Not A Child

Title: Not A Child
Time Period: November 134 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: While his sister is in town, Arthur is disturbed from work by a townie paying visit to the camp.

You can't stay in a tent all day. It gets stuffy and smelly before too long, particularly with the midday sun beating down on the thin fabric that forms it's walls. That, perhaps, is why Arthur sits crosslegged not too far from he and his sister's tent on the edge of the gypsy camp, back leaning against a tree. Dressed in loose, old and worn looking slacks and a simple jacket and scarf. Sticking out from the corner of his mouth rests a short pipe, not a common indulgence of his but one that can help him concentrate at times.

And concentrating is exactly what Arthur seems to be doing, eyes narrowed behind the lesnes of his glasses as he focuses down at the ground in front of him. Markings have been scratched into the dirt at his feet and a book lays to his side, one hand on his chin and the other holding a broken piece of wood. He grumbles to himself quietly, sighing as he shakes his head. "At least it's not raining today…" he muses, looking rather annoyed.

"I can imagine it gets cold out here when it rains. Tents can't possibly protect you against the weather very well."

The voice is soft, feminine, and coming from a young woman standing not too far away. Constance Rowntree smiles as she peeks over at Arthur. "You've got a book there," she points out the obvious. "What is it?" That part, at least, isn't easily visible to her from the distance.

Arthur seems to start a bit, caught off guard not just by the sound of a voice, but by one entiirely unfamiliar. Not that, if you asked him, he could pick out any of the women who had travelled with him besides Elvira.THe pipe teeters between his lips, and it only takes the clamping of his teeth to keep it from sliding out as his glasses slide down his nose and he looks up towards teh source of the voice. Spying COnstance, he furrows his brow, oone foot moving out to brush away whatever he had been writing in the dirt in front of him.

"I'm sorry, and you are?" Carries just a bit of suspicion as he looks over the rims of his galsses, dropping the stick to the ground and plucking his pipe from between his lips. He raises an eyebrow at her, smirking. "You're too young for the camp, and I hardly doubt this is quite the place for someone of your age." He's mostly just teasing the newcomer, watching her for a moment.

The dirt writing is gone and Constance is none-the-wiser to whatever he felt inclined to scribble. She slowly makes her way a little closer, peering at the be-spectacled man. "Too young? Well, now you've gone and offended me. I'm not a child. I can go wherever I please. It's not as if this is some den of vipers, is it?" She nods her head in Arthur's direction, then suddenly smiles. "You don't really look much like a viper."

"Oh, well, I suppose that's good!" Arthur replies with a widening smile. "I'd hate to think that I look like the unsavoury type. I already worry for my reputation as it is." The Endlishman stretches out his legs, taking a puff of his pipe as he move sup on to his knees. "I meant no offence, I promise. You just neveer can be too sure with us gypsy types," he remarks, his tone sarcastic. Pushing himself up to his feet, he brushes off his knees. "What brings you out our way?" He doesn't really care, but he should at least be polite.

"I just thought I'd come meet our new neighbors," Constance says, honestly. "I know basically everyone in Dornie, so I figure I should start on everyone out here. I doubt you're all bad, though. Heard lots of differing opinions on what people think of everyone here. I'm not one to judge without seeing for myself. You don't look too terrifying or unsavoury, so I think you're doing well on that part."

Well, those are certainly the magic words, now aren't they? Arthur tries not too make the pause he takes too noticeable, his eyes sliding over to look at Constance. Smoke from the pipe is flared out form his nostril akin to one of the more fierce dragons. "Well, that's good to know," he repeats, though this time with double meaning. "You know everyone, hmm? Well, no, we're not all that bad here, but I'm afraid I'm almost completely unknowledgeable about the folks of Dornie."

Constance beams, looking back towards Arthur. "Well, I suppose it's quite fortuitous that we ran into each other, isn't it? You can tell me about your friends and I'll tell you about mine. I do love tales. Even when they're true. Anyone terrifying amongst your group? I'd like to know who not to talk to."

"If you want a tale," Arthur replies a bit more flatly as he empties the contents of his pipe and crushes it out with his foot, "you should wait for my sister to get back. She can spin quite the story. Give her too much time, and she spin you right to sleep." Which is actually not the insult it might sound like, at least not to Arthur. "I think she knows our… companions better than I do. We were actually travelling with them to her here, if i must be honest."

"You sound fond of your sister," Constance says, watching the pipe with perhaps a little too much fascination. "Perhaps I will have to talk with your sister. But then you wouldn't get to know about the folks of Dornie. It's not fair if it's not an equal exchange. People might notice things that others don't. Your sister might notice the details of a man more than you. Or you, the details of a woman. How'm I to know people here if I don't get both sides of the story?"

Arthur looks a bit disbeleiving as he stares at the younger girl for a moment. "Fair?" he repeats, grinning a bit. Mostly to hide his annoyance. If he didn't know better, he might think Elvira was playing a trick of some sort on him. "I suppose that's true, but I don't particularly think I can give you what you want," he replies refully, benging back over and picking up his book. "I've never made much of an effort to endear myself on out travelling companions. Not as much as she did." He dusts off one side of the book, before offering it out for the girl to inspect. "Watership Down," is a late reply to her earlier question.

Constance reaches over to take the book and carefully examine it. "Why not? Didn't care if they liked you? Or are you just the reclusive sibling and she's the outgoing one?" She smiles gently in his direction before she goes back to studying the book. Not just to see what it's about, but the binding and the pages—she's looking at the quality and how well cared for it is. "I don't think I've ever read Watership Down."

That gets a laugh from Arthur. "Other way around, I'm afraid." He chooses not to elaborate on whatever reasons he may have had for not getting to know the others in teh caravan terribly well - assuming that's even the truth at all. "It's a wonderful little book. Iw ould offer it to you to read, but I'm afraid my ssiter and I are in the midsts of reading it ourselves at the moment." For the…. well, it's been enough times that Arthur's lost count. It's really the only book they consistantly have.

"Maybe I'll have to come back and read it. That way it's not far from you so you can take it back and I can still get the chance to read it," Constance suggests, handing the book back to him after a moment. "So you're the outgoing one and yet she's the one who made friends? Sounds like the two of you are two very different sides of the same coin." She looks back at Arthur, studying him for a moment. "What's she like? Don't worry—I'll make sure to quiz her about you too. Fairness, of course."

Arthur wrinkles his nose as he looks down to her. He's almost ready to simply dismiss her as an annoyance and return to the tent so taht he can get ready to go into town, but no, he reminds himself. There's something in this for him, if he can pry it loose. "Please, there's no need to quiz anyone," he remarks as he takes back the book. "I'm not terribly sure she made friends either. I just think she might be the better one to speak to." Straightening his collar and clearing his throat, he settles the book under his arm. "She's smart. A storyteller, like I said. A bard, I guess some people would say, though without the ruddy music. And I'm a teacher," he remarks quickly, to curb any questions on that front.

If Constance can tell he's slightly annoyed, she doesn't seem to let on, continuing to regard Arthur the same as before. "Well, at this rate you're probably right. Your sister might be easier to speak with. But you're a teacher? Going to come teach in Dornie, then?"

"That's the idea," Arthur replies, choosing to gloss over the rather rude comment that was just thrown in his direction. Hands slide into his pockets along with the pipe, book still under his arm. "Forgive me," is said apologetically, though not really meant. "I don't mean to be hard. I just don't really ahve the answers you want. But yes, I plan to teach in Dornie, as my way of contributing, as soon as my sister and I find a more permenant place of living. From the look of you, I wager you'll be one of my future students?"

The young woman frowns just slightly. "I'm no child," Constance insists. "But if you have more advanced things to teach I would still be willing to learn, assuming it's suitable." She says, peering over the line of tents. "There are others who are younger who you would be teaching. Children." She seems firm on this point. There's no way she'll let people consider her a child.

"I never said you were a child. One doens't have to be a child to be a student," Arthur notes, raising up a finger. "I was in school until I was almost eighteen, myself," he continues, sliding his hands back into his pockets. "Arthur, by the way." The name is a peace offering of sorts. Hopefully it'll get her to stop being so nosy - and calm down a bit.

Constance eases up a little, slowly giving a bit of a nod. "I'm Constance. And I'm sorry if I offended you with that. I just don't like it when people don't take me seriously. I'm certain you'll be teaching my younger sister either way. What sort of subjects do you teach, Arthur? Literature? Art? Theater?" She adds the last one in with a hopeful tone.

"I teach whatever needs teaching," Arthur responds, quirking an eyebrow. "Particularly numbers and history. My sister is better at literature, I'm afraid." And theatre, in theory. Though Arthur is none too shabby himsself. "Your younger sister? I'll keep that in mind. What is it your parents do, Constance?"

"My mother's passed away," Constance says, after a moment's hesitation. "But my father works in the militia." She answers honestly, but doesn't give more detail there. "So why aren't the both of you teachers, then? What is she to do as far as earning a living? I don't suppose a single teacher could earn enough for both of you…" She studies Arthur more carefully now.

"Teaching isn't really her sort of thing. She fancies telling stories more than acting them out, or any such as that." Arthur chuckles a bit, turning so that he's angle dmore towards his tent. "Like I said. She's a storyteller. She gets by well enough that way." When she has to. She never really had to worry about getitng by on her own until recently, thanks to Arthur. "I'm sorry to hear of your mother. I hope to meet your father, sometime."

Constance studies Arthur for another moment. "Well, perhaps I'll have her tell me a story sometime, then. Let her know I'll be looking around for her." She smiles, although it broadens at mention of her father. "I'm sure you'll meet him sometime. The militia is everywhere, after all, it would be hard not to meet him." She's sharp enough to tell he's wanting to make a mad rush for the tent, so she offers a polite nod in his direction. "I'd better get back before someone thinks I've joined your camp."

Arthur slows a bit as Constance begins to make like she's going to leave. "Words of warning, I take it?" he inquires with a narrowed gaze. That's how he interprets that, at least. "I assure you, I'll be on my best behaviour. After all, my sister and I both want to move into the city proper." He shifts his feet a bit, looking towards the tent. "If you know a good place tos tay besides the inn, please, let us know. I'm sure by then, we'll be done with Watership Down."

"The inn's a good a place as any. Just watch out if you run into the innkeeper's daughter, Luna," Constance scratches the side of her neck, lips quirked in displeasure. "She'll try and wrap you and everyone you know around her little finger just for the fun of it." Further mention of her father is carefully ignored, and she begins to head off, offering him a small wave as she makes her way out of the camp proper.

"Innkeeper's daughter? Oh, that just sounds delightful," Arthur remarks to himself, lips upturning into a devious smirk. "Thank you for that, Constance." Still grinning, he shakes his head and turns, making his way towards the tent. It's time to add another meeting to his list.