050: Breaking the Rules aka Dalby's Scheme
Dalby gladly took Kane's coins in exchange for sandwiches. "Thanks!" Dalby cheered before running off to find another customer. At this rate he'd have enough money by the end of the day. Dalby sprinted towards a soldier he knew was a glutton for anything from his mother's kitchen.
"You know Momma's going to be mad, right?" David asked as Dalby came home later that day. Their parents still weren't home. When they were little, they'd go to their mother's restaurant as their days finished up but now that they were somewhat older Gilan and Jenny allowed them to simply go home and play until a parent arrived with dinner.
"Momma doesn't have to find out," Dalby shot back. He laid his money out on the table and began counting.
"What are you saving all that up for anyway?" David asked.
Dalby sat back. "I'm going to buy something."
Dalby shrugged. "I don't know yet but when I want something I'll have money for it."
David shook his head. "You're weird you know."
Dalby stuck out his tongue and continued counting. "I might get something for Momma."
David laughed. "You'd better get her new good napkins."
"Those were old ones. She won't miss them."
The brothers were both silent for several moments. Then David pointed out, "She made Dad stay up all night keeping watch over her pastry pantry because someone was stealing her almost-soured berries."
David and Dalby locked gazes. "Oh no I'm in trouble."
"Yes you are," a deeper voice said. David and Dalby jerked their heads back to find their father leaning in the doorway drinking coffee. He tossed four cloth squares of fine cloth over to Dalby and sat down in his favorite chair. "Care to explain?"
Dalby twisted the end of his shirt nervously. "I thought Momma didn't use them anymore."
"She doesn't…but that doesn't give you the right to take them without permission."
"Will you tell Momma, Dad?"
Gilan shook his head and took a long drink of his coffee. "No, Dalby, I won't tell your mother."
Dalby's eyes widened. "What?"
"I suggest taking that money of yours and going to buy her something nice."
Dalby looked from his father to his brother to his money. Without a word he gathered it up and ran off towards the main market. Dalby looked around the carts, most of which were closed up for the day, until he came to one displaying aprons. Its vender, like all the others, was in the process of wrapping up the goods and going home. Dalby ran over and held out all his money.
"I need an apron for my mother so she doesn't get mad at me," he told the woman breathlessly. The woman stared at him for several precious moments.
"You're Jenny's boy, aren't you?" she asked. Dalby nodded. "What'd you do?"
"Um…" Dalby trailed. She shook her head.
"Ranger's son…typical…alright, well here you are."
She handed him a clean white apron with blue embroidery on its pocket. Dalby thanked her and ran the whole way back home. His father still sat in his usual chair drinking coffee while his older brother pretended to sharpen a knife nearby…obviously waiting to see the younger son get in trouble. Jenny sat by the fire minding a large pot of soup.
Dalby ran to his mother and held out the apron. "Momma I made sandwiches and wrapped them in your old good napkins and sold them and I saved all the money and I felt bad about taking your napkins and food and I bought you this to make up for it," he rambled quickly. Jenny, accustomed to the fast pace lifestyle of a kitchen, raised her eyebrows. She'd caught every word.
"Go to your room. You too, David…both of you out."
David and Dalby ran to their room. Gilan stood up and wrapped his arms around Jenny. "Our kid's smart, Jen," he told her.
Jenny held out the apron. "Was it you or David who told him to buy this?"
"David," Gilan answered.
"Mhm," Jenny replied. "Please don't ever encourage our boys to buy me something again."
Gilan kissed her. "Have to admit...our son did well with limited time."
Jenny raised her eyebrows again and held the apron beneath his nose. "I can't wear this at work. The colors are my rival's."
"So wear it here. It doesn't have to be all the time…you rarely cook here anyway."
Jenny shook her head. "You're terrible."