Open Dreams For Sale!
Given carte blanche, Sal wasn’t so brazen or stupid to think McBride either wanted her to waster his coins or could easily afford the more expensive tipples – not that the Bluff offered very much in the way  of what very few could afford. She nodded, with a grin, and replied, ”Alright, then,” before turning to the barman and saying with a saucy air, ”Two pints, Jim.” There was no need to name a favored brand. They served only the one, a local brew, which was passable in merit.

Relinquishing his arm, she slid onto a bar stool and asked, while the barman expertly poured their drinks from the tapped keg, ”So, Mr. McBride…where do’ee ‘ail from? London, I reckon?” For Sal, York might as well have been Paris, for it was a place she’d never get to in her lifetime. London seemed as exotic as the far moon.
Pony heard her order the regular brew and grinned from ear to ear. She wasn't going to test him on his coins or what he felt she was worth, at least not yet. He was quick to slip onto the stool beside her and watched the man pour before eyeing her from the corner of his eye, that cheerfulness never swaying.

"Ach, no. It might surprise you, but I'm Irish. I hail allllll the way from my dear Kilkenny." He placed a hand upon his chest and hung his head as if he were mournful for leaving such a wonderful place. Actually he was quite certain they'd rather he be hung before stepping back, and he was just as happy to leave and never come back. "A beautiful little pocket o' earth that was as lovely as a days' rays. O' course I'm glad I left since it meant I could see somethin far lovelier." He winked at her and took a deep swig of his beer.
Sal only cocked an eyebrow, but to be honest, she was enjoying the mild flirtation. When did she ever not enjoy such? "Oh aye? A real world traveler. I see," she said with a smirk. She felt quite...cozy with McBride, almost...warm. Glowing. she wished there could have been that handsome fiddler from the manor playing, along with his mates, for she felt like dancing. She settled on smiling at the peddler, and asked, "Now tell me, then, what brings'ee all t' way up 'ere? There's naught but sheep 'n cows 'n men that smells of'em round these parts." She giggled and sipped the ale that had been set in front of her.
Pony considered her question and watched her face. She was a woman experiencing joy in his presence because of the attention he gave her. It gave him his own sense of delight that he could so quickly get her to appreciate his wonderful company. He relished the sensations of the dingy pub and the pretty thing at his side as he drank some more before replying.

"I follow the wind and go where ever the road leads me. I love places like this for these are th' men who require a man of my abilities and conscience. Someone ta offer them cheap cures for their health as things are too hard as it is. I bring happiness and good health. What more could I need? Well, besides seeing a lovely lady now and again. Sometimes my travels do gift me that."

He winked at her before telling the bartender one more for both of them though she hadn't even finished her first.
And so the banter flew, back and forth, between the young woman and the charlatan peddler. He told her about his life on the road. She told him some amusing stories she had collected, over time - the type no decent young woman would know, or repeat. But Sal didn't pretend to a decency which she knew no-one believed her to have anyway.

They sat and drank ale, and, unbeknownst to her, the 'secret ingredient' in his tonic began to have some effect on her. She felt flushed, elated and giddy. But she put it down to the drink and the handsome, flirty, fun company of McBride. Within a half hour of them entering the pub, though, she could almost feel a bit of a downswing in her energy. Over the course of the next ten or fifteen minutes, she began to feel a bit... drained. Her mouth was dry and she said, "I'm feelin' a bit sick. I dunno..." She looked at him with an apologetic expression. "I think maybe...I need a breath o' fresh air. 'Tis stuffy in 'ere. I think... I should go 'ome. I'm sorry." She put her hand on his knee.

But she was so reluctant to part company with him, she suggested in a much quieter tone than any she'd used yet, her eyes locked with his, "Would 'ee walk wi' me, Mr. Mcbride?"
Pony was finishing his second beer having enjoyed the quiet mood of the pub and her sweet company. He paid attention to her for Sal's sake though most of it went in one ear and out the other. Any excuse to have a pretty girl at his side and the peace that only a small town bar could supply until it grew late and rowdy with those who had been drinking all day.

As the drink hit his tongue she mentioned not feeling well. He noticed it in her eyes and the way she moved, she was affected by the medicine. He had seen it hundreds of times, so it was obvious to him and he placed down his glass. When she mentioned heading home, he was about to offer to take her but she had cut him to the chase. His smile reached his eyes and he offered her his hand. As he placed the money at the counter, he stood and bowed slightly.

"T'would be an honor.. Are you far from here? I can always give you a ride on my humble cart if you wish." He slipped his hand behind her back, offering her some support as he started to lead her outside. "Or we can walk. A little time for some fresh air and close to you would make me a happy man."
She leaned against him, as much for the pleasure of feeling him against her side as it was for the need for support. Although, she did feel a bit strange. To the offer of a ride in his wagon, she shook her head. ”No, I live n’more than a few steps from ‘ere. Two turns an’ we’ll be there.”

They stepped out into the chill of the afternoon and she felt a bit revived. With his hand about her waist, she crossed her shawl more snugly over her chest and they walked along together, almost as if they’d been made to fit one to the other. It was true, her humble home, that she shared with her gran, was no more than a few minutes walk away. But once outside, and as they passed through the square, she was feeling better, and she thought it would be a shame to part ways with this handsome gent – not if he was still agreeable to doing otherwise.

Seeing as she was the type to adopt a ‘never any harm in asking’ attitude toward life, she said, ”I d’feel better, now with a breath of air in me lungs. I would fancy a ride in your pretty wagon, Mr. McBride. I ain’t never been in such a contraption afore.” She nodded at the wagon, and then twinkled at him, saucily. ”’Though it be just for pleasure, and not ‘cause I need a ride ‘ome.”
The man figured perhaps the hard life on the streets meant this girl needed stronger stuff than his average potion. It was all the same, he had a 'extra strength' brew that would do the business for the people here. He held her close as they walked and glanced at her face. She was quite pretty, and he thought it was a shame  he wasn't here to look for love, but one couldn't just ask a girl to join a con. Then again, people could be... guided.

"Ah, of course, my sweet lady! Jenny will get to relax soon enough, she loves to take kind people." He winked and offered his arm to help her to the front seat and then easily pulled himself up beside her. His hands took the reigns and he flicked them to get his mule moving. He smiled at the girl and offered them to her. "Know how to drive?"
Sal was delighted, the effects of the drug she had taken, unbeknownst to her, were fading, due primarily to it having been such a small amount. She let Pony help her up to the seat of the wagon, and when he asked if she knew how to drive, she shook her head. "No, but if 'ee d'show me, I'm sure I'll get the 'ang o' it soon 'nough."

She smiled at him, enjoying this little interlude. Like Pony, Sal was not looking for love. She didn't believe in love, not the silly tripe most young women believed in and longed for. She could and would take care of herself, and the only thing a man was good for was just this sort of passtime - a little flirting, a little laughter and merry making, perhaps the proverbial roll in the hay - but that was it. She liked to look at him. He was handsome, and always smiling. And so far he was kind, generous, good humored. That didn't mean she believed he would always be thus. No man ever was. That's why she never fell for them.

Although the possibility that one might get her hooked on cocaine and thus create a need that only he could fill for her had never occurred to her. Sal was smart, but not in that way.
"Ah it's easy my lovely lady! You just take the reigns like this.." Pony looped an arm around her to help her hold the straps of leather, his body close to hers which produced a big smile on his already cheerful face.

"Then you shake them and Jenny'll take you where you lead her. Just pull them this way and that to make it go. And pull back to make her stop. But be gentle, she is an easy going girl, don't want to spook her", the man said softly into her ear as he guided her in the ways of driving a cart. "And don't take it too fast, as fun as fast can be. The cart might turn or crash, and we don't want that sort of excitement." He chuckled softly then released her to let her drive.
She didn't mind the arm about her waist, not at all. Neither was she too dismayed when Pony drew back, to let her drive, unaided. If the man was interested, she knew how to hold that interest. He didn't seem to be in any hurry, and neither was she.

She smiled happily, chuffed to be driving, although truthfully, his Jenny seemed to know perfectly well what to do without any help from Sal. So after a minute or so, Sal was relaxed enough to let the mule walk on, and she turned her head to look at McBride. "Must be nice. Goin' where you please. Don't it ever get lonely, though?"
The man smiled as he gave her the control. Jenny was very experienced and could do the driving mostly herself as long as she knew the way. This made it very easy for the woman to try it for her first time and for him to talk to her.

The words out of her mouth had him chuckle softly and he folded his hands neatly infront of him. "I think I love the freedom of going to a new town every time I feel like it to be the best part of my job. But no..." he seemed shy to mention the next part. "I'm not lonely, my sister has been traveling with me since I started. Though I think she doesn't like it as much." He then smiled more and held up his hands defensively. "I promise she is my sister. Not hiding a girlfriend or wife. Never had much need for em...yet." He gave her a little teasing wink.

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