Collecting hair from Ranger’s mane was easy enough, and I figured out pretty quickly that tying a simple overhand knot in one end was a convenient way to hold them together, at least for testing. But I wanted more than just the one brush to try out.
The next day, I went back into town and visited Hans, the butcher. Like most people in the Realms, he was kind of a stereotypical figure. Fairly rotund, though also muscular, with a stained apron stretched over the roundness. He sported a trimmed beard and thick moustache, which somehow seemed to be two entirely separate pieces of facial hair. Whenever he talked, the moustache seemed more animated than his jaw.
“Morning, Shamus, I’ve got some fine meats, today,” he said with a hint of a German accent. He gestured to some hanging carcasses. “And we’re about to make some sausage, too.” He pointed to the sausage grinder sitting on a thick block of wood. “They’ll be done smoking this afternoon.
My stomach grumbled at the thought of some good sausages. They tended to be one of my favorite choices of things to eat in the Realms because they didn’t need refrigeration.
I put in an order for the sausages, then made my other request. “I also need some hair. I’m making some brushes.”
“Hmm, well, I sell the skins, hair and all to the tanner, Crispin, who lives outside of town to the west. He sends one of his boys in ever couple of days to take my skins. I toss them into barrels with water. They drop off empty barrels and pick up the full ones.”
“Why is he so far out?” I asked.
Hans wrinkled his moustache, which almost did a barrel roll around his nose. “Tanning is nasty business. Awful, awful smells. No one wants a tanner nearby.”
I think Hans, and promised I’d be by later for my sausage.
“You can’t go wrong with Marion’s bread to go with my sausage.” This time his moustache virtually winked at me.
That comment was probably more innocent than I’m making it out to be, but that winking moustache is hard to ignore.