Talk Is Cheap, Whiskey Costs Money
It was about eleven o’clock in the morning, mid October, with the sun not shining and a look of hard wet rain in the clearness of the foothills. Aelfred was neat, clean, shaved and sober, and didn’t care who knew it. He was everything the competent practical ought to be. He was calling on four million gold crowns.
The main hallway of the Sunderland place was two stories high. Over the entrance doors, which would have let in a troop of elephants if they had been opened, or kept them out if they were closed, there was a broad stained-glass panel showing a knight in dark armor rescuing a lady who was tied to a tree and didn’t have any clothes on but some very long and convenient hair. The knight had pushed the visor of his helmet back to be sociable, and he was fiddling with the knots on the ropes that tied the lady to the tree and not getting anywhere. Aelfred stood there and thought that if he lived in the house, he would sooner or later have to climb up there and help him. He didn’t seem to be really trying.