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Friday, December 2, 2022

F³ The Brush Off

            The tanner’s little establishment was well outside the town because of the distinctive sewer smell that wafted a good way out from it. No one wanted that smell nearby, much less inside the town walls. No doubt the smell came from some of the large wooden vats dotted around the place. Rope lines held skins in various states of drying and bleaching.

            The tanner’s assistants pointed me to inside the large building, which, fortunately, didn’t stink as much of urine and other chemicals as the outside. Inside, a man stood next to a large table with piles of leather skins. A pair of round spectacles perched on his nose, but it looked like he inspected the skins as much with his hands as his eyes. Deep lines in his face and darkened skin made his face look like leather, too.

            “What do you want?” He asked, not looking up at me.

            “Well, I might could use a new leather pouch, and—”

            “I tan, ‘em, I don’t craft ‘em,” he cut me off.

            “Right,” I said slowly. The only reason I had come up with the pouch was to try and ease into the hairs. “Well, in that case, I see you cut all the hairs off before you tan the hides. You mind if I take some of the hair off your hands?”

            Now he did look up. “What for?”

            “I need to make some brushes.”

            “I already deal with a brushmaker. She buys all my hair.”

            I sighed. A brushmaker. Sure, there would be a brushmaker. I likely had some of her offerings to brush Ranger. “Where can I find her?”

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