Bloodhound Progress Report #2

Tammy: So I have a confession to make–this book isn’t coming as easily as some of the others. I suspect that counterfeiting just doesn’t appeal to me as much as murder, epidemic disease, war, forest fires, and earthquakes do as plots. There’s so much explaining to do with counterfeiting to do. I have to come up with a ring of counterfeiters (colemongers, in the book), and hide them where you won’t spot them so easily. (Coles are fake coins.) I have to figure out who’s making the coles (colesmiths), and hide them even deeper. How do you know a coin is fake? And how do you set out a major hunt for the counterfeiters without tipping off the whole country?

Because you see, that’s the last thing Lord Gershom wants, and it’s the last thing the Dogs who know there are false coins making their way into Tortall’s moneystream want. There are always a few coles about, but this is a lot of them, which could turn the whole national economy on its ear. A search for the colemongers and the colesmiths has to be done quietly, by Dogs who can be trusted to keep it close. And how many Dogs would that be?

The hard Dogs of the Lower City have assembled some information, and all of it’s bad. They know gamblers from Port Caynn are losing a lot of false silver coins in games in Corus and on the riverboats. Lord Gershom decides to start a quiet search within Corus for the fakes, and to send word to the Deputy Provosts of the cities, to warn them and to get them started on their own searches for colemongers. He sends Dogs out on the riverboats.

And to Port Caynn he sends two Dogs who just happen to be free. Remember that riot? Tunstall got both his legs broken. Yep. Both. And the problem with all those healings in the past is that he’s built up an immunity. Healing now only takes him so far. The rest he has to do the hard way. That means Beka and Goodwin have each other. Goodwin is familiar with Port Caynn, as it happens, and she worked on the report about the colemongers for Lord Gershom. So did Beka. She also has the powerful Duke of Queenscove screaming for her hide because she talked back to his drunken son. Lord Gershom thinks Goodwin and Cooper are just the pair to send to Port Caynn to snoop around off the leash.

On the surface, they are there under the guidance of Sergeant Nestor Haryse, Gershom’s cousin, posted to the Day Watch in Deep Harbor District in the port city to learn the way Dog work is done Port Caynn. They wander the city during the day, talking to people and looking around. At night, they’re supposed to party in the gambling dens, losing money, winning coles, being sociable, making friends, and keeping their eyes open for the colemongers. Because all threads lead so far to Port Caynn.

Beka has already made friends in Port Caynn, too, it seems. It happened while she was still in Corus. One is a limber, laughing gambler named Dale, another is a hulking, hard-handed caravan guard named Hanse, and the third is his fellow guard, the slab-like Steen. (They all met during the riot.)

The problem is that Beka’s and Goodwin’s hunt may be over before it begins. Port Caynn’s Rogue, Pearl Skinner, just had them kidnapped and brought to her. Pearl is a very nasty piece of work, and she doesn’t like having strange Dogs in her city. She really doesn’t like them interfering with her pickpockets, as Beka has already done. And she suspects that Beka may be a spy for Rosto, and that Rosto may be planning a move against her. Pearl’s not as cool-headed as Rosto. She’s thinking that now that she has these two Dogs, she might just send them back to Rosto in a box.

SOURCE: [Official LJ]