay and play as long as you like," he tells him with an incline of his head. "I'm sure Berel here will keep them decent enough," and Berel's grunting at that. Nodding, "We'll do this again sometime," he adds, stepping away from the table and exchanging nods with Jaya as she remains behind the counter. "Been fun, Lo," Deo pipes in, passing out the cards without missing a beat since the game's about to be one short.

Bowen appears about as pleased as a generally stoic man can look that he won that round. He casually sweeps up the bit of a pot there is with a large hand and then returns his attention to Berel for his wisdom on Bitra, “That so?” he asks, not challengingly as much as prompting for more, well more than has already been said about Bitra earlier in the night anyway. There’s an appreciative quiet smile made for the praise given Lo and then the tanner is picking up the mug in front of him once more, drinking back a portion as Lo stands and starts paying for the rounds of drinks. He pauses and swallows and taking a moment to lift his mug toward Lo in a gesture of gratitude for the drinks and the cards and companionship for the evening, before his attention falls onto the newcomer with the casual interest of one who is starting to find it a weee bit harder to focus. Then he regards Ganic and openly looks interested, “Yeah? I sure do. M’pa an’ ma an’ bruth’r an’ sist’r are still out that way.” Pause as he lifts his mug back to his lips, but he speaks again before taking another sip, “Which is why I was lookin’ t’go back fer a visit,” and to do some much needed bonding with his girl, right? He swallows that last sip and adds, “M’pa’s a tanner, too. Kayne’s his name. At Southern Hold specifically. Been doin’ it there since b’fore I was born.” He glances back at Lo as the gardener speaks on his sobriety and then back over to the newcomer as he gestures there, and Bowen nods a bit, then smiles at Lo’s invitation to stay, “Reckon I might j’st do that,” said in the way a man who just won his first hand would say, suggesting he might be on a winning streak, perhaps. And then he looks back to the farmers there, “So long as these fine fellas ain’t got no problems with it,” he offers good-naturedly. And as the cards get dealt once more, Bowen only takes another surreptitious glance for the stranger Lo is going off to talk with, and then he gets back to playing cards with the farmers, relaxing a little more into his seat and tipping his hat a little more off his head as well. More than likely, he’ll be tipping a little more of that whiskey back down his gullet before the night is over, too.

"I'll tell ya all about it," Berel tells Bowen with a meaningful look on Bitra, now dismissing the man at the entrance as well. Lo's business was Lo's business, right? The man at the entrance looks impatient, but the gardener's still lingering at the table to joke with his friends. "Your pa sounds very familiar," Lo is telling the tanner, eyes narrowing a bit as he tries to recall. "A tanner, too? Hmmm…" - "Yeah, I know of him," Berel puts in on Bowen's father with a grunt as he takes up his new hand of cards. "Damn good tanner, too. Might have to take a look-see at what ya can do, Bo." Despite the rounds of brandy, once Bowen drops the familiar name of his father, the group of farmers in unison starts to look more favorably on him. So then, once he mentions he'll be staying if they have no problems with it, "Ya welcome at our table anytime, Bo," Orin's gesturing, the smile genial. "Us Southerners like to stick together, even if some of us here weren't born from there." - "Damn straight!" Ganic puts in, draining his mug and setting it down heavily. "Stay so I can win some marks off'a ya!" The laughter is easy around the table as they start getting into their cards, Orin giving the gardener a final nod in farewell before he turns and strikes up a conversation on the methods Bowen and his father uses when they're tanning - since apparently, he seems to know a little about it, too. The farmers at the table become engrossed in the topic then with Lorayit giving Bowen a final nod of farewell before he finally takes his leave and disappears out the bar with the impatient stranger in tow.

Closing Credits Theme Music: Kenny Rogers – “The Gambler”

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License